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May 11, 1997

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"How can I BE SURE?"

Hello Everyone...

The recent piece "Praying in the Holy Spirit" contained a little statement "If you don't know whether or not you are a Christian, you are not;" which sparked a question from one reader, "I thought I was already saved but according to what you have said I am not. How can I be saved and how can I be sure?"

Perhaps, by now, you will have figured out that the ministry of VW is not so much "evangelistic" but to the "church." To those who are "in" the church. If you will, figuratively, "To the lost sheep of the 'house of Israel'."(Mt10:6,15:24) We do two things; we 1) Present Scriptural Truth, with periodic 2) Reference to False Teaching/Doctrine.

Yesterday I was impressed that IT DARE NOT BE SAID at Judgment Day by anybody on the VW mailing list, the excuse CANNOT BE an Option, when the person is standing before God, "I didn't know! I was reading all the stuff VW put out, but he never told me..." While there are many articles in the collection dealing with the subject of Salvation, and the "Eternity" link is devoted specifically...

HOW CAN I KNOW? CAN I BE ASSURED OF ETERNAL LIFE? Is there a "check list" I can run down, and thus be sure?

Why is such querying necessary?

People will have responded to the "altar call" and many have gone forward "many" times...at camp, during "revival" meetings, or when a visiting speaker comes and gives an emotional appeal...so that even a Christian almost feels guilty if he doesn't go forward.

People are invited to "make a committment." The message preached more and more is that "you are all wonderful church people. You are so valuable to God. He looks down from heaven and sees all this "worth" inside you. He simply wants to extend His "grace" to you so that you realize this. After all, Jesus has already died on the cross and paid for your sin...you are ALREADY forgiven. You just need to commit yourself to God now....and JOIN THE CHURCH." ...and, variations on this theme.

Such queries are necessary because so many people are being "saved" to a false gospel. (Pastors and Seminaries will have MUCH to answer for before God!!)

Here is a very brief "check-list" you can compare yourself to:

  1. Do you have a "witness" between your spirit and the Holy Spirit, that you "Know" you are God's child? (Rom8:16) This is not something you will know in the hubbub of the pastor announcing to the congregation "who"just came forward. This will not be accompanied by ecstatic utterances and "miracles." This is that which you "know" when you get into your "secret place" with God.(Mt6:6) After all the commotion of the emotions, it is that "still small voice...delicate whispering voice."(1Kgs19:12)

  2. When you read Scripture, does It speak to you? When you read, do you know God is speaking to you? Does it open up wide to you and you understand what you read? I do not mean those occasions where Satan puts blocks in your way to try to keep you from reading, which he does often...but, once you get settled in, in your quiet place, does it speak to you? If not, it would be because the "natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit of God..."(1Cor2:14) If you have the Holy Spirit (Rom8:9), then He teaches you. (Jn16:13) After all, it was He who inspired the Scriptures in the first place (2Pt1:21), so, certainly He instructs us as we read.(1Jn2:27)

  3. Have you experienced 1 & 2, but you feel like God is not hearing you? If so, is there any un-confessed sin in your life? God will not hear us if we harbor sin. (Is59:2) And what we need to do is to confess them. (1Jn1:9) Please understand, if you feel you "relate" to this point, it doesn't necessarily mean you are not saved. It means you need to get right with God. Because..."children" can be disobedient, too.
How is one saved? While, as mentioned earlier, there are many articles covering various aspects of Redemption, here is a quick check-list:
  1. Do you believe God exists? (Heb11:6) And that Jesus is God's Son, [THE] Christ? (1Jn2:22)

  2. Do you believe that there is NONE righteous? ...that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God? (this includes you) (Rom3:10,23)

  3. Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again to pay the penalty for your sin? (Lk24:46,Rom6:23)

  4. Did you REPENT of your sin before God, and receive Jesus as your Redeemer? (Lk24:47,Acts20:21,Eph1:7)

  5. Are your sins forgiven? (Ps103:12)
If your answer is "no" to any of these five, then, you are not saved.

Do not rely on emotions as to whether or not you "Feel" saved. The Holy Spirit will not necessarily make you feel good. But He gives a "Calm Assurance" even when we don't feel good. John wrote, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that YOU MAY KNOW that you have eternal life."(1Jn5:13) Things that are "written" are hard facts, concrete evidence. Things which can be scrutinized.

I rejoiced when the inquirer introduced at the beginning of this note responded back, with Assurance in Christ. How about you? This is the "Most Important Issue" you will ever face in life. What you do with this will determine Eternity for you.

Do you know Christ? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."(Jn14:6)

If you're not sure, or have questions, please write me.

Looking Unto Jesus...
Paul


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