In what way do some people misuse and abuse God’s gift of salvation
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|Saved for Sure, Overcoming Doubt: How do you overcome those doubts, to be brought to the point where you say, “Yes, I know it’s okay. I’m going to Heaven.” For Doubters Only: There are still some people who have a tough time in having confidence in their salvation. What do those folks need to do? Dr. Erwin Lutzer’s personal testimony.
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 4, Cat. No. YBS2
Keywords: Divine nature, Dead to sin
- Ankerberg: We’ve come to these tough questions, Erwin, of, we all realize that people that get saved, they understand that it’s a free gift that God gives to us. There are some people that take that and can misuse and abuse the free gift of God. We all see illustrations. We can’t judge the heart, but let’s talk to those who have a feeble faith, if you want, who are saying, “You know, Erwin, I truly believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, but there have been some sins that have come up and they’re unconfessed sins or even worse.” What can you say to those people?
- Lutzer: John, before I deal with that I want to go back just a bit and talk to this issue, because somebody is saying, “Oh, you know, you believe that you can accept Christ and live like the devil.” And I think we have to address that.
- Ankerberg: Right.
- Lutzer: Imagine a young woman who is in love with a young man and he asks her to marry him and they are engaged. And she knows that he’s trustworthy. Absolutely. They’re as good as married because he’s such a trustworthy person. Does she say, “Oh, now that I’m secure and I know he’s going to marry me, I can sleep with every man in town?” No, of course not. Because she loves him; the fact that he is willing to love her. In the very same way, when someone accepts Christ as their Savior, do they say to themselves, “Oh, now that I’m sure of Heaven, now I can live like the devil”? If a person thinks that, it’s almost certain that he never has accepted Christ.
- Now, having said that, I think that grace can be misused. I do need to emphasize that. But the simple fact is this, let us never omit or de-emphasize that divine nature that God implants within us with new desires and a love for Christ. That is one of the earliest signs of a true believer.
- I know a woman who has fallen into alcoholism repeatedly because of a terrible abusive background as a child. But you know, I believe that she’s a true believer because every time she prays, the first thing out of her mouth is, “Oh, God, you know how much I love you, and I’m so sorry that I committed this sin. Please help me to love you and to overcome this for your glory.” I mean, that’s the prayer of someone who is saved but struggling with sin. It’s very different from the person who says, “Oh, well, now I’ve accepted Christ I can go do whatever I like.”
- Ankerberg: We have to admit, too, there’s a lot of folks that have grown up in homes where the moms and dads have been strict and your relationship depends on your performance.
- Lutzer: Exactly.
- Ankerberg: And it’s rugged to understand what grace means where your standing, your relationship with God does not depend on your performance.
- Lutzer: Right. That’s a whole other issue, John. I think we could do a whole program on that, that once a person is free from that, it doesn’t free them to sin. It frees them to love and frees them to be joyful in enjoying the Christian life.