Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Assurance Crisis: help my re-dedicater broke off and don’t work right now!

QUESTION:  I asked Jesus into my heart but recently have been living wrong. I have fallen back into my old sins.  I have rededicated my life several times at the altar call at the end of services.  How can I have ASSURANCE of salvation? (This is a composite question heard by fellow ministers and myself on a regular basis.)
Specifically, what does it really mean to have ASSURANCE of salvation through Jesus Christ?

As a homeless shelter pastor I am concerned about the word rededication. This is heard in almost all church environments I have been around.  As I heard a pastor say in frustration  once "You can re-dedicate until your re-dedicater falls off.”  Rededication often happens when we look to the wrong place for ASSURANCE – our hearts- not Jesus and His finished work.  Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
The person wanting to be “re-dedicated” often doubts their salvation despite
having “grown up” in church and have received baptism. I appreciate the seriousness of this tremendous worry.  A lack of teaching and discipleship in the church maybe got events out of order or misunderstood. To trust the work of Christ not our deceitful hearts is how we approach if we are saved or not.
The pointed questions to a Christian doubting their assurance one has to answer for themselves before baptism is                                                     #1   “Do  you really need to repent and repent of what?”  Know your sin and confess to Christ.  Humans are sinners and Christ is the Savior – that is the relationship.  
#2 Are you trusting your fickle heart or the finished work of Jesus Christ                                                                        
1 Timothy 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
After salvation you are commanded to declare you identify with the work of Christ on the cross when he paid your sin debt.
Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Follow the gospel command of baptism.
Baptism should then in all ways secure your salvation question mentally, physically and spiritually. A fault in all Christian traditions is being too quick to baptize when the person does not have clarity of what salvation is and what they are (sinner) and who Jesus Christ is (Savior). Trust in the finished work of Christ.  Your worrying, creating excuses and confusing questions helps  confuse and confound yourself.  Salvation is a simple plan.  The simple plan required the greatest price. It dwarfs your worry and voids your contribution to salvation.  The life of Jesus Christ the only Son of God was put to death on a cross for you and I.  Trust Jesus Christ not the person in the mirror for your assurance of salvation.

Mark 1:15  and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

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