There is something terrifying in re-evaluating the genuineness of your faith. Some people insist that even questioning your salvation is a sin. “How dare you underestimate the saving work of Christ? Don’t you understand what he did for you??”
But that is not what I’m talking about. As you can see by my own testimony, it is very easy for human nature to deceive itself. You can have all the looks and all the feel goods of church-going Christian, but when the rubber meets the road, you have no traction. Instead of the true sacrifice of Jesus Christ keeping you intact, you are blown away by empty works.
Every Christian, no matter how far along in their walk, is challenged to stop and really think. Am I actually saved? Am I blind to the true state I’m in?
It’s scary! But oh, so necessary. Better to pause and think now than arrive before the Lord and hear Him say,
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Matthew 17:21-23
And this, like most of my moments of intense soul-searching, was inspired by my mom. She posted this thought-provoking blurb on Facebook.
(James Smith, “The Way of Salvation Set Forth”)
“Then Agrippa said to Paul: You almost persuade me to become a Christian!” Acts 26:28
There are many who conclude that they are Christians, because they have been enlightened to see something of their state, danger, and deserved doom. But many are only lighted to Hell, for light in the mind–is not life in the soul. Hebrews 6:4, 10:20.
A person may be awakened to feel, to tremble, to desire salvation–as did Felix and Balaam, Acts 24:25, Numbers 23:10.
He may be reformed, and turn from open profanity to strict morality–as did some in Peter’s day, 2 Peter 2:20.
He may be assisted to do many things which are in themselves good, such as reading the Scripture, attending divine ordinances, engaging in prayer, and working miracles, Matthew 7:21-23, Mark 6:20, 1 Corinthians 13:3.
He may experience God’s power put forth restraining him, and keeping him back from sin, as did Abimelech, Genesis 20:6.
He may humble himself before God, as did Ahab, 1 Kings 21:27-30.
He may possess joy and be exceeding glad under the Word, Matthew 13:20.
He may believe the Word, receive the testimony, and admire the preacher, Luke 4:22-29, 8:13, Ezekiel 33:31-32.
He may be filled with zeal for Christ and his cause, like the multitude, John 6:15, 16; Matthew 21:8-11; Luke 23:18-23.
He may be baptized upon a profession of faith, join a Christian church, and imitate the saints in his conduct–as did Simon Magus, Acts 8:13.
He may fill an office in the church, preach the gospel, and act consistent for a time–as did Judas; and yet Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place, Acts 1:25.
He may be highly esteemed by others, be sound in doctrine, and suffer for the cause of Christ, and yet be destitute of the vital principle of saving faith–like Demas, Alexander, Hymeneus, and Philetus, 2 Timothy 2:16-18, 4:10-14, 1 John 2:15.
He may have many excellent qualities, so that he may be admired and loved by others, like the rich young ruler in Matthew 19.
He may have all that has been named above–but ONE THING may be lacking, and he be found at last, merely an almost Christian.