The Lord rescued me the summer before I turned 18. As I was new in my faith, I struggled with the security of the salvation the Lord had graciously provided for me. Some of my friends believed you could “lose your salvation.” And because I still sinned a bunch, I struggled with the fear of losing my salvation seconds before a tragic car accident doomed me to hell. In reality, I was not sinning more. But because I was in awe of His holiness, I had a more accurate understanding of my depravity.
One day I came home from school to an empty house. My mom was usually there to welcome me, but she was not home. In my Sunday school class we had been discussing the “end times.” I had gotten really into the study and began to read commentaries, look at charts, and imagine how everything would unfold. So when no one was at my house, I worried that I had somehow missed the rapture. This was before everyone had cell phones, so I called a few homes where possibly my mother could be. But all I received was answering machines.
I remember walking outside and telling myself that everything seemed fine. I also told myself this was ridiculous. I had to get resolution on this “eternal security” struggle. Surely this was no way to live. Surely this was not peace and joy. Surely this was not how the Lord wanted me to relate to Him. So for months, as a senior in high school, I poured over the Scriptures. The Lord used that time to show me that my salvation was not dependent on my performance, but solely on His grace. He convicted me that my doubt was a lack of trust in His all-sufficient sacrifice. I was, in essence, believing that His blood was too thin and His sacrifice not powerful enough to cleanse me of all my sin.
Some verses the Lord powerfully used in my life during that time were:
- Romans 8:29-30: While some are uncomfortable with these verses because they have the word “predestined” in the text, this passage should be cherished by more than Calvinists. The text clearly shows that whomever God justifies, He also glorifies. There are none lost in the process. If you have been justified, you will be glorified.
- Ephesians 1:13-14: The language is powerful. Believers are sealed and the Holy Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. God gets what He pays for, and He has put a deposit in our hearts – His Holy Spirit.
- John 10:27-29: No one is able to snatch His followers from His hand. No one.
- 1 Corinthians 1:30: It is from God that we are in Christ. We did not place ourselves in Christ. And we now have His righteousness, not our own, that qualifies us to eternally stand before our Holy God.
Because of that season in my life, I really connected with the upcoming book by JD Greear: Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart. I believe the Lord will use the book to challenge those who are not really Christians to repent and receive salvation while simultaneously encouraging true believers to rest in the salvation that has been granted to them through Christ. I enjoyed a recent interview with JD about his book and this topic. You can watch it here: