Am I Saved, or Not?
For those of you who struggle with having certainty as to whether or not your name will be found in the Lambís Book of Life, rest assured dear friends, because confidence in your salvation is within reach. While I myself have never struggled with this particular quandary, I know many who have and some who still do. It truly is a devious scheme set in motion by the devil: The soul has been saved and all of heaven rejoices, yet then out of the ashes rises a veil of confusion which is unleashed relentlessly upon the unsuspecting new believer, clouding the facts, darkening reality and replacing the liberating joy of salvation with the paralyzing fear of uncertainty.
Well done, thou dark and sinister enemy. You arenít much threat to him if you donít even know you are saved.
It will help all of us to remember, first and foremost, that the devil operates primarily and sometimes entirely on deception. His is a business of lying and he is very, very good at it. Weíre living here today on this fallen earth because the first man and woman created in the glorious image of God were enticed into questioning Him, believing the lies of the devil instead and then worse, they followed his advice. Satanís question to Eve in Genesis 3:1; ďDid God really say, ĎYou must not eat from any tree in the gardení?Ē (NIV)
Yes, He really did.
What does this mean in terms of questioning your salvation? It means we need to pay close attention to what God has said about it, we need to be aware of the devilís masterful ability to twist the word of God in order to lead us astray, and we need to learn to rely on what we know, not what we feel.
Let me clarify what Iím talking about in regards to questioning salvation, because there are multiple reasons why one may question their salvation. In this instance, Iím speaking of the individual who, at some point in their life, has responded to an invitation to accept Christ- yet they do not know if their soul has really been saved. This uncertainty may lead them to make multiple trips to the alter to respond to the same invitation, having the desire to be saved time and again, sometimes year after year, because they are driven by fear and insecurity based in a lack of knowledge.
It most often seems that the problem arises when one begins to question what exactly is supposed to happen, in a physical sense, when one becomes saved. Sometimes location comes into play, questioning whether or not salvation was achieved if it didnít happen in a church. Because being saved signifies a spiritual conversion, in many cases people do not know how they are supposed to feel as a result. Sometimes there are preconceived notions based on the salvation experience of another, and when their own experience doesnít follow suit, there is doubt. Or perhaps salvation was achieved as a child, and now as an adult one isnít sure if that childhood choice was enough to count.
There are many different situations, but the bottom line is this: Jesus died for the express purpose of giving a fallen humanity a way to become right with God, and His desire is not only for you to accept His pardon for your sins, but also to enjoy the security that comes from knowing you will have eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
If you donít know whether or not youíre saved, letís take a look at how it works.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (NIV)
Jesus made it perfectly clear in John 14:6;
ďI am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.Ē (NIV)
Jesus is called the Lamb of God because he gave his life as a sacrifice to cover the sin of humanity, he took our sin upon himself and paid for it by dying on the cross, thereby making a way for us to receive right standing with God.
2 Corinthians 5:21;
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)
While salvation may be defined using various terms such as becoming saved, accepting Christ, or being born again, it all boils down to the same thing. Accepting Christ means that you have recognized the need for Christís pardon of your sins and accepted His gift to you of salvation, being born again signifies the spiritual rebirth which takes place within you upon your belief in and acceptance of Christ and His atonement for your sin, and being saved means that you have made a conscious decision to accept Christ, you became born of the Spirit as a result, and are now no longer one of the Ďlostí, who are still without God.
It does require that you understand who Jesus Christ is and what He did for you by dying on the cross, and it also requires that you personally accept His atonement for your sin. The rest is up to God, and all we must do is believe it.
To clear up any further confusion, it should help to know that there isnít a set of rules one must follow in order to receive salvation. It can happen as a child. It can happen as an adult. It doesnít have to happen at the alter in your church. It doesnít even have to happen in a church at all. Salvation is not something that is administered to you by a spiritual leader. It is something that happens between you and Jesus Christ, and it can happen anywhere you are, because God is without walls. You cannot do anything to earn salvation, other than to accept Christís pardon for your sins, it is a gift of God. How you feel at the time you are saved, or even after you are saved, will vary from person to person. If two people make the same decision to accept Christ, one may have an emotional experience, the other may not, and both will be saved. No matter where, no matter when, no matter how you felt at the time or how you feel right now, if you made a conscious decision to accept Christ, you are saved.
Donít let the devil tell you otherwise.
1 John 5:11-13
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (NIV)
Does the bible really say that?
Yes, it really does.
Visitor Question: I heard that when you get saved you'll know. I heard that you'll cry a lot when it happens. Is this true. What does it feel like to be saved?
Visitor Name: Melissa
Faith's Answer: What it feels like to be saved is different for everyone, because everyone is different. For some, being saved is a very emotional experience, for others, it just a decision they've made. I don't like to hear it when someone has been told how they should 'feel' after being saved, that just tends to confuse people. I can't tell you what it will feel like for you to be saved, but I can tell you what it will mean: When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you receive forgiveness for your sins and you will be in Heaven when you die. When you are saved, you've become a child of God. That's what being saved means. How you feel throughout the process is secondary to the actual decision you've made to accept Christ. Most people do feel various degrees of happiness when they've been saved, itís a joy to know that you'll be in Heaven when you die, isn't it? But regardless of how a person feels when they're saved, itís the decision that saves you, not the way you feel.
Visitor Question: Once you become saved do you remain saved? I have recently received Jesus in my heart, but not being brought up in the church I have very little knowledge of Jesus' teachings, I know I have to read and study the bible. If you sin after you are saved what happens?
Visitor Name: Jude
Faith's Answer: The 'once saved-always saved?' question is something that is debated in religious circles. Personally, I feel that once a person accepts Christ, that person's salvation is secure from that day on. This does not mean that Christians don't sin, on the contrary, we do. Everyone sins. Even after we become saved, we still sin, because we are human and we live in a fallen world. Have a look at what the apostle Paul has to say about it:
18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at
work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
We are saved by grace, and it is that same grace that covers a Christian when we sin. We need to do our best not to sin, and to honor God with our hearts in every way we can. But when we fall short, Christ is there to forgive us, redirect us, and put us back up on our feet. It does not mean we lose our salvation. When you've accepted Christ as your savior, you become a child of God and your salvation is secure. Think of it this way: if you had a child, and that child did something wrong, you corrected him, but you didn't cast him out of your house. It is that way with God once you've become saved.