What a fantastic and wonderful word! The free, unmerited favor of God.
When my carnal heart first came to the realization of what was offered to me through Christ, I was a heathen. No, worse than a heathen; I was a Christian who knew all about God. I had grown up in a Christian home, but I never made the religion of my fathers my own.
Upon entering college, I surrounded myself with bright students who worked hard but partied harder. Marijuana was our drug of choice, but through God’s illimitable wisdom my thoughts were turned from the vanity of materialism back to a belief in God.
I was a heathen. No, worse than a heathen; I was a Christian who knew all about God.
I didn’t know who He was or even what that meant, but I was determined to find Him. I naturally gravitated to Eastern thought and spiritual awakening through drugs. I became enthralled with meditation and would practice the clearing of my mind. Dwelling on nothing allowed my mind to reach higher and still higher into the unknown. Hoping to bring back truth about the great and grand questions of life, in the end I was left disappointed, realizing that when contemplating nothing there really is nothing to find.
Too naive to look for more on my own, God chose to bring about disaster and then show me His truth.
I was arrested.
After the second time, I stumbled upon an interesting video on YouTube. It was titled, The Actual, Definite, Certain, Unavoidable Identity of the Antichrist. This was my first taste of biblical Christianity. The presentation made so much sense that I stayed up the entire night watching the rest of the 24-part series, finishing in about 36 hours. Upon completion, I really didn’t know what to do, so I ordered the DVDs and watched them again.
Adventism was true, and I knew it. More importantly, I knew why.
It was so clear, but it obviously deviated from orthodoxy. And who was this Ellen White lady? Could she really be a prophet? I didn’t know what to do with what I had learned, let alone what it meant, so I put it on a back burner and focused on a six-month internship I had just been accepted into.
Upon returning to Penn State in the fall of 2009, God brought other Christians into my life. I could no longer neglect the amazing truth found in Christ and I gave my life to Him. But I still wanted to understand Adventism. This drove me to study God’s word so intensely that I failed three classes in my final semester and I was forced to re-enroll in the spring. But God had convinced me…
Adventism was true, and I knew it.
More importantly, I knew why.
Wanting to further solidify my faith and grow in grace, I felt the call to attend ARISE the following fall and, upon completion, was baptized.
The grace of Christ plead with me for years, but now I was His, fully and completely.
All praise be to God!