I keep tripping from time to time over the salvation issue as it applies to me. Mostly it comes about from something I’ve been reading and as I’m learning to pass the fearful thoughts off now as coming from the enemy and bad teaching, lucidity eventually returns and I wonder how I could have ever doubted my salvation to begin with. I did finally come to see that salvation is a permanent thing and I gained great relief and freedom from that truth. —guest
The “salvation issue” is a fabrication of the religious mind. And no, I don’t mean salvation is make-believe, instead I refer to its having become an issue. You can’t help but trip over an issue because an issue is subject to the interpretation of legal argument. In other words, salvation as an issue will always be up for grabs to whoever presents the most binding case based upon Scriptural proof-texts. This is just as true today as has always been, even during the time when Jesus was confronted by the Scriptural authorities of that day. Salvation as reality is Christ - being as sure as Christ himself - so that when realized for what it is will find itself being testified to by the very same “Scriptures” that seemed to contradict it.
but then I came upon certain Scriptures that hit me with the fear that maybe I was never saved to begin with and I spend days walking around with a big question mark over my head and repeating the ‘sinner’s prayer for the umpteenth time to be sure! —guest
Countering the fear brought on by the religious mind with a formula may seem to help for time but a formula only feeds into the religious mentality with all its arguments and legalities. Yeah, I did the “sinner’s prayer” thing only once … and it was after I had been in Bible College for a semester. I remember it clearly because I had not “prayed the sinner’s prayer” when I first came in contact with what I thought to be the only true presentation of the gospel from that Bible College. Years before, in front of a televised Billy Graham crusade I vividly remember being impacted by the message so as to do the silent thing along with the crowds flocking the stage on my screen. Yeah, I was so self-conscious that I tried not to appear as if anything was going on inside me because my grandmother was sitting in the chair across from me to the left. Anyhow, when I “did” the invitation thing at my Bible College I was in full understanding that it was one of those just-in-case “accepting Jesus as your savior” things. Yeah, just in case God might hold me to a technicality of not having “done the one thing necessary”. Such is the religious formula. And that’s what you’re doing with each and every repetition of the “sinners-prayer”. We think to reassure God that we belong to him … as if maybe he is in question of the reality he brought about in Christ. Trying to get a handle on “good doctrine” is also another kind of formula, one by which we hope to assure ourselves that our “belief” is correct: aka the salvation issue. But while looking to make sure there are no Bible verses that contradict our belief that we are saved we find contradictions to our viewpoint. That’s what happens when we turn the Bible into some kind of manual or instruction book instead of recognizing that the letters were testimonials of this great salvation … which is Christ.
And then the thought hits me that maybe I’m not one of the ‘chosen’ and so it doesn’t matter how much I want to be saved or how many times I pray the ‘sinner’s prayer’ because if I’m not of the ‘chosen’ then there’s nothing I can do to change that no matter how much I want to and despair sets in. It’s a vicious circle I find myself within in between my sane bouts of ‘lucidity’, let me tell you. —guest
Yep, a vicious cycle! And it’s the very same despair as one who can’t find the door to the room they’re already in. :)
I should be over this by now and I’m wondering if there’s something seriously wrong with me. Is this normal for a Christian? Have you ever gone through these bouts of confusion like the one I find myself in right now? How can I get over this and know I am really saved without ever doubting again? Is that even possible? —guest
You ask if it’s normal for a Christian to go back and forth as you have and I’d have to say that even though the experiences of many seem so different they all pretty much share the same common causes. Don’t worry about judging yourself according to anyone else’s experience, instead let such things testify to the common struggle brought on by the mind of fleshly reasoning. See the confusion for what it is and it will dissipate. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 Paul stated, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” As long as you and I try to war according to the flesh - by use of religious and doctrinal formulas - we will find the doubts and confusion that are inherent in the fleshly mind.
How can I get over this and know I am really saved without ever doubting again? Is that even possible? —guest
Is it even possible … that’s a good question. I say that because I’m pretty sure the question comes from the false hope of finding the right formula, the right frame of mind, the right belief system, the right answers, the right view of the Bible, etc that will finally bring an end to the struggle. If so, it’s not possible for there is no end to the doubting even with the best training … even though so many have claimed to get beyond it using their techniques. Who you truly are does not doubt despite the fact that your reasoning insists upon it. Thoughts? Love, Jim
I read what you wrote to me and have been chewing on it and digesting it and mulling it all over, and over again. I ought to have known better than to think you’d lay it all out for me very simply and say ever so plainly, “Yes, you are saved.” or “No, you are not saved and these are the reasons why, boom, boom, boom.” :>) Although I’m new to your site, it hasn’t taken me long to see that you like to help people along in contemplating and thinking things out for themselves, but between you and me, there sure is a big part of me that was hoping and wishing you would have had an off kinda day and had been in such a rush that you would have made a hasty exception in my case. Hah! No such luck. :>) Well, thinking and contemplating never did hurt anybody, I guess, except for the occasional brain-overload headache. ;>) You asked if I had any thoughts. Yes I do! And some more questions, too, if you can stand it. :>) Unfortunately, it’s in the wee hours of the morning here and my brain is not wanting to cooperate with me right now in forming the questions in a coherent manner. :>) It’s been in overload mode with all this mulling and chewing, if you must know! ;>) It wants to go to bed and get some rest, and so I’m going to let it. I will try to gather my thoughts and questions and present them to you in the next few days. Thanks so much, Jim, for your kindness in bearing with me in my confusion.guest