Philip P. Eapen
It is natural for new Christians to have doubts about their status in Christ, about the Bible, about practices in the Church, etc. Here are answers to a few questions that new believers often ask.
Yes, God’s salvation is available to whoever responds to Jesus’ claims about Himself and to His offer of eternal life!
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” — The New Testament (The Gospel of John, Chapter 3, verse 16; or written in a short form as John 3:16) On the other hand, this verse also tells us that those who do not believe in God’s only Son will perish.
“ … All the people the Father gives to me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never reject.” — Jesus Christ, cited in Gospel of John 6:37 How do I know that God has forgiven me my sins? We have God’s word on that! If you had sought God’s forgiveness, He has already forgiven you. Apart from the written assurance we have in the Bible, we know that God forgives us and accepts us through the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. (The first letter of John, 2:27)
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” — 1 John 1:8-9 If you commit any sin after you have been forgiven, the only means to get forgiveness again is through confession and repentance. We all sin either knowingly or unknowingly. This is why the apostle John wrote this.
God’s promise reveals how much God delights in forgiveness!
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” — God’s invitation and promise as recorded in the Old Testament (Prophecy of Isaiah 1:18). Besides, when God forgives, he forgives forever!
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity … For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” — Psalm 103:2-3, 11-12 (The Psalms are Jewish religious songs found in the Bible.)
Can anyone snatch you from Jesus’ hand? As long as you keep following Jesus, no one can snatch you from Jesus’ hands!
“ … My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” — Jesus, cited in Gospel of John 10:27-30. Emphasis added.
Do not be misled into thinking that salvation is something that happens in an instant, and that whatever happens after you are “saved” doesn’t affect your eternal security in Christ. God’s salvation is not only about forgiveness of sins. He offers us victory over sins during our earthly life. And beyond our earthly life, He offers us eternity with Him. That’s when we will be saved even from the presence of sin.
When you first responded to the Gospel, you set out on a journey – through a narrow gate and along a narrow path – to a heavenly Kingdom. As long as you stay on that path, following the voice of Jesus, you are safe!
“Beware, brothers and sisters, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end …” – Hebrews 3:12-14 New King James Version. Emphasis added.
For a more thorough and advanced treatment of this topic, read my Bible Study on the need for perseverance in faith till the end of our life.
Will I be saved from God’s wrath on Judgment Day? If God sent Jesus to die for us while all humans were lost in sin, how much more will He save us from the future wrath now that we are forgiven and justified!
“ …while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. … God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, now that we are reconciled, much more shall we be saved by his life. ” — St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:6-10. Emphasis added.
Besides, in another passage in the same letter, Paul explains,
“If God is for us, who can be against us? … Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us.” — Romans 8:31-34 Emphasis added.
In case you are wondering what “justified” means, please read this ☛ Biblical teaching on Salvation
If you, a born-again Christian, should die today, you can be sure that God will receive you into His Kingdom. Death is a just a door through which we pass on to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul wrote confidently about his death.
“… For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. Now if I am to go on living in the body, this will mean productive work for me, yet I don’t know which I prefer: I feel torn between the two, because I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” — St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians 1:21-23. Emphasis added.
For those who are in Christ, death is not death at all. We crossed over from death to life when we died with Christ and were buried with Him in water baptism. Eternal life is a present reality because Jesus himself is the Resurrection and Life. Consider Jesus’ words to Martha and Mary when their brother was still in the tomb:
“… I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, and the one who lives and believes in me will never die.” — Gospel of John 11:25-26. Emphasis added.
Curses do not have any effect on those who have died and come back to life in Christ. If you believed in Christ and, through water baptism, made his death, burial and resurrection your own death, burial and resurrection, no past curse can ever have any power over you.
And what about curses or witchcraft that people might hurl at you after you came to Christ? Listen to Solomon the Wise:
“Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.” — Proverbs 26:2.
Causeless or otherwise, God’s people are protected from all curses. When a rogue prophet called Balaam was hired to curse God’s people, this is what he said,
“How can I curse whom God has not cursed?
How can I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced? …
For there is no enchantment against Jacob;
no divination against Israel.” — Numbers 23:8, 23.
It is vitally important now to learn more about the initial steps a new Christian has to take in this life-long journey. I have explained repentance, water baptism, and other vital steps in greater detail. Read about the initial steps now.
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Philip Eapen, an environmental scientist by training, devoted his life to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ ever since he realized that the world needs Jesus Christ more than anyone or anything else. Apart from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, Philip teaches Christians in order to equip them for service. He is supported by donations from readers; he also runs a small ‘tent-making’ business. Philip is married to Dr. Jessimol and they are blessed with three sons and a daughter.
Date: May 2, 2020