Why Many Are Going To Hell But Believe They Are Saved

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January 19th, 2000

There is a terrible tragedy being spread throughout the Christian community today. It is a lie that has left many unaware of their spiritual state and may ultimately lead them down the road to death and eternal damnation that can never be reversed.

As a minister of the Gospel, I have seen literally thousands of people walk the aisle to an alter of salvation only to see them walk away unchanged. Most are living on the assumption that salvation is achieved through reciting a prayer, yet no change in their life is apparent. They are mere professors and do not possess the Lord (Matthew 7:21-24).

Can a person be saved without a change occurring in their life? I was talking to a young man the other day and I heard him say something that was very disrespectful to the Lord. I began to talk to him about the Lord and what He has done for us. He quickly told me that he knew he was going to heaven because he had prayed and asked the Lord to save him at a young age. Puzzled by his earlier remarks, I began to investigate the fruits of his salvation. Unfortunately, my investigation found that his salvation had produced no fruit in his life. I won't go into what he was or wasn't doing as a professed Christian, but I will say that he was not seeking to serve the Lord. He still had self very much first in his life and that wasn't going to change.

This young man is living a very dangerous lie, in that, he must one day face God living a life contrary to what the Bible describes as a born again Christian. He is trusting that a prayer that he recited years ago will be the hope that will grant him eternal life. And he's not alone! Everyday I talk to people who have accepted Jesus as Lord of their life, but have no intention of living for Him. This is absolutely the fruit of an unrepentant heart and their salvation is vain. For when Christ comes into your life there will be no more room for the world and it's standards (II Corinthians 5:17). You will seek to do His will and to know His commandments. In other words, your life goal will be to be more like Christ, and you will strive to accomplish this goal. Yes, you may sin, but you certainly won't stay in sin. The Holy Spirit wouldn't allow it.

To our discredit, many churches today are preaching salvation a part from repentance in an attempt to fill up the seats of the church. Without repentance and a turning away from sin there can be no forgiveness of sin (I John 1:6). You must repent and turn from your life of sin and accept Jesus as Lord of your life before you can be saved. Just saying a pray at an alter is only half of salvation…repentance must follow. Without repentance there can be no salvation (Luke 13:3).

So what are the signs that I am truly saved? The answer is found in I John 2: 3-6. "And hereby we do know that we know him (Jesus), if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."

So what must I do to be saved? First, you must come to the Father, admitting that you are a sinner. This proclaims your need for a Savior. Second, realizing you are a sinner, you must repent of your sin's and turn away from them. Third, ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you, and to help you live a life for Him (Romans 10:9-10). Dedicate the rest of your life to serving Him and mean it. Only a truly repentant heart can Christ come in and forgive.

If you're thinking of asking Jesus to come into your heart right now please pray this prayer. "Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died to forgive me of my sins. I now accept Your offer of eternal life. I now repent of my sins (name them), turn from them, and turn my life over to you. Thank You for forgiving me of all my sin. Thank you for my new life. From this day forward, I will choose to follow You."

If you prayed this prayer, share your decision with a Christian friend or pastor. If you are not already attending church, find one in which you can worship and grow in your faith. Following Christ's example, ask to be baptized as a public expression of your faith.

We'd love to hear about your decision to follow Christ. Please let us know by email by clicking here.

Pastor Malone

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