Are You Really Saved?

Common question:

If you died today, how sure are you that you have Eternal Life?

Are you finding it difficult to answer this question? Why is this?

At one end of the spectrum, there are those who are absolutely sure of their salvation. They may think that by doing good works or attending church and bible studies as the model Christian they deserve to go to heaven. It’s their right and they have worked hard for it.

In fact, we shall see why that this group have a false assurance and are not truly saved.

Then there are those at the other end of the spectrum who for various reasons have no idea whether they will make it through heaven’s gates.

Are you in that category?

Is it that you vaguely remember accepting Christ but you don’t quite remember the exact date of acceptance? Or was it so long ago that you’re not even sure you accepted Christ?

Perhaps you’re unsure of the procedure for being saved. You may have prayed a quiet prayer at home asking God into your life. Is this enough or do you need to take extra steps such as going up the front of church in an altar call?

Or maybe you’re struggling with certain sins in you life. Even after accepting Christ your struggle has continued. Are you still a Christian if you continue to have this struggle with sin?

Or is it more that you look inwardly to your own abilities and inevitably you realise your inability to work to work enough to maintain your own salvation. Is it enough to go to church, to help in charity, to pray continuously to attend numerous bible studies and bible seminars?

What if you’re good today but the moment just before death you committed a sin. Are you out of God’s kingdom at that point in time? You find that looking to works and self leads to more uncertainty as present obedience does not guarantee future obedience.

Today, I’m going to show with God’s word that security of salvation is a fact and assurance is the confident realization of that security – a realisation that is life changing.

We need to go back to basics to answer this question.

There are four spiritual truths:

Firstly, we are all sinners.

Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

God on the other hand is perfectly righteous. Even the smallest sin on our part sets us apart from the perfection of God. How many of us can say that we have committed only a few if any sins in our lives?

Here’s an illustration:

The separation between sinful Man and God is so vast that, no matter how “good” we may be, we are powerless to bridge it. Doing so would be like swimming from Hawaii to Los Angeles, a distance of 2000 miles over open ocean. No matter how good a swimmer one might be, even the best will fail!

The consequence of sin is death both physical and spiritual and we know this truth by simple observance. Everyone and everything eventually dies. People are also spiritually dead not knowing what to believe. So that leaves humanity with no hope for the present or the future. We would be absolutely certain to die.

But God did not leave us in this depressing state. Instead, the third spiritual truth is summed up in John 3:16 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God himself has paid the price for sin. God’s terrible wrath against sin was poured out in full measure upon his son Jesus as he died on the cross for out sins. God is just and the price of sin must be paid. However, instead of us paying it, Jesus paid the price for us with His own blood.

So how are we saved?

Ephesians 2:8-9 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

In these few versus we have already answered the questions above. We can never be saved by what we do. It will never be enough. We are saved only because Christ paid the price for our sins. He was sinless and therefore was a perfect sacrifice. We need to believe in Him to be saved….and why wouldn’t we?

Have you personally received Jesus Christ as your Saviour and trusted in Him to forgive your sins? If not, you would like to wouldn’t you? Pray the following prayer to make this all important decision right now!

“Dear Lord Jesus, I confess that I have sinned against You and need your forgiveness. Thank you for dying on the cross in my place for my sins. I receive you into my life and trust in You alone as my Saviour and God. In Your name I pray. Amen!

Now, for those of you who have accepted Christ into your life, it doesn’t matter if you don’t remember a specific point in time when you accepted. The only point in time that has significance is when Christ died.

There are no special steps to be taken. John 3:16 simply says that whoever believes in Christ has eternal life. God wants you to have the simple faith of a child.

That’s why some people may in fact already be saved but are without assurance.

John 5:24 tells us that whoever hears God’s word and believes has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

1 John 5: 3I 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.

Notice that eternal life begins the moment you believe…not just when you get to heaven. And it is something you can be certain of.

But wait a minute, what does James 2 tell us?

19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

You see, a genuine belief will result in a changed life and it’s something that happens naturally. If you truly believe that the full wrath of God was poured out on His son for your sins then it makes no sense for you to continue living in sin. The desire to live a sinful life has been replaced by a desire to serve the one who died in your place. Why would you want to do something that hurts the one who sacrificed everything for you. How can anyone say they love God if they continue to indulge in the same sins that put Christ on the cross?

So we see that works do not save you. However, the outward evidence of ones salvation can be seen through good works and a changed life.

Let me to share a couple of passages to challenge us:

Hebrews 10: 26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

1 John 2: 15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 3: 4Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

1 John 1: 5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

See how clearly these passages point to leaving the old sinful life behind and living anew?

But wait a minute. You’re a Christian wanting to obey Christ, yet you keep stumbling and sinning. Do the versus above mean you’re really not a Christian?

No. As a Christian there is continual spiritual warfare between the fleshly body and the holy spirit. You can see Paul going through this struggle in Romans 7:

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but 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. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks 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.

Can you relate to this?

See, the difference is that as a Christian we do in fact struggle with sin. Before being a Christian there was no struggle at all as you were slaves to sin and simply did what the sinful flesh desired. Now we have a sensitivity to sin and will try to avoid it.

Yes, at times our struggles are great. But we are not alone! As you carry your cross daily Christ is right there helping you. And if at times you do fall 1 John 1: 9 says If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Satan can sow seeds of doubt. He doesn’t want you to rejoice in this new life with Christ and can accuse you of being damned to hell each time you sin. He can make you feel so down that you become ineffective in your service for God.

But look at John 10: 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

God is holding on to you even though at times you don’t hold on to Him. Nothing and no one can break God’s grip on you. He loves you too much to let you go! Because it is Christ who holds on we can live with confident assurance of salvation.

Philippians 1: 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

This is repeated in 1 John 5:13

God wants you to be confident of your salvation. If you doubt being saved then you are effectively doubting the power of Christ’s death to cleanse even the worst sins making them whiter then snow.

A common mistake is for someone to trust their feelings for salvation. Perhaps after a church crusade you’re on a spiritual high and feel assured of salvation. On another day you may have done something you regret and are on a spiritual low having lost confidence in yourself. Do you feel like this sometimes?

Romans 8:1 says that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Do your emotions condemn you? Don’t trust your feelings for salvation. Rather, our foundation is Christ’s death for our sins. Assurance comes from promises in the bible – only then do feelings follow.

Also, don’t seek the approval of other men for your salvation. Your church pastor or elder or priest cannot assure you of salvation. No man can give another man salvation…only God’s word and His spirit can do that. Jesus is the only way to the Father.

With assurance we have the joy to take us through life’s difficulties. We have no fear of death and are free to serve God without guilt.

To get a better understanding we can break assurance down into two main types:

Firstly, there’s the subjective assurance of spirit’s witness Romans 8: 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

There is also an objective (external) assurance from God Romans 8: 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

"For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Before you were even born, God had predestined you to be His child. As a loving father he has guided your path to this day even though you may not have understood His ways. He gave up everything for you and will never let you go because He loves you that much!

Great! We are confident of being saved and no longer live a life of guilt but one of victory.

Is that it then? Do we simply sit and wait till we’re taken to our heavenly home? Not at all…God wants an active Christian. You have this good news. Share it with the world as they need to know. God has entrusted us with the great commission

Matthew 28: 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Though we have salvation we are accountable for our actions. What have you done for Christ who gave himself up for you?

1 Corinthians 3: 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

2 Corinthians 5: 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Are you building up treasures in heaven…or are you just escaping through the flames?

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4 comments (leave a comment):

Anonymous said...

Hi im a Catholic and die as a Catholic i accept Jesus in my heart am i saved? Please Help me thank you..

-L Lawliet

Angel said...

If you really love God, you would follow Him whatever He says. All of those commandments are in the bible. I suggest you start reading on the book of John. read the bible and understand it. If you have questions on a topic, visit a pastor. If you're a catholic, you would realize the very meaning of becoming a true christian if you really try to understand the bible. God bless you. :)

Anonymous said...

hi, I was surfing the net then I saw your comment. To L Lawliet... It's not really about religion, it's about our relationship with Jesus. I was a Catholic before, but I realized so many things when I read the Word of God, the Bible. I can't judge you nor tell you what to do or not to do.. But one thing I know for sure, Jesus loves you so much that He died for you to save you from all your sins. He wants to build a relationship with you. If you love Him, then read His personal love letter to you and to all of us who love Him --- the Bible. I suggest, start reading with the gospel of John.. :)

Angel said...

Yes, since adam sinned, that relationship has been broken, now Jesus came to rebuild it and you can now have a relationship with Him, as a brother, friend and father. That's a very privileged position as a human, to be a friend of God. I am proud I am a Christian and I have a father who is a God. We should love God because great is His love for us.

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