Struggling with Assurance
As a child and even into my adult life I struggled with the assurance of salvation. I can remember going to bed at night as a child and trying to recall every sin I had committed for fear that if I forgot to ask forgiveness for one I would go to Hell if I died in my sleep.
It wasn't until I was in my late 20's that the Lord really helped me understand that "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" ( Romans 8:1).
In the 2010's through a series of (providential) events, I came across "The Doctrines of Grace" (a.k.a. Calvinism 😱), explained through the acronym, T.U.L.I.P. which stands for:
Perseverance of the Saints
As I read through these doctrines and realized how prevalent they were in scripture, there was one that stood out above all the rest.
The Perseverance of the Saints
"Writing to the Philippians, Paul says, "He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it to the end" (Phil. 1:6). Therein is the promise of God that what He starts in our souls, He intends to finish. So the old axiom in Reformed theology about the perseverance of the saints is this: If you have it—that is, if you have genuine faith and are in a state of saving grace—you will never lose it. If you lose it, you never had it." —R.C. Sproul (read the full article here)
The Perseverance of the Saints teaches that when God saves you, he saves you fully and finally, keeping you until the last day. If you have made a true profession off faith, you will never fall away because it is not a work that you do to hold on to Christ, but it is Christ doing the work and holding on to you as an adopted son or daughter of God.
There was no need for me to fear that I had forgotten to ask forgiveness for a past sin because as a child of God, Christ took my sins on himself once and for all on the cross. "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God." ( Romans 5:8–9)
And because I am Justified by the blood of Christ, I have forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life, and assurance that I will never lose my salvation. I am free from the bondage of sin to walk in the light of Christ.
"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38–39)
Our Lord Jesus Christ is greater than all things. When fear grips you, or when the devil whispers in your ear, "Did God really say?" Remember these words of Christ:
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27–30)
Your Cartoonist in Christ,
Recommended resources on the "Perseverance of the Saints."
Recommended resources on "T.U.L.I.P."