Recently a boy came to me and expressed concern about His relationship with God. He was fearful and confused. He is a follower of Jesus but his behavior and thoughts lack perfection. Even though only seven years old, he shares a common Christian struggle — the lack of assurance of salvation. Yesterday I responded to him. My wife thought this would be a helpful blog for my readers and their children and grandchildren. So, with some appropriate adjustments, we share this with you:
Dear young friend,
As you know I can’t talk anymore. Well, actually, I can make a bunch of strange mumbling sounds that no one understands. But, that isn’t really talking. I feel like a one-year-old again. So, I want to type some thoughts for you.
Thank you for telling me about your fears. I know they are real. I used to have the same fears about my salvation. Many people do. In fact, if our salvation depended on our being a good person, we ought to be fearful because as the Bible says, “No one is righteous, no not one.” God understands your fear.
When you do something wrong (you know the Bible calls that sin), you feel so dirty, or so far away from God. That is normal. Sin separates us from God. Yuk, it is bad enough to be separated from the hugs of Mom and Dad, but to be separated from the hugs of God. Well, that sends shivers of fear through my whole body. Fortunately, many people in history have had this same problem and God answered them in the Bible. So, that is where our answers are to be found. Let’s go there.
Psalm 130, look it up. Read verses 1 and 2. Do you hear the panic in the poet’s voice? Kind of like a person rock-climbing, slipping, holding on, and calling for help.
“Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.”
Why is this person so scared? Read verse 3.
“If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?”
Help! He knows we are failures. It is sort of like a teacher marking down in her grade book every time we sin, every action and every thought! Ugh! We are broken failures and God knows it!
What now? Is there any hope? Read on. Verses 4-6.
“But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.”
The only hope is forgiveness. Forgiveness is beautiful. It is a gift. You can’t earn it by being good and you can’t lose it by being bad. Let’s look at some encouragement God gave us in the Bible.
1 Peter 1:18-19–“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
Your salvation was bought with what? Yes, the blood of the Lamb. Who bought it for you? Christ! And He was perfect. Picture getting in the bathtub after a dirty day. Lots of soap and bubbles and you are clean. Now, picture a really dirty heart. Soap and bubbles doesn’t clean that. Jesus invites you into His bathtub, it is filled with His blood. He says, “Get in and your sins will be washed away.” You bathe in blood and step out cleaner, freer, and happier that you ever were before.
Ephesians 2:8-9–“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Again, God gave you salvation as a gift. You can’t make Him take it away.
Jeremiah 31:3–“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'”
Romans 8:37-39–“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God loves you, is holding onto you, and is not going to let you go. But, why do we sin and who will help me when I feel sin taking over my body and mind?
Romans 7:18-20, 24-25–“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 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. . . . What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Jesus is the answer! This is how I live now. Everyday I sin and everyday I ask Jesus to wash me with His blood. Everyday I thank Him for holding onto me. I don’t worry about falling away from God. Fear is gone. Jesus is here.
Are you fearful? Picture Jesus hugging you, washing you, and walking with you. You are His. Be at peace.
I hope this has helped you.
P.S. So, if you want to, read the final part of Psalm 130:7-8. Hope, love, and redemption are wonderful.