Question:

I grew up going to Sunday school every now and then, but never learning anything. I said the sinner's prayer when I was 22 while in AA at the time. I decided to stick with AA. I had a hard time believing in or contacting God. I didn't pursue church or the Bible until years later.

I met a girl in AA who was a church member. She flirted with me, and we ended up in a sexual relationship. She broke it off because of church and God, so I started going to her church hoping to win her back. She kept coming back and leaving me again, until I told God on the way home from church that I didn't want His salvation if that is what it was going to be like. She ended up moving away. Then she called me one day to tell me she was pregnant, so I went to where she was. She lost the child in a car crash and shrugged it off the next day, giggling on the phone with her pastor back here. I came back home. Her dad was mad at me -- I don't blame him. She came back here, had sex with me again, and left to go to Bible college. She got married. I never saw her again.

I found out last year that she died. I hope she was saved.

Over the next few years I cursed God and cursed Jesus because of how my life was. I wanted a girlfriend, but I was too shy. I was stuck with a job I hated. I was always having panic attacks. I didn't see anything in my life as sin. Occasionally I was daring God to come down and face me as a human. I won't repeat some of the things I said. I didn't think I would ever go back to a church, but I did.

After my first night going to church for myself and meeting people there, I came home and read about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. The fear of God finally found me. I responded and tried to get saved in a Baptist church. I said the sinners prayer, was taught about the church, and was baptized a year later. That verse, as well as Hebrews 10:26 and Hebrews 6:4-6 always scared me because of the things i said and did. I struggled with porn. The harder I tried to stop, the worse the temptations got.

I drifted in and out of the church for a number of years and had a sexual relationship during that time, which I quickly ended when I remembered the Hebrews verses.

I sought out other churches, one after another, but found no comfort. I was still struggling with sin and on disability, unable to work due to panic attacks.

One night I saw a universal salvation website. It said everyone will be saved. They gave convincing verses of Scripture to prove it. All fear fell from me. I thought I had finally found God. I felt at peace, but something in me got kind of curious. If all will be saved, then the scary verses must not be true. I remembered a verse that said "God is not the author of confusion" and since the Bible was confusing to me, I came to the conclusion He didn't write it.

I then thought the Bible was full of riddles I had to solve. As I started doing that, I think I opened myself up to a spirit. I thought I was speaking in tongues. I was seeing things. I saw another face in my mirror. It was sort of like mine, but different. The next day the comforting spirit was gone.

I saw something online about a man pretending to be poor. If anyone helped him, he rewarded them. I was inspired to do the same, but no one helped me. I got angry. I walked all through town that day cursing everyone, filling up with hate. At the end of the day fear came over me. I was crying like a two year old. A friend prayed over me to drive out whatever spirit was attacking me.

This was just the beginning. a few months later my baptism certificate fell off the wall. I put it behind the bureau. I still can't find it. I was still under the universal salvation spell when I saw a website of a man claiming to have keys to the Scriptures. He was "decoding" Bible verses on his own. I got a notebook and did the same.

I started going crazy, talking to myself as two different people. I don't know where the idea came from, but I was convinced that Jesus and Satan were brothers and God loved them both. i went out walking that night, and saw a man who looked very dark and evil. I came back home, had the thought that someone was around the corner to kill me, and then I slipped and fell on the ice. A few days later, I must have been really crazy because I thought I was Jesus. I ended up freaking out and was sent to the psych ward in handcuffs. The next morning when they wouldn't let me out, I cursed Jesus, which I swore to myself out of fear that I would never do again.

I got out a week later and smoked marijuana again. A bad mistake. While I was using I started decoding the verses again and I ended up back in the hospital. I went on and off the meds on my own, and ended up back in there again. This time, I lost most of my emotions. I went in due to paranoia and was paranoid when I came out. I couldn't laugh or cry, but I still had guilt and worry. I was bedridden for months.

The universalist sites held no assurance for me anymore. I started clutching at straws wondering what was going to happen to me when i die. I bounced around different websites and religions online. I didn't buy into them for long, but I went from Kundalini to Gnosticism to Yahuwshua is Yahweh (Jesus is the impostor) and another one that said that Jesus just came here to do the work of his father Satan. All these are ridiculous! I started hallucinating again.

I found the a friend of mine on-line whom I cursed that day when I was pretending to be poor. I called him up because I remembered the things I said about him. I finally started to cry! I cried my eyes out in his car. He forgave me. I was always ashamed to cry in front of other people.

I reached out to a church of Christ and was baptized for the right reason. I cried there too and more often recently. I haven't been able to laugh yet, but I am finally out of my room and able to get out again. I'm excited to go back to church, but fears keep attacking me.

Is my repentance too late? Am I lost forever? Does God still want me?


Answer:

It sounds like you've had a rough life mostly because you always used yourself as the measure of what was right or wrong. Until recently, you were not going back to the standard of God's Word. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Since you did not have the Bible as an anchor, you got tossed about by every doctrine that came along in your life. The reason Christ gave teachers, preachers, and elders in the church was to grow the members in the Word "till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" (Ephesians 4:13-14).

Another problem is that you used to blame God for the sins of people claiming to be His followers -- including yourself. "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (James 1:13). Through much of your life you wanted favors from God while ignoring God in your daily life.

People frequently misread Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26. I suspect that many people fear that they are hopeless. Sometimes I wonder if some people want to be without hope. You correctly noted that God doesn't write confusing information (I Corinthians 14:33), so let's start with a clear fact: God doesn't want anyone loss -- and that includes you. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). That doesn't mean everyone will be saved because there are lots of people in the world who don't care enough about God to listen to Him and so be saved. But when we are reading the Scriptures we need to keep in mind that it is man who keeps himself from being saved and not God refusing to offer salvation. "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).

The warning in Hebrews 10:26 is regarding a person who won't give up his sins, even though he knows that what he is doing is wrong. See: Can you explain what "if we sin willfully" in Hebrews 10:26 means?

Hebrews 6:4-6 is addressed to Christians trying to rescue a fallen Christian from his sins. The point here is that is impossible to persuade a sinning Christian to leave his sins when he has turned his back on the Bible. Since there is no other way to save a person, the Christian wanting to rescue his brother is faced with an impossible task. The only way the person will return to Christ is when he decides to return. The same answer in the previous paragraph also explains this.

Even Jesus' statement about blaspheming the Holy Spirit is due to the fact that a person who knowingly slanders God to ruin His reputation before other people is not likely to give up his sin. He already knows he is wrong, but he doesn't care.

You are not in this category. Most of your life was spent in ignorance of what the Bible truely said. You gave up your sins. You have come to Christ for salvation. Of course God wants you for His child.