a disciple's testimony "You Are Not Fit For The Presence Of God!" on 7/10/2017, 2:11pm...
I don't ever remember not believing in God, or Jesus. When I was seven years old, Mom gathered me and my brothers together, (5, 6, and 7), to tell us that we were Jews, and that Jews don't believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I can tell you, that that did not take hold on me at all; and I never was taken by any of that.
At Christmas, we used to go to Dad's sister's family, who were Catholics; and would sit on the sofa sometimes, just looking at the Crucifix on the wall next to the hallway door. I would wonder about a lot of things; like how it must have been to be crucified, and about His name, Christ; if that was His last name... but I never had any other thought, but that He was the Son of God.
As I got older, me and my brothers were very different personalities in some ways, and we each had our own friends; but living in So Cal, it wouldn't be long before the uncleanness and evils that hold that place, would eventually get to us. There was no religion in our house: Dad's family was originally Baptist; but something happened, I think, and they all became Free Masons. I don't know if they tried to do this side by side; but I suspect that it was a conscious decision to not believe in every word of the Bible, and so they opened a very evil door, and left the Church altogether.
Mom's family is Jewish, of the priests; which as I came to understand later, after I was saved and started learning the Bible; that that's what was probably behind the deep revolt and hostility to Jesus; which they apparently inherited. I can only think of a few, if that many, from the family, which are in any way open to the Lord and the Scriptures; in fact some are outrageously hateful and hostile and blasphemous.
Well, to briefly tell my story of how I got saved; as I mentioned, I grew up in L.A. and Orange County, CA, during the end of the sixties and through the seventies; so needless to say; in a house with a determinedly non-religious environment, me and my brothers were vulnerable. Mom and Dad were good parents, as best they could, I think; and had very tough times trying to get along and agree with each other on how we should be raised: this is the most common regret I hear from them today.
So, anyway, when I was about thirteen years old, I started having trouble with personal sins. By the time I was fifteen, I was into the "very cool" and "everybody's doing it" things, like drugs and rock music and fornicating. By the time I was seventeen, I got arrested for breaking and entering and theft, and got to spend a few days at L.A. downtown Juvenile Hall. That was also about the time when I started learning the guitar and pretending that I wanted to be in a band. It never really happened the way me and my friends talked about and wished, because none of us knew enough to get a job and earn the money to buy the equipment.
Anyway, looking back now, I know it was God's mercy not to let me go that way, with those kinds of people. It was also in those days, that I met several times, different ones who would "witness" Jesus and the Gospel to me. I was always open and agreeable and cooperating with them: even saying the "sinner's prayer" if they wanted to lead me in it. I would go away afterwards thinking about it, and wondering in the dark what it all should mean.
At a certain point, a very close friend of mine; with whom I had thought we would form a great band one day; came to my house and was talking about Jesus and becoming a Christian. As he was my best friend, I went along pretty agreeably with him; but after he left, I went back as usual to my "partying" ways and worthless friends. But this time the Holy Spirit really began to bear down with guilt and conviction about my sins; and that if I didn't quit them and get my life right with God, then I was gonna go to hell! It was so miserable! I could hardly function or maintain; and still I just sat there like a lump; not repenting, not changing, not quitting what I was doing, or the ungodly friends I was addicted to. I even at one point tried talking to some of them about the Lord and the Bible; and the intense hatred and hostility and bullying insults were really kind of shocking: but still I sat there!
Then one day, as me and a couple of those "friends" were driving around town under the influence (shall we say), and the rock music blaring as usual; all of a sudden, in a fraction of a moment, the music was silenced, I was completely straight and clear in my mind, and I heard a Voice; in perfect English, and perfect tone; saying to me, "You are not fit for the presence of God!" And just as suddenly, I heard the music playing again, and my friends in the front seat were still stoned. I was really shaken and scared and astonished, and I said to them, "Did you hear that?" Well I got no response, and could tell that they hadn't heard a thing. That was the moment, I think, when I determined to turn to God and really do what I was supposed to do, and repent and become a Christian.
By my luck, (the Lord's great mercy and guidance); my friend who had before preached Jesus to me, came by just for a minute. Boy, was I happy to see him! Between the first time he started talking about Jesus to me, and then; he did come over once; but I really gave him a miserable time, quarreling and questioning the most idiotic nonsense, about why I couldn't become a Christian. He ended up having to go, after I gave him such a hard time. So when I saw him then, when I needed him to help me to get right with the Lord; I was so glad to see him, and grabbed his arm, and pulled him in to the house; and we went to my room; and I said to him; "What do I have to do to repent?"
The story gets longer than I care to share just now; suffice it to say; that I'm so very grateful to the Lord for loving me, and not condemning me, when He right could have. Jesus is everything to me; and I hope to finish my course with the unspeakable Joy of finally seeing Him face to face, and worshiping at His feet.