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Why I feel I must work so hard to retain my salvation; Why it is destroying my faith

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  • Why I feel I must work so hard to retain my salvation; Why it is destroying my faith

    So, I have been coming to this board for about a year now, and for the most part, I have learned much. Like much of the rest of my life, my spiritual walk has been a lonely one. I am not the most confident or mentally-balanced person in the world, and I am also not one to bother people with all of my doubts and concerns. Many of you may not know it, but by nature, I am extremely shy, and always feel like I am being a bother to people when I try to talk to them about my innermost doubts, and my relenting depression, so I find it's best to put on a happy face in front of my church family, and come here to resolve the things that I need to. Anonymity lends a certain comfort, and it's easier to unload when I am just another faceless IP# amongst the cyber-crowd.

    In coming here, I have learned much, but some of the topics discussed have caused me to rethink my stance on several things which I thought my understanding was pretty clear on, but apparently not. One of those topics is that of OSAS. Before I started coming here, I held to the theory that a person can lose one's salvation, if that person backslides and falls into sin. After coming here, and reading the posts of many, though, I have sort of re-examined my stance, and find the OSAS stance to be a real possibility (although I am still not completely sure of where I stand on this).

    Because of this line of thought, I have become greatly discouraged, and feel that I must work hard to prove to myself that I am truly saved. Please let me explain. I was raised in a Christian home, by a very Godly single mother. From a very young age, I remember feeling God's sweet presence in a very powerful and beautiful way...It was as though He took me into His arms and really connected with me in a paternal way, since my earthly father was pretty much absent. Also when I was young, I was given the gift of tongues. No one can refute that as a child I was truly saved...at least, that's what I thought until I started considering this whole OSAS position...now I'm not so sure. Not only that, but when I was 14, and my mom got cancer, I started really drifting away from God, until I had absolutely no relationship with Him whatsoever.

    I backslid with a vengeance, and started engaging in some of the darkest sins imaginable, which led to my eventual mental breakdown and anguish. When I was deep in this pit of sin, there is no way that I was still saved. Now I am once again walking with the Lord, but I am wondering if it is a valid walk, and herein lies my dilemma.

    If the OSAS doctrine is valid, then how do I know I was truly saved when I was young...and on that note, how do I know I am truly saved now? The fact that I was speaking in tongues makes me think that I was saved, but if a person is always saved, then was I saved when I backslid? Furthermore, how do I know I am truly saved now? If I wasn't saved back then, how do I know I am saved now...and if a person is always saved, how could I have done those horrific sins?!

    Either I was saved when I was backsliding, or I was never saved in the first place...and if I was never saved in the first place, how do I know that I am saved now? How do I know I won't backslide again, and go further into sin....if I am not really saved, why go on?

    Do you see the conclusion I am drawing from all of this? It seems impossible to know if I am truly saved. My salvation seemed so beautiful and real when I was young, but if I was never saved, then obviously the whole thing was a figment of my imagination, and if it was back then, how do I know that it isn't now?

    Do you see my dillemma? With this in mind, I feel like I am under more pressure to "prove to myself" that I am saved; therefore, I am having to work very hard to keep in it. Because of this, everytime I stumble, I feel like perhaps this is a sign that I am not truly saved. Not only that, but I feel a constant pressure to continually keep in the Word...not so much because I need it, which I do, but I am so afraid that if I get out of it, I will become complacent, and will start to digress into my previous sinful state, which will completely prove that I was never saved in the first place.

    I constantly beat myself up when I do stumble, and I find myself trying to "prove" that I am really saved...It's as though Christ's forgiveness isn't enough for me; after all, if I am not truly saved, then how do I know that I am forgiven? I am trying my best to rest on the promises of God, but I almost feel like this whole walk with the Lord, this closeness that I supposedly feel with Him, could be a complete delusion on my part, because in the end, only God knows if I am truly saved or not.

    If OSAS is correct, how do I know I am truly saved now? I know that the Scripture says if I call upon the Lord, admit that I am a sinner, invite Him into my life, and trust in Him, that I am saved...but I did this when I was younger, and I ended up backsliding. How do I know that I won't do that again...and if I do, then this whole salvation experience is not valid, because I was never truly saved.

    This whole thing is really starting to destroy my faith. Like this week, I was on vacation, and I determined that I was going to really seek the Lord, and delve into my Bible, but of course, I was spiritually lethargic, and didn't do it as I had determined I would. If I am truly saved, why didn't I have the discipline to do this?! It's not just the fact that I am not doing it...It's the fact that when I don't keep in the Word, I could so easily slip into sin again. I just know it. If I am a child of God, how could this be?!

    I love the Lord with all of my heart, and I hope that he loves me, too, but if I am not truly saved, then this is all just a waste. I loved Him when I was younger, too....not only that, but some of the things that I feel God has inspired to me through my reading of the Word...well, it doesn't appear like they are correct a lot of the time, and if I am truly saved, how can I mistake the voice of the Lord like this?! I really don't feel like I'm a blessing to anyone...aren't Christians supposed to bless one another? Most of the time, I just feel like I annoy people.

    Right now, I am at a very low place. It's as though I feel myself drifting from God, but even so, this isn't enough to motivate me to seek Him right now. I haven't prayed properly for about 2 days now...I didn't go to church last week, and the only reason I went this evening was because I had nuresery duty. You know the really sad thing?! Part of me doesn't even care. I feel myself drifting from God, and part of me just doesn't care, and the other part of me hates myself for hurting God like that, but what am I to do?! If I was never really saved in the first place, then this is bound to happen. I will eventually drift from God, and be back to the miserable, wretched person that I was before...and if that happens, I might as well not even live.

    Can someone please tell me what on earth is going on?! Am I saved, or not?! If I am, then how do I know?! My faith is hanging by a thread here.

  • #2
    Hey, Cloudburst... the fact that your heart is breaking over this is proof, to me at least, that you are in fact saved. If you weren't saved, you woudn't feel a thing about any of this.

    As for backsliding... people do backslide. David was annointed by God, king of Israel, author of some of the most amazing prayers ever - and he committed adultery and murder. Not only that, but he involved others in his sins.

    But God didn't let go of him, even though He let him fall into a deep dark place. Perhaps David needed to fall to realise his utter dependancy on God.

    I'm not saying that you don't need to keep growing closer to God, I'm not saying that God isn't going to lead you into greater and deeper truths. But I am saying that it is possible for a saved person to sin, and sometimes to sin quite horrendously, and still be saved.

    Remember, no less a person than the apostle Paul says, "that which I want to do I do not do, and that which I do not want to do, that I do do!" (Something like that anyway.) Basically, he's bewildered that he loves God and still sins.

    I think perhaps you are entering a time of spiritual growth, and God is preparing you for a deeper revelation. This may well hurt, growing pains always do. But you will need to cry out and pray to Him. I'll pray for you too.
    Please could everyone pray for Mieke and Charles.

    My testimony http://bibleforums.org/forum/showthr...ight=testimony

    Comment


    • #3
      It always goes back to grace and trust in Him. We are never taught to examine what occurred before as in examining an experience. We are taught to examine the fruit of our salvation. You were deep in sin, yet you came out of sin. That is pretty good fruit. Even so, on my best day, I need God's grace to enter in and on my worst day, I need God's grace. One of the most comforting scriptures I have ever read is this one...

      Luke 18:13-14
      13 "But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' 14 "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other
      NASB

      When feelings of great unworthiness grip me, I fall back on this passage that reveals the heart of God. A man of great sins I am. But God is a great forgiver.
      Matt 9:13
      13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
      NASU

      Comment


      • #4
        Its funny that you attribute the "OSAS" school of thought to your rocky road. I haven't experienced doubt and confusion so powerfull as when I arrived here a few years back and heard the n-OSAS camp.

        Comment


        • #5
          The biggest key to getting passed doubt, is to focus on God's character instead of our own. We will fall short. But God, he never falls short of his word. He amazes me with how he upholds me by his right hand. When I wanted to quit, I could not. God kept me and I don't know how he did it. But he did it.

          Ps 73:21-24

          21 When my heart was embittered,
          And I was pierced within,
          22 Then I was senseless and ignorant;
          I was like a beast before Thee.
          23 Nevertheless I am continually with Thee;
          Thou hast taken hold of my right hand.
          24 With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me,
          And afterward receive me to glory.
          NASB


          I became like a beast before God. Yet still he held me with his right hand.
          Matt 9:13
          13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
          NASU

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't have anything to add to this, but I just wanted you to know that I'm right there with you. I could have written most of what you said myself. We're down in the valley right now, but if we just keep our eyes focused on the Lord, then we'll be back up on the mountain in no time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cloudburst View Post
              If the OSAS doctrine is valid, then how do I know I was truly saved when I was young...and on that note, how do I know I am truly saved now? The fact that I was speaking in tongues makes me think that I was saved, but if a person is always saved, then was I saved when I backslid? Furthermore, how do I know I am truly saved now? If I wasn't saved back then, how do I know I am saved now...and if a person is always saved, how could I have done those horrific sins?!
              .. Let's begin at the beginning. You said that as a child you were saved, that statement requires clarity. If you made a profession of faith in God, knowing that you were a sinner, you, very possibly were saved and just backslid. If you did not realize your sinful state and just went through the motions, even if you were baptised, all you did through the entire process was to get wet.
              .. If the latter were true, you were safe, not saved, because you had not reached that, somewhat hard to define, age of responsibility and God would have been felt by you because of that condition.
              .. Now, the big argument. Speaking in tongues is not "the" mark of salvation although it ids taught as such in some churches. Speaking in tongues is far to often the result of peer pressure and has no connection with God at all in these cases.

              Either I was saved when I was backsliding, or I was never saved in the first place...and if I was never saved in the first place, how do I know that I am saved now? How do I know I won't backslide again, and go further into sin....if I am not really saved, why go on?
              .. Knowing that you are saved is a simple enough matter. In a very private place, a closet, confess to God, no one else needs to know, the sins you remember and ask for His forgiveness and His salvation. Then read two verses of scripture and remember them until we see you in Heaven, Romans 10:9 &10 and 1Jon. 5:13. That will settle the issue for all eternity. As for "why go on?" That will be because you are so in love with your LORD that you cannot live without Him.

              Do you see my dillemma? With this in mind, I feel like I am under more pressure to "prove to myself" that I am saved; therefore, I am having to work very hard to keep in it. Because of this, everytime I stumble, I feel like perhaps this is a sign that I am not truly saved. Not only that, but I feel a constant pressure to continually keep in the Word...not so much because I need it, which I do, but I am so afraid that if I get out of it, I will become complacent, and will start to digress into my previous sinful state, which will completely prove that I was never saved in the first place.
              What I see more than anything else is that you've failed to close the back door and Satan is attaking you, full scale.

              I constantly beat myself up when I do stumble, and I find myself trying to "prove" that I am really saved...It's as though Christ's forgiveness isn't enough for me; after all, if I am not truly saved, then how do I know that I am forgiven? I am trying my best to rest on the promises of God, but I almost feel like this whole walk with the Lord, this closeness that I supposedly feel with Him, could be a complete delusion on my part, because in the end, only God knows if I am truly saved or not.
              My best answer for you is to stop living by what any of us have to say and begin to read your Bible for 15 minutes every day and to pray, constantly. You do not have to fall on your face and close your eyes to talk to God, He hears your every thought.
              If OSAS is correct, how do I know I am truly saved now? I know that the Scripture says if I call upon the Lord, admit that I am a sinner, invite Him into my life, and trust in Him, that I am saved...but I did this when I was younger, and I ended up backsliding. How do I know that I won't do that again...and if I do, then this whole salvation experience is not valid, because I was never truly saved.
              .. No one knows that they will not backslide in the future and not having your father to be close to you caused you to miss a very important lesson about love. As I grew I made a lot of serious mistakes and my dad often took strengent measures to correct my cours in life but he never, not once, stopped loving me. Once I realized my error and asked him, he always forgave me in love. God will do the same for you and being more mature now, you will make better decisions now because you are more knowledgable of the truth.

              This whole thing is really starting to destroy my faith. Like this week, I was on vacation, and I determined that I was going to really seek the Lord, and delve into my Bible, but of course, I was spiritually lethargic, and didn't do it as I had determined I would. If I am truly saved, why didn't I have the discipline to do this?! It's not just the fact that I am not doing it...It's the fact that when I don't keep in the Word, I could so easily slip into sin again. I just know it. If I am a child of God, how could this be?!

              I love the Lord with all of my heart, and I hope that he loves me, too, but if I am not truly saved, then this is all just a waste. I loved Him when I was younger, too....not only that, but some of the things that I feel God has inspired to me through my reading of the Word...well, it doesn't appear like they are correct a lot of the time, and if I am truly saved, how can I mistake the voice of the Lord like this?! I really don't feel like I'm a blessing to anyone...aren't Christians supposed to bless one another? Most of the time, I just feel like I annoy people.
              .. The main purpose of a Christian is to lead others to the LORD and that means we make ourselves available to be annoyed. We just need to nurture your faith, that's all.
              Right now, I am at a very low place. It's as though I feel myself drifting from God,
              No one can force you to seek God, that is a choice you must make on your own.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by cloudburst View Post
                ...

                Can someone please tell me what on earth is going on?! Am I saved, or not?! If I am, then how do I know?! My faith is hanging by a thread here.
                I'm going to take a wild guess here ... but I'll bet you are spending more time reading these threads about doctrines of man, than you are spending in the Word of God.

                Spend some time in the Psalms.

                I saw another thread you started, that you need a hug. Here is a great big one for you. Okay that was 3!

                I'd like to share more with you about my own journey, it was pretty bumpy as well. But somehow there was a still small voice in the back of my head that said He never left me ....

                Keep this thread going, Cloudburst, and I'll get back to you. I have some things I must go do right now.
                Blessings,

                Road Warrior


                Proverbs 4:23
                23 Guard your heart above all else,
                for it determines the course of your life.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Cloudburst,
                  I dealt with a similar issue over the past two years. The Lord has brought me to many lessons that have helped me get past my past!

                  First of all- believe the Lord-I am currently in a study that explains that your thoughts will bring you to wonderful or horrible places. You need to control them..and seek God in all your thoughts. If you do not believe what God says you are showing unbelief ...You obviously have faith -believe what He says in all things..

                  Hosea- The Lord brought me to that Book when I was at a very low point in my worries. Read through it- it shows He forgives abundantly if we seek Him...

                  Chistian friends- He brought me some very strong Christian friends that helped me with scripture and the love of true Christians. Pray the Lord will do the same for you...you need somebody that will take your circumstances seriously and hold you accountable

                  Prayer- Pray that He will remove your doubts and that He keep a hedge of protection around you from Satan..Satan is lying to you--Pray that he be gone "In Jesus's name".....God loves you , He forgives

                  Sometimes we think it is so horrible that there is no way He can forgive and we wallow in our own self condemnation......don't do it...
                  Make a conscious decision to believe the Lord...find the verses that will help and memorize them...

                  Notice your BLESSINGS!---see how He is blessing your faithfulness- do not discount where you have come from to where you were...That was Him!

                  I almost took it like a goal to just get past it....There is no way the Lord is blessing my faithfulness if He has not forgiven....He has forgiven me and I praise Him daily for being my true Father ..

                  Praying for you...I understand your burden .....trust Him...He'll take it...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Cloudburst, I smile at your post because the sure sign of a man drawing nearer to God is when he asks too many of the right questions.

                    The man knows the answers but is either 1) afraid to verbalize them as theyíre different from what he currently believes or 2) heís afraid to take a stand, or 3) he's allowing the influences outside of him to ring louder than the influence on the inside of him. You can either accept the answers or put them on a shelf to be reconsidered later. It really is up to you.

                    In the meantime you risk perishing because of a lack of knowledge.


                    My heart is filled for you, brother.

                    There is so much that can be said but wonít be in this post. No amount of scripture quoting will ease the battle thatís going on inside your mind unless it is received with the love that the Father has for you. The words will be dead unless you lean on your relationship with Him who is able to impart life to you with those words and help you with what youíre going through.


                    Your battle is in your mind, not your heart. Your heart is where God chose to live and speak to you, not your mind. Thatís why your most precious times and memories with Him reside there. Guard your heart.

                    Godís deposited a lot there and we are to lean on, trust in, and be confident in Him with all our heart and not rely on our own understanding (or the understanding of others) of Him.

                    What He put in your heart is in good measure FOR YOU not against you. That treasure is meant for you to live off of. You are not as poor as you are projecting.


                    God knows whatís wrong. He weighs all things and when He examines you, He does not judge you according to your sins, and He knows all about your doubts, fears and battles.

                    Every one of us has gone through what youíre going through. That's why your cry is that of every man. As a matter of fact the battle you (and countless others) deal with is the same one David (a man after God's own Heart) went through constantly.
                    It was David who said, "Do not take your Holy Spirit from me." The fact is David, despite his doubts and his sins, never experienced God leaving Him, though he feared it at times.

                    In the end it was through David that we received the Messiah, even though David was far from perfect. Do you think God expects more from you than He did of David?

                    Itís in the times of our greatest need that we are to enter His grace. Itís in our times of fear when we are to come to Him and itís in our times of weakness that we are to rejoice in Him. He is God and God is Love. He is not the author of confusion.


                    1 Corinthians 13:4-8
                    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

                    Romans 8:38-39
                    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


                    No matter what youíve done, youíve got to know without a shadow of a doubt that you are forgiven and loved by Him. You need to settle that fact on earth as itís already settled in heaven. If you don't settle this you are in for a world of hurting.

                    In spite of your faults, His love and acceptance of you has never changed one iota. Believing anything else will torture and torment you and no amount of encouraging words will help. The only thing that grieves Him is what you are doing to yourself right now over a past that Heís not holding against you.

                    Fear is faith in evil. If you ask God for faith, why should He give you more when you put it all into fear?

                    Donít squander the faith He gives because He gives it to you so that it can be put into good things. Donít put in the wrong ground because wherever you put that seed is where your harvest will be. Donít put faith in fear and doubt unless you want more of the same.

                    Look at Adam. He doomed the whole world and if God went looking for him, not in condemnation because he sinned (imagine that!), but because Adam was in need. How much more do you think God will seek and comfort you in your time of need?

                    Love and relationship are not that hard, but it will be if we make it so. Christ came so that we can have life and have it to the full. If we're not experiencing that then something is terribly wrong and we're not yet living the life He sacrificed to give.

                    Realize that God does not want your religion, He wants you so that He can love you like you've never been loved before.



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Php 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

                      Hi Cloudbust!

                      I can relate to having knowing God, and His sweet presence in my life, at a very young age. I can also relate to having backslidden later on. Although I had not stopped believing in Christ, I went and lived a very sinful and shameful life, for many years. My problem was, that I believed that I was a good man, with a good heart. My sins were forgiven, but I thought they were not that bad. On the surface, I was a good son, a good friend, a good neighbour, a good husband, a good father. What more could God ask?

                      I guess like the unmerciful servant. Although the King had forgiven him his debt, he gladly received the pardon, but he thought it no real big deal, because had the King been patient, he would have had the means to pay back the debt. Had no real concept of how big a debt he owed the King. So there would have been no real change in his heart. No pierced through the heart change, so the joy would be short lived, and the grace would have not taken any deep root.

                      Luke 7:47 "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."

                      Oh how far and how easy we can all fall.
                      We may know something of God, but we do not know our true selves.

                      Deu 5:26 For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
                      Deu 5:27 Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.
                      Deu 5:28 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spoke unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.

                      Deu 5:29 O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!

                      How can we love much, if we have not been forgiven much?
                      How can we love Him, except that He loved us first?
                      How can we keep His commandments, except we love Him?

                      God has a perfect will, but I believe He also has a 'permitted' will.
                      I believe He allows certain things to happen, so that we will get to know ourselves. How totally wretched we really are, and how so utterly we are daily dependant on Him, on His Grace and His mercy.

                      Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One of my favorite verses in the bible is Luke 15:11-32, its the story of the prodigal son. You said you grew up in a christian home so you probably already know it.

                        It is so awesome to me that our God takes us back even when we turn and go our own way. As long as you are repentive and truly believe that God is who he said he is, He will NEVER let you go!

                        Thats what I believe anyway. You have nothing to fear, I think satan loves to make us question our salvation.

                        Ill be praying

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cloudburst View Post

                          I love the Lord with all of my heart,

                          there it is, the most important command. You've fulfilled it, so why worry, just keep on lovin Him, and TRUST Him...He's got you.
                          Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare. Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            While this board is a great resource and many here are fantastic folks to fellowship with, you need to remember that the only one you can really trust is God / The Word. I do not believe for a second that anyone can lose their salvation. Saying you could lose your salvation would be suggesting Christs work on the cross was not enough to cover all our sins and somehow you were bad enough that you lost your salvation. BALONEY! I would simply question whether or not a person was ever saved in the first place, but only God knows that for sure. But theres a whole other thread on that topic that has gotten ridiculous in my opinion, which unfortunately has caused people that are already depressed to suffer further. Don't waste your time reading it!

                            Anyone that never struggles or claims to never have doubts about their salvation is most likely not saved. Ask any honest pastor and they will admit their human weaknesses to you. Trust me you are not alone in your battle / struggles. I have good days and bad days with my "feelings". The Bible tells us not to trust or rely on our feelings or flesh as they CAN and WILL deceive us.

                            Again only God knows your heart 100% but I seriously doubt you would care so much if you were not really his child. Maybe you should take a break from certain sections of this board and focus on prayer / praise and the Word.

                            I will be praying for you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by torazon View Post
                              While this board is a great resource and many here are fantastic folks to fellowship with, you need to remember that the only one you can really trust is God / The Word. I do not believe for a second that anyone can lose their salvation. Saying you could lose your salvation would be suggesting Christs work on the cross was not enough to cover all our sins and somehow you were bad enough that you lost your salvation. BALONEY! I would simply question whether or not a person was ever saved in the first place, but only God knows that for sure. But theres a whole other thread on that topic that has gotten ridiculous in my opinion, which unfortunately has caused people that are already depressed to suffer further. Don't waste your time reading it!

                              Anyone that never struggles or claims to never have doubts about their salvation is most likely not saved. Ask any honest pastor and they will admit their human weaknesses to you. Trust me you are not alone in your battle / struggles. I have good days and bad days with my "feelings". The Bible tells us not to trust or rely on our feelings or flesh as they CAN and WILL deceive us.

                              Again only God knows your heart 100% but I seriously doubt you would care so much if you were not really his child. Maybe you should take a break from certain sections of this board and focus on prayer / praise and the Word.

                              I will be praying for you.
                              Torazon, you said some good things here, but the bit I underlined is where I think the problem is ... the side teaching of OSAS is that if someone appears to be in sin, then "they were never saved in the first place."

                              This is what I hear Cloudburst struggling with. Whether or not salvation actually took place when she was a child.

                              Cloudburst, I want to assure you that what you are experiencing is not at all unusual for Christians. I am one who loved the Lord as a child, was baptized when I was 13 years of age, and then swiftly got into the grips of sin. I kept trying to believe, and failing. It was not until I was past age 50, that someone began to teach me the basics of Christianity, and how to walk the saved life.

                              Being saved is not a "magic wand" being waved over you and then you live happily and sin-free ever after. Nor is it a "ticket to heaven" then you can do whatever you want. IMO, it is a first step on a journey toward God.

                              My encouragement to you is that you spend some time in prayer, cry out to God, ask Him to show you what is your foundation. I had to do this once, and felt that everything got scraped away, and there was Jesus. He is the foundation. With all the garbage of false doctrines scraped away from my thought patterns, He could start anew to build a true faith in my heart and mind.

                              When all else fails, Jesus does not fail. He is the one who promised, He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.

                              Even though the hounds of hell come nipping at you, Jesus does not depart from you. If you turn your eyes and your heart to Him, put your focus on Him, He will help you to defeat the hounds. When He is LORD in your life, when the focus is on Him, those other things fade into the background.

                              Blessings,

                              Road Warrior


                              Proverbs 4:23
                              23 Guard your heart above all else,
                              for it determines the course of your life.

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