Found to God Due to Biblical Evidence
My name is Lars, and I'd like to share with you how I gained trust in the Word of God and became a Christian.
Though my parents read Bible stories to me when I was a child, God never became real to me and I grew up as an atheist, thinking, “how I can make the most out of my life?” But I was to find God because of a lot of archaeological and scientific proof that convinced me to put God to the test.
Since I was a young child, I really enjoyed playing sport and played every day, it was a huge part of my life. Once I turned 15, alcohol and partying were added. I had a close group of friends; we did everything together and I lived, what I considered then, to be a happy and content life.
At the age of 21, I started to study English and Physical Education (sports) in Hanover, Germany, with the intention of becoming a teacher. I got to know more and more people at University and just kept living the way I had as a teenager; playing sports, mixed with some interesting studies and a lot of drinking and partying. I tried to take-up table tennis seriously, but my drinking habits, which I could not overcome until I became a Christian, stopped me from doing so.
I got to know Andreas through one of my sports classes. He was also very much into competitive table tennis and had ended up teaching a table tennis class at uni.
Through another friend of mine, I heard that Andreas had stopped playing table tennis tournaments on Sundays, as he had apparently become a member of a “sect”. Out of curiosity I asked him about it and he explained that he had become a Christian!
I inwardly laughed, because Christians, as far as I knew, were people who believed in something they could not prove. Hence I told him to prove to me that God existed and he came up with a lot of things I had never heard of before.
The first thing that surprised me was that he actually had a Bible with him at University and then started opening it, showing me scriptures like the one below, where it states that one is not allowed to add anything or to take anything away from the Bible and that the Bible is inspired by God and needs to be taken literally.
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book".
2 PETER 1:20-21
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost".
When he then mentioned several archaeological findings, I was a bit puzzled, as I had never heard about any proof of what I considered to be fairy tales. For instance: Noah's Ark has been found in the Ararat Mountains in Turkey, and the measurements of the ark in Turkey match exactly the measurements given in the Bible. Also, at the place where Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the Red Sea, thousands of human skeletons, horse skeletons and gold plated chariot wheels were found. Moreover he said that God still performs miracles TODAY, in his own life, one of them being healing according to the scriptures below:
"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover".
I could not believe that there was supernatural healing and put it down at the best to chance.
Andreas also showed me scriptures where it clearly says that the vast majority of people will not go to heaven, but to hell, because they do not obey God. Though I did not believe that the Bible was really God's Word, it started me thinking and, somehow, I was hurt in my pride, as I knew that I had not managed to convince Andreas that it is not scientific to believe in God. He invited me to watch some of the archaeological documentaries about Noah's Ark, the Red Sea Crossing, Sodom and Gomorrah and Mount Sinai and I took him up on his offer together with my girlfriend Mareike.
After watching the documentaries I started realising that there seems to be proof that the Old Testament stories were not fairy tales, but seem to have quite an element of truth in them. Over the next few months Mareike and I went to meetings occasionally, as I still wanted to prove that they were not right in their belief in God: if they were, it would mean that I would need to change my whole way of living, which I had no intention of doing.
Every time I went, though, I received more and more proof that the Bible is to be taken literally and also heard for the first time in my life (all 23 years) about the phenomenon of speaking in tongues.
Andreas showed me from the Bible that when the disciples received the Holy Ghost, they started speaking in other tongues/new languages. He showed amongst others the following scriptures, where God makes it clear that whenever somebody received the Holy Ghost they start speaking in a new tongue/language.
"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance".
"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God".
Andreas told me that this promise of receiving the Holy Spirit applies to everyone today, according to:
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call".
When I then heard him, and the other people in the church ALL speak in tongues, I really started thinking seriously, “what if they are right?” Hence I went to my Lutheran Pastor and asked his opinion about Pentecostal churches and about ‘speaking in tongues'. His feedback was very positive, though he himself did not believe the Bible literally, he assured me that a Pentecostal Church is not a sect or cult.
Further studies about the mathematics of the Bible left me little doubt that the Bible had not been written by ordinary men, but was indeed inspired by God. The ultimate proof for me would be though, if the same miracle, which the disciples witnessed in receiving the Holy Ghost, by starting to speak in a new language would occur to me. So my girlfriend Mareike and I put God's Word to the test, got baptised by full immersion and asked God to give us the Holy Ghost according to LUKE 11:13.
Within minutes after an elder had laid his hands on us, we started to speak in a new language we had never spoken in before and then knew that God was real. My whole desire to drink alcohol disappeared over night, and it did not take long before we preached to everybody we knew. Since then we have laid hands on many sick people and have seen many wonderful healings n the name of Jesus. This is still on-going and since 1998 my then girlfriend and I got married. We have three beautiful children, have lived in three different countries as missionaries and see God work regularly in our lives with signs and wonders.
Though I have to admit that I did not want God to be real, as I enjoyed my life too much, I am thankful that He is, because God has truly blessed us. His commandments are not there in order to make life difficult for us, as I thought in the beginning, but are the directions for getting blessed. God is a good God, but we choose whom we follow, and I hope that this testimony will help you to start seeking God.
"Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known".
Love in the Lord,