Series Code: RQRA
Program Code: RQRA000017A
00:01 I don't understand.
00:04 Why did this have to happen to me?
00:08 I feel like I just can't make sense of things.
00:12 I need answers.
00:15 Where is God?
00:20 Welcome to Raw Questions Relevant Answers,
00:22 a program where we deal with heavy, real issues
00:25 that plague our young people
00:27 and giving Christ-centered simple answers.
00:30 So today's program is on the topic
00:31 of assurance of salvation or the topic of salvation,
00:34 and I've two awesome co-hosts with me
00:36 Michelle Doucoumes, a college professor
00:39 and Mark Paden, a freelance film maker.
00:41 And we're just gonna start right away
00:43 'cause we have a lot we want to cover.
00:45 So the first question is, "Can we feel saved?
00:49 Or do we just take it by faith?"
00:51 This is from a 22-year old male from Illinois.
00:54 "Can we feel saved
00:55 or do we just take it on faith?"
00:57 What say ye?
00:59 Yeah, I think the first thing
01:02 and, I think, some of the background
01:04 that this is coming from is just the understanding that,
01:06 you know, sometimes we won't feel saved.
01:09 We feel like God isn't near.
01:12 We feel in the dark, and we feel sometimes that,
01:17 it's just a concept
01:18 that we don't always feel God near.
01:21 And does that mean we are unsaved?
01:22 Well, the beauty of the scripture
01:24 is that it teaches that we walk by faith and not by sight.
01:27 If we have given our lives to God,
01:29 if we have given up the sin that we know
01:33 and are doing what we know to be right,
01:36 then we are safe with God.
01:38 But the question goes deeper than that.
01:41 Actually, can you read the question one more time?
01:43 Sure. It says, "Can we feel saved?
01:45 Or do we just take it on faith?"
01:48 Like we have any feeling of confirmation at some stage
01:51 or what can we know
01:53 or do we just have to believe by faith that we're saved,
01:54 we never fully know.
01:56 Yeah, well, and I think the beauty of this is that
01:58 just because at times we have to rely on faith
02:01 that God has accepting of us, we can also know
02:03 that the smile of heaven is upon us.
02:05 There's those times
02:06 when we draw close to God in sweet communion
02:08 and know that he is looking down on us in love
02:12 that we can have the conscious knowledge
02:14 that we are obedient and saved in Him.
02:18 And I don't think that,
02:20 at least it hasn't been in my experience
02:22 that every single day, I'm having to rely on faith
02:24 that somehow God has approving of me.
02:27 You know, one of my favorite verses
02:29 just regarding in general salvation,
02:32 how I know that, what I feel about that
02:34 is in 1 John 5:13.
02:38 It says, "These things I have written to you
02:41 who believe in the name of the Son of God,
02:44 that you may know that you have eternal life,
02:48 and that you may continue to believe in the Son of God."
02:53 You know, that we may know that we have eternal life.
02:55 It doesn't say that I may guess that I have eternal life,
02:58 that I may have eternal life
03:00 when I feel like I have eternal life,
03:02 that we may know.
03:04 And an interesting thing to me is how beliefs cause feelings,
03:10 and it's really interesting.
03:11 We can have feelings,
03:12 but we don't know why we feel a certain way.
03:15 But those feelings are really rooted
03:17 in some kind of belief,
03:18 and so the question I would ask is
03:20 do I truly believe what God says.
03:23 If I truly have accepted Jesus, if I've given my life to Him,
03:28 if I've asked Him to be the Lord of my life,
03:30 do I then take what this says in scripture literally
03:34 that says that I may know that I have eternal life,
03:37 and there is faith with it too.
03:39 Hebrews 10:22,
03:41 "Let us draw near with a true heart,
03:43 full of assurance of faith,
03:46 having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience
03:48 and our bodies washed with pure water,"
03:50 and then it says to,
03:52 "Let our hope be without wavering
03:54 for he who promised is faithful."
03:56 So what I've seen is that
03:59 it needs to start with being really grounded
04:01 and what God says about my salvation,
04:04 and you may find that
04:05 that in turn kind of changes the feelings,
04:08 they start to go with those beliefs.
04:10 It says in James 2:16, that Abraham believed God
04:13 and it was accounted to him as righteousness.
04:15 And the context is Genesis 15
04:17 when He's trusting the seed of Abraham,
04:19 the future seed to be indeed the Messiah for the world.
04:23 And I think
04:24 there are some good principles for us there
04:26 that when he believed what God said
04:27 about his standing in heaven,
04:28 he was viewed as righteous, right?
04:31 We're told in 1 John 1:9 that if we confess our sins,
04:35 He is faithful, He's not going to let us down,
04:37 and He's just in doing so to forgive us our sins
04:41 and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
04:44 I think there are some good principles there for us
04:45 as far as from scripture,
04:47 that if we've brought those sins to Jesus,
04:49 if we've asked for forgiveness,
04:50 if we trust Him for our righteousness,
04:52 we can know that we are viewed
04:54 as righteous in heaven.
04:55 It says in Ephesians chapter 1,
04:56 the Holy Spirit acts as a seal of our redemption
04:59 when we say yes to Christ,
05:01 not in this like once saved, always saved sense,
05:03 it's assuming we walk in that decision,
05:05 but the point is when we say yes to Jesus,
05:07 the Holy Spirit's testifying that this is a child of God,
05:10 this person has been grafted into the branch
05:13 as a child of heaven.
05:15 Paul in Romans 8 says
05:16 that we are adopted into the family
05:18 as a child of God.
05:20 And so there's lots of language used in scripture
05:22 that gives us that sense of affirmation
05:25 that we can know.
05:26 It says in 1 John in two different instances
05:28 that how do we know that we know Him,
05:30 by His Spirit whom He has given us,
05:32 evidence of the Spirit working in our life,
05:34 many verses that we could run to
05:35 I think in that context.
05:37 But I think there are some good principles here
05:39 that we can start with.
05:40 Do you have something else
05:41 or you want to go to the next question?
05:43 I just wanted to dern this really quick too.
05:44 I think one important thing
05:46 that we would be remiss without saying is,
05:49 each of us have an individual accountability to God
05:52 in which we need to be sure of our salvation.
05:56 We don't...
05:57 It's not safe for us
05:59 to go one day without the knowledge
06:02 that we are safe in God,
06:04 that we are doing His will, that we are His children,
06:08 that we haven't sinfully departed from Christ.
06:12 We shouldn't ever get in this kind of false sense of security
06:18 in which we're just going through life
06:20 doing our normal thing and relaxing
06:22 in the fact that because we're Christians
06:23 and have that one time or even maybe a couple times
06:27 profess to follow God that then we're safe.
06:30 Daily, we need to be honest with ourselves
06:32 and honest with God and coming to Him and truly,
06:35 truly repenting and truly seeking Him daily
06:37 and truly trusting and resting in Him daily
06:40 because without that experience,
06:44 our Christian life will lack the vitality that is needed.
06:47 So there's never a day in which we should not understand
06:51 and recognize our need of Jesus.
06:54 There's never been a day in my experience
06:56 where I haven't needed Jesus, and no matter how awesome
06:57 my life may look to the people around me
07:00 or how much fruit there is,
07:01 I'm still desperately in need of Jesus
07:03 because the only good things I do
07:05 came from Him anyway, right?
07:07 Whether I feel saved that day
07:08 or I feel really horrible that day,
07:10 I need Jesus the same amount.
07:13 So our second question kind of picks up
07:14 on this idea to some degree of some logical follow-ups
07:17 to our experience that we ask, right?
07:20 Maybe we can know
07:21 we had that assurance initially, but then what about
07:22 when something like this happens?
07:24 They say, this is from a female who's 26 years old
07:26 who says that, "Is my repentance false
07:28 if I later fall under the same sin?"
07:32 which I think we all can relate to
07:33 in some form or fashion like, "If I came to Jesus
07:36 and asked for forgiveness and meant it,
07:38 but then I fall later, what does God do with that?
07:41 How does He work with that? And how does that look?"
07:45 So what are some thoughts you guys have on that?
07:47 You know, a really common text that encourages me
07:51 is Proverbs 24:16.
07:54 It says, "For a righteous man
07:55 may fall seven times and rise again,
07:58 but the wicked shall fall by calamity."
08:02 You know, and the big thing there is
08:04 the righteous man may fall
08:06 but what does he do when he falls?
08:09 He rises again.
08:12 And that's what a Christian life is.
08:14 We keep getting up, we keep going back to Jesus
08:16 even when we mess up.
08:18 And I know there's a lot of kind of controversy about this,
08:22 well, what if though I got hit by a car
08:24 right after I fell down and I didn't get to get up yet,
08:27 and so on and so forth.
08:29 An illustration that kind of helped me with that also
08:31 is remembering that our salvation
08:33 is a relationship.
08:35 It's a connection with God.
08:37 It's analogized in scripture to a marriage with Christ.
08:41 And for those of you who are married,
08:44 just because you mess up with your spouse
08:47 or have a fight, does that mean that you're suddenly divorced?
08:52 But if you continue that pattern,
08:54 if we don't go back,
08:56 if there's not reconciliation in working to it,
08:58 it's gonna lead to divorce,
09:00 it's gonna lead to a breaking of that relationship
09:03 in the long run.
09:04 So maybe something is not just saying,
09:06 "Did I fall? But am I building that relationship?"
09:10 What's the trajectory of the heart?
09:11 That's the question.
09:13 "Like are my goals, ambitions
09:14 and everything about what I want
09:16 is that heaven word
09:17 or do I have like this dual citizenship," right?
09:20 There's a big difference here.
09:21 And I think that's helpful. Go ahead.
09:23 There's this other quote that, it's from the book,
09:25 Steps to Christ, that I really love.
09:28 "There are those who have known the partnering love of Christ
09:31 and who really desire to be children of God,
09:33 yet they realize that their character is imperfect,
09:36 their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt
09:39 whether their hearts have been renewed
09:40 by the Holy Spirit.
09:41 To such, I would say, 'Do not drop back in despair.
09:44 We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus
09:49 because of our shortcomings and mistakes.
09:52 But we are not to be discouraged.
09:55 Even if we are overcome by the enemy,
09:57 we are not cast off,
09:59 not forsaken and rejected of God.
10:01 Know Christ is at the right hand of God
10:03 who also makes intercession for us.'"
10:05 And I think that's just so beautiful.
10:07 You know, we often have to bow down
10:09 and weep at the feet of Jesus.
10:11 We get slammed by those temptations.
10:13 But the beautiful thing is that
10:15 Christ doesn't forsake us on that.
10:17 He keeps pursuing.
10:18 Does Jesus want these sins to exist in our life? No.
10:22 Does Jesus have a solution to these sins in our life? Yes.
10:26 John picks up on this one in 1 John 2:1.
10:28 He says, "My little children, these things I write to you
10:31 so that you may not sin."
10:32 I don't want you to.
10:34 "But if anyone sins,
10:35 we have an Advocate with the Father,
10:37 Jesus Christ the righteous.
10:39 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins,
10:42 and not for ours only but also for the whole world."
10:45 And I love this because Jesus is pursuing the whole world,
10:48 not just believers, first of all.
10:50 But two, God doesn't want us to sin.
10:52 Sin is never a good thing. It's never okay.
10:56 But if we sin, we have an advocate.
10:58 And if we come to Jesus, scripture is abundantly clear
11:01 that if we come to Him and confess our sins,
11:03 He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins
11:06 and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
11:08 to offer us freedom and healing and restoration.
11:11 And I believe that all of us are of the mind
11:13 that this is not going to be a permanent situation, right?
11:16 If we're earnestly walking with God
11:17 and growing in grace,
11:19 the spirit of Jesus begins this transformative work
11:22 that Mark alluded to in a previous episode,
11:24 in Ezekiel 36, where he says,
11:25 "I'll cleanse you from all your filthiness
11:27 and from all your idols.
11:28 Those things will begin to leave your experience.
11:30 I will remove the heart of stone
11:31 from your flesh,
11:33 I'll give you a heart of flesh, your sincerity, your warmth,
11:35 and your connection with God will grow."
11:37 But then he says, "I'm going to put
11:39 the Spirit of God within you,
11:40 who will cause you to walk in my statues
11:42 and you will keep my judgments and do them."
11:45 He promises that through the power of the Holy Spirit,
11:47 He will enable you to live a life now
11:50 that you couldn't live before.
11:52 And that happens by trusting the process,
11:55 by abiding in the vine,
11:56 and by immersing yourself in the truth of God,
11:59 and asking Him to transform your mind, right?
12:02 We're told to, "Do not be conformed to this world
12:04 but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
12:07 And it's in another place
12:08 I think talking about being washed
12:10 with the water of regeneration,
12:12 through the word.
12:13 I believe that the power of God is indeed that.
12:16 The power of God to salvation,
12:17 as Paul says in Romans 1:16 and 17,
12:19 that he wasn't ashamed of the gospel
12:21 because there's the power of God to salvation
12:23 for everyone who believes.
12:25 Jew, Greek, doesn't matter,
12:28 it is meant to be a power that transforms,
12:30 but we need to believe what He says
12:32 first and foremost.
12:33 And when we do that, He begins a process,
12:36 it says in Philippians, right?
12:37 "That he who begins the work in you,
12:40 will see it through."
12:41 And so I think there's some
12:43 precious promises available to us.
12:45 Any closing thoughts you guys have on this topic?
12:50 Nothing? Well.
12:52 I'll read another text here that encourages me.
12:56 It's in 1 Corinthians 2:1.
12:59 It says, "That your faith should not be
13:01 in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."
13:04 It's the power of God for our salvation.
13:07 The previous chapter talks about the message of the cross
13:09 as foolishness to others, but to us,
13:12 it's the power of God to salvation.
13:14 And that is the thing.
13:16 The God who has begun the work in us
13:18 has the power to finish it and complete it.
13:21 Yeah Go ahead.
13:23 I just want to throw in here too, sorry.
13:26 We shouldn't get discouraged
13:28 if we feel incredibly sinful and hopeless.
13:30 You know, we may have had the worst history,
13:34 we may have done all the bad things in the book,
13:37 God's grace is more powerful than that.
13:40 His blood is able to cleanse and save to the uttermost
13:42 all men that come on to God by Him.
13:44 So it doesn't matter where somebody has been,
13:46 they can be saved.
13:47 Yeah, we're told in scripture that the power of God is indeed
13:50 that the power of God to transform the life.
13:53 He wants to do that for you.
13:55 But will you believe Him today?
13:56 Will you receive that free gift of salvation
13:59 and say yes,
14:00 you have begun, we'll see it through.
14:02 Any more questions you'd like to send to us,
14:04 you can send them to RQRA3ABN on Facebook.
14:08 We love to hear from you
14:09 as we continue to address these raw questions
14:11 for our young people today.