It is hard for me to trust a religion because I was fooled before

Question:

Hello,

I have read the website where I found this email. Honestly, I am not good at writing, but I just want to say that I am at a difficult time in my life that I must overcome. First of all, thank you for writing all that.

I was raised by an Orthodox mother, but I spent a part of my childhood around Pentecostals. For economic issues my mother had to live in another country for a better job and at that time was not possible for her to take me, so I lived with my grandmother, who is Pentecostal. I found the teachings of Pentecostals attractive. Everything I knew about God was from their gatherings of praying, prophecies, dreams and visions since I was 11 years old. It is very hard for me to forget all this.

I am in my early twenties, but I have been through a lot and commited a lot of sins. All those sins brought me to feel close to God in that Pentecostal way I had learned, so the dreams were always a special sign for me. I believed God was showing me something. I realized that something was wrong, howver, when a sister had seen in a dream that her dead child (from an abortion) was speaking with her telling her, "I forgive you but not the Father." I was younger at that time, without the knowledge of the Bible that I have now. I thought: "How can it be that the Father can't forgive her? I always understood that God is merciful, and He has shown me a lot of mercy." How can I win against this influence that have dreams over me? How can I be indifferent?

How difficult was it for you to cut yourself off from this religion? Because I am broken. My grandmother is still here, along with my father and my uncle, who I was very close to in childhood. And then there are the rest of the sisters and brothers I knew. I wish I can help them, but the last time I tried to help somebody come to Christ, I only made it worse. Now I don't have contact with my father and grandmother.

I came to a point in my life where I needed to search for answers, for the real truth behind all that is happening, not speaking just about Pentecostalism but other religions as well. I definitely want to study the Word of God. One friend whom I know went to the Jehovah's Witnesses where he learned the Bible with them. Now he tells me to study with a sister. With all that has happened in my life, it is hard for me to trust somebody. I don't trust any religion at all, and I am scared to start again because I don't want to be dissapointed and fooled like before. Did you feel like this? In all this confusion that I swim in, I know God doesn't let somebody, who truly wants to discover Him and his Son, be lost. He doesn't let somebody, who is brokenhearted, lose hope.

Thank you again for writing the website and don't lose the good fight.


Answer:

I believe you are referring to Why I am No Longer a Pentecostal. That article was written by another preacher and was sent to me. My background is not in Pentecostalism, but I'll try to address your question.

From what I understood of your story, you became upset with the Pentecostals because you realized that someone claiming to have a dream from God was actually contradicting what God said. You also mentioned that you have committed a number of sins, I assume this was after you realized that Pentecostalism is not the truth. Now you are concerned about how to tell what is the truth.

I'm a bit puzzled because you did what God has always encouraged: you compared what someone claimed against what God said. "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11). The woman with the dream failed the test of a prophet mentioned in Deuteronomy 13:1-5. God never contradicts Himself; thus, this woman's dream was not from God.

Pentecostals deny Paul's statement that prophecy would come to an end when the Bible (the perfect law of Liberty) was fully delivered (I Corinthians 13:8-10). They ignore Jesus' warning that claiming to do miracles in Jesus' name doesn't make you a follower of Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23).

How do you know the truth? The Bible is the truth. "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth" (John 17:17). Thus, find a group that teaches the Bible and not doctrines of men. "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:6-10). Compare a group's teachings to what you find in the Bible. A true church will not only welcome the examination, but will help supply Scriptures to back up their teachings. Then, look the verses up and see if they are actually saying what the group claims and whether they are being used properly in the context they were originally given.

I would not recommend the Jehovah's Witnesses since they deny that Jesus is God, contrary to "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1).