Weekly Devotional

Discipleship 101: Helping New Believers Understand Eternal Security

Sometimes I Don’t Feel Saved

Written by Larry Moyer on 20/05/2024

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

John 5:24

Is God’s Love Forever?

Many things are important for a new believer to understand to follow the biblical admonition to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). But nothing is more important than to understand that to belong to Christ is to belong to Him forever. God has not welcomed a new believer into a probation period. He welcomes him into paradise – life in the presence of God forever.

Why is that so essential? There are several reasons but three are worth citing:

Many have been saved out of a background of conditional love

Many people who trust in Christ have a background of experiencing conditional love; people love them only as long as they measure up to certain expectations. They may think God is the same and even wonder if God would ever change His mind about them.

Satan may make them doubt their salvation

Satan is the adversary of every believer, and especially the one who has just entered the family of God. He would love to convince him that what he has gone through is just an emotional experience characteristic of a person who suddenly becomes a religious fanatic.

People experience emotional highs and lows as new believers

People who become new believers experience different emotions as they grow in their faith, including both highs and lows. Those emotional lows may cause them to wonder, “Have I truly become a Christian?” or “Does Jesus still love me?”

How might we help new believers in this area? There are several things we need to stress that will be of great help and encouragement to them:

1. The assurance of eternal life is based on fact, not feeling.

Help the new believer understand that the assurance of eternal life is based on fact, not feeling. One of the best verses to go over with them is (John 5:24). There we are told, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

As they look at that verse with you, it is helpful to ask the following questions:

  • Did you hear God’s Word?
  • Did you “believe” what God said and trust Christ as your Savior?
  • Does “everlasting life” mean later or right now?
  • Does it say “shall not” come into judgment” or “might not”?
  • Does it say “has passed” from death” or “shall pass”?

Immediately, they see that their assurance of eternal life is based on fact, not feeling. Whether they are at an all-time high or an all-time low, they remain a child of God.

2. It is how they handle doubt that matters.

Satan will not treat new believers as an exception. Satan will try to make them doubt their salvation just as he tries to make every believer doubt at some time or another.

During those moments, new believers need to remind Satan of the truth in (John 5:24). They need to remember that if Satan argues about their salvation, the argument is with God, not them. God said it, and that settles it. Christ went so far as to say that for one to lose his salvation, he would have to be greater than God Himself – and even Satan is not that. Jesus said in (John 10:28), “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

(James 4:7) reminds us, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” That means “take a stand against the devil.” Satan needs to know that he is talking to the wrong person. Once Satan sees that he cannot worry believers about their salvation, he flees from them.

3. Assurance of eternal life is based on the promise God made to believers, not the promises believers have made to God.

Every believer wants to assure God that he will attempt to love others the way God has loved him, that he will study the Word and grow as a Christian, and will spend time talking to God through prayer and letting God talk to Him through the Word. Every believer ought to seek to live the holiest life for Christ possible and take the warning of (1 Peter 1:16) seriously. “Be holy, for I am holy.”

However, the assurance of eternal life has nothing to do with the promises he makes to God, but the promise God has made to him. Jesus promised in (John 6:47), “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” Even though we may break our promises to Him, He never breaks His promise to us.

4. The more new believers bathe in the love and grace of God, the greater their assurance of eternal life will be.

A new believer needs to understand that when it comes to salvation, the focus should continually be on what Christ has done; it is not on what has been done for Christ. When God accepted us, He did not look forward to our performance. Rather, He looked back on His Son’s performance on a cross. There on that cross, Christ exclaimed, “It is finished” (John 19:30) meaning “paid in full.” Christ did not make the down payment for our sins. He made the full payment. Sins past, present, and future were paid for on the cross.

That is what makes His love so unconditional. It has nothing to do with what we have done, what we do, or plan to do for Him. It has everything to do with what He did for us on the cross. That is what makes His grace so overwhelming as well. It is granting favor to those who deserve the opposite. The more a new believer bathes in the love and grace of God, the greater will be his understanding of the assurance of his salvation.

A believer was once asked, “Do you think that when you die you will live forever with God?” He responded, “Why sir, I have already begun.” Eternal life with God begins at the moment we trust Christ alone as our only way to heaven. In death, we simply pass to our new residence! Many things in life can change, but our relationship with Christ is not one of them. To belong to Him is to belong to Him forever and ever – and ever!

Used with permission from evantell.org. Originally published May 4, 2023, by Larry Moyer.

Pray this week:

Dear Heavenly Father, 

Please help me stay close to You in prayer and by reading Your word.  Help me to make a stand against deception and the schemes of Satan. I am amazed at the depths of your love and grace for me; thank you beyond measure for rescuing me. Amen

Do you realize your eternal life with Christ has already begun? The assurance of eternal life with Christ is based on fact and the promises of God, not on our emotions. Amen

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