Hey, Kenneth! It is awesome that God is convicting you and dealing with you. Let me see if I can be a little help…….
First off there are two types of belief. The first is a head knowledge. That’s where you believe that Jesus is the son of God, that He died for your sins, that He rose from the dead, and that He is the only way to Heaven. Unfortunatley, this alone does not save. Even the demons believe this and they are not saved.
The second type of belief is accepting Jesus as your Savior and LORD. It’s a heart belief. That’s where you die to yourself, to your wants, to your dreams, and accept what God wants for you. Another word for LORD is Master. He needs to become the master of your life. Alot of people have a hard time dealing with that because we are raised in a society where we are taught that surrendering is a weakness but the only way that we become strong is through surrendering to Christ. Then he fills our life with hopes and dreams that we could never imagine. When I gave up my life to the Lord I didn’t lose anything. I gained more than I ever could have imagined!
As far as baptism, baptism doesn’t “save” you. It’s an act of obediance. It signifies your death to yourself and your new risen life with the Lord. Absolutley! Be baptized with the church your with now and rejoice with your brothers and sisters in Christ!
Be careful, though, that you don’t fall into the trap that makes you think if you accept the Lord your life is going to be a bowl of cherries. We accept the Lord because He is our Creator and our Salvation and He saves us from eternally burning in Hell. You will still have trials and tribulations to deal with but He will faithfully be there for you and He will supply you with strength, guidance, peace and joy. And you are correct, your life WILL change. But remember that God deals with us slow and steady most of the time. Sanctification takes a little time but He will guide you. He will ALWAYS be there for you even if nobody else is. Take His hand now and let Him lead you.
So, I guess when it’s all been said, my advice to you is: Pray and recieve Jesus as your Savior and LORD, confess your sins and ask forgiveness, ask for His guidance in your life and the life of your family, and be baptized as an act of obediance.
Now, on a more personal note: You are my brother and I love you. We’ve been through alot together. I have prayed for you for many years and to see you asking question about God and seeing you seek Him are answers to my prayers. I give all glory and honor to Him! Now, not only will we be blood brother and sister but we will also be brother and sister in Christ. (Now you’ll have to put up with me through all eternity!!!! ) We also have been fortunate enough to see our father surrender to Christ. Now we need to tag team Mom and Grandma!! LOL
Know that I love you and I am always here for you. But more importantly Know that God is there for you and He will never leave nor forsake you. I am going to get you some scripture and email it to you so you can look it up.
Your sister, Terri