I have almost weekly doubts that I am not actually saved. I believe in - Bible Questions and Answers - Prayer Tents

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35. I have almost weekly doubts that I am not actually saved. I believe in the gospel and asked God to save me but I tend to fall into old sin habits and ask forgiveness but sometimes it doesn't feel genuine when I sin again. My prayers also seem to be same and lack focus. I wonder if I am lukewarm or never saved to begin with. Am I overreacting or is there something in my life that needs work?
Asked by: Male, 19-25, North America, Christian on September 18, 2021 3:50:00 pm


Thank you for the excellent question.

I am glad that you are asking this question because a majority of the people who "believe" they are saved are often not. When asked why they think they are saved, they respond with their parents upbringing in the church and their faithful observance. Some even say they live a good enough life, better than most, that a "forgiving God" should welcome them to heaven.

Every Christian should be asking themselves the same question you are asking, and again, thanks for asking it.

Salvation comes from God. That's the answer, and that is where you need to base your thinking.

The evangelists of the late 1900s did a great thing of focusing on sharing the Gospel. The drawback they brought was specifying the methods to salvation. They did that partly because they wanted to measure the results of their evangelistic work. So, that is how we have the altar calls and tracts that tell people to read a special prayer to be saved. The thinking is, if you ever came down the aisles when you heard a message from a speaker, then you have received salvation. It is likewise if you ever read the magic prayer. In the same way, some people believe that when they feel emotional about Jesus' death or sin, they are saved. Some, who often do not know the Bible, say they are saved when they live a good enough life (BTW, that is how non-Christian faiths work, such as Islamic faith and many others).

Christians believe that only God can save. It is not something we initiate or do by our actions. Otherwise, we may boast about our salvation (see Ephesians 2:1-10). Instead, God directs us and causes us to come to repentance. He transforms our lives so that we may keep His commandments and love even those who hurt us (see Deuteronomy 30:6 and Ezekiel 36:26, where God promises to change our hearts to follow God's ways... again, this is not our doing, for we can't do it out of our abilities).

How can you know you are saved? You have the Holy Spirit in you reminding you that you have sinned when you do. For example, let's suppose you have a fight with a friend and have hurt him. For a Christian, the Holy Spirit will remind you of your wrong and cause you to repent. He may even direct you to rebuild that damaged relationship. On the other hand, an unsaved person may not have any regrets and may want to hurt the friend even more. You can see that even many "Christian" marriages fail today because their direction does not come from God. So, does God convict you of your sins today? Do you feel repentant and want to live a life worthy of being a disciple of Jesus?

Perhaps you may conclude that you are not saved. Guess what, that's ok. Your curiosity and dissatisfaction with your current state are how God tends to start our journey of faith. It begins with interest and questioning God (that's what Nicodemus, a faithful Jewish leader, did. See John 3). In fact, the person who founded the Methodist church shared about when He indeed met Christ.

John Wesley was a pastor who was not saved (can you believe that? A person who gave sermons every week was not saved! This may be the state of today's church as well!). At some point in his life, He received salvation, and he explains it as strange warming of his heart where he was able to believe in God fully all of a sudden. (Take a look at this: https://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley/journal.vi.ii.xvi.html). I also explain this fully in a book I wrote (see ourhighestcalling.com).

All people who came to this saving faith tend to begin with a curiosity that you have started. Something was bothering them about their current "faith," and they wanted to know with certainty what it means to follow Christ indeed. So you can know you are in good hands as you seek God today.

I encourage you to continue your faith journey by participating in a healthy church, especially in a small group of people like you. Dialogue with each other about your current faith and grow together. In due time, God will encounter you, and you will realize (with all your heart) He is more significant than what anyone has taught you, and dedicate your life to walking with Him.

Please write back if you have any further questions.

Many blessings!

Answered by Dr. Sang Sur

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