Q & A With Sister Swaggart - VI
More than once I’ve asked God to forgive me of my sins and save me, but I don’t feel saved. Am I?
Since salvation is personal, only you can know whether or not you have made the decision to accept Christ. But according to the Word of God, the moment you confess the Lord Jesus Christ with your mouth and believe in your heart upon Him—and truly do so—at that moment, wherever you may be, you are saved (Rom. 10: 9-10). The moment you accept Christ as your personal Savior, He becomes the Lord of your life and, at that time, your name is added to the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 21:27).
When people come to the Lord, their feelings are often affected. For the very first time many sense the love, presence, and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. It can be an emotional experience often marked by tears of gratitude and thanksgiving upon realizing all that the Lord has done for us. Heavy burdens caused by a lifetime of sin can suddenly feel lifted as we give them over to the Lord. When Jesus comes into our lives, we feel brand-new, full of joy and peace.
No one expressed it better than Fanny Crosby when she wrote the words to the famed hymn, “Blessed Assurance.” The third verse describes what new converts often feel:
Perfect submission, all is at rest.
I in my Savior am happy and blessed,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with his goodness, lost in his love.
However, as time passes, such feelings can fade for that new believer as feelings tend to do. Couple that with the fact that Satan, the enemy of your soul, is unhappy about you giving your heart to Christ. He will do everything he can to cause you problems, even attempting to turn you away from Christ.
This may be why we have so many emails and calls on this subject, like the one I received from this dear lady who said: “I am one of those people who have a lack of assurance. I have always sought the Lord. I’ve answered more altar calls than anyone in history, and I never, ever have had peace or assurance. I’ve never had the peace of God, any of that joy, any of those things. There is torment in this because you’re not motivated to live a good Christian life. The peace of God moves you, the assurance of God and His presence in your life moves you to obedience, but without that, there’s just torment, and confusion sets in, and it follows you. I have somehow never been able to receive that into my life—that word, that truth, whatever it is that gives you that assurance.”
When this precious lady called Frances & Friends, the panel and I sensed that she was saved. We could tell from the heartache in her voice that this torment over not feeling saved was very real to her.
We understood where this dear lady was coming from because there are thousands who live this way. But it is actually a powerful sin for you to doubt and not believe that you are saved when Jesus Christ paid such a horrible price. He suffered in our place and paid that price and now you say, “Well, I don’t know whether He saved me or not?”
You don’t go by feelings. You go by what the Word of God says. If people would get a copy of The Expositor’s Study Bible, and take it and read it, and read the notes along with it, I believe we would have far fewer Christians questioning their salvation. The Lord gave The Expositor’s Study Bible to my husband to be shared with the body of Christ to help them grow spiritually. You need this Bible; it will help you. The more you understand the Word of God, the more fear, doubt, and anxiety will be replaced by knowledge of the Word of God.
In addition to reading and studying God’s Word, those plagued with doubt over their salvation need to understand His grace. You must accept His grace.
Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
We had a young man call the program recently who was somewhat confused. “I struggle with this,” he said, “a man commits a heinous crime and goes to prison. And while in prison, he finds God, and so he’s going to heaven?”
This young man did not understand the grace of God. In the eyes of God, until we accept Christ, we are just as guilty as the person who commits a heinous crime and goes to prison. Again, we must go by what the Word of God says. We read in Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).”
Some people have lived such a corrupt life that they just do not understand how anyone could forgive them, including God. They say things like: “I don’t feel it, “I don’t think I’m saved,” or “Why would God save someone like me? I’m not worth anything.”
You are not going to forget where you came from as a sinner, but you do not have to dwell on past sins and failures.
I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
There have been times in my own life when I have stared Satan in the face, and I have had to struggle. But I said to the Devil, “I don’t care what you try to tell me. I don’t care how much you try to make me doubt. I am going to believe. I am going to believe.”
I know God’s Word is true and I believe it. It doesn’t matter whether I feel saved or not. God’s Word is true. I believe it and I believe Him. Praise God.