I can't believe God forgave me!

I really want to be saved, but I have asked the Lord many times and I just can't believe that He has forgiven me. I have a lot of trials in my life and I stumble and it is driving me crazy. All I want is to live for the Lord and do what is right. I really do want the Lord in my life. I want to be sure I am going to heaven.

My response is in Green:

Thanks for writing me. Let's start with the basics. I am sure you understand all of this, but yet it is so important I want to go over it. Do you?

1. Understand and believe that you were born into this world as a sinner, under the judgment of a Holy God? Doomed to be separated from God for eternity because there was nothing you could do to save yourself?

(Romans 3:22-23 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, {23} for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...

(Ezekiel 18:4 NIV) For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.

2. Believe that Jesus is God, and that He came to earth as fully human while remaining God?

(1 John 4:2-3 NIV) This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, {3} but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

(Matthew 3:16-17 NIV) As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. {17} And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

3. That Jesus died for our sins and rose again?

(1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NIV) For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, {4} that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...

(Mark 16:19 NIV) After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

4. That if you believe and you ask Jesus, He will forgive you of your sins?

(1 John 1:9 NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

(1 John 2:2 NIV) He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

5. That eternal life is a free gift from God and no one can take it away from you?

(John 10:28 NIV) I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

If you were able to answer those questions and then you did ask Jesus to forgive you then you are a child of God, forgiven and having eternal life. Period! Not because I said so, but because God said so.

That does not mean that you will never stumble or even fall again, but it does mean that you should start trying to live the kind of life that is pleasing to God. If you do happen to sin, then go back to His promise: (1 John 1:9 NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

(1 John 2:3-6 NIV) We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. {4} The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. {5} But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: {6} Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

The problem comes when we listen to Satan who will continue to tell us that God can't love us. That we are too bad, or that we were never really saved in the first place. This is all a trick by Satan to keep you from enjoying the freedom you have in Christ and feeling the assurance that you are a child of God. Here is what Jesus had to say about Satan: (John 8:44b NIV) He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Talk to God and tell Him that you are struggling with doubts, He will understand. Ask Him to help you and He will. Also read your Bible every day or at least as often as you can. (Romans 10:17 NIV) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Take care. I hope what I wrote helped a little bit. Feel free to write again if you would like to discuss this further.

Ralph

I would like to thank you for writing me back. This was very helpful to me and I thank you. will I know when I'm truly saved? I have ask the lord to forgive me for the same sins over and over, will he still forgive me. sorry to keep bothering you but this really worries me a lot.

Yes He will continue to forgive you if you are truly sorry. He does want you to try to resist those same sins, but He knows that we struggle with our flesh. Look at what the Apostle Paul had to say: (Romans 7:15-25 NIV) I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. {16} And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. {17} As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. {18} I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. {19} For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. {20} Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. {21} So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. {22} For in my inner being I delight in God's law; {23} but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. {24} What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? {25} Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

These are tough verses because they show that someone even like Paul had problems. He wanted to do the right thing but at times he would fail. God does understand that, but I think it depends on our attitude too. If we start feeling like we can sin all we want because God will always forgive us we are on dangerous ground, but if we are trying yet we fail, that is not a problem, God will forgive us.

You asked when you would know that you were truly saved. If you believe the things I wrote in my last message and you ask Jesus to forgive you then you can know that you are saved. You don't have to worry about whether you did it right or not, because our salvation comes through Jesus not ourselves. In other words it is God's job to save us, not ours. All we have to do is believe and ask. You can count on the fact that God got it right when you asked, so you are saved and on your way to heaven!

It is natural to have doubts. Satan can't take your salvation away from you, but if he can get you to worry about it, then you won't be a very good witness to others. That is what he is trying to stop. If you feel great because you know you are on your way to heaven people will see it and want what you have, but if you worry, all they will see is someone who claims to be saved but isn't even sure himself. Get my point? That is what Satan attacks you for, so you won't help other people find Jesus.

I can't stress enough how important it is to read God's word. That is how our faith is strengthened.

Well I have to go for now. Again feel free to write me back.
Ralph

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