My name is William and I am thirty years old. I had a radical conversion experience when i was 16 when I encountered something absolutely supernatural in which I felt the unconditional love of God and a ‘knowing’ that I was saved. I had a peace that surpassed all understanding and was bearing the fruit of the spirit like crazy. To make a long story short I ended up backsliding little by little.
Before I knew it God’s presence left me and I felt as though he completely abandoned me. Little by little I fell into more and more sin. Soon I was living in habitual sin (fornication, adultery, drugs (just a few times for the drugs), Cursing etc… There were times when I tried to repent but I felt that God abandoned me and wouldn’t take me back. Without God’s love and spirit what other option do you have other than to sin? During my backslidden state I heard revelations from Mary K. Baxter ‘40 nights in hell’ and Bill Wiese ‘33 minutes in hell’ along with many others. These visions scared me so deeply that it literally broke something on the inside of me and to this day I have no peace but only an intense fear of being tortured by demons until I am thrown into the lake of fire for all eternity.
For close to 14 years I have been constantly terrorized. I feel that I have sinned so badly that the Holy Spirit has permanently left me. There have been many times when I have broke over the years and cried for hours asking Jesus to come back and give me another chance. Recently I had another breakdown thinking about the hell visions and being eternally damned forever. I want to come back to Jesus I really do but there is some theology that has totally made me lost.
In using Google to see if God forgives the horrendous sins of people like me after having been filled with the holy spirit that backslid for a long period of time I ran across Calvinism. Calvinism basically told me that I can’t get saved unless God gives me faith to get saved. He chooses me and I don’t choose him, so basically I can cry out to God all I want and beg and he might or might not save me. But if he chooses to I should experience ‘regeneration’ and bear fruit of the spirit.
I understand what bearing fruit of the spirit was like. I was filled with so much love, peace, joy, patience that I couldn’t even describe to people what it was like because it was so real and powerful when I became born again. The knowing ‘everything is going to be ok, your forgiven’ is priceless. Nothing ever can come close to being as good as knowing that you are right with God. Instead I am now tormented with the fear of apostasy and never being able to ‘get saved again’ every day.
Others tell me to just believe that God has forgiven me and move on. But I am after the truth, and nothing but the truth. Has God really forgiven me even though I don’t feel it? When I was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit I could confess my sin and I felt forgiven, It was priceless! I found some great sermons on Youtube specifically from Pastor Anderson that totally tore apart Calvanism. He used scripture in its proper context and really unraveled the whole thing, every part of it. That made me feel better until I heard him preach about the lake of fire and how many people will burn forever in unimaginable torment.
Curiously I ran across some articles about universal salvation in my search for salvation again in my own life (if I lost it). At first I immediately judged them as heresy because of what I was taught. However, one website called mercifultruth.com went into the Greek as to how the King James bible was not translated correctly. This really caught my attention.
Since then I have read countless articles on direct translations from the Greek into English which totally revolutionized all doctrine that I used to believe in. Recently I couldn’t eat or sleep and almost lost my job because I was terrified that I was going to burn in a lake of fire forever and ever because God took away the faith in me to truly ‘believe’ making it impossible to become regenerate again. Hearing that it could be possible that God saves everyone was able to get me eating and sleeping again and bring some hope back into my life. However, I am not after what sounds good but what the truth is.
The last Article I read is called ‘An Analytical Study of Words’ by Louis Abbott. The guys article has nearly won me over 100% to accepting universal salvation. If none of you have read it I strongly encourage you to do so. He goes into the Greek and Hebrew translations along with how the meaning of words changed over time in many scriptures. For example, back when the KJV was translated ‘damnation’ only meant partial loss. Today damnation means complete and eternal loss, big difference in definitions eh? He also proves how eternity was wrongly translated and the words only denote a certain period of time. He also has been studying this for over fifty years.
My main reason for posting to this site is mainly for two reasons. I have found that many people who believe in universal salvation have studied the original language of the bible and the context of when the scriptures were written and why they were written. For example, when Jesus spoke of hell he was actually speaking of Gehenna and the judgment of Jerusalem in 70 AD in which they threw their bodies into Gehenna. People took some of these scriptures and made doctrines of eternal damnation out of them. I truly from the bottom of my heart need and want to know the truth about what the scriptures really mean and how they apply to me.
So my first reason for posting is to ask people to minister to me about God’s forgiveness for me as someone who used to be a spirit filled Christian who has fallen into sin for a long period of time. Will God forgive me? I have forsaken and repented of sin as much as I know how to. I still watch television shows I probably shouldn’t that have cursing etc… and play computer games but mainly out of just boredom. I tried to stop doing everything that was bad in any way and found myself just sitting there doing nothing. I can’t read the bible and pray nonstop, not without God filling me full of his love and peace and enabling me to do it.
My second reason for posting is about specific scriptures that are holding me back from fully accepting universal salvation. I think one of them is in Matthew chapter 7:21-23, when Jesus said, "Many on that day will say to me Lord, Lord, have we not cast out demons in your name, and perform many miracles in your name, and done all these mighty works in your name? And he will say to them plainly ‘I never knew you, depart from me you workers of iniquity’, or in other translations ‘you workers of lawlessness’. For I never knew you.
This scripture has always haunted me in my backslidden stage. Along with other scriptures such as Galatians 5:21 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 which state, "those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God’. As I have said I have repented as much as I think I can. I used to have a horrible addiction to pornography before I was saved and was the #1 sin I fell back into when I backslid. I stopped doing it but still have lustful thoughts that I fall into. Does this mean that these scriptures say I won’t go to heaven and will be faced with Hell?
According to what I have read to be saved do I need to be regenerate and completely changed by the Holy Spirit just like when I first got saved? I know I became born again back then because as I was seeking the lord for weeks I had a ‘knowing’ one day that I was saved and that everything was going to be ok (that was when I encountered his love for me). I was literally overflowing with joy, now I am literally downcast and scared to death of burning forever in hell, or even for hundreds or thousands of years if Universal salvation is true. My heart’s desire is to be right with God right now. Can anyone help me? I sometimes feel like I don’t have any more tears to shed over who I am along with the sins I have done. I have so much shame and I am scared to death of God.
Please have compassion on me. Please pray for me and help me, I am desperate. I have shed so many tears and have no peace in my life without knowing that I am right with God and that I am one of his ‘elect’. Most importantly that he still loves me and forgives me How does a wretched backslider like me come back to a God who I am learning is more terrifying and glorious then I can comprehend? Or does Hebrews chapter 10 and 6 apply to me? Thank you for your time reading this.