Hi Leslie and Doves,Leslie Fain said yesterday,"My last words are all of us should be rending our souls and praying that we are worthy enough to be saved from the coming hour of trial. So many think that just because they have accepted Jesus they will go but scripture clearly says only those who are worthy!! As a pre-trib believer all these years believing the precepts of man rather than God's word!! I adhere that you study to see if these things be true and look up for our redemption draws neigh!!"My ResponseI know many of us at 5 doves have bantered this "worthiness" issue over the months and years of posting and replying. Perhapswe will never come to a "theological" agreement about what this really means. In my opinion it does little good to try and quotescripture at each other as if it were some weapon to try and prove our point. So it is with humbleness, and hopefully love that I would like to give a more personal perspective of what worthiness means to me. I in no way wish to be melodramatic, or as my kids would say a "Drama Queen". I'm just being "real". Telling it like it is.My StoryI was born 50 years ago, the product of a one night stand adulterous affair. Never knew my birth parents. l Ianded in foster care, and then I was adopted out by an agency. While grateful for food and a roof over my head, home life was pretty bad. Although as a kid I thought it was all normal. Mom and Dad loved to drink. Every night. Lots of yelling ,screamimg,cursing and the like. And then in my early teen years there was the years of sexual abuse. I just withdrew into my own "world" to escape the hell. I don't remember many hugs or I love you's. I'm sure there had to be at least a few.We were a "religious" family. Went to church every Sunday. As a kid I thought it was kinda scary. Everyone looked so glum. Nobody would talk to each other. We would do these funny things like stand up, sit down,kneel,and recite prayers. When it came time for singing, nobody would sing. I always thought that was strange. Dad said church was good because God will look kindly uponyou at the judgment. So I learned all the prayers and did all the right things at church. I was taught over and over, just be good.Be a good person. Don't sin. God hates sinners. Go to church. Say your prayers. Be good ! Be good! You'll never get to heaven unless you're good.Well, when I got into my teenage years you could throw that "be good" stuff out the window. Like many of us, I was a bit of a rebellious lad. Like father like son, I began to drink. Then some "friends" introduced me to the world of drugs. Wow, did thisever seem like the solution to my problems. It seemed to dull the pain and heartache of life. Like most adoptee's in the close adoption world we never received genetic mirrioring.Never knew a blood relative. Didn't look or act like anyone else in the family. We were filled with incredible shame about being adopted. We longed for "family" but the best we had was a facsimile. The longing and aching in our hearts was for home. Although we did not know it then. I know most of you think that as long as you have good "adoptive" parents that they can be replacements for your birth parents. But that is not true. Studies with newborns who were taken from birth mothers at birth exhibit tremendous trauma measured physiologically. This trauma does not go away. It plays out in a lifetime of less than ideal behaviors. Praise God for wonderful Christian parents who do adopt. They are sorely needed. But please understand, this was not God's original design. We live in a fallen world. In a perfect world, we were meant to live with birth parents. So life bears out it's consequences as a result of our fallen world.As I entered my senior year in high school, some friends told me about Jesus. I was always uncomfortable about this "Jesus"stuff. I had my religion. They can have theirs. I wanted be cool with the girls. TM was big back then so I learned how to meditate.After all, the Beatles had meditated. But that senior year was something. I would go to these weekly meetings in peoples homes that were kinda fun. We would sing mostly folk songs. Then one of the leaders would talk about Jesus. I wondered why I never heard this stuff in church. I was beginning to think Jesus was pretty cool. Then it happened. I'll never forget it. I remember thinking one day, "He's REAL ! Jesus is real!" I was blown away. I felt different. Call it what you will, born again,justified,or zapped. My life has never been the same. That was 30 years ago.Fast Forward...Am I worthy?You see, I had a rough upbringing. Many of you can relate, yours was rougher. But lets face facts. If you have had severe trauma in your life you know it can play out later in years in behaviors that are less than ideal. Any 12 steppers out there ? That's me. I am an addict. ( Yes folks, there are just as many Born Again Christians addicted than not) Just start getting "real" in your evangelical church and you'll find them. They smile, look so good, and say," Praise God!", but they are addicted! Am I worthy?Oh ya, my addictions are multiple. Pretty true with most addicts. I go to meetings, check in with mentors, mentor others. HaveI always maintained sobriety, NO. But I once heard that this Jesus dude said to forgive seventy times seven. So I fall and repent. I fall and repent. Kinda the two steps forward one step back type of thing. I once heard someone say Jesus has our blind side. In other words, He's got this sin issue covered. Whew, that's good! I'm still pretty good at sinning. Am I worthy ?Hey, at least I'm still married. Can you believe my wife has put up with an addict husband all these years. The lying, betrayal,hurtful words, and constant sabotage. She's amazing. God new if another significant person in my life abandoned me I wouldsimply be devastated. I've done everything to push her away, she won't go! God gave me a wonderful wife. Why ? Am I WorthyYou see, after 30 years as a believer, I still sin. Crazy thing is, the closer I get to Jesus the more sin in me I see. I just can't be "good" enough. I've tried, and failed miserably. In fact, the more I try the more I fail. All I can do is surrender. And that usually comes after a good "fight" with the Lord. Hmm...Like Jacob? Yes. Come on, don't you wrestle with God ? Think about it. But in His mercy and graciousness after it's all over He says," I love you." You? Me? A sinner? Yes, but a precious child of God. Doesn't His tender mercy and grace blow you away? Are we really worthy?NO,NO,AND NO! HE IS WORTHY. JESUS. ABBA FATHER. My dear brothers and sisters, it's all about Him. Not us. We sin daily.We still play with our idols. We do some pretty unholy stuff at times. Or am I the only one ? He justified us at the cross. The sanctification stuff takes a lifetime. My dear sister in Christ Leslie, God has your blind side. Because He is worthy, you, me, and all Doves are found worthy. Please don't buy into the demonic lie that somehow because of our "righteousness" we can earn merit with God. We can't. You see, as a kid in church that is what I was taught. "Be Good" you'll get to heaven. "Be Good" you'll get raptured. I had to fire that God. He was never happy with me. Could it be I learned that from my parents? Hmm...Think so.Our Jesus is full of mercy and grace. Whether we sin 1000x's a day or 1x a day, He loves us just the same. Every true born again Christian is worthy. No, not because we are good, it's because His grace is sufficient. Let us rest in His favor and peace knowing nothing, NO THING, can separate us from the love of God. He will never leave us nor forsake us. It is with tears I write. Trulythis Gospel of mercy and grace is beyond human comprehension. Just think, in a lustful passion of adultery one cold Januarynight in the late 50's a child was conceived. A gross sin at the time, Jesus turned into good. He chose me. What Satan meant for evil our Lord had other ideas. Yes, we worthy because He love and chose us from the beginning. It's All about Jesus. Always has been, and always will be.In His wonderful love,Steve W.