Are you operating under a false sense of salvation?
I anticipate controversy. I expect the backlash. And yet I know, in spite of the concerns, I’m supposed to share my heart. I’ve been called to speak the truth and ask the tough questions.
My heart aches for people who rebuke Christ. I hear those who mock God and insult Christianity and I tremble for them. To denounce my Lord and Savior is to invite eternal death and I fear for their souls.
There are those who are seeking, asking questions, and searching their hearts and I desperately want to convey a sense of urgency without scaring them away. No one knows the day or time or hour that our Lord will return and we must be ready at all times.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13
And of course I know there are many who aren’t looking, aren’t condemning, but aren’t even remotely curious about what they’re missing. This terrifies me to my core. ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’, so in that spirit, I never miss an opportunity to share the truth about what God has done in my life.
But There’s More
My husband and I were having a conversation the other day about people who claim to be Christians but whom don’t appear to be walking their talk. My disbelief and frustrations usually illicit questions such as:
- “If they are Christian, how in the world could they make the decisions they’re making…?”
- “If they are Christian, how could they say the things they are saying…?”
- “If they are Christian, how come they aren’t interested in extending grace…?”
- “If they are Christian, why isn’t forgiveness important to them…?”
- “If they are Christian, how could they treat another person that way…?”
Have you ever been plagued by similar questions? Doesn’t it just make sense that if you claim to be a Chrisitan, you should own the responsibility to walk, talk, and act like one? Abusing the grace and gift of Christianity does not a Christian make.
I’ve witnessed some mind-blowing, disgusting, heartless, and horrific behaviors from so-called Christians and it causes me to do more than just pause. It prompts me to question their heart and salvation.
Ahh… The Controversy Begins
HOW DARE YOU QUESTION MY SALVATION!
Now understand, I realize that no one can decide for another if they are saved or not, and I have no intention of making that mistake, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wondering. Wondering if a saved person would or could truly act in such undesirable ways.
Once Saved, Always Saved.
I believe that once you are saved, you cannot lose your salvation.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 10: 7-28, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.”
From the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry:
CARM’s position is that a Christian cannot lose his/her salvation. Let’s take a look at Scripture to see why.
Jesus said in John 8:29, “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
John 6:39, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”
In John 8:29, we can clearly see that Jesus always does the will of the Father. So if Jesus always does the will of the Father, and the will of the Father is that Jesus lose none and also raise all those to glory who had been given to Him by the Father (John 6:39), then salvation cannot be lost. Otherwise, Jesus sinned by failing to do the will of the Father. Remember, it is the will of the Father that Jesus lose none, not that Christians don’t lose their own salvation of their “own free will.” Again, if someone loses his salvation, then Jesus failed to do the will of the Father because it would mean He has lost some and that He will also fail to raise up to glory those who have been given to Him by the Father. This just cannot be.
So when I doubt the motives and behaviors of self-proclaimed Christians, the concern generally circles back around to, “Is the person really saved to begin with?”
This is an incredibly sobering reality. That someone may think they are saved, but are not, rocks me to my core. I get chills just considering it.
False Sense of Salvation
So are those professing to be Christians, but who show absolutely no fruit in their lives of their decision, their walk, and their relationship with Christ, really Christians?
This is a serious question and the answer can mean the difference between life and death. Literally.
Interestingly, when I really started to unpack this question, instead of continuing to dissect those around me, I began to look more closely at my own life and to my commitment to Christ.
What’s the Truth?
The truth is I have far too many shortcomings to address in detail. From my critical demeanor, controlling tendencies, and stubborn ways to my big mouth and hot temper, my faults and flaws abound.
As I lamented over my challenges, I began to question my own salvation. Who was I to even intimate that someone else may not be saved when I had not thoroughly vetted my own heart and actions. Always one with a strong sense of personal responsibility, it was only fair to point the finger right back at myself.
And point I did.
At first I was fearful of what I might find. Was God disappointed in my heart? He can read my thoughts, after all. Was I believable enough when I confessed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior? The first time. The second time. The third time… Is their evidence of my decision in my walk and talk?
The last thing I want to do is get this wrong and jeopardize my salvation.
Once saved, always saved, right? But am I truly saved? Do I have the assurance of heaven and everlasting life?
Thankfully, I can say without a shadow of a doubt – YES! Absolutely, unequivocally yes.
How do I know this?
I have only to reflect on where I was, and where I am today, to know the evidence of fruit in my life is apparent. And this isn’t said with overconfidence or conceit, yet with a sweet, humble pride. It is whispered with words of gratitude and indescribable appreciation. On bended knee, I thank Jesus for delivering me from a life without meaning and hope.
God has done a work in and through my life that I could not have done on my own. The positive changes I’ve experienced are not from my own might, but rather a direct reflection of who I have chosen to follow. Of this I have no doubt.
No, we do not come to salvation by our good deeds or works, but after the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart and life, ripe fruit should be evident. Grace and forgiveness should come more easily, your heart will soften, and choices made will reflect a Christ-centered existence. Mistakes will happen, but with each passing day, regret and repentance are non-negotiables that should come more easily and naturally.
Are you heading in the right direction?
Now It’s Your Turn
I fear we are missing out on ministering to a very important people group. The unsaved or seeking sure get a lot of attention, or at least we pray they do. Believers have a multitude of resources at their fingertips. However, those ‘questionable’ Christians who are living with a false sense of salvation desperately need care and guidance.
I beg you to dig deep and take a hard look at the heartbeat of your soul. It may seem like an arrogant or intrusive suggestion, but my friend, there’s a lot at stake here and I love you enough to ask. And know it is nothing more than I have asked of myself.
Are you living with a false sense of salvation? Resting on the assurance of something you’ve not fully committed to? Preaching a foundation to which you don’t fully subscribe? Are you living in denial? Hiding behind the guise of a nonexistent security? Not walking your talk.
This is an extremely dangerous place to be.
The answers to these questions are between you and the Lord. I simply ask that you take them to heart and respond in truth.
Both Believers and Non-Believers alike mess-up. Both are imperfect and susceptible to errors in judgment. Both can exhibit poor behavior. But the Believer comes before the Lord with a contrite heart, admitting to a sinful nature and begging for forgiveness. There is a deep sense of regret for wrongdoing and a huge desire to right any wrongs; to not make the same mistakes twice. The humbleness of spirit grows with each and every day and the Fruit of Spirit is abundant.
My Christmas prayer for you is that you know, accept, and delight in true salvation.
At my husband’s request, we’re going ‘old school’. At the end of my longest blog ever, I’m going to ask you to listen to ALL 4:05 minutes of 1979 goodness by Keith Green. It’s definitely worth it. (Turn it up. The first 45 seconds are important!)
Friends, do you know Jesus Christ?
My prayers plea for the salvation of all, and while my human self is tormented at times, my soul rests in knowing that God feels the same.
2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Saved or not, I urge you to examine your position and reach out for God’s truth. He wants NO ONE to perish. Embrace the gift He’s offered and ask Him with a genuine heart to be Lord of your life. And then live it. Breathe it. Enjoy it.
The Roman Road is a great tool for guiding you through the process of understanding salvation and accepting Jesus Christ. All About God does a great job of explaining it. Check it out by clicking HERE.
Blessings today and always and Merry, Merry Christmas!