Part 1 of 4.
So many times I heard the only way to be saved was by following Acts 2:38 (“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”) Jesus gave Peter the keys of the kingdom and said upon this rock I will build my church (Matthew 16:13-19).
The United Pentecostal Church taught we were to follow what Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost and not what Jesus said in Matthew 28:19: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”
My grandfather and his family were saved during a Pentecostal tent revival in 1917 and he married a sweet Baptist girl, my grandmother, in 1928 and the big debate of Acts 2:38 and Matthew 28:19 began in our family.
Now my grandmother converted to Pentecostalism and became indoctrinated quickly and prayed for her family to follow in the Pentecostal ways. Problems began with my mother who rebelled against the church and its teaching at age 17 and married my father when she was 18. The marriage didn’t last long and they divorced when I was four and my brother was 14 weeks old. We moved in with my grandparents and were once again under the influence of Pentecostalism.
Thus began my many years of questioning the faith and much confusion because I really did want to live for God but I just couldn’t understand all the rules and of course the teachings of “We have the truth and everybody else was doomed to hell”. That always made me sad to think of my friends and family going to hell because they didn’t want to obey “The Truth”.
Although God desires for us to live in unity. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1 NKJV). There is no unity with other denominations and UPC, nor is their unity within families.
So I began asking questions…a lot of questions and instead of answers I received rebuke. Instead of being satisfied with the UPC view of “The Truth” I studied the scriptures and commentaries. This article came from a research paper that I gave to my husband before he abandoned me and the church….I always felt it was my fault because I must have pushed too hard when all I really wanted to know was the truth for myself and not just accept the preaching and teaching of an organization. Some of the references and writing have been updated.
Part 2 will follow soon.