I'm speaking to anyone who is interested, or searching for the truth. I realize that all humanity has an innate curiosity or desire to know truth. One moment we can be totally amazed by the beauty and mystery of creation and the next moment, angry at the evil of it. When given the chance to speak in village churches in India, I always get the overwhelming impression that the listeners are desperately wanting closure. So much more so than in the United States. The same thing that brought me to Christ 36 years ago is somehow exponentially amplified by the Indian listener's silent but desperate search for hope-- that I immediately start sharing my testimony.
The search for hope, identity, purpose, significance, and peace was my unspoken and unrealized motivation to go ahead and say yes to the words in the Bible. I was stunned to hear that I was a sinner in such simple and direct terms. Even though I really didn't know the true implications of the word sin, because my first impression was that I was a bad person which didn't seat well with my ego. However, the Bible went on to say that I was in good company--i.e. ...for ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) It went on to say that the result of sin was death, but the gift of God was eternal life through Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:23) Again, many questions arose like what is death -- and eternal life -- and is it really a free gift?
Suffice it to say that my past condemnation of the Bible was not based on honest investigation because I never really read it. I based most of my understanding of Biblical relevance on church people who were supposed to be living examples of the Word. Frankly, I didn't see enough impelling evidence to warrant me dressing up on Sunday morning to be schooled on seemingly factious stories like Jonah and the Whale and listening to out of tune instruments and voices of songs that had no relevance to my music genre.
Then at the age of 33 with a failed carrier in music and marriage, I was a perfect candidate for improvement, instruction, and hope. Actually, I was pretty desperate and when the word Savior popped up, I thought I could probably use one right about now. I could also see clearly how the word sin related to my own selfish heart and poor decisions that had brought me to the end of myself. Making that sin connection to my own heart was the first step in my decision to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.
I figured if Jesus was real, he'd change me. Thirty-six years later, I have become a living testimony of the restoration power of the Living Word of God. Every believer I know has a similar testimony.
One of my main mentors, "Chuck Missler" always encouraged personal investigation, and not to just take his or some pastor'sword for Biblical instructions and answers to life on boot-camp earth. Condemnation before Investigation is one of man's prideful downfalls that keeps us from living the peace that passes understanding. Ask, and you will receive. We have not, because we ask not.
Are you looking for the real truth? Don't look to other people for truth. Look to Jesus Christ with all your heart! I promise, you will find truth with the Holy Spirit's Help! You will change to Beauty from Ashes!
Don Townley 02/7/19