There was a point last summer when I began to question my salvation. I sat through sermons feeling, well, like a failure. I would listen to the pastor talk about eternal security of the believer, and how you don’t have to remember the day and time you accepted Christ as long as you remember doing it. Well, I could (and still can) remember it in great detail, short of the day and time. I know what time of year it was, what year, what time of day, where I was, where my parents were, and that I felt the weight of the world lifted from me as I prayed that night for forgiveness and for Jesus to come into my heart as my Savior. I can remember that additional relief once I went before the church and shared my salvation, and the following baptism. Yet, I sat Sunday after Sunday for the past few months wondering if I really had accepted Christ or if I had accepted instead a delusion.
So I turned to the Bible. I studied this, and I studied that, but the reassurance seemed to be escaping me. I would pray, but still didn’t feel reassured. Just after Christmas when I was home visiting Mom, I went to church with her, and she insisted I come to her Sunday School class. I laughed at being in the “old women’s” class, even though they aren’t all old. But anyway, as they were discussing the lesson, one of the ladies told a story about a woman she used to work with who at one time had questioned her salvation as well. She told how the woman said she finally prayed to God and said “If I end up in Hell, I will go there trusting You.” So I prayed that same thing, because I remember accepting him. Yet, I still didn’t feel reassured.
I decided that the reason I felt so unsure was because of how I was living my life. First I cut the drinking. Then I started working on the potty mouth. Then the innuendo-laced joking. Then the anger. Then the sharing of my experience. With the exception of the drinking, I still felt like a miserable failure. About 3 weeks ago, I had a meltdown to God. I poured it all out to Him as I sobbed uncontrollably. All the guilt, all the feelings of worthlessness, I poured out. And I began to feel some peace.
As I was studying something after that little meltdown, I ran across “the unforgivable sin.”
Matthew 12:31-32 (New American Standard Bible)
31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
32 “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
Well, that really got my questioning going. Had I blasphemed the Holy Spirit? My Apologetics Study Bible says in the footnotes that “Fear that one has done so is probably a good sign that one hasn’t, for full-fledged apostasy is a defiant rejection of everything Christian and lacks the tender conscience that would be worried about such an action.” In the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary under blasphemy, it states that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit “is a state of hardness in which one consciously and willfully resists God’s saving power and grace. It is a desperate condition that is beyond the situation of forgiveness because one is not able to recognize and repent of sin. Thus one wanting to repent of blasphemy against the Spirit cannot have committed the sin.” So, after all of that, I stopped questioning whether or not I was saved back when I was 12. However, it seemed I was questioning my eternal security, when I shouldn’t.
John 10:27-29 (New American Standard Bible)
27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
Romans 8:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)
1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:35-39 (New American Standard Bible)
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 Just as it is written,
“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So not only can I be assured of my salvation, I can be assured that I cannot lose my salvation. Remember how I said “I decided” what was causing my guilt? Well, that is the root of my doubting problem.
Proverbs 3:5-8 (New American Standard Bible)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.
As a child, I was taught the meaning of faith as “Forsaking All I Trust Him.” I grew up, and in my arrogance, forgot that lesson and had to be retaught it.
The LORD the Keeper of Israel.
A Song of Ascents.
1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.