You can download the audio from yesterday's sermon from the previous post or listen to it online at our Podsnack site here.
The question about personal salvation is one that gives many people issues. Even the rich, young ruler in the Gospels made his way to Jesus to inquire how to gain eternal life. There are various reasons why some struggle to believe their eternity is secure. Here are some I covered in yesterday's message.
WHY PEOPLE WONDER IF THEY'RE TRULY A CHRISTIAN?
- Because they're not. This is a reality. More people on the planet than not are unbelievers. Just attending church, going to Sunday School, being baptized or going through confirmation does not secure a relationship with God through Christ essential for salvation. So, at a very base level there's a chance that doubt is there because there is no relationship. This is God's Holy Spirit working to draw people to Himself.
- Because of habitual sin in one's life. Many people fall into habitual sin and whether it be viewing pornography, sexual sin, or another "can't stop" scenerio, the reality is that just promising to do better is not enough. Often pride must be swallowed and accountability with another believer is needed. There's a reason God puts so many "one anothers" in the New Testament for the church. Only God can heal and only God can rescue, but He uses His church in the process of santification at times. Therefore, no believer is meant to live as a "Lone Ranger" believer. We need each other.
- Because their baptism and salvation moments are out of order. Baptism is a symbol of the moment of new birth. Many times people are baptized without ever surrenduring to Christ. Then, later in life, they receive God's gift and never follow through with the step of obedience through believer's baptism. Baptism prior to salvation is nothing more than a bath with your clothes on.
- Because they have put their faith in an event they cannot remember. Some people base their new birth experience on what others have told them, unable to remember the moment themselves. It's not about remembering the day and time, but there is value in knowing the decision to surrender to Christ was made willingly and not by a parent or friend.
- Because they don't "feel" like a Christian. What does a Christian feel like? Feelings are not the determining factor of reality.
- Because they were dedicated (or baptized) as a baby in a church are fear that isn't enough. Infant baptism is more a dedication by the parents than anything else. Regarding personal salvation and believer's baptism, an infant doesn't make the choice on either, so this often causes internal struggles based on familial religion and personal relationship.
- Because they repeated a prayer someone told them to repeat and even while doing so, they didn't know why. Just because you have the capacity to repeat a "prayer" does not mean you have surrendured to the Lordship of Christ. It just means you have the capacity to parrot another person. Perhaps many in our churches are basing their salvation on their capacity to say a "repeat after me" prayer without ever truly repenting and surrenduring to Christ ?
What you do with Jesus is the most important decision you will make in your life.
It's not so much that you know Jesus. It's more of "Does Jesus know you?"
That invitation is clear.
The wonderful thing is that you do not have to live your life wondering if you've done enough. Let God remove that fear and settle it for good today.
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (ESV)