QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:

Salvation

Can a person know he is saved? If so, how can he know?

An emphatic yes to the first part of this question. It would be neither scriptural nor reasonable to assume that one must be satisfied with a “hope so” Christian experience, And God is never unreasonable in His plans or demands. There are four witnesses or evidences that testify to our salvation.

God’s Word. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). Therefore we know that, if we have confessed, He does forgive, because His Word says so and He cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Num. 23:19). If this were the only evidence, that would be sufficient. God’s Word is a sure Foundation for unshakable faith.

Our own hearts. “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God” (I John 3:21). The word “heart” means the inner self where you may have a consciousness, an awareness, a certainty, that you are doing nothing displeasing to God; also that you are not refusing anything that the Holy Spirit has directed.

The Holy Spirit. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16).

A new life. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17). If you qualify in these four tests, especially 1., remember that it is Satan who tempts you to doubt your Christian experience and tries to plant a seed of doubt in your mind and thereby discourage you. When the devil whispers doubts, resist him steadfastly. Read Jas. 4:7 and I Pet. 5:9.

What must I do to be saved?

There are three simple steps to salvation:

  1. Confess your sins (I John 1:9).
  2. Forsake your sins (Prov. 28:13).
  3. By faith receive Christ as your Saviour (Acts 16:31).
You say that Christ loved us and was willing to die for us -- why then did He pray, when facing death, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me"?

Jesus was both human and divine. He was the Son of Man and the Son of God. Being human, He shrank from the physical suffering facing Him. However, He was willing to become “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8), that He might redeem us — because He loved us. The glorious fact is that He did give himself for us.

What is sin?

John Wesley defined sin as “a willful transgression against a known law of God.” This means that there must be knowledge of wrongdoing, or of refusing to obey God, before sin is committed. Mistakes are not sin.

When does a child come to the age of accountability?

When a child knows the difference between right and wrong and is able to choose one or the other, he is accountable. The age varies according to the religious training and the child’s ability to comprehend.

Can a person who was once saved ever be lost?

Most certainly! The fact that a saved person can backslide and lose his Christian experience is clearly taught in numerous scriptures. Fellowship with God and the cleansing of the blood of Christ are conditional upon our walking in the light (I John 1:7). Our free choice brings us to Christ, and the same freedom may separate us from Him. The Bible speaks of people whose names will be blotted out of the book of life (Rev. 3:5; Ps. 69:28). Heb. 6:4-6 tells of those who were “once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.” Yet after all this, God says that it is possible for them to “fall away” and never be renewed. A backslider can come back to God, but not all do, and some will be lost who once walked the Christian way. Paul feared lest, “when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (I Cor. 9:27). What a solemn warning this is to us all! We must not only begin this race, but we must continue to the end (Luke 9:62).

Can a person who has committed murder be saved?

Yes. There is only one sin that is unforgivable, and it is not murder (Matt. 12:31; Isa. 1:18).

Who can be saved?

“Whosoever believeth” (John 3:16). “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord” (Acts 2:21). “Who will have all men to be saved” (I Tim. 2:4).

“Not willing that any should perish” (II Pet. 3:9).

“Whosoever will” (Rev. 22:17).

Is it necessary to make a public confession of one's sins?

The confession should be as public as the deed. When a group is sinned against, the group must be asked to forgive. If an individual has been wronged, confession must be there, If God alone has been sinned against, the confession should be made to Him alone (Matt. 5:24).

Can a person be delivered from sin in this life?

Certainly! Otherwise Christ’s coming, suffering, and death were all in vain. The devil brought sin into the world, and if God is not able to get rid of sin, then the devil is bigger than God. “He that committeth sin is of the devil . . . For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” (I John 3:8-9).

Was Judas ever saved?

It would seem so. Jesus trusted him as the treasurer of the disciples, and He would not have done so if Judas had not been trustworthy. Also, Jesus had said to him, along with the other disciples, that his name was written in heaven (Luke 10:20).

What is the unpardonable sin?

Jesus said that there was only one sin that was unforgivable, the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Matt. 12:31).

How do you know when a person has committed the unpardonable sin?

Dr. J. B. Chapman said: “The devil accuses and the Holy Spirit convicts.” Many whom the devil has tried to make believe that they had crossed the deadline have later become victorious Christians. Generally speaking, a person for whom there is no hope will have no desire for God, and the Christians will not have a burden for his salvation.

How does one get rid of ugly memories of past sins?

Sins that are confessed to God are forgiven (Ps. 103:3; Eph. 1:7; I John 1:9). Someone has said that to be “justified” is to be “just-as-if” you never did it. This forgiveness should be accepted, and one should not continue to grieve over sins that God has forgiven. Forget the past to the best of your ability, and do your best now to serve the Lord in every way you can (Phil. 3:13-14).