The Gospel

This is the Gospel put simply, and the evidence of it received in someone's life. Trusting in Christ may happen in a flash of God-given insight or over a period of days, weeks or longer. God works in very different and unique ways. If you currently have doubts about where you are in the faith, it may be that you are on the right road but have not quite arrived at the door of the Kingdom of God. My advice is to spend time alone with the Bible (perhaps Luke, John or Romans) and ask God for faith, for understanding, and for repentance concerning the things that are a hindrance. Take God at His word: Jer. 29:13 "And you will seek Me and find {Me,} when you search for Me with all your heart." And remember these words of Jesus:

John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Finally, I have always been skeptical of preachers and evangelists who teach the "assurance of salvation" to people who have no assurance. In my mind there may be a very logical reason why some people are not convinced of their faith and position in Christ...they really do not belong to Him! How could God's miraculous work of awakening a sinner from the dead, provoking him to repentance, transforming his heart by the presence of the Holy Spirit and beginning a new life in Christ be so imperceptible that someone is unsure? Does He not provide the witness of His Spirit in the human heart in such a way that someone knows with real certainty that they belong to God?

Rom. 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. 12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with [Him] in order that we may also be glorified with [Him.] 1 John 5:7 And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 8 For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for the witness of God is this, that He has borne witness concerning His Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son. 11 And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

Do not let any man attempt to convince you that you are saved if you are in doubt. This is the most important matter of your life, indeed of your eternity, and you must trust no one's judgment on this issue but God's. Seek Him; read and study His Word; ask a mature Christian to meet regularly with you for prayer and study. In God's time and in His perfect plan, He will answer you; it may be an overwhelming moment or a gradual enlightening and transformation, but He Who has stirred your heart to pursue Him, will indeed allow you to find all that you desire and a thousand times more.

Are you trying too hard? Rest; relax; let go. "Salvation is of the Lord," and not of your doing. Give up your own efforts; they are futile. Learn of Christ and His atoning work on behalf of sinners, and rest. You can contribute nothing to His perfect salvation. It is a gift to those who turn from sin to trust in the Savior. Reject all your own efforts, your desire to control even your eternal fate, your fears, your plans... and abandon them all before the cross. Redirect your life to the obedience of faith.

You will know when you belong to Him. Indeed, God Himself wants you to know; that is why He sends His Spirit into our hearts to convince us and assure us. Allow no man to convince you; God wants that privilege reserved for Him and Him alone.

Matt 16:15 He (Jesus) said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.

Please call 1-888-need-Him, if you need help in understanding the Gospel or your present condition before God. There is nothing more important than this issue.

The author,
Rick Edwards

Photos are from Matthew, a four-hour, word-for-word video version of the NIV, from The Visual Bible.