Are you saved? The answer might surprise you.
I will never forget that conference I went to as a young Youth Leader. The one that made my world tilt a little and ushered fog into my brain. The topic was “Carnal Christians”, which ought to be an oxymoron, right? The more we discussed, the more confused I felt until finally I raised my hand.
“Young Christians are constantly asking me how they can KNOW they are saved, what can I tell them?”
I thought I knew the answer to that question. You see, I like rules. So, people who follow the rules are the good people and people who don’t are bad, said the recovering present-day-Pharisee. Not so simple, my dears.
Just for fun, let’s look at some Bible verses that like to blow the doors off of our preconceived ideas about salvation.
“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23
Am I the only person flabbergasted by the fact that someone can apparently perform miracles and not actually know Jesus? Goodbye good-works-criteria for being saved.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 says that without love, you have nothing, even if you are burned at the stake for cryin’ out loud. 1 John 4:20 states that we cannot claim to love God if we have hate in our heart towards a brother or sister. Clearly having a heart of love is an undeniable sign of true salvation.
“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” James 2:1-20
Oh Monkeys! Even believing in who Jesus is (enough to make you shudder) is not a basis for surety of salvation. According to James, though works are not the golden ticket into heaven, they are the validation of true faith. Even these works, however, are not the requirement for salvation. So let’s look at someone we KNOW is saved.
According to the good Doctor Luke, Jesus was crucified between two guilty criminals and one of those men did have assurance of salvation.
And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
During that poignant scene, we discover how important it is to be aware of your own wrong-doing and sure of God’s goodness. Appealing to God’s mercy on the basis of that mindset was one sinner’s invitation to Paradise. While that criminal had no opportunity to validate his faith with “works” he was willing to face the persecution of the other criminal and possibly those in the crowd, by being one of the few people to speak what was true about Jesus at the moment. His crimes were forgiven by the Prince of Peace.
Speaking of forgiveness…
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.” Mark 11:26
So here is the Salvation Quiz: ( True or False)
A. You consider yourself a transgressor of God’s law.
B. You understand that only God is good.
C. You have love in your heart for your family and close friends. (Even the weird ones)
D. You have forgiven all those who have wronged you.
E. You base your hope only on the mercy and kindness of God through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection.
If you answered True to most of those statements (and you were honest), “He who has the Son has the life… These things I have written to you who believe in the name of [Jesus], so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:12-13
If you answered True to only a few or none of the statements, “Now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation.” “Therefore [Jesus] is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him.” Hebrews 7:25, 2 Corinthians 6:2
For more information about Salvation, ask a Christian friend and/or click on the video link below: