Question from a Site Viewer
I have had vivid daydreams that I’m going to hell. Certain pastors and friends have questioned my salvation based on things I’ve told them. I’m confused and feel as if my salvation is not secure. I cannot find peace and I do not think I can make it to heaven. Am I saved?
You have had experiences and you have had pastors and maybe friends who have caused you to doubt your salvation. Salvation does not come from our experiences, whether they are good or bad. Salvation does not come from our friends, family, or even our spiritual leaders on this earth. Salvation always comes from God. And God freely gives salvation to those who receive Him (John 1:12). The great promise of God is that those who believe in Christ will never perish (John 3:16). The concept of belief stems back to the passage in Genesis 15:6 when Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. The old Hebrew word translated “believed” comes from a word meaning “to take one’s nourishment from.” We nourish ourselves in Christ. We trust Him to save us. We confess that no one else can save us. We do not look to ourselves to save us. We look solely to Him. It is not the size of our faith, the lack of doubt, the strength of our character, or our ability to generate feelings of faith. None of these things save us. What saves us is when we look fully to God for our salvation. It is not the precise words we say, but it is the reliance on God and God alone for our salvation. The sinner who cries out, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner,” is saved (Luke 18:13-14). The one who looks to Jesus for deliverance will be delivered. The one who asks will receive. Salvation is not our working, but His work given freely to those who come to Christ.
So, in answer to your question of “are you saved?” I ask you the question: “Have you come to Christ?” Have you asked Him to save you? If you have, then He is faithful to His promise and will not cast away any who come to Him.
But having come, my rule of life is “do not stop there.” Every day, and at all times, keep coming to Jesus. Read the Bible (1 Peter 2:2). Meditate on God’s words to you. Memorize Scripture (Psalm 119:11). Let it sink deep into your heart. Pray for your life. Pray for others. Seek to be a blessing to others. Be involved in good deeds. Love others and love God. These are the foundation stones of building a life that is strong and mission-oriented. And as your life is transformed into a new person (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:17), your relationship with Christ will grow strong and deep and you will understand in part His great love for you.
Finally, I do not ask that you ignore those around you. God intends for us to dwell in community. You should always listen with grace and then search the Scriptures to see if what they are saying is true of false. Yet, sometimes there are those, even in the church, who do not reflect the heart of God. There are false teachers in the church, as even Christ told us there would be. Any pastor who says that you have committed the unpardonable sin is not of God. As we have explained elsewhere, the unpardonable sin is not one done by people who with broken and contrite hearts seek after God. God will never despise a broken heart who seeks Him (Psalm 51:17). And no pastor should cut you down or make you feel as if you’re not good enough to be a part of God’s kingdom. That is what the evil pastors did (see Ezekiel 34 where the evil pastors killed and ate the flock). The Good Shepherd feeds His flock and gently cares for them. The undershepherds (pastors) of the Great Shepherd do the same (1 Peter 5:2-4).
May the Lord Jesus and His Spirit encourage you in your spirit and cause you to understand your position in Him. And may you from that position carry out His work in this world to bring love, joy, peace, and good deeds to those around you.
One who also has been forgiven,