Monday, June 24, 2013
Many Christians are often tormented with doubt about their salvation experience. Listening to the testimonies of others who saw bright lights, heard a great voice, were instantly delivered from cocaine or alcohol addiction or can recite the year, day, hour or second they were saved can be intimidating at times.
The important thing is that you ARE saved, not the ability of your memory faculties. For those of us who have prayed the “sinner’s prayer” a thousand times, it can be mental torture to try to figure out which time really took!
Did I say the right thing? Were my words in order? Did I pray my own words or did a pastor lead me in a prayer? Did I really know what I was doing? All these questions can so cloud the water that you have no assurance of what God did for you because you are basing your assurance on something you did or did not do or your feeble ability to remember events that happened forty years ago.
May I offer some insight that may deliver you from your quandary? Jesus said in John 6:44 that no man can come to Him unless the Father draws him. The agent God uses to draw the sinner to Himself is the Holy Spirit. The tool of this Divine Agent is called conviction. Here is the real question you need to consider. When you “got saved”,did you respond just because your friends did, because you heard a sermon on Hell that scared the Hell out of you, because someone told you that it was time to get saved, because that is what you are “supposed” to do at Vacation Bible School and because someone dragged you to the altar because they thought you needed it, without you personally feeling the inner conviction of the Holy Spirit? OR….Did you respond because you felt the tug of conviction by the Holy Spirit upon your heart?
If it was because you felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit drawing you to receive Jesus, then may I help ease your pain? God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are one. They operate in perfect harmony. They are completely unified in purpose and function. They do not each possess a separate will but are of one mind and thought.
If the Holy Spirit drew you (and that is the only way anyone can come to the Father), then it was the Father who sent the Holy Spirit to draw you, whenever and wherever you were, regardless of how old you may have been. When you responded to receive Jesus by faith, Jesus operated in harmony with the will of the Father and the drawing of the Spirit and He came into your heart. Did God will for the Holy Spirit to draw you and then Jesus say, “I am waiting for them to say the magic words in the correct order and understand everything about justification, sanctification and discipleship and clean themself up before I come in!” No. God did not offer you salvation and then Jesus refuse to cooperate with the Father’s will and the Spirit’s drawing. The Holy Trinity is not a house divided.
Rest at ease that if the Holy Spirt drew you and you responded by faith, then THAT is the moment you were genuinely born again. Your salvation is based upon God’s promise, not upon your memory or understanding. Whoever calls upon the Lord SHALL be saved. He that comes to Jesus will in no way be cast out. If you received Jesus by faith, you were given the right at that very moment to become a child of God.
Jesus did not suffer the torment of the crucifixion so that God could play cat and mouse games with your soul. No, it is Satan that plays games with our minds so that we lack the assurance of living effectively for God. If God drew you, it is because He wanted you to be His child. If you responded by faith, Jesus came in. That settles it! Now go enjoy your salvation. Your eternal salvation is founded upon the truth of the Word of God, not upon your fickle feelings. Can somebody say, “Praise God”?