My Hardest Decision

Posted Jul 09, 2011 by Mark Martin in General Hits: 4,055

[I would like to introduce to you Mark. We have chatted a few times on Skype and I have been blessed by his dedication to search out the truth at any cost. Some us will relate to his journey into truth. He gave me permission to share his Testimony and how he came to Adventism from the Jehovah's Witnesses. Mark believes as we do that Jesus truly is God's divine begotten Son. Mark has visited Maranatha Media for some time and we hope to see much more of him in the coming weeks. Please make him welcome. - Adrian]

When Mark finished working on the car in his shop, the owner of the vehicle struck up a conversation inquiring about Mark’s beliefs. As they talked, the customer shifted the conversation to the topic of the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath.

“I was speechless,” says Mark. “I saw right from God’s Word the fourth commandment and the truth about the Sabbath. I felt like I’d been tricked because I was taught something else was truth. I almost felt abandoned.” Just the month before, Mark and his wife had been baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Both were convinced they had the truth. But now the Bible truth struck home, and it rocked Mark’s world. That evening he emphatically announced to his wife, “We are in the wrong organization!”

Mark began to diligently study the Ten Commandments from the Jehovah’s Witness point of view. He scoured the official church library and talked with leaders — but he never received a satisfying answer to his questions. This drove him to study the Bible even more. He and Claude, the Sabbath-keeping customer from the shop, spent hours discussing the Bible.

“I could see so much truth in the things Claude was saying and showing me from the Bible. But at the same time, I never admitted it to him,” Mark says.

Despite the doubts, Mark continued to attend his church and participate in door-to-door witnessing. Mark’s church recognized his zeal for ministry and gave him extensive opportunities to teach and preach. “This is what I loved more than anything I had ever done before. There is no greater reward than helping others come to God and Jesus.”

Wrestling With the Spirit of God
But the more Mark studied the Bible and saw the Sabbath truth, the more his conscience bothered him for not keeping the Sabbath. “Every single day I thought about this,” he says. “My conscience ate at me and the Holy Spirit really wrestled with me. Many nights I woke up at two or three o’clock in the morning and couldn’t sleep. I felt like a hypocrite but was afraid to leave because of family and friends. This was the most difficult time of my life.”

For 10 years Mark wrestled with his conscience. Through it all his customer continued to pray. One day he gave Mark some prophecy seminar video tapes.

“They were absolutely awesome!” Mark says. “The videos were packed with gems of Bible truth — some of which I had never heard before. I could see right away that these teachings were from God and not from man. In watching these videos I saw the Bible used to explain each and every teaching. After watching the first tape in the series, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had to leave my church.

That night Mark prayed for strength and fortitude to follow Christ regardless of the cost. He knew his former church members, friends, and possibly even his family would never speak to him again.

His decision now made, Mark preached his last sermon, then called church leaders together and resigned. Afterward he gathered his family to explain his decision. Mark’s parents and brother told him that if the church disfellowshipped him, they would never speak to him again. As news of Mark’s resignation rippled through the church, Mark’s life-long friends immediately cut him off — most haven’t spoken to him since.

A Faithful Witness
After a few months, Mark’s family softened their stance. Mark’s father convened another family meeting to provide everyone another opportunity to hear Mark’s explanation and more fully absorb its message.

As a result of his witness, Mark’s parents have been convicted of the Sabbath truth, and his brother and sister-in-law are also receptive. On Sabbath, Mark’s parents now attend a local Sabbath church with him.

Amazingly, Mark still has been given many opportunities to witness to his former church members about his increased understanding of Bible truth. “I think God has allowed this to happen even though I have been gone for three-and-a-half years. If I had been disfellowshipped, they wouldn’t talk to me. But people still come up and ask why I left and that gives me a wide open door to share.”

“I always said that if I found any religion closer to Bible truth than the one I was in, I would have to change my religion. I never thought I would have to live up to my words!”