Dear Opala,Your message:
Hello, I accepted Christ as my saviour years ago but recently I heard gabe the street preacher tell a Christian girl that she was going to hell . Since then my thoughts have spiraled wondering about my salvation.:( how do I avoid these thoughts and strengthen my faith ? Thank you
I have prayed much about your question. There is a short term answer for your immediate need, assurance of salvation. Then I will provide the long term answer. The first answer is like giving you a fish because you are hungry. The second answer will teach you how
to fish. I will present the second answer in a way that provides even more scripture on assurance of salvation. The short term answer, the fish:
You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, 2
in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience. 3
We also all once lived among them in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4
But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, 5
even when we were dead
through our trespasses, made us alive
together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6
and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7
that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus; 8for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works
, that no one would boast" (Ephesians 2:1-9).
Verses 8 and 9 say that we are saved by grace, through faith... NOT BY WORKS. So, contrary to what Gabe says, we do not enter eternal life because we stop sinning. Verse 9 says "not by works". If we lost eternal life every time we sinned, we would constantly alternate between being a child of God and a child of Satan. I gave you a fairly large section of scripture to provide context to verses 8 and 9. You can see in verse 5 that they were "dead" and "made alive". So, you can see that the word "saved" in verse 8 speaks to eternal life.
Saved means "delivered". Saved does not always mean conversion to eternal life. But in the Ephesians passage above, it does. In the Old Testament scriptures, the word "saved" rarely meant conversion into eternal life. It typically indicated a deliverance from a physical threat: Disease, David's military enemies, Pharaoh's army, etc. You can tell by the context. For example, God "saved" Israel by drowning Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:30). In that case the word "saved" had nothing to do with eternal life. You can tell by the context. For the thousands of years leading up to the writing of the New Testament, the word "saved" rarely had anything to do with eternal life. It means delivered. Conversion is deliverance. But every deliverance is not conversion.
Anyway, you can see that we cross from death to life, by grace and through faith, NOT by works. That leads us to the long term answer... learning to fish. Learning to fish:
God's children must learn to self-feed, directly from the undiluted word of God... while in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. For your first reading, I suggest that you take the book of John, and read / scan it from beginning to end, in one or two sittings. Subchapter 1.1 shows how to read in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. After you spend quite a bit of time in the Five Paths of subchapter 1.1, the section titled Scripture Reading Options in that subchapter will help you read / scan through an entire book. Why read an entire book of the Bible from beginning to end?
To see every word, phrase and sentence in it's actual context. So, that false preachers who take verses out of context can't deceive you. Why read the Gospel of John?
Because it is the ONLY BOOK of the Bible that states that it was written that you may have life (eternal life). All of the books written after John were written to believers who didn't need to enter into eternal life. They already had eternal life.
Here is the passage from the gospel of John:
"Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; 31
but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ
, the Son of God, and thatbelieving you may have life
in his name' (John 20:30, 31).
When you read the gospel of John, pay particular attention to John 3:15, 16, 36, 5:24, 6:40 and 6:47. ALL of these verses promise eternal life based FAITH and FAITH ALONE. ALL of these verses use the phrase ETERNAL LIFE. They don't use the word "saved" or "guilty" or "kingdom" or figurative language. So, we know that these verses speak absolutely to ETERNAL LIFE.
John 4:13-15 says "13
Jesus answered her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14
but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again
; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life
Jesus said that once you drink His water, you will NEVER THIRST AGAIN. Verse 14 shows that He is talking about eternal life. He says you will NEVER THIRST AGAIN. NEVER. Doesn't sound like we flip back and forth between damnation and salvation every time we sin. Gabe the street preacher a man. Gabe is wrong. God's word is inerrant and perfect.
Once you drink the water offered by Jesus, YOU WILL NEVER THIRST AGAIN.... NEVER
! SUMMARY & FINAL COMMENTS
1) Ask God to draw you into reading the Gospel of John. Then read it, from beginning to end, using one of the intimate reading methods from subchapter 1.1. Keep doing that until God stops drawing you to it.
2) Then read all of the other books that come after John in the same way (Acts – Revelation). Acts - Revelation reveal God's truth with Old Testament mysteries clarified to the maximum extent. These should be understood clearly before you tackle hard passages in the Old Testament, Matthew, Mark and Luke. Before you read any book before John, read After Pentecost: From the Law to the Spirit. It's in the appendix, (A3), to this free online book, Fellowship with God in the Sixth Path.
3) If you still don't understand scripture after much prayerful reading, you could read or listen to a commentary or preacher that teaches exegetically. In other words, one that explains each passage in context to show the flow of thought. Most misunderstandings are avoided simply by observing the flow of thought from verse to verse, while in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Most misunderstandings can be avoided simply by reading to God (Path 3).
4) Pray that God will multiply your faith one thousand fold. See the Endorsed Prayer of Faith in subchapter 4.3a.5) If you have other questions about anything, please message me again. If you see passages that appear to say that eternal life is lost by sinning, you may ask me. I believe that God will provide the answer.
In this way, God will build your faith and knowledge of His kingdom, so you will not be tricked by men. You will be able to self-feed. You will not be dependent on a person to teach you. You will have daily fellowship with God in His word.
Below are some very helpful commentaries and teachers who teach exegetically. So, they explain the flow of thought from verse to verse. They don't all agree with each other on everything. I don't agree with them on everything either. What one lacks, the other often supplies. When we see Christ, we will no longer "see through a glass darkly". But until then, all of the scriptures will not be crystal clear. The first two teach from the same tradition. The other two present two other traditions. So, three traditions are included in all. Do not look to these as authorities to tell you what to believe. Use them merely to make yourself aware of possibilities, which God will prove or disprove to you in the time of His choosing, as you ask for His revelation, by faith. Commentaries and Teachers:
Bible Knowledge Commentary Bethel Bible Church Teaching (free)Mathew Henry's Commentary (free)Verse by Verse International Teaching (free)
"As for you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you don't need for anyone to teach you
. But as his anointing teaches you concerning all things
, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in him" (1 John 2:27).
The anointing is the Holy Spirit
"Yahweh says: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man, relies on strength of flesh, and whose heart departs from Yahweh" (Jeremiah 17:5). My Prayer for You, Opala...
Lord of Heaven and Earth, fill Opala with faith... Faith that is multiplied one thousand fold, and one thousand fold again, and again... so that there is no fear. All this is for Your glory and Opala's good. Praise to Your name! Amen!
God Bless, Jim Phillips