I was invited by a friend to a Christian music festival when I was sixteen. Having not grown up in a religious home, I expected no more than a fun time with my friend. However, after a speaker presented the gospel message that first night, two seemingly contradictory feelings gripped me. I was at once deeply afraid. These people really believed all this. And, at the same time, I was deeply attracted. I never met a kinder, more joy-filled, cooperative group.
Since that time, I have learned that people often feel this way when confronted with the power of the gospel message. In the first-century church, for example, those in Jerusalem were simultaneously terrified and drawn in. People bought their sick and afflicted from near and far to the apostles, and, in the name of Jesus, people were healed. Can you imagine the scene? Sick beds all over the city square. Flies landing on festering wounds. Yet, as fast as the sick were brought, so they were healed. It was bewildering and scary; people had never seen anything like this before.
However, at the same time, people were oddly attracted to these Christians. In fact, “more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women (Acts 6:14).”
Every night of that festival, pastors made themselves available to talk. I wanted to go and talk, but I dare not. What if what they believed was real? Nevertheless, I wanted to know more. I began reading their book, the Bible. With the counsel of my friend’s family, who had invited me to that festival, I began to understand. Their book made more sense of the world than anything else I ever read. I attended their services, and then one day I became one of them, confessing Christ as my Lord and Savior.
I imagine there are others out there who felt as I did: afraid but attracted. If that is you, maybe now is the time to allow yourself to be pulled in instead of fighting against the goads. Their book is more readily available than at any other time in history. You can find it online, in a variety of translations. I recommend the ESV or NIV. They also have services all over the place. Find yourself a good one. I good indicator is that the Bible is preached as well as the gospel message, the sacraments are administered (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and the people take a genuine interest in your spiritual growth.