“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10, NIV)

Today was one of those days where the lesson at Church shook me to the core a bit more than it usually does. Where it causes a place of uncertainty within you that wells up and overflows until you take the time to deal with it.

Sitting in the front row of my newly transferred to Church, the Pastor spoke on the topic of the rapture, one of two issues that I run and hide from (end times being the other) as if I’m playing a game of sardines with myself. But today, today was different. Today, I thought to myself, “You know what Amber, it’s time you stop letting Satan scare you silly about something Christ has already fulfilled and promised in your heart, and you settle it with God, so there is no room for the multitude of “if’s, and’s, and but’s” of doubt.”

Because if I’m completely transparent with you, I FREAK OUT when it comes to learning about these things because I have a strong disliking with the unknown. I’m a planner, so I want to know what’s next. I want to have confidence that I get to grow up, fall in love, get married, and fulfill the potential of a full-time calling for writing that Christ has placed on my life. So accordingly, I don’t like thinking about the end.

But then, I started thinking about two things:

  1. About the assurance of my salvation. 
  2. How much more I should want Jesus and His Heavenly Kingdom than anything this world could ever offer me (even good things of a future dedicated to Him).

The first lead me to a place of research for four hours, where I started questioning my salvation. I got saved at the age of eight and baptized at ten, so it’s difficult to remember my life before Christ. And as an over-thinker and over-analyzer with anxiety-prone depression and nervousness, it’s no surprise that Satan would take a chance to steal the confidence Christ has given me.

Yet in my wandering how I could know, and really know that I’m saved, the Lord taught me a few things. He began to show me how I could be certain that I said the right prayer of salvation. That even though I’ve uttered and cried the prayer hundreds of times, how myself as a sinner with a wretched heart could genuinely be saved (1 John 3:20). He began to press how I could know without a shadow of a doubt that I am undoubtedly saved, and my heart isn’t deceiving me. 

For my biggest fear in life, would be to get to the end and realize that my salvation isn’t real, only to spend my entire life living and believing that it was.

Countless John Piper sermonsarticles, Scripture readings, devotionals, and prayers later though, the Lord revealed a single statement to my heart in its worry, questioning, and fear: 

“On my own, I will never be enough, but by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ alone, I am and always will be. “

And in that answer, I am learning to be content. I am living and breathing in the promises that I believe in my heart and have publicly confessed these truths since I was just eight years old:

  • That Jesus Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit are three-in-one, otherwise known as the Trinity. God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are factual people, and they are alive in me. Evident truths I will always profess with my whole heart (1 Corinthians 8:6Colossians 2:9). 
  • That God who created the world, gave His son, Jesus Christ, a perfect, holy, and spotless lamb, born of the Virgin Mary, to dwell among us in this fallen world so that we might be saved (Isaiah 9:6John 3:16John 14:6).
  • That God sent Jesus Christ, His only son, into this world, to die a humiliating death on a cross so that we could one day have eternal life and a future with Him (Romans 6:8).
  • That hanging on the cross, Jesus Christ died for me, the worst of all sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), as tears rolled down His face, and He said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). For all have sinned and fall short of His majestic glory, and not one of us is good without His saving grace (Romans 3:23).
  • He then descended into Hades, conquering death once and for all, and then three days later, He rose again (1 Corinthians 15:4, and The Apostles Creed). He chose to come back to those who crucified Him and say, “I love you, I forgive you, I want you. Won’t you follow me? Won’t you be mine? Won’t you choose eternal life through me?” 
  • Later in His journey, He ascended into Heaven, and now today, we’re waiting, watching, eagerly anticipating because we know He’s coming back again. And this time, He’s taking us with Him (Revelation 22:20).
  • We’re all sinners whose deserving punishment is the death Jesus died for us on the cross (Romans 3:232 Corinthians 7:10), but for those who choose to believe in Him by grace through faith, we are saved (Romans 10:9-21). We are His children, and we belong to Him. We’re coheirs of Christ whose stories have been rewritten in the Book of Life because of His redemptive grace, glory, and love within us (Romans 8:172 Corinthians 5:6-10).
  • That because we confess our sin, ask Jesus to come into our lives, forgive us, make us like Him, radically restore us, and help us to live and believe in Him daily, we’re saved. From death, condemnation, and eternal Hell (2 Corinthians 5:11-21).

And though that was now 17 years ago, those promises still ring true. I still live with them daily and ask God every day to align my heart with His (even if I can’t remember the exact words I said at 2:30 a.m. the morning I asked Him to come into my life). To forgive me for any sins and continually examine my heart (Psalm 139:23Psalm 51:10), that my sinful state won’t corrupt it’s beating for Him and my love for His gift of eternal salvation. 

Because when it all comes down to it, it’s not a specific and perfect sinner’s prayer that will save you. In fact, you can say that 1000 times over and never mean a single word you say. You can do all the good deeds and try to be good enough, but the reality is, you’ll never be good enough to deserve the grace you’ve already received (James 2:14-26Ephesians 2:8). It’s a condition of the heart, my friend (Matthew 6:21), and like I’ve said before because we live in a fallen world, your hearts’ tendency is not to live and beat for Jesus, but for your selfish self (Mark 8:36Psalm 51:5)! It’s only through Jesus Christ alone that anything in you or I is good, holy, pleasing, and acceptable to Him (Romans 5:12Mark 7:20-23). It’s only through His redemption, forgiveness of sins, grace, constant mercy, and love that we can rest in the blessed eternal salvation of Him who purifies us (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Do I still have questions? Absolutely. Does it still scare me? Sure, like many others, I’m sure. But am I learning to trust Jesus more through the process and asking Him to examine my heart even more as I ask Him to help me to know that I know that my salvation is real and authentic? Without a shadow of a doubt as much as I’m praying for eternity.

Comparatively, God has also shown my heart that it’s okay to be scared of the unknown. In a sense, it’s not a terrible thing to question your salvation because too many people are living a lukewarm life of Christianity and good deeds, not realizing that those things alone will not save them (Matthew 7:22). However, what He’s revealed to me that’s brought much comfort, is that I don’t need to fear the future because He already holds it (Proverbs 23:18Proverbs 16:9). 

He knows, and knows, and knows my heart, and I firmly believe that as long as you are continually seeking Him daily, being conscientious of your sins, turning from them, asking Him to analyze your heart, work within you, and become more like Jesus daily through prayer, the Bible, Church, etc. He sees that and has already promised you a blessed and eternal salvation for those who believe in Him (Romans 10:9-11). It’s an everlasting promise that He keeps even when you mess up and sin again and again (though this isn’t an excuse to keep on sinning; in fact, we should never keep sinning with something that we know is wrong. We’re human and will never be perfect, but we can always strive to live for progressive sanctification of choosing to live for Him daily (Romans 6:1-23James 4:17Romans 2:12-16Proverbs 26:11)). Though we change like the shifting shadows, His promises never change (James 1:17). He’s eternal, steadfast, and dependable. His Word is true. 

Yes, I want to live my life for Jesus and see everything He has planned for me. I want to get married someday, be an Author, dedicate all my time to ministry, writing, volunteering, and serving others, but not as much as I want Jesus Christ alone. And being honest, that’s excruciatingly hard for me. Hard for me to continually wrestle with the unknown and my sins of fear, anxiety, worry, depression, you name it. They are all daily struggles for me, and I’ll be real with you, they scare me to pieces. Because I want to live to grow old, to see the world, to experience love, and help people get saved in radical ways so that they too can have this free gift of salvation given to all. But God is helping my heart to be okay with the fact that He holds my future and knows when the end will come (Matthew 24:36Romans 8:28). 

He knows if I’ll get to live my life, and if I don’t, I won’t know that difference because I’ll have won the true prize, a blessed and eternal assurance of salvation with Him (1 Corinthians 9:24). I’ll be singing, dancing, writing, and worshipping Him up in the clouds as the music plays, and the smiles never fade from our faces.

Lord, for whoever needs it today, remind them that if they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they don’t need to be afraid of the unknown. They don’t need to fear the rapture or the end of the world because they have you. I’m still learning to give you these fears Lord and rest in your free grace, but I am committed to you. For life here on Earth and life in eternity, I pray with you. 

If you’re questioning your salvation today, know that you’re not alone. Many ask this question time and time again, and it’s a hard-hearted one to ponder with (And evidently, I’m no expert, but someone who’s authentically doing her best to search the answer out). But, my advice to you would be to ask God to search and test your own heart. Examine your motives and the way you live your life. Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and ask Him to come into and transform your life radically. Produce the excellent fruit of the spirit so that the work of the Holy Spirit may be evident within you (Galatians 5). Ask Him questions, pray, read Scripture, talk to a loving Pastor, mentor, boyfriend (thanks for the pep talk Ben ️), family member, or friend, and then wait for Him to respond as you listen. 

Jesus doesn’t want you to be afraid of your eternal future, so don’t let your greatest enemy convince you of ever thinking that (2 Timothy 1:7).

Rest in the eternal salvation of Jesus Christ. For on your own, and my own, we’re sinners deserving death. We’re faulty, guilty, and stained. But through the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, The King of Kings and Lord of Lords who loves you more than you’ll ever know has made you known. He’s made you redeemed, chosen, free, holy, pure, clean, spotless, and saved. He doesn’t see who you once were, but who you are in ChristWho Christ is in you: Who you were always meant to be and will still become (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine. Heir of salvation, purchase of God. Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”

You’ve been purchased. 

You’ve been born of Him.

You’ve been washed by the blood (1 Corinthians 15:12-34).

For “this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.”

Go and share the Good News while you have time (Romans 10:9-15). Pray. Seek the Father’s face and worship Him. But do not be afraid, my friend. 

If you have intimacy with Christ, even in your doubts and questioning, you can know that you know that you know because He knows your heart (Psalm 44:21Luke 16:15Acts 15:8Romans 8:27Matthew 28:20Luke 12:34Ecclesiastes 3:11). Surely the one who formed, created, and breathed life into your heart knows it. So we can know that we know that we know because He alone knows. 

Agape, Amber