You can know if you are a Christian but don’t deceive yourself either

There seems to be some confusion among Christians on how one is saved. So let me try to clarify what the scriptures teach on this.

We first have to acknowledge that we are talking about the Church since Pentecost and not those believers that lived and died before the New Covenant promise was given at Pentecost. The believers that died before this are also covered by the blood of God’s lamb sacrifice but we are not talking about them because the New Covenant had not yet been given.

To find out how people are saved since Pentecost we only need to go back to the book of Acts. We see five things are evident in salvation in the book of Acts.

1. They first heard the gospel message given to them by the witnesses of the Lord.

2. They believed in their inner most being the message that Jesus died for their sins and that He rose again and will save them from their sins.

3. They trusted Jesus and received the free gift of salvation from their sins.

4. They were born from above and given the inner presence of the Holy Spirit.  As a witnesses of this, the Holy Spirit’s presence was initially confirmed in the very early Church by outward signs such as tongues and prophecy.

5. They confessed that salvation by giving witnesses of that inward spiritual rebirth by confession and through water baptism.

Paul made this way of salvation clear when he said, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Ro 10:9-10).

Jesus testified of the Holy Spirit being given to believers when He said, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” also in (Joh 16:7) where Jesus said, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

If you actually have gone through this salvation process you can be assured that you are saved. HOWEVER, no one should deceive themselves. The gospel heard and believed must be the gospel that the Bible teaches and the gospel that the eyewitnesses of Jesus taught. If you claim Jesus, but have a different Jesus than the Bible teaches and the eyewitnesses testified of, you are not saved. The Jesus you believe in must be the Messiah that the Bible foretold and that actually went to the cross and died to pay for your sins. Paul warned about those teaching and receiving another gospel, yet many are doing so today and are calling themselves Christians (2 Co 11:4 Ga 1 6-9).

If the Jesus you believe in was just a prophet, or a decent man, or your own personal self-help guru, you are still dead in your sins. If you think you know Jesus because you attend a church that believes in Jesus, or because your family or culture claims to be Christian, you are still dead in your sins. If you think Jesus taught others how to become Christs, or to receive Christ conscious, or think salvation comes by emulating Jesus, you are still dead in your sins. If you think Jesus is one of many gods, you are still dead in your sins. If you think good works will get you saved by Jesus, you are still dead in your sins. If you think keeping doctrines of any church can save you, you are still dead in your sins. If you think Mary or the Saints can help save you, you are still dead in your sins. If Jesus just becomes the higher power to help you overcome your habits, you are still dead in your sins. We could go on. The point is that there is only one way of salvation and that is by God’s grace through faith in His Savior.

All those that confess some designer Jesus that is not taught in the scriptures are not saved. This very likely is the majority of those calling themselves Christians today. Nevertheless, people can know if they are saved. Those who actually believe and confess the Jesus that the Bible is a witness to are saved. Even so, don’t you think you ought to read what the Bible says to find out about the one you claim to confess?

Here is food for thought for those denying the salvation that God offers. If I offered you a pill that would give you an extra 100 years of health and prosperity on the earth what would you pay me for it? There are rich people who would pay billions. God offers an eternal life of bliss to you and it is given freely but few will take it. Why? Because to take it they have to acknowledge that they are sinners in need of a Savior. Many love their sins and they are too proud to submit to their Creator. Many of these people would give up all their wealth for just 100 more years on earth but they trample on the message that God gives eternal life to those that trust in Him.

They want to be their own God while still existing in their sinful nature. For that reason, they cannot coexist with God in a restored creation because they would eternally corrupt it. The only destiny that remains for those that reject so great a salvation is the Lake of Fire eternally separated from God.

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 Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.


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19 thoughts on “You can know if you are a Christian but don’t deceive yourself either

  1. Everyone’s “book of the month club” should consist of one and only one book: The Bible.

    Read it for yourself, continually.

    For English / American’s, generally the free (and non-copyrighted) King James Bible translation is the one you should start with / stick with, while consulting the Hebrew and Greek concordances (plenty of free software out there), and using other non-copyrighted translations for comparison [meaning, King James is still a translation, so do your homework]. The “comforter” should be leading you to investigation of God’s word and will through his written [and honestly translated] Gospel.

    I can usually tell the ones are not saved because they don’t want to have anything to do with the bible. But, there are those who are being brainwashed by these corrupt seminaries. I dust off my feet and move on to those more receptive to hearing portions of wisdom and truth.

    Be careful not to pull something out of context and unfortunately mis-use it. Noting, of course, we’re [currently] in 2013, so the context we live in requires wisdom (provided by the “comforter”) to apply the Gospel to our lives, in the moment where we live amidst these looming prophetic times.

    I do ask God for wisdom with regard to these ominous times we live in. Don’s prophetic years’ site has been a big help to keeping my own sanity, for which I am very appreciative and thankful (including the engaging posters).

  2. Thank you, Don, for your article. I had decided to shut up for awhile because I’ve made more comments this month than I’ve said all year but I need to respond.
    This is what my extended family believes about Jesus-the things you wrote about. It’s what we taught our children. This is the Jesus we believed they received. Four of them now-all young adults- are off on some other trip and confessing weird things that raised red flags. At this point I guess only God knows for sure if they were truly saved and sealed with the Holy Spirit.
    Anyway, it’s good for us to have clear instruction and sound teaching. Thank you again.

  3. Hi Don,
    Your gospel message is always timely and especially for me today.

    After listening to a beloved and seasoned missionary from N. Africa this morning, I heard and felt the fiery darts of the enemy whisper, “you’re not really saved or you would constantly be spending your energies on soul winning.” After a lifetime of loving Jesus, these are the enemies new tactics in my life; “it’s not true, or you’re not saved because you don’t _______,” fill in the blank.

    I don’t know about any of the rest of you, but I am so weary of constantly being on guard against heresy in the church, battling my own sin nature, seeing the corruption and moral morass of our culture.

    What you have written is TRUE. It’s as simple and as profound as you have stated. A stumbling block to so many.

    God is the initiator and originator of EVERYTHING spiritually good in my life. I cannot add anything of worth or value to what Jesus has done for me. As believers we can only respond with a life lived in gratitude and submission to our Master. Even He grows the fruit which we are to manifest. Today I need help to “lift up my head” and listen to the trumpet sound, being watchful and ready. Well, I’m ready. SO ready. God bless you all.

  4. Hi Don,

    Wondering what your thoughts are on a recent article regarding the Bible. I read that the problem of so many electronic versions of the Bible is the danger of “editing” leading to errs which could of course distort the gospel message. Have you heard anything about this?

    Rod

  5. to Caitlin:I offer this for your comfort
    “Men, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be
    saved; you and your household.” They declared the Word of the Lord to him (the prison warden) and to all
    who were in his house” (Acts 16:30 to 32).
    Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

    While salvation is personal and individual, being raised by saved parents is the best start;keep praying and witnessing to them!

    Thank you Don.

  6. Hi Rod,

    That is the first I heard about it. There are even dangers in the many paper versions of the Bible that just edit the translation to make it fit their own views. Of course bad translations and edits are a minor problem when compared to those that use good versions but then twist the scriptures and proof text.

  7. Loved,loved,loved this article! I am going to copy and paste it (if permission would be granted) and send it to all my friends and family. Never before has there been a time like this – there are so many different types of Jesus out there (many will come in my name) that you can’t be certain which Jesus the other person is referring to.

    Don, you have said this so well. For me anyway, it is going to be a great witnessing tool. Yet, I realize most will ignore this message, as you stated and as the Bible says – they loved the darkness rather than the light.

    It is truly a miracle that any of us peers through our darkness and makes the decision to accept this free gift. I am thoroughly happy that I accepted this wonderful gift and always hold out hope that those I love would do the same. Thank you for this witnessing tool!

  8. Don,

    Thank you so much for clarifying the matter. False teachers always promote a non-biblical Jesus. When Christians don’t believe the Judeo-Christian Bible is the sole source of truth, they fall prey to the deceivers. I pray that your article leads Christians to study the New Testament on their own to learn what it says about Jesus. All claims about Jesus that contradict the New Testament should be disregarded.

  9. Don:

    Awesome! Just as Myammi above mentioned, this article is as simple and profound as it comes. The straight truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet this same Gospel is so misunderstood, miinterpreted, and distorted by so so many, it makes one sad. Much prayer is needed in hoping that one finds the truth of the Lord through His Holy Word, as easy as He made it for us. I also will keep this article copied in my favorites to use as a witnessing tool to help bring clarity for others who may still be searching in the dark. Thank you Don for this timely article.

  10. “They want to be their own God while still existing in their sinful nature.”
    ________________________________
    This statement of yours hits REALLY the mark. I know and have talked with many people who say they want Jesus to be their Savior……they just don’t want him to be their Lord. Sigh!

  11. Your blog is right on the Mark. Scripture cannot be manipulated or compromised, Jesus and his disciples were very clear on salvation. You can see what is happening even to this date when the Pope makes a statement about not judging gays. Why is it so difficult to tell a sinner the sin, we do not judge but God’s word which is very clear certainly does. Paul states that he works out his salvation daily, which is what we as Christians should be following. God has never let me down. I was saved in the late seventies and have gone through every movement that was present only to find that the Holy Spirit always led me to the truth which is Christ and his salvation. I have never been in want a single day, and have always been able to assist and help others, the consequences are the blessings of God. Pray for your families and people like Don who have the courage to stand up for Christ.

  12. Very well written. This is something we are focusing more on in our church from leadership to services and from sunday school to our small groups. We are focusing on scripture and want it means to be a disciple. I’m looking to join the leadership this year so your prayers are appreciated.
    Rev 3:2

  13. Want to relay a sighting I saw on the road today. A vehicle driven by an african-american female of senior age, with a big “JESUS” wood figuring in the back window sill, a “fish” sticky-badge, with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker.

    Talk about being “deceived”.

    One might state that the lady is being duped or an unwhitting participant, but not after all this “track time” (it was a “2012” bumper sticker and not a “2008” bumper sticker).

    When I spoke earlier about “shaking the dust off my sandals and moving on to another town”, this is exactly the kind of evil I am speaking about.

    This person clearly is not reading the bible.

  14. Wow! Clap clap for Pastor Manning for being bold enough to tell it like it is. Next time I get into a discussion with a Black brother or Sister, I’m sending them this YouTube video.

  15. Thank you for your article. I too struggle with the works part of my faith. One evangelist says in order to be saved you must read your Bible everyday. That is such a guilt trip for me because I don’t read it everyday. Should I read it everyday? Of course. But it doesn’t mean I am not saved if it doesn’t get read one or 2 days. We are living under “Grace” not under the Law. Thanks again for your article and the Scripture to back it up.

  16. John 3:16 is the Gospel, that simple.

    It sounded like you were sort of saying that water baptism was a “requirement” for salvation, but I know you don’t believe that, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Water baptism is indeed a testimony, but not a requirement.

  17. Abe,

    Jesus is the baptizer that brings salvation. Being immersed in water should be an outward confession of a inner reality.

    Mt 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

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