Kept for Jesus
"I lost my temper big time at work yesterday. And I don't mean that a random G-D slipped out of my mouth. I snapped and dropped the F-bomb on a co-worker. I can't get it out of my head that I may have committed the unpardonable sin. Am I still saved?"
"My boyfriend talked me into having sex the other day, and I don't mean just once. I feel so dirty. Will God ever love me again? Have I lost any opportunity for ministry in my church? What do I do now?"
"I'm on my third marriage and I'm not sure this one is going to last much longer. People at church treat me like a leper. I've asked God for forgiveness so many times that I've lost count. Do you think he's fed up and finally done with me?"
"I laughed out loud at a TV evangelist the other day. Then it got real ugly. I told a friend that whatever in his so-called ministry might appear to be supernatural was probably the work of the Devil. My friend said I should be careful: I might have committed blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Well, did I?"
"Doubt is killing me. I used to think I was born again when I was 15 but lately I lie awake at night wondering if God even exists. And when my best friend died in a car crash I began to think that if he does exist he's not good and probably can't be trusted with my life. But now I'm afraid I've crossed a line and forfeited any hope of being forgiven. Can you help me?"
These stories aren't make-believe. They come from people paralyzed by fear that they may have lost their salvation. Did I cross a line from which there's no return? Was my last sin just one too many for God to tolerate? Have I squandered all my chances at eternal life?
As a pastor, I'm asked these questions almost every day. It may come in an e-mail from a man I've never met or from an elderly lady sitting in my office. Although the stories all differ, they share one common thread. Either the individual concerned is terrified they've fallen fatally from grace or they know someone who used to walk with Christ but no longer does. And the question looms large: Am I still saved? Was she ever genuinely converted? Is there still hope for repentance? Has God simply thrown up his arms in disgust and given up on my soul?
My new book, Kept for Jesus: What the New Testament Really Teaches about Assurance of Salvation and Eternal Security (Crossway, 2015), attempts to look at virtually every passage in the New Testament on this subject to find solid answers and encouragement for living. Are we safe in the arms of our heavenly Father? Is it possible to sin so severely that we wrench ourselves free of his loving grip and fall forever into eternal condemnation? And if I believe all Christians are eternally secure in their salvation and make this known to others, will it simply encourage them to continue in sin and reckless living now that they are assured they can't fall from grace?
Kept for Jesus is now available on www.amazon.com at a nicely reduced price. You can also find it in most Christian bookstores. I hope you find it helpful.
About Sam Storms
I am an Amillennial, Calvinistic, charismatic, credo-baptistic, complementarian, Christian Hedonist who loves his wife of 42 years, his two daughters, his four grandchildren, books, baseball, movies, and all things Oklahoma University.
In 2008 Sam became Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Sam is on the Board of Directors of both Desiring God and Bethlehem College & Seminary, and also serves as a member of the Council of The Gospel Coalition. Sam was recently elected to be Vice-President of the Evangelical Theological Society. Read more...