Halls Baptist Church
An Independent Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN
Have You Ever Really Been Saved?
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" II Corinthians 13:5
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death...Proverbs 14:12
Dear friend, do you claim to be saved? If so, what do you base that on? Is your salvation based on the Bible or something else? When most people are asked the question, "If you died today, where would you be," They answer that they would go to heaven. Almost everyone has a profession of salvation. Yet we know according to the Bible that most people are not going to be saved. Matthew 7:13-23 tells us,
"13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will 1 profess unto them, 1 never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Focus on verses 21 and 22. These people were professing Christians. They honestly believed with all their heart that they were saved. They even called Jesus Lord. From verse 22 we find some of these people were preachers. Some were miracle workers. Some were morally good church members. All were religious and had a testimony of being saved, yet they all went to Hell. Where did they go wrong? How could they have been so deceived?
In this article it is my desire that you will examine your salvation profession in light of the Bible. Please don't be like one of the "many" on Judgment Day who go to Hell calling Jesus Lord. Don't let a false salvation experience send you to an eternity of torment!
CAN YOU REMEMBER A PLACE AND A TIME WHEN YOU HEARD THE WORD OF GOD PREACHED AND THE HOLY SPIRIT PRICKED YOUR HEART AND DREW YOU TO SALVATION?
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:44
Man with his totally depraved nature does not have the ability to seek God. He is spiritually dead. God must make the first move on him. The fact of the matter is that a person cannot be saved without the Holy Spirit convicting them. If God is not drawing them, they can pray sinner's prayers until they're blue in the face, but it won't do a thing for them. A man cannot be saved just anytime he wants. God decides when and where to convict a lost sinner. In Romans 10:14, 17 we read,
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. "
And I Corinthians 1:21 says,
"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
Simply put, there is no salvation apart from Bible preaching. The preaching of the gospel is the tool God uses to convict man of his sinful state to show him his need of salvation. To be saved, you MUST hear the preaching of the Word of God in some form. After hearing Peter preach on the Day of Pentecost, we read in Acts 2:37 that the people said,
"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
Do you remember being pricked in the heart by the Word of God? Do you remember God drawing you? Or were you merely led in a "1-2-3, repeat-after-me" prayer because you were scared about going to Hell?
DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WERE A LOST SINNER ON YOUR WAY TO HELL?
"But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:13
Romans 3:10 tells us that there is none righteous. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned; however, not everyone realizes that they are lost sinners. A person must be lost before they can be saved. A person who sees himself as morally good will never see his need for salvation. You have to see your sinful state before God.
DID YOU REALIZE YOUR GOOD WORKS WOULD NOT SAVE YOU?
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" Titus 3:5
No matter how hard we may try through religion, baptism, clean living, or church membership, our good works cannot and will not merit salvation. Only being washed in the blood of Jesus Christ will save you. His righteousness is the ONLY righteousness that will get you to heaven. If you are trusting in anything or anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation, then you will be greatly surprised when you lift your eyes in Hell.
"Then they said unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." John 6:28-29
DID YOU REPENT OF YOUR SIN?
"I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:3,5
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth ALL MEN EVERYWHERE to repent:" Acts 17:30
Here we have the most neglected piece of the gospel message in the world today. Repentance is routinely left out of many "plans of salvation." The Bible clearly teaches that repentance is to be preached.
"And they went out, and preached that men should repent." Mark 6: 12
"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:47
"And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:20-21
Repentance is an inward change of heart that produces an outward change of action. It is turning from a life of sin to God. It can also be defined as a Godly sorrow about your sin that produces a hatred of that sin. Several good definitions of repentance are found in the Bible.
"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:6-7
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." Proverbs 28:13
Repentance is required for salvation. Any sinner who is not willing to repent is not willing to be saved. Lifelong continuance in sin is evidence that a person was not genuinely sorry for his sin. Did you realize how abominable your sins were in the sight of God? Did you see your sin as God sees it? Were you willing to turn from your life of sin? Were you willing to submit to the authority of God and His Word?
DID YOU BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ALONE FOR SALVATION?
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." John 6:47
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12
Jesus said that He is THE way, THE truth, and THE life, not merely a way, a truth, and a life. Your trust must rest totally upon Him and Him alone. It is not enough to merely believe ABOUT him. Even the Devil believes about him. You must believe on him. Head knowledge without heart knowledge is worthless. You must receive him as both Lord and Saviour.
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:36
Are you trusting upon Christ alone for salvation? Or have you mingled some form of your own works (baptism, sacraments, church membership, clean living, giving to the poor, being a good person, etc.) to his finished work on Calvary? Do you believe him to be the sovereign God of the Universe who controls everything? Have you been washed in his precious blood?
WAS THERE A CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE?
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." II Corinthians 5:17
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;" Titus 2: 11-12
"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him," I John 2:4
A salvation that saves a person changes a person. A person who never shows any evidence of change in their lives has no reason to believe that he is saved. Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is never alone. Saving faith WILL produce works. James 2:17 says,
"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."
And in James 2:20 we read, "But will thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
John 14:23 says,
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words."
Have you been living a lie? Is there evidence of salvation in your life? Or is your life characterized by Titus 1:16,
"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient and unto every good work reprobate."
Well friend, after reading this article, do you still believe your profession is real? I beg you not to be one of the ones arguing with the Lord at the Great White Throne Judgment. If God is drawing you, please REPENT of your sin and BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Don't put off salvation another day. You don't know when you'll die. You don't know when Jesus will return. You don't know that God will ever deal with you again about salvation. Your eternity is hanging in the balance…
TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION!!!
Halls Independent Baptist Church 7747 Andersonville Pike, Knoxville, TN 37938 (865) 922-2912, firstname.lastname@example.org