Am I Really Saved? Is My Faith Genuine?
When my mother was a teenager she went to a small Baptist church at the urging of her grandmother. At her Sunday School teachers insistence she attended the required salvation classes and performed the next step which was to accept Jesus as her Savior. Being obedient she was also baptized. As far as my mother was concerned she had performed the requirement to get into Heaven and that was that. She’d followed what she considered the “rule” and not looking back she went on with her life. There was no change, no obedience, no outward desire to follow the Lord, no fruit. I never heard or saw her pray, I don’t think she even owned a Bible, she never went to church.
My mother knew Jesus existed and believed the Bible stories she was taught at church but she never applied the truth to her heart. I’ve talked to so many people in witnessing situations that insist they prayed a prayer, usually at the urging of someone, and the deal is done. They insist they are Christians but the fruit of their lives indicate otherwise. The Apostle Paul says in II Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”. We are urged to examine our faith to see if it is genuine. Am I a true Christian or a counterfeit? If I am a true Christian am I walking in faith in God’s will or am I just going my own way with no concerns?
Salvation Isn’t The Requirement Of A “Rule”
Salvation isn’t meeting the requirement of a “rule”. It is genuine repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). Yes, Jesus saves us instantly when we truly turn to follow Him. But a prayer that doesn’t come from the heart saves no one. Jesus said if we hate someone in our heart we are murderers, or if we lust after someone we have committed adultery in our heart. Jesus is concerned with the intentions of our heart, not just the outward deeds.
There are three main counterfeits to true salvation. They are spiritual interest, Bible knowledge and pseudo-spiritual experience. A well meaning person can have an interest in spiritual things even to the point of studying and gaining Biblical knowledge but not truly be Born Again. And a person can pray a “salvation prayer” that doesn’t come from their heart and not be Born Again. Do not mistake an interest in spiritual things or a momentary prayer for true salvation. Eternity is a long time. Make sure your faith is genuine.