“What If I Am Not Saved?”
By David J. Stewart | March 2012
My personal testimony and battle with the assurance of My salvation for 7 miserable years!
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” —Romans 8:16
My Personal Testimony of Salvation
I don't remember the exact age that I was saved. I remember a place, a sermon, my heart's conviction that I was a guilty sinner, my faith in the gospel; but I didn't think at the time to write down the date or take notice of how old I was. You don't think about stuff like that unless someone tells you to write it down. That's why I think it's a good idea to tell a new convert to write down the day they got saved, so years later they can reflect back with that knowledge. I was between 12 and 14, that's all I remember as far as my age.
I had prayed a prayer years before when I was about 6-7 years old. I didn't really get saved (but I thought I had in my mind). I was water baptized following this profession. I was only in 1st grade. I had been having learning difficulty in public school, so my parents put me in a Christian school. Then I went back to public school for 2nd grade, Christian school for 3rd and 4th, public school for 5th and 6th, and then ultimately a Christian school from 7th grade through high school. Being away from the evils of public school kept me out of a lot of trouble as a teenager in Chicago (despite all the trouble I still got into...lol).
Growing up I had attended several churches; including the Methodist Church, non-denominational, the Salvation Army and Baptist churches. It wasn't until in a Baptist church that I first felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit, where the gospel was properly presented. I remember it was on a Sunday morning. I'll never forget what the preacher said. He said if you don't have the Holy Spirit convicting you about sin in your life, then you're not saved. Boy I was scared. I knew God was talking to my heart that morning through that sermon. For the first time in my life I was convicted about my sins.
I had never felt conviction up until that day. I never even thought about the Bible, nor the things of God (and I attended Sunday School regularly). I was used to hearing Bible stories. There was something about that sermon that God intended for me. God convicted me and I got saved. I was too shy to walk an isle. The best I knew how I called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ from my pew and asked Him to forgive my sins and save me. I remember my face being red and my hands griping the pew in front of me, as I was a bit overwhelmed with conviction, emotion and fear.
Dr. Curtis Hutson (1934-1995) has a similar salvation testimony as I do. Brother Hutson was saved at age 11, but he couldn't remember the date that he was saved, and he went through years of uncertainty as I did. Here's an awesome sermon by Dr. Curtis Hutson titled, ASSURANCE.
Seven Years Of Uncertainty And Fear As a Teenager
After church I had fear in my heart on the way home while riding the church bus. I had tears in my eyes. I was afraid of going to Hell. I went home and for the first time in my life began to read the Word of God. I started with a King James Bible (and I thank God I've learned the truth that the King James Bible is the true Word of God). I'll die believing and preaching from the inspired King James Bible. I read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and then got bored with the Mosaic Law (being your typical teen), so I jumped ahead to the more exciting New Testament. But I was hungry to learn the truth of the Bible. I was reading all the little commentary notes, as it was a Nelson study Bible. I remember my mother saying, “You've changed.” I'm fairly certain that I was about 13-years of age, being in 7th grade.
The Holy Spirit had come into my life to stay, because I was saved. I was a child of God. However, I lacked the assurance of my salvation and wouldn't find peace for another 7-years. I used to cry in school on Monday after hearing a sermon on Sunday about Heaven or Hell. I'd hide my tears thinking “What if?” “What if I go to Hell?” “What if I didn't have enough faith to be saved?” “What if I missed something and didn't pray right?” “What if, what if, what if?” I must have read at least 50 different gospel tracts. After reading each one I'd fall on my knees and pray the sinner's prayer. I'd go through the steps of the gospel track, item by item...
- Do I know that I'm a sinner? ... Yes!
- Do I believe that there's a penalty for sin in hell fire forever... Yes!
- Do I believe that Jesus is the Christ Who died, was buried and rose again 3-days later for my sins? ... Yes!
- Will I believe on the name of Lord, trusting His work of redemption as payment for my sins? ... Yes!
I'd assure myself that God cannot lie and since I obeyed the Bible, I am saved, case closed. Yet, I couldn't deny what I felt in my heart, that is, fear, mental anguish, worry, uncertainty and misery. I was so sad and scared. It was a very lonely feeling.
It didn't help to hear preachers say things from the pulpit things like ... “Just take God at His Word!” ... “Don't insult God by questioning your salvation!” ... “Fear only comes from the Devil!” ... “If you worry, then that's not faith and something is wrong!” I was terrified and all these statements from preachers only made it worse. Although some of those statements are true, they don't help a person obtain the assurance of their salvation.
Eventually, at age 17 I finally couldn't take it anymore and went to my pastor for counseling. After 4-years of worry, fear, tears, mental anguish and sadness, I wanted help to find out if I was saved or not. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I was very apprehensive because everybody thought I was saved all those years in our Christian church and school. No one ever questioned my salvation. I was worried what people would think about me. What would my pastor think? But alas, I decided that I didn't care, I wanted to get the assurance of my salvation.
When I explained the situation to my pastor, he made a classic mistake that so many preachers make by saying “If you don't know if you're saved, then you must not be.” That's simply not true. There are many doubting believers who are saved, but as babes in Christ are ignorant of the Scriptures. So my pastor led me in a sinner's prayer. The next week I was water baptized for the second time in my life, but I was terrified getting into the baptistry because I still didn't know if I was saved or not. Now (I thought to myself) I'd really look stupid if I went to my pastor after he thinks I just got saved. I figured if he couldn't help me the first time, then he wouldn't be able to help me the second time either.
As I stepped into the baptistry water, all I could think about was Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Was I going to be damned for getting baptized while still having doubts and fears in my mind and heart about being saved? Was my lack of assurance, in fact, unbelief that would get me damned to Hell? I was water baptized with a worrisome heart, doubts about my salvation, and I was terrified. What was I going to do? Not knowing that you're saved and on your way to Heaven is one of the most miserable feelings in the world.
I was already saved, but I didn't have peace about it. I had prayed a sinner's prayer at age 17 (but I had already been saved since I was age 13). When I was 13 I didn't pray audibly. I simply believed in my heart for Jesus to forgive my sins. From that moment until day I've felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. That's because the Holy Spirit came to live in me the very second that I got saved. Romans 8:9 teaches that every Christian is indwelt by the Spirit of Christ. The moment you personally receive Jesus as the Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live in your body.
You are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1st Corinthians 3:7). This is why Christians ought not smoke, drink and abuse their health. You are the house of God! God doesn't dwell in a big church building with stained-glass windows, plush carpeting, and padded pews; but rather, He lives in you as a true believer in Christ Jesus.
Never Assume That a Person is Unsaved Just Because They Have Doubts
I think it is a bad thing to tell someone that they must be lost, simply because they don't know for sure they're saved. My situation is a perfect example of why this assumption should never be made. By attempting to lead a person to the Lord who is having doubts, you still haven't addressed their underlying fears, concerns and worries.
By telling someone that they need to get saved to remove their doubts, you're only slapping a temporary patch over a long-term problem; thus forcing them to suffer in continued fear, unanswered questions and worry. I know the utter misery of not knowing whether or not you're going to Heaven or Hell. It is a frightening thing to read Scriptures like (Hebrews 10:31, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God) and not know for certain if you are ok with God. I had already prayed the sinner's prayer 50 times. I had read through dozens upon dozens of gospel tracts. I couldn't stop worrying and I felt bad about myself for having doubts.
What I needed as a teenager was some good (doctrinally sound) books on salvation, which I didn't know existed. This is why I am a firm believer that every church ought to have a bookstore with doctrinally sound books to help mentor new converts. I recommend the Sword Of The Lord, who publish numerous books and booklets available on the subject of SALVATION to help new believers.
Doubts are not evidence that a person is not saved. Although some Christian workers and pastors may feel that the safe approach is to lead the person to the Lord, doing so will not remedy the underlying fears, uncertainty and doubts caused by ignorance of the Scriptures and salvation. You need to teach that person some Bible truths about eternal security and assurance of salvation. This is why I have published this article, that is, to help others who are struggling with the assurance of their salvation to find peace.
The Epistle of 1st John was written so we can KNOW that we are saved (1st John 5:13). The Bible teaches that a couple of the ways that we know we are saved is if we, love one another, and keep God's Commandments with gladness. These are NOT requirements to be saved; but rather, evidences that we are saved. These are the FRUIT of genuine repentance. Faith is the ROOT (Genesis 15:6). A changed life is the FRUIT (result) of genuine repentance, and not a part of the ROOT of saving faith (Romans 4:5-6).
I studied 1st John a lot, because this Book of the Bible was written to help believers KNOW that they are saved. I asked myself, “Do I love my Christian brothers and sisters?” Yes, I do. “Are God's Commandments grievous for me to keep?” No, I love serving God. I want to obey and keep God's Commandments. “Do I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God?” Yes, I do with all my heart. I passed all the tests presented in 1st John to verify that I was saved, yet I still couldn't find peace about my salvation.
“Just Enough” Faith is All You Need To be Saved
God sent a dear man of God who used to preach week-long revivals at our church. I'll never forget something he taught us about Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” He asked, “How much faith does a person need to be saved?” Romans 10:13 answers this question... “JUST ENOUGH!” If you have “just enough” faith to call upon the name of the Lord, then you will be saved. All God requires is that we obey His Word. It matters not how many doubts you have, just so long as you act upon the faith. All the faith you need to be saved is “just enough” to call (appeal) upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This truth greatly helped me, but I still had worries and doubts concerning all my other questions... WHAT IF? WHAT IF? WHAT IF?
Putting God On The Spot
After this I dare not tell anyone that I wasn't sure that I was saved. I fell on my knees and prayed to God often, putting Him to the challenge. I said with a humble and broken heart...
“God, if I am your child, then you owe it to me to show me beyond any shadow of a doubt. But if I'm not saved, then simply show me and I'll get saved immediately. Just please show me... am I saved or not? I want to be saved. I want to go to Heaven. I know that I am a hell-deserving sinner. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, Who died for my sins. I believe that Jesus was buried and rose again. I not only believe Lord, but I know, because I believe it so much. I know these things are true. I want to be saved and be with you in Heaven so much. I know that Jesus shed His blood to pay for my sins. I am afraid of missing out on Heaven. What if I messed something up? What if I'm missing something? What if I don't have enough faith? I can't even remember when I was saved. Does that mean I didn't get saved? I need to know if I'm saved, beyond any shadow of a doubt. Please, please, show me Lord!”
I prayed similar words over and over, time after time, gospel tract after gospel tract, asking God to open the eyes of my understanding. I was spiritually hungry for the truth. I sat attentive in every sermon, taking keen notice any time that a preacher taught anything about faith, belief or salvation. I began to learn, a little at a time. My eyes and ears were wide open and I was hungry to learn.
Off To Bible College
I went off to Bible college to serve the Lord full-time. When I was 20-years old I heard Dr. Jack Hyles preach a sermon called “THE SIN QUESTION, SON QUESTION” ...
- In the sermon, Brother Hyles said that a lot of people turn over a new leaf and falsely think they are saved. They've only addressed the sin question. They've determined to amend their ways, turning over a new leaf to do better through religion, but they've have never addressed the question of the Son of God.
- Then there's folks who false profess to be saved who've placed their full trust in Jesus Christ, fully surrendering and making a commitment to serve God; but they've never addressed the sin question. They've never acknowledged their guilt of sin and their debt owed in hellfire for all eternity for their sins.
After hearing this sermon I was scared. I was scared because I couldn't remember the date I was saved, let alone the thoughts of my mind at the time I was saved. I knew I was a sinner years later, but had I known it at age 13 when I think I was saved? Boy, this stuff could drive anyone bananas with worry. So I talked to a good friend about it and he asked, “Brother Dave, do you know you're a sinner?” I replied, “Yes.” He then asked, “Do you believe that Jesus paid for your sins?” I replied, “Yes, I believe that Christ died, was buried and arose for my sins.” He then concluded, ”Brother Dave, if you go to Hell, then it's Jesus fault because you're trusting Him completely.”
That helped me for the moment, but the fears and doubts were still with me. I had placed all my eggs (faith) into one basket (Christ), so-to-speak. I was trusting Jesus Christ alone to save me. I often said to myself after that, “If I go to Hell, then it will be Jesus' fault, because I'm relying upon Him 100% to forgive my sins and take me to Heaven.”
That's what salvation is, that is, putting all your hope in Christ. In salvation, we place our complete trust in Jesus Christ and what He did to pay for our sins. The good news (gospel) is that Jesus DIED, He was BURIED, and then He ROSE up after three days (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
That is the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ. There are many strange gospels circulating on the internet these days, teaching a false gospel.
I continued to search for answers. I sat attent in my Bible classes and listened to as many sermons as I could. I was hesitant to talk with people about my doubts. I knew in my heart that I was saved, I just couldn't nail it down to find perfect peace on the matter.
The Work Of The Old Testament High Priest And The Lamb Of God
What ultimately helped me more than anything to find the assurance of salvation was a study of the Old Testament tabernacle, holy of holies, the sacrificial lamb, Day of Atonement, mercy seat and the work of the Levite high priest. Hearing preaching about the blood of Jesus and Bible studies on the Old Testament Day of Passover helped me immensely. The blood had to be applied!
God had established Ceremonial Laws for the Jews as a means of teaching divine truths to them. Once each year, the high priest killed a male lamb (without spot nor blemish) and took that lamb's shed blood into the holy place. The priest then applied the lamb's blood to the mercy seat, which was a shadow of things to come (that is, it pictured Jesus Christ literally taking His blood into the heavenly holy place one day - Hebrews 9:12,24). This was fulfilled after Jesus rose from the dead, but before He returned to be seen by the 11 Apostles (Judas killed himself after betraying the Son of God). Just as the Old Testament high priest needed to apply the blood to the mercy seat, so also did the Lord Jesus Christ need to apply His literal blood to the heavenly mercy seat (Hebrews 9:12).
People in the Old Testament were saved the exact same way that people are saved today, that is, by grace through faith in the Son of God (Acts 10:43; Genesis 15:6; Ephesians 2:8-9). It was the Jew's faith in the shed blood of the coming Messiah that saved them.
The message of the lamb's blood upon the mercy seat in the holy of holies plainly testifies of the necessity of Christ's blood sacrifice. This truth helped me to clear my mind of the errant thinking of salvation as a prayer. Most people tend to focus upon the sinner's prayer. You'll find that most people these days who profess to be Christians speak of having prayed a prayer. Now praying a sinner's prayer is certainly appropriate if it's based upon a believing heart, but please keep in mind that salvation is NOT A PRAYER. Romans 10:9 teaches that a person is saved by believing in one's heart that God hath raised Him [Jesus] from the dead.
Understanding the Old Testament lamb, high priest, holy of holies and mercy seat gives depth of understanding to salvation. It really helped me to see what was going on in salvation. For years I was worried about whether or not I had missed something. I was thinking too much. My fears were caused by IGNORANCE. It's the same type of fear that a person would naturally feel when in a dark unfamiliar room or walking into a dark alley. Uncertainty breeds fear.
If a person has never worked on a car before, then they will naturally have fear. I had the same fears when I was young and wanted to learn how to repair my own car. I purposed in my heart that the worst thing I could do was break it and have to pay to have it fixed. So I did my best and learned as I went. Eventually my fears went away as I became FAMILIAR with working on my own car. The same is true of every field of work, hobby, or even salvation. My fears were caused by uncertainty of the unknown. But I didn't realize that at the time. It wasn't until I knew what I knew that I realized how much I didn't know. In hindsight, it all seems so simple.
I know that there are MANY people today, who are afflicted just like I was back then, who are worried sick about their salvation. I assure you that it's because you are not knowledgeable about the Scriptures. It could be that you were never saved; but more than likely if you're that worried about it, you were and just don't have enough knowledge of the Scriptures to have peace about it. Although I knew back then in my mind that salvation was simple, I was worried that perhaps there was more to it than I had come to understand. I desperately didn't want to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime to go to Heaven, and I certainly didn't want to end up in the Lake of Fire if I was wrong.
My problem was that I was ignorant of the Bible and afraid of the unknown. Jesus said in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
You'll find sweet peace when you become familiar with the tabernacle, the holy of holies, the Day of Atonement, the sacrificial lamb and the mercy seat all pointing to Christ's death, burial and resurrection; and Christ's ascension to appear before the Father in Heaven...
Hebrews 9:24-28, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
The Bible defines the gospel of Jesus as Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Once a person gets saved, then they learn about Christ's Virgin Birth, deity (Jesus is God almighty), the Godhead, Christ's sinless life, bodily resurrection, vicarious (substitutionary) death, and other fundamentals of the Doctrine of Christ. A person doesn't need to understand and believe all these teachings to be saved. However, a person who is saved won't openly deny these doctrines when they are taught them from the Scriptures.
When I got saved at age 13, I didn't learn that Jesus was God until 5-years later in Bible college. When a godly teacher taught me about Christ in the Old Testament, I was like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to learn all that I possibly could. I was so excited and happy to know that my Savior was God Himself, the Godhead manifest in the flesh (1st Timothy 3:16, Colossians 2:9; Revelation 1:8 - King James Bible). The Doctrine of Christ is vital and every Christian should study the Bible to learn these pillars of the Christian faith. But to be saved, all that God requires is that we believe on the name of the only begotten Son of God, Jesus, Who is the Christ that should come into the world to save men from their sins.
Please don't misunderstand, no man who denies the Virgin Birth can get saved regardless of his faith in Christ. I'm not talking about open and willful rejection of the Doctrine of Christ (such as the case with Martin Luther King Jr., Benjamin Franklin and and C.S. Lewis). But rather, I'm talking about the average naive person like I was, who receives Christ as their Savior but it takes years for them to learn about the Virgin Birth, Christ's Deity and His bodily resurrection from the grave and bodily ascension into Heaven.
You'd be shocked how many religious people think that Heaven and Hell are not literal places. No professed Christian who denies a literal Hell is truly saved. If there's no Hell that burns with fire and brimstone, then prey tell me what did Christ save you from? Extinction? Although genuine born-again Christians differ and even argue many doctrines in the Bible, they all agree on the fundamental teachings of the Christian faith (which include Christ's Virgin Birth, sinless life, blood sacrifice, literal bodily resurrection, et cetera).
Those so-called Christians (such as Robert B. Thieme Jr. and John MacArthur Jr.) who teach that Jesus' literal blood soaked into the ground at Calvary and stayed there are heretics and unsaved Modernists. No man who denies the efficacy (saving power) of Christ's literal blood is saved. From the blood of the animal God slew in Genesis to clothe Adam and Eve, to the saints whose robes are washed in the blood of the Lamb in Revelation—the Bible proclaims the message of the importance, necessity and application of the literal, physical, precious, blood of the Lamb of God!!! Amen and amen!
1st Peter 1:18, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
The Danger Of Emphasizing A Sinner's Prayer To Be Saved
Part of the problem in our churches today is the false idea that a person is saved by a prayer. Every gospel tract that I had read told me to pray a prayer. That's why I'm really leery of passing out gospel tracts anymore. I give out Gospels of John instead; Or I write my own tracts. Nearly all of the gospel tracts I've read lead people to pray, which leaves the impression in one's mind that prayer is necessary to be saved. It's not. Salvation is believing, not praying.
Although a sinner's prayer is acceptable at the time of salvation, a prayer does not save anybody. You could pray your entire life and still go to Hell when you die (Matthew 6:7). A sinner's prayer is NOT the gospel. The gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).
The Bible does not require a prayer to get to Heaven. Many people misinterpret Romans 10:13 to mean “a prayer.” Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The Greek word for “call” here means “to invoke, appeal, to petition.” It simply means that you go to the Lord to be saved, trusting upon His death, burial and resurrection as payment for your sins. A prayer is the expression of a believing heart. You wouldn't prayer if you didn't already believe. You are saved the second you believe on Christ. That's why I don't lead sinners to pray a sinner's prayer anymore. I used to. Now, I just lead people to acknowledge their sinnership before God; and to personally believe in their heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, relying upon the redemptive work of Christ as payment for their sins.
Also, when an invitation to receive Jesus Christ is given at the end of the sermon, a person is saved before they ever step out of their pew to go forward to the alter. It was their faith in the Lord that caused them to step out and go forward. They walked forward to find out what they just did. They were saved in their pew the moment that they believed upon Christ. Walking down an isle is not required to be saved, and neither is praying a prayer.
A lot of people have problems with the assurance of their salvation, like I once did, because they are focusing on a prayer. I was saved simply by believing on Jesus Christ; but in hindsight over the years to follow I was worried that I forgot something. Since I couldn't remember what my exact heart's words were, I was concerned. I prayed in my heart for Jesus to save me, but it was my faith that saved me (not the prayer). I eventually learned that all the things I was worried about had absolutely nothing to do with my salvation. I was saved simply by believing upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is so simple. Jesus paid our sin debt. All we have to do is believe on Christ and what He did for us.
Also, I don't think preachers should require people to leave their pew and come forward to find out how to be saved. A pastor should tell sinners in the pew that they can be saved without coming forward. A preacher should tell everyone in the congregation how to be saved right there in their pew. It's ok to invite people to come forward, but the gospel should not be withheld from those who don't come forward. Maybe a person doesn't feel well, or is shy, or embarrassed, or simply doesn't feel comfortable walking an isle. God will save any repentant sinner as they are, who they are, and where they are.
I am confident that a lot of people are going through the same fears, worries and doubts that I did for 7-years. The reason is because our churches have become caught up in leading people to pray a sinner's prayer. We need to teach lost sinners that praying a prayer is NOT the way of salvation, unless it comes from a believing heart in the gospel.
'The Gospel' is The Power Of God Unto Salvation
It is one's faith in the gospel (Hebrews 4:2; Galatians 3:26) that causes God to work the miracle of salvation (John 1:12-13). Salvation is a supernatural miracle of God in response to one's faith in the gospel.
2nd Timothy 3:5 warns about false religions that teach a way of salvation void of the saving power of the gospel. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Most professed Christians these days are as unsaved as the Devil. They falsely view Christianity and being born-again as a prayer, an experience, a philosophy, a way of life, a commitment, a surrender, amending one's ways, et cetera; but they fail to believe that there is a literal miracle-working God in Heaven Who saves sinners.
Many unsaved people are deceitfully declaring themselves Christians, therefore they are in their own feeble minds. They DENY THE POWER THEREOF as 2nd Timothy 3:5 warns. They're ok with any type of manmade salvation which doesn't involve a literal and miraculous God. Salvation is a miracle! Only God can save a person (John 1:13). Salvation is not wrought by men; not be might, nor by power, nor by the will of man. Salvation is 100% totally and completely of God. This is why king David in the Bible continually referred to THY SALVATION. Our part as admitted sinners is simply to believe upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (that He died, He was buried and He rose again); everything else concerning salvation is God's department. We are the SINNERS and Jesus is the SAVIOR!
The Promises Of God
One of the most important truths to bare in mind is that salvation is based upon the PROMISE of God. All of the false religious systems in this world are rooted in self-righteous works and uncertainty. Basically you do your best and hope it all works out ok! As Bible-believing Christians we don't have to live with fear, uncertainty or doubt. I've learned that salvation is a PROMISE from God, and that means I can KNOW (beyond any shadow of a doubt) that I am saved.
Eternal life is a PROMISE from God. Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” God wants us to have sweet assurance and peace that we are saved and secure. God made us a PROMISE.
But He went further, reminding us in Titus 1:2 that God cannot lie.
But He goes even went a step further and informs us that He made this promise of eternal life before the world began.
What precious truths! God PROMISED us eternal life in Christ Jesus, a promise that He made before the world was ever created, and God wants us to keep in mind that He never breaks a promise! Brother, that's eternal security!!!
If you have been struggling with the assurance of your salvation, I am confident that some of these truths will help you immensely to find the sweet peace and harmony of soul that God wants us all to have. Eternal life is not a reward for good behavior; but rather, it is a gift from God to ungodly sinners, paid for by Jesus' precious blood!
No matter how ungodly you may be, God will forgive you of every sin and declare you justified (Just-If-I'd) never sinned (Romans 4:5-6). All you have to do is cease from your own religious and self-righteous labors; and instead rest upon the PROMISE of eternal life by faith in Jesus, the Christ, Whom God the Father sent into the world to save men from their sins (Luke 19:10). Jesus DIED, He was BURIED, and He ROSE again three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). If you receive the gospel as payment for your sins, then you are saved eternally my friend. I trust that I will meet you in Heaven someday.
I haven't doubted my salvation in well over 20-years now. I fully understand the gospel and what God DOESN'T require of me for salvation. Most religions mislead people to think that God requires a bunch of things from them to get to Heaven. The truth is that the Bible says Jesus paid our sin debt because He loves us, and eternal life is a free gift at no cost, no obligation, nor burden to the recipient. Jesus paid it all! The burden of salvation rests upon Christ, Who bore our sins at Calvary on the cross.
I learned over time that it didn't matter what I could or couldn't remember from years past. Salvation is NOT an experience. Salvation is a new birth, a second birth, a spiritual birth; which is as irreversible as the first physical birth. What matters is that I have faith in my heart NOW, today. I am saved now this minute. I can say with total confidence that I am saved. Biblical salvation is instant and immediate. It is not a process. Eternal l life is a gift from God.
Although I had asked the Lord to save me at least 50 times during a 7-year period, I was saved the first time! At the very moment at which I believed on Jesus Christ to forgive my sins, I was saved eternally. All the other times I prayed a sinner's prayer out of ignorance. Although I was confused back then as a teenager, not being able to see the forest for the trees; in hindsight today I KNOW that I was saved as a young teen. It was like a light switch was flipped in my life. I've felt the strong presence of God's Holy Spirit in my life ever since that morning when I prayed in my heart for the Lord to save me.
I believed on Christ that Sunday morning. I knew that I was a guilty sinner. I knew that I wanted to go to Heaven. I knew that Jesus died, was buried and rose again three days later for my sins. I placed my trust in the Lord the best I new how, receiving the gospel as payment for my sins, and Jesus saved!!! Thank you Lord for dying for my sins and shedding your precious blood!
BEWARE of any false gospel which places the burden of salvation upon the sinner to change, amend his ways, make a commitment, fully surrender to Christ, stop sinful bad habits, forsake the world, or turn over a new leaf. These things are all appropriate in their own respective places; but when added to the gospel they constitute a perverted and corrupted FALSE GOSPEL of self-righteousness! In salvation, the total burden rests upon Jesus Christ!
Upon trusting Jesus Christ, anything other than instant and immediate eternal life is a false gospel of self-righteous works!
We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., Christ's righteousness, and not our own self-righteousness. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see;
When I look upon His face, the one Who saved me by His grace;
And when He takes me by the hand, and leads me through the Promised Land;
What a day, glorious day, that will be!
(a book I wrote based upon my own 7-year battle with the assurance of my salvation)
Where The Burden Rests In Salvation
An Awesome Video Sermon by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980
Getting Started Soul-Winning | MP3 (by Pastor Steven Anderson)
SOULWINNING| MP3(by Pastor Danny Castle)
If you don't believe the Bible, you can either get right or die wrong!
“You show me a person to whom Heaven becomes real, and this Book becomes real, and God becomes real, and Hell becomes real, and salvation becomes real, and I'll show you a person that will so much the more serve God as he sees the day approaching!” —Pastor Jack Hyles, a quote from the awesome MP3 sermon titled, “So Much The More As Ye See The Day Approaching.”
Souls are Dying
“In flaming fire
taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ.” —2nd Thessalonians 1:8
Ye Must Be Born Again! | How to Be Saved
You Need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!