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I want salvation in a moment and for eternity, but this eludes me

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by Bob8102, Mar 22, 2022.

  1. Bob8102

    Bob8102 Member

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    Thank you all for responding to my various posts. I want salvation in a moment which lasts for eternity. i believe the Bible indicates this is possible. But this eludes me.

    The wrong reason for wanting assurance is so that one can go on with their life as they always have, to continue to go their own way, and yet be saved. i realize i can have this motive. But I also know that it does not work that way. One must surrender to Christ and to the Holy Spirit's control of one's life.

    A valid reason for wanting assurance is so that one does not have to worry that a mess up tosses one out of the kingdom of heaven. An OCD person worries that they are not saved every time they discover that they are a sinner.

    I have many times done what i thought was sincerely giving my life to Christ. In fact, one of them occurred in the middle of typing the last sentence. But doubt as to my sincerity and as to my really being saved always comes back quickly. One responder has said that I am making my sincerity the key to my salvation, but the key is not me, but the Savior. Another responder said something to the effect that what God desires of us is given to us through the person of the Holy Spirit. Since reading that earlier this morning, I have tried concentrating on that. I first figure that I must first be willing to want what God wants for me. So, for a while this morning, I tried making myself to want what God wants for me, then to realize that what He wants of me He will give me through the person of the Spirit. I concentrated on this for a while.

    In trying to give my life to Christ, in trying to trust Christ, it seems I can only keep it up for like two seconds at a time. In one episode of the Simpson's cartoon, a maid or nanny is brought in and she is trying to get the kids to clean up their room. The kids are having a problem being willing to do this. The nanny then sings a song like Mary Poppins. She sings, "just do a half-[butt] job." The kids get all their toys quickly stashed away in drawers, closets and chests. Then they all leave the room and slam the door behind them. As soon as the door slams closed, all the stuff pops back out of its containers and the room is just as messy as before. I think this pictures what happens with me when i try to give my life to Jesus and start the Christian walk. Two seconds later, the door slams in my heart and everything reverts to the way it was before I supposedly surrendered.

    I believe in salvation in a moment. In the parable of the tax collector and the pharisee, Jesus says the tax collector "went down to his house justified." What did this man do that he got justified? He cried out to God, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" A friend of mine told me that the moment he gave his life to Christ, he just said, "Take me!" These moments of salvation did not last very long. But the change in the person was fundamental. An incredible change can occur in a moment.

    I have long sought that moment of salvation. The Phillippian jailer rejoiced that he and his family had believed in God. The Ethiopian eunuch went on his way rejoicing after he came up out of the water, while Philip disappeared and was found at Azotus. I sometimes think I should give up on seeking salvation-in-a-moment. I should accept that it is a process, as a Christian friend of mine asserts. The problem with a process is that you might not make it all the way through the process.

    My Dr. Jeremiah Study Bible says in its notes about the repentant thief on the cross, 'he did not have time to join a church, get baptized, or do good works. He only had time to believe on Jesus. And he was saved.' Of my many conversions, some of them are based on this note about the thief on the cross.

    The moment of salvation could be quite a subject of study, in and of itself.
     
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  2. angelsaroundme

    angelsaroundme Well-Known Member

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    What it seems to me is some people become fixated on "feeling saved", which ironically, makes them "not feel saved". Because if you start out feeling 90% saved and center your mind on the lacking 10%, it usually balloons rather than deflates. It's similar to perfectionism. You can write something solid, notice one or two flaws, and pretty soon you've decided to scrap the whole thing because it'll never be exactly how you want it.

    "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." – Philippians 1:6

    "A Christian is never in a state of completion but always in a process of becoming." - Martin Luther
     
  3. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    This is just a first impression, but it seems to me that you may have confused the conversion experience with a guarantee of perfection.

    All believers sin. They sinned before conversion and they sin after conversion. The difference is that, after conversion they TRY to live in accordance with God's will, they KNOW their wrongdoing is wrong when it happens, and they REPENT of it in the knowledge that they have given themselves to Christ whom they trust for their salvation.

    You referred to your "many conversions," but I don't get the feeling that you actually renounced any of them. Rather, you accepted Christ but then have been dogged by the realization that you've since doubted.

    And do not compare yourself to the Good Thief, who was unique, meaning that no conclusions about baptism, churchgoing, etc. can be drawn from his experience that are applicable to our own lives.
     
  4. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    God looks at the heart ... and ... only He knows it.

    Proverbs 21:2

    Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
     
  5. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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  6. Trusting in Him

    Trusting in Him Well-Known Member

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    Salvation is not a feeling, but it is a person and that is Jesus! Do you want to be His forever? He has come to take your sin laden life and to give you His own perfect sin free life and none of us deserve this nor is there any way which we can earn this. We have to accept this as a gift, or not at all. This offer is valid only for a limited period, one day those who have not accepted his free gift and given their lives to Him will be too late. Make sure that your accept Him and give you life to Him, while there is still time!
     
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  7. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What evidence do you have that you are not a Christian?

    Signs that you are a Christian:- concerned about sin in ones life, values reading the bible and prayer, regularly attends a church where the surmons challenge and encourage one, enjoys the company of Christians.

    May I suggest two things.

    Live as a Christian.

    talk to your minister.
     
  8. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    I think the account of the Lord and the rich young man is also instructive ( Matthew 19:16-30). The Lord tells the young man to keep the commandments ( Matthew 19:16-19) but the young man insists he already has ( Matthew 19:20). It is from there the Lord tells him if he is to be perfect ( Matthew 19:21) then to sell all & follow.

    It is in Matthew that this lesson is best expressed ( I believe). In a sense this is true for all of us but it is to be lived out for most all of us by being charitable & prayer for our neighbor & ourselves as the Lord says in Matthew 6:1-15. It is by keeping the commandments the Lord prays to the Father to give us the Holy Spirit to guide us in living out the commandments ( see John 14:15-18). St. Paul sums up much of his preaching in Romans with the same basic commandments the Lord told the rich young man in Romans 13:8-10.

    I believe this is much of the basic sense of salvation by grace lived out in basic works that St. Paul states in Ephesians 2:8-10.
     
  9. 1watchman

    1watchman Overseer Supporter

    +1,198
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    Do you know that OCD is mostly a deceit of Satan, to keep one from thinking about our Creator-God? We all need the Lord Jesus in our heart by prayer and communion daily. Make Him your 'best Friend' as promised in the four Gospels: note John 3; John 14; John 17; Romans 8; etc. and walk with Him daily in prayer. He never fails a faithful saint trusting Him! Are you ever reading the New Testament? -1watchman.
     
  10. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    +4,204
    Canada
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    But this is something one enters into progressively. No one who submits to the Spirit knows exactly what such submission will entail. One only discovers, over time, what it means to be under the Holy Spirit's control. More and more, a person is truly submitted, truly under His control; there is no point at which you can say, "I am totally submitted to God." The Spirit must show you what such submission is; you can't understand what it is otherwise; but he does so over the entire span of your life. All you can do, in each moment of surrender, is to surrender as fully as you know to do.

    On what basis do you become a child of God? There's only one: trust in Christ as Savior and Lord. It is only on the basis of your faith in him, that God accepts you as one of His own. Your behavior, then, has nothing to do with God's acceptance of you. If it did, you'd never be saved. But if your behavior has nothing to do with your being adopted by God as His child, how does your behavior get you tossed out of His family? Well, it doesn't. God accepts you ONLY because, by trusting in Christ as your Savior and yielding to him as your Lord, you have "put on Christ," you have been clothed in his perfect righteousness. (Romans 13:14; 1 Corinthians 1:30)

    So? You aren't saved on the basis of your degree of confidence in God's promise to save you. You are saved - and remained saved - because God is faithful to keep His promise that any who trust in Christ He will accept as His own. What did Jesus say?

    John 6:37
    37 ...the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.


    And the writer of Hebrews wrote,

    Hebrews 13:5-6
    5 ...for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"
    6 so that we confidently say, "THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID...


    You say this but you behave like you don't.

    See? You're doing it again: "I must be willing..." You come to God a messed-up person filled with wrong desires, as we all do. But God sorts us out, over time. He transforms our desires; He gives us right desires and strengthens them.

    Here, too: "I tried making myself..." Friend, you can't make yourself who God wants you to be. That's His job, not yours.

    Philippians 2:13
    13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.


    Philippians 4:13
    13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.


    Ephesians 3:16
    16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,


    Jude 1:24-25
    24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
    25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.


    God begins - as you remain submitted to Him - by altering what you want but He does this, not in a single, dramatic moment but subtly, profoundly and gradually over time, like the growth of tree branch. You could watch for growth in a tree branch for hours or days and never see any change, but the branch would be growing nonetheless. Go away for six months, though, and then return to the branch and you would be able to see it had, in fact, been growing. This is the way it works for the Christian who is a "branch in the Vine." (John 15:4-5) There is no overt seizing of your desires by God and wresting you around to His way of doing things. No, instead, there is change, over time, just as there was for you growing into an adult.

    And your job in the midst of this reality is to continue to surrender. Only when you are submitted to God's authority in your life, will He move to transform you. So, when a temptation to choose your own will over His confronts you, submit yourself to God. And if, having done so, the temptation rises again, submit once more - and as often as you must. This is the Great Battle of the Christian life, not forcing yourself to be who God wants you to be.

    Salvation is not a moment in time - or a series of them. Salvation is a Person: Jesus Christ. (1 John 5:11-12) In the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9), you are made a "new creature in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1 John 4:13), indwelt by the Spirit and thus made his "temple" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

    The Spirit does not remain in you because of you, however. You aren't a clean, delightful place in which to dwell. No, when the Spirit first takes up residence in you, you stink to high heaven, you're full of darkness and sin and in desperate need of his purifying, sanctifying work. So, your righteousness, your purity, isn't the basis upon which the Spirit comes to live within you and it isn't the basis upon which he remains in you. He is within you because God keeps His promise that, if you trust in Christ as your Savior and Lord, He will adopt you as one of His own and transform you. It is God's faithfulness, not yours, that is key to your salvation.

    Salvation is not a process. See above.
     
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