By our friend John.
I want to believe in Jesus, but…
The evangelist said you have to say a prayer asking for salvation. I saw that on a couple of websites too. I don’t know why God would go to all of the trouble to do everything necessary for my salvation and then make me ask for it. But, I’ll pray the prayer to help insure my salvation — just in case.
I should feel worse about my sins. In the Bible study that I attend on Tuesdays, we are using a study guide which says that confession of sins is a requirement for salvation. I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible. Why would God need to be softened up by my remorse to be willing to save me? But, a great “Prince of Preachers,” who is favorably referenced by lots of Free Grace ministries, said that no one comes to God with a hard heart. So, I will cry and confess my sins to help insure my salvation — just in case.
My pastor says believing in Jesus isn’t enough – that even the demons believe there is one God and they tremble. My pastor says I have to repent of my sins to be saved. The Bible doesn’t say that anywhere, but if I don’t do it, maybe the deal will be off. I will resolve to give up my sins to secure my salvation — just in case.
My denomination says that faith is an active verb. That a person needs to follow Jesus to go to Heaven. They say that believing with your head is not enough. You have to believe with your heart. I’m not sure what that means, but I read a tract that said you could miss Heaven by a foot-and-a-half. I don’t want to do that. I will resolve to follow Christ to help my salvation — just in case.
My church says that faith in Christ plus a public confession of Christ are required for salvation. Public confession seems like a work. It seems like if I have to make a public confession of Christ in order to be saved, that my confession would be that I don’t believe in Christ alone. But my Elder explained that public confession was a “spirit work” and not a “work of the law.” So, maybe God won’t know the difference. Besides, why wouldn’t I want to confess Christ before men? I’d better do it to make my salvation secure — just in case.
What about baptism? My father always said it was required to be saved. The Bible says we are saved by Grace, through faith. But, my father was a devout Christian up until the day he died. I know he wouldn’t have steered me wrong. Plus, you’re supposed to get baptized anyway. I’ll do it to let God know I’m serious — just in case.
Some people become Christians and fall away later. How do I know I won’t be like the second soil in the parable? I mean my behavior should change if I am saved, right? All of the testimonials I hear at church are about how the people’s lives changed as a result of their salvation. I will wait and see if it takes root and my life changes dramatically — just in case.
But, what if I fall into serious, habitual sin? Won’t that mean I was never saved in the first place? I’d better guard against that or my salvation may be in jeopardy — just in case.
I heard a sermon today about a rich young ruler. The preacher said he didn’t go to Heaven because he was selfish. Am I selfish? Jesus said it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven. I know He also said that with God, all things are possible. But, maybe I should give away more of my money — just in case.
I read a bestselling Christian book about how to take your “spiritual pulse.” It gives a bunch of test questions to see whether or not you are a believer. The Bible says that I can be assured of my salvation the moment I believe. But, one of the leading Grace expositors says the truth lies somewhere in between, that an inventory of righteousness should be part of an ongoing inspection process. I did OK on it yesterday, but today I’m not so sure. I’d better take it again tomorrow — just in case. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And John concludes with:
I actually experienced and believed certain of the false teachings depicted above. Some of the others were not part of my direct experience. In either case, I was lost until a couple of years ago when I finally understood and believed that salvation was a free gift, available by Grace through faith in Christ alone. – John.
Thanks John… for that chilling account of the Lordship “salvation” and “works” teachings of “religions” today. We are thrilled you finally understood and believed the Truth of the Gospel of the Grace of Jesus Christ.