We all like to be sure about things. We want to know for a fact. We want to be confident. And not just confident, but absolutely confident. Beyond all shadow of a doubt. We hate uncertainty. We don’t like not being sure about things. We do everything in our power to make sure of whatever it is we’re unsure about.

Of course, once some of us get the facts and know the truth, we don’t like the reality that we’re faced with. So we go about deceiving and fooling ourselves into rejecting the truth. We make for ourselves a different truth. A different reality. And we engage in the lifelong, arduous process of convincing ourselves, and others, that we’re right. So we’re back to where we started. We all like to be sure about things. And when we’re not sure we do everything in our power to make sure.

For a lot of us, we take our salvation for granted. We just know, we assume, we’re sure, we’re saved. Period. End of discussion. The question—no, strike that, the matter—isn’t up for argumentation or debate. We’re saved and that settles that.

For others among us, the matter of salvation is a longstanding, if not a life-long, question–a torment, really– about whether or not we’re really, truly saved. How can we know for a fact? How can we be so sure? Our human frailties and sins, coupled with the devil’s constant torments and accusations, have many of God’s dear people tied up in a knot, worrying about whether they’re really saved or not.

I have a 7-part post about how you can know you’re saved. I also blogged about how you can know where you’re going when you die. And how you can know if you really, truly belong to Christ. If you find yourself tormented about your salvation status, please click on the link, study the Scriptures, search your soul, and be very very sure about where you stand with the Lord right now. Your soul is too precious, and eternity is too long, to miss out on Heaven.

In addition to these posts, here’s another way of looking at our salvation from a different perspective—from the perspective of being a part of God’s family.


In Matthew 12:46ff Jesus was teaching and was surrounded by gobs of folks. There were so many that Jesus’ mother and brothers couldn’t get to Him. So they sent a message to Him, asking if He would meet with them. You would think that Jesus would rush out of there and see what was up with the fam. Instead, He stretches His hand towards His disciples and says, Look, here are my mother and my brothers (Matthew 12:49).

Then He goes on to say in verse 50 how we can know, how we can tell, if we’re a part of God’s family: Whoever does the will of My Father who’s in Heaven, is my brother and sister and mother. In other words, short and simple, FAMILY IS WHOEVER DOES GOD’S WILL. If you’re doing God’s will, you’re in. If you’re not, and you don’t ever get around to doing God’s will, then you’re out. IT’S WHAT YOU’RE DOING—WHOSE WILL YOU’RE DOING, YOURS OR GOD’S—THAT DETERMINES WHETHER YOU’RE IN GOD’S FAMILY OR NOT.

I’ll elaborate on this in just a moment. The thing that I find so striking here is that Jesus doesn’t say that His family is everyone who believes in Him. Everyone who gets saved. Everyone who has a conversion experience. Everyone who professes to be a Christian. These are all important and they are the starting point: it’s your entry point to God’s family. You’re at the entrance and you made it into the building called God’s family.

Now what do you do once you’re in the building? Do you stay in? Or do you go back out?

Of course, in this world we’re constantly going into and out of buildings. We don’t spend our entire lives cooped up in one building. We go in and out.

In the building that we call God’s family, getting saved is you getting past the entry doors. You’ve gone through the doors and you’ve entered the building of God’s family. You’re in the family.

Now do you stay in the building or do you go back out into the world and the life that’s outside the building? You see, just because you made it into the building doesn’t mean you’re staying in the building. Many Christians leave the building to go back to the sin that they love; to go back to the world that they still love; to go back to the heathen friends and lifestyles that they just can’t seem to get enough of. Like the one lost sheep who’s left the flock (Luke 15), many Christians are outside the building, sinning, yet they consider themselves inside the building.

Jesus wants you to stay in the building. Getting into the building is great. Jesus isn’t knocking or discouraging that. He’s happy you made it into the building. But Jesus is telling us all that it’s just the start. For the rest of your life He wants you to stay in the building. How do you do that? How do you stay in the building? You do God’s will.

That’s a tough one. We all want our way and will. You can correct me if I’m wrong, but it just seems like that’s how a lot of us live: we live doing what we want. That’s no criticism or put down, believe me, because I’m every bit human like you and, golly, you don’t know how bad I want to have my way! I’m still human and I make mistakes, get in the flesh, and rush out to do my thing without taking the time to ask God for His take because I already have a good hunch what His take is. Not today, God. Not now. This is what I want to do and I’m gonna do it no matter what You say. In the flesh we’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to sin. We’re going to want to have things our own way.

But I’ve got enough sense as a mature Christian and a pastor to know that I’ve got to set my will aside, seek God’s face, learn His will, and do that. Believe me, I do that. I try to do that. To be entirely honest with you, I value one thing more than my will and that’s God’s will. I’m old enough, I’ve gone through the cycle of Christian experience long enough, to know that God’s blessings are found in doing His will. That’s where the happiness and contentment that we cherish and look for are found.

I have a few regrets from past sins and failures that weigh terribly heavy on me. They are a scar  that, upon remembrance, bring a fresh torrent of pain and hurt. I hate this. But seeing that I can’t undo the past, and I can’t entirely, completely forget it either, then such is life for me. I just find a way to set the pain aside and press on. I look for solace and happiness because  they’re all around me just waiting to be discovered, seen, and enjoyed. But without exception, and I mean without exception, all of life’s regrets and pain have come when I was in the flesh. When I did things my way.


So do you want to know if you’re a part of God’s family? Jesus is telling you right here in Matthew 12:50 how you can know for sure. If you’re doing God’s will, you’re in the family.


You stay in God’s family by doing His will. A good place to start is to obey the Bible. The Bible is God’s will. So doing that the Bible says is one way we stay in the family.

Of course, God has a lot of specifics for each and everyone of us. What He wants me to do in any one situation in life may not necessarily be what He wants you to do in the same situation. So what applies to me may not necessarily apply to you.

This is where the Holy Spirit comes in. God speaks to us directly and personally through His Holy Spirit. He gives us the specifics and lets us know what He wants us to be doing right now and for the rest of our lives.

YOU CAN’T OBEY GOD UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT HIS WILL IS.  I think all of us often assume we know God’s will. My will is His will. But unless we’ve prayed about it and heard from God, we don’t know what God’s will is. And, chances are, we’re not doing it. WE CAN’T DO SOMETHING UNLESS WE KNOW WHAT IT IS WE’RE SUPPOSED TO DO. So praying and learning God’s will is just one half of the equation. The other half is, once you know what God’s will is, are you going to do it? That’s hard—especially when you’ve got your mind set on doing what you want to do.

DYING IS SELDOM EASY OR PAINLESS. I know we’ve got all sorts of pain killers to numb the pain or make it unfelt. But when the vicodin or morphine wears off you’re back to feeling the pain. And boy does it hurt! That’s the way dying is. It’s hard and painful. And no one wants to go through it.

And that’s the way self-dying is. I’m talking about the cross and crucifying self, selfish interests, selfish desires, selfish will. It’s a hard thing to do that many people don’t want to do it. And when they do it, they do it screaming because it’s painful to give up your way to do it God’s way.

Yet, this is exactly what God would have all of us do. Luke 14:27, And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE CROSS WITH YOU, IF YOU’RE NOT PUTTING IT TO USE, IF YOU’RE NOT ON IT, JESUS SAYS YOU CAN’T BE HIS DISCIPLE.

What’s the cross for? The cross kills everyone who’s on it. No one comes down from the cross alive. When you get hung on the cross you’re hung until you’re dead.

So where are you at right now? Are you on the cross or off?

I know we say that all Christians are going to Heaven when they die. Listen. I’m not the Gatekeeper of Heaven. If it was up to me, everybody in church and everybody who’s a Christian will go to Heaven. But this isn’t exactly what God said! Jesus said here in Matthew 12:50 that you’re family only if you do God’s will. Which is to say, if you’re not doing God’s will you’re not family.

Jesus reiterated this condition of doing God’s will in Matthew 7:21-23, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  (22)  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  (23)  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Brethren, I don’t know how to make it any clearer to you than this. IF YOU’RE NOT DOING GOD’S WILL YOU’RE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT TO HEAVEN.

Let me hasten to say this doesn’t mean that if you mess up once or twice, or even a lot of times, you’re not going to Heaven. We all are human and imperfect. We’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to mess up. And just because we mess up doesn’t mean we’ve lost our salvation and we’re going to hell. No, God has given us the offer of forgiveness so that we can be forgiven and go to Heaven. Of course, we have to repent of our sins and turn away from them. But the point is, just because you sinned doesn’t automatically mean you’re not in God’s family.

Jesus here is talking about a pattern, a habit, a lifestyle, a way of living where you’re doing your will on a regular basis and not God’s will. Make that a life’s habit and you’re guaranteeing yourself a horrible surprise when you die.

So how can you know, how can you be absolutely sure, you’re in God’s family? If doing God’s will is a habit and lifestyle with you, then you’re in. It’s as simple as that.

If obeying God isn’t a habit and lifestyle with you, and you want to go to Heaven, then guess what you need to be doing: you need to start obeying God. If you don’t want to obey God, but don’t want to go to hell either, then ask God to give you a new heart. Ask Him to change your heart and mind. Ask Him to give you an obedient heart, Ezekiel 36:26-27. As a Christian, I’ve had to pray this prayer a number of times and it’s always worked for me. It’s a prayer that God will answer, Philippians 2:13.

God wants you in His family. If you want in, He’ll bring you in and, with a lot of prayer, crucifixion, teaching, and chastening too!, you’ll have a heart to obey God. That might not seem possible to you right now. But take it from me who’s gone down the road before you, it’s possible to say Not my will, but Thine be done, and to mean it with all your heart. It’s such a refreshing and gratifying stage to be at in life and you, my dear friend, can join me! With God’s help, you can make it! For with Him all things are possible and not even your hard head or heart is impossible for Him to change. If He can’t change you He’s not God. Of course, if you’re not wanting to be changed, then it’s all on you. Either way, God will always be God. If you want changed, God will see to it that you are changed. You have His word and His guarantee on that and He will not fail.


There’s a verse of Scripture in Galatians that puzzled me for the longest time. I mentally understood the words. I knew what they meant. But I just couldn’t see the spiritual meaning or sense of the verse. It didn’t make sense. I didn’t know why God said it the way He did.

Not too long ago, the light came on. I just love it when God does that! He gave me a peek into His brain and He explained why He said it just the way He did. And I marvel, once again, at the awesome wisdom that our God possesses.

Okay. Here’s the verse. God, through the apostle Paul, told us in Galatians 5:24, They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. God’s telling us here how we can know if we belong to Christ. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with all of its carnal passions and lusts.

The present perfect tense, have crucified, is what threw me off for the longest time. I knew that a lot of us Christians, myself included, weren’t crucified. Like most everyone else, we were living for self. The only time we’d crucify self was when we heard a particularly convicting sermon and our conscience wouldn’t stop badgering us until we dusted off our cross and reluctantly climbed up on it, screaming and arguing. Even though the cross was mostly nowhere to be found, yet we were, we are, we considered ourselves to be, Christians. We belong to Christ! Because we’re saved! We’re Christians!

If it was up to me I would have written the verse this way:  They that are Christ’s will crucify the flesh. Or, they that are Christ’s are going to crucify the flesh. Or, they that are Christ’s need to crucify the flesh.

But the Lord pointed out that, by making crucifixion something that needs to be done in the future makes it likely that it won’t get done. Have you ever told your hubby you were going to pay the bill, but forgot to?  Ever told your sweetheart you were going to stop and pick up a jug of milk, only to forget and come home empty-handed? Remember all those life goals and New Year’s resolutions that never made it past January or February? Doubtless, you know what I mean. Putting crucifixion in the future—like putting a lot of things—makes it likely that it’s not going to get done.

Okay, Lord, I said. If that’s the way it is, then, at the very least, I would have written Galatians 5:24 this way, They that are Christ’s are crucifying the flesh. Ahhh, I said in contentment and delight. This is a fool-proof way to say it. Christians are crucifying the flesh. They’re doing it! It’s in the process of getting done! What could possibly be wrong with saying it that way?

Well, that’s not what God said. That’s what’s wrong with making crucifixion a present tense, on-going thing.

Have you ever started a project you didn’t complete? Did you ever leave something undone? Are you getting the drift here?, the Lord asked me. Yeah, it’s a great thing to get started on crucifixion and to be actually doing it. Great job! But starting the job doesn’t mean it’s going to get done. Every one of us has started to do something, only to quit before the job was done.

So, while crucifying our flesh right now is truly a good and commendable thing, it’s not enough. God wants the crucifixion done. He wants the selfish will killed. He wants the carnal, sinful lusts dead. And, seeing how crucifixion is painful, knowing how hard it is to die, there’s no guarantee we’re going to stay on the cross until we’re dead. We’ve all come down from the cross before death set in. We’ve all walked away from the cross, bleeding, hurting, partially crucified. But with selfishness still alive.

That’s why, God said, I made crucifixion present perfect tense. Have crucified means My children not only went to the cross, they not only got on the cross, but they stayed there until the mission was accomplished. Until death set in.

So do you want to know if you belong to Christ? It’s simple. Are you dead? Are you dying? I’m talking about what you’re doing with self-will, selfish desire, carnal, sinful lusts. Are they dead? Are they in the process of getting nailed and dying? Or is the cross even around? Is it anywhere in sight? I see the flesh. But where’s the cross?

Now just so you know, I know there’s a lot more to salvation than just the cross. Galatians 5:24 may be in the Book, but so in John 3:16. I know that. I’m not out to tell you you’re not saved. God forbid! I want you to be saved! You’d better be saved!

All I’m saying is, don’t stop there. John 3:16 is a start, but Galatians 5:24 comes after it. After faith comes the cross. Let’s not get so focused on believing that we forget all about dying to self. Galatians 5:24’s in the Book and we ought not forget it. We ought not forget our cross.

YOU CAN’T BE CHRIST’S WITHOUT YOUR CROSS. YOU CAN’T BE HIS IF YOU’RE YOURS. IF FLESH OR SELF IS ALIVE. They that are Christ’s crucify their flesh and they keep on crucifying it until they’re dead. They don’t get off the cross when it gets too hard. Too painful. Too personal. Too costly. They stay put on the cross until the desire for sin is killed and gone and the hunger for holiness brings them to life. That’s the mark of a true Christian. That’s how you tell if you are Christ’s.


In teaching through the life of Christ the other day the Lord brought me to Matthew 7:13-14. It’s the familiar analogy of the two roads of life: Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate.  (14)  But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.

For too many of us, our concept of salvation is glued to John 3:16 and Acts 16:31. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! It’s so easy to get saved! That’s the way the Lord made it so that everyone can get saved if they wanted to. All we have to do is believe. I mean, how hard is that? It isn’t. It’s so ridiculously easy that anybody can believe and be saved. Nobody, but nobody, can ever accuse the Lord of making it so hard to get saved!

But, like all of us, the Lord couldn’t say everything in a single verse, a single sermon, or a single point of time. There’s always the rest of the story, the whole picture, or the whole counsel of Scripture. Jesus went on to say more things about salvation and Matthew 7:13-14 is a good case in point.

I was musing on these verses when the Lord reminded me that the sermon on the mount was given to believers (Matthew 5:1-2). Jesus isn’t talking to heathens here. He’s talking to people who believe and follow Him. In other words, they’re already saved.

So if we’re already saved, why does Jesus tell us to enter the strait and narrow gate? When He tells us to go through the strait and narrow it’s because we’ve not gone through the strait and narrow yet. We’re outside the gate and He’s telling us to go through, and inside, the gate.

But wait a minute, Lord. I’m already saved. I already believe in you. Aren’t I already on the strait and narrow?

Obviously not. Conversion takes us off the broad road and it brings us to the gate of the strait and narrow. Getting saved doesn’t automatically put us on the strait and narrow. We get there only when we make a personal, knowledgeable decision to go through the gate and spend the rest of our life walking the strait and narrow. If we haven’t made that decision, then we’re not on the strait and narrow. Since there are only two roads in life, not three or four, then not being on the strait and narrow means we’re still on the broad and wide.

Each road takes us somewhere. Each road leads us to its ultimate destination. The strait and narrow leads us to life (Heaven); the broad and wide takes us to destruction (Hell). {BTW, there is life after death. When we die we either go to life, or Heaven; or we go to destruction, or Hell.}

Here’s the kicker. WHERE WE GO WHEN WE DIE IS DETERMINED BY WHAT ROAD WE’VE TRAVELLED ON. If we’ve walked the strait and narrow, we’ll go where that road takes us: to Heaven. If we’ve walked the broad and wide, we’ll go to Hell because that’s where that road takes us. There’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell that we’ll end up in Heaven when we’ve spent our whole life walking the broad and wide. We’ll go wherever the road takes us. And the broad and wide road definitely doesn’t take us to Heaven.

So if we’re saved, but not walking the strait and narrow; if we’re Christians, but walking the broad and wide; how in the world can we expect to go to Heaven? Do we seriously believe we can live like heathens on the broad and wide and still make it to Heaven because of the “Christian” nametag that we wear? Because we say we believe? Because we say we’re saved?

Just so that none of us are surprised by what Jesus would say to us on Judgment Day, here’s what He’s going to say to all those who aren’t walking the strait and narrow (Matthew 7:21-23): Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in.  (22)  On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, “We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles.”  (23)  But I will tell them, “I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!”

Okay. So you’re saved. You’ve gotten saved. That’s great! Way to go! But don’t stop there! Don’t keep on walking the broad and wide road that you’ve known all your life.  Go through the strait and narrow gate and start walking the highway that leads to Heaven.

If you’re counting on going to Heaven just because you’ve gotten saved and can therefore continue living like the heathen you’ve always been, the Lord’s got news for you. You’re not going to make it to Heaven if you don’t walk the strait and narrow. What road are you on?

Getting saved is the start of your journey. Where you end up depends on the road you choose to take. So choose wisely. YOU CAN CHOOSE THE ROAD YOU TAKE, BUT YOU CAN’T ALTER ITS FINAL DESTINATION. You will go where the road leads you.




While Christians do sin, they nevertheless do not sin on a continual or regular basis. They’re not enslaved or addicted to sin. They’ve been freed from sin’s mastery and have Christ’s liberating power to say NO to sin and YES to righteousness. So if you find yourself sinning a lot and just can’t seem to stop yourself from sinning, there’s obviously a problem in your life. Let’s look at what the problem could be.

(1) YOU’RE NOT SAVED. If you’re always sinning and can’t stop sinning, you’re enslaved to sin. Since you’re enslaved, then this may well mean that Christ hasn’t yet freed you from sin’s power or control in your life. In other words, you may not be saved. Unsaved persons live in sin and they’ll continue to sin because they’re under the control or dominion of sin. You may like to think you’re saved. But do you know for a fact that you are? Do you remember the time when you gave your life to Jesus? Did you have a genuine conversion experience?

(2)  YOU’RE NOT REPENTANT. A good tree produces good fruits. If the fruits are bad, then the tree is bad. This is what Jesus said and He isn’t wrong about that, Matthew 7:16-20. If you firmly believe you’re truly saved, then the many and continual sins in your life stand in stark contradiction to the good fruit that a good tree should be bearing. The problem may be one of unrepentance. Like unregenerates, unrepentant people want to continue to sin. They don’t want to give it up. You’re continually sinning because you haven’t repented for your sins. You haven’t changed your mind about sinning. Repentance is changing course and direction. It’s heading away from sin, not towards it. It’s hating sin, not desiring it. Until you truly repent of your sins you’ll continue to sin. And as long as you’re unrepentant and unforgiven, you have no assurance that you’re a sheep.

(3) YOU’RE NOT CRUCIFYING SELF. Your inability to rise above sin is the result of you not resisting the temptation to sin. You’re not crucifying the lust that’s driving you to sin. Brethren, you can’t be victorious over sin and your lust if you aren’t living the crucified life. If you’re not putting Self and all of Self’s lusts to death on the cross you’ll continue to battle temptation and give in to sin. That’s why Jesus gave you the cross. Without it you can’t be His disciple, Luke 14:27. So if you’re a Christian, get up on the cross. YOU WON’T SIN WHEN YOU’RE ON THE CROSS.

(4) YOU’RE DEMONICALLY OPPRESSED. If you’ve truly repented of your sins, if you’re trying to crucify your lusts, but just aren’t getting anywhere; then you need to know that in instances of repetitive or compulsive sinning, a demonic oppression is likely involved.

There are demonic spirits whose main task is to induce or enslave a person to commit a particular sin. For example, a spirit of lust will appeal to your lusts and get you to fulfill or satisfy them every time. A lying spirit will make a compulsive liar out of you. A spirit of alcohol will make you captive to the bottle. A spirit of bitterness will keep you bitter, resentful, and unforgiving.  A porn spirit will keep you hooked on porn. The spirits are many.

If you’re addicted to some sin, if you’re a habitual sinner; then there’s demonic oppression involved. There’s a demon, or any number of demons, working in you—tempting and driving you to the sin that you’re addicted to. You’re their slave. They didn’t make you their slave. You voluntarily made yourself their slave by not refusing their temptations, by refusing to die on your cross, and by refusing to truly repent of your sins. Now that you’re their slave you’re pretty much at their mercy to do what they compel you to do. In a real way, you can’t help it. You’ve heard the popular saying, the Devil made me do it. There’s a lot of truth in that. It was still your choice to sin. You’re still responsible and accountable for your sin and actions. But you sinned because you were the Devil’s slave at that point. No matter how much you want to resist sin and rise above it, you end up sinning. That’s because you’re a captive of your lust. You lack the power to be victorious over your sin. You need to get rid of these demons in your life if you want to be free and victorious over your lusts and sins.

How to get rid of these oppressing spirits? You cast them out just like Jesus and His disciples did. (1) First, repent to God for your continued sinning in the particular area of your lust. Ask God to forgive you and set you free from oppression. [As a side note, if you’re not truly repentant, if you’re still determined to commit the same sin again, then you can forget about going through the motion of repentance and deliverance. It won’t work. You won’t get set free until you truly change your mind about the sin, hate it, forsake it, repent of it, and turn away from it.] (2) Next, go through deliverance or exorcism. You can get someone to pray with you and take you through deliverance. Or you can do it yourself. Address the particular demon involved and command him to come out of you in Jesus’ name. For example, if you’re battling sodomy in your life, command that spirit of sodomy to loose you, free you, and leave you in Jesus’ Name.  As a Christian, you have power over demons. You didn’t use it while you are oppressed. But you still had the power. Use it in Jesus’ Name and the demons must obey you. They must flee. They will leave you.

After you’re set free from demonic enslavement you need to keep yourself free by crucifying your lusts and not giving in to sin or temptation. Some people mistakenly believe that once they go through deliverance they won’t have any more problems with the sins and lusts that have plagued them all their lives. The Devil doesn’t quit easily. As Jesus warned us in Matthew 12:43-45, when demons are cast out, they’ll come back with more demons in an attempt to enslave and control you once again. There’ll be battles and temptations ahead. You’ve got to keep these demons out and not give in to them. The lusts that got you into trouble are still with you. You’ve still got them. That’s because you’re human and all humans have lusts. Christians crucify these lusts. That’s how they keep themselves from sinning and becoming demonically oppressed.


*DON’T THINK THAT YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO DIE OUT TO YOUR LUST. You might be frustrated with all your past attempts to get rid of your lust or sin because it never worked. You tried to die out and resist it, but it didn’t work. You always gave in. So what’s the use trying?  “You’ll always have this problem!,” so the Devil says.

But that’s not true, brethren! THE REASON WHY YOU WEREN’T SUCCESSFUL IN THE PAST IS BECAUSE A DEMON WAS INVOLVED. YOU CAN’T CRUCIFY A DEMON! A demon doesn’t come out by crucifixion: it comes out by deliverance. Now that you’re delivered, the cross of crucifixion will work! You’ll die out! The lust that you’ve battled for so long will eventually lose its hold on your life, it’ll go, and you’ll be free of that lust. But the only way that can happen is if you put it to death on the cross and quit giving in to it.

Brethren, the lusts and temptations that you battle will not always be around. You won’t have to contend with them for the rest of your life. You won’t have these struggles for as long as you live. The lust will eventually go, the temptations will cease, the Devil will quit hassling you about the lust. But you’ve got to make all that happen by dying out to the lust. Freedom from the lust and temptation requires obedience and obedience means crucifixion.

CRUCIFIXION IS DESIGNED TO KILL. When a person was crucified, he didn’t survive the experience. Crucifixion always ended in death. Brethren, as long as you take your the lust on the cross it’ll eventually die there. I know of what I speak. Some things used to really tempt and enslave me. But they don’t anymore. They’re not a temptation to me anymore. I don’t crave or desire them now. They don’t interest me. I took them to the cross and the cross did its job. It’ll work the same way for you. THE MORE YOU DIE OUT TO THE LUST, THE MORE THE LUST LOSES ITS APPEAL TO YOU. You can be victorious over sin!

*QUIT WORRYING ABOUT TOMORROW AND ABOUT HOW YOU’LL TURN OUT.  Instead of spending your time worrying and fretting about your salvation and about what the future holds; direct your energies towards living the Christian life one day at a time. Brethren, quit worrying about the future! God has already given you His personal guarantee that you will never perish. Nothing will ever happen to you that you can’t possibly bear or endure as a Christian. Your worries are so needless and they’re rendering you useless or fruitless as a Christian. Realize that you’re constantly in God’s hands. God’s giving you all the grace you need to walk with Him. With this realization in mind, devote your time, thoughts, and energies towards walking with God and doing His will. Walk in the light you know. Take it one step at a time. And rest in God’s love.


John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: {28} And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. {29} My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. PTL!



As we only know all too well, Christians can, and do, sin. When we do, the Devil uses our sins to torment us with doubts about our salvation and about God not forgiving us. In this blog I want to look at what we’re supposed to do with sin.

STAY CLEAR OF SIN. DON’T SIN!  The Devil uses your sins to try and bring you into doubt, torment, and condemnation about your salvation and God’s forgiveness. Your sins are what makes the Devil start talking to you about your salvation. Brethren, if you don’t want to face the torment of doubt about your salvation, then don’t sin!

SHEEP DON’T WANT TO SIN OR CONTINUE SINNING.  I told you previously that sheep are like everyone else. They have lusts in their own lives that they’ve got to deal with and they’re subject to Satan’s temptations just like everyone else. But while sheep are like the rest of humanity in these respects, there’s one important thing about them that sets them apart from the rest of humanity. That is, sheep seek to rise above sin. They try not to sin. In their heart of hearts, they really don’t want to sin. They want to please God and obey Him. In the words of our Lord, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27).

Unlike the rest of humanity, sheep don’t live to satisfy and give in to the flesh. They live to deny, restrain, and crucify the flesh. Paul puts it this way in Galatians 5:24, And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

He went on to say in Colossians 3:1-10, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. {2} Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. {3} For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. {4} When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. {5} Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: {6} For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: {7} In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. {8} But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. {9} Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; {10} And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

CHRISTIANS HAVE FLESHLY LUSTS TOO! Note three things from this passage of Scripture. First, note who Paul is talking to: he’s talking to Christians (Colossians 1:2). Why would Paul talk to Christians about sins and lusts that are so characteristic of unregenerates? Because Christians are faced with the flesh and they battle the same sins and lusts that unregenerates do. Brethren, DON’T THINK THAT YOU’RE NOT SAVED JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE BATTLING FLESHLY TEMPTATION AND UNREGENERATE LUSTS. Every human being has fleshly lusts and temptations—and that includes Christians! YOU MAY BE HUMAN. BUT YOU’RE A CHRISTIAN TOO AND GOD EXPECTS YOU TO LIVE AND ACT AS A CHRISTIAN.

Second, note that the sins and lusts that Paul mentions here are all natural or innate to human nature. They come with being human. It’s natural for people to want to fulfill their fleshly, ungodly lusts. But what does God want you to do with these emotions, appetites, and desires that come naturally to human nature? He wants you to mortify, or crucify, them. In other words, JUST BECAUSE SOME DESIRES COME NATURALLY DOESN’T MEAN IT’S ALRIGHT FOR YOU TO FULFILL THEM! God knows you’re human. But you’re a Christian too! And instead of expecting you to give in to human lusts, God expects you to do the Christian thing and crucify those lusts. Why? Because those lusts will get you in trouble with Him. They’re a threat to your soul. And they’ll bring you down to Hell if you coddle them, instead of crucify them.

Read what Paul said in Galatians 5:19-21, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, {20} Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, {21} Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Brethren, CRUCIFIXION IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD: IT WILL KEEP YOU OUT OF HELL!

THE LUSTS THAT YOU HAVE ARE CAPABLE OF BEING CRUCIFIED. And third, notice with me that, while fleshly lusts come naturally to human nature, while some of these lusts are strong and are a powerful, driving force in the lives of people (KJV, inordinate affection); nevertheless they’re still capable of being overcome, controlled, and crucified. What did God say to do with these lusts? He said to crucify them, which means they can be crucified. They’re capable of being taken to the cross and put to death. They’re not beyond dying and being removed from your life. Brethren, NO MATTER HOW STRONG OR POWERFUL YOUR LUSTS ARE, YOU CAN RISE ABOVE THEM AND BE VICTORIOUS OVER THEM!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO SIN.  Brethren, you don’t have to sin. Despite the temptations you face and the lusts you’re trying to rise above, you still don’t have to sin. Sin is a powerful force and master in the lives of men. But not in the lives of God’s people! God has broken the power of sin over you. He has freed you from sin’s tyranny. Sin is no longer your master!

Read what God said in Romans 6:12-18, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. {13} Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. {14} For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. {15} What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. {16} Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? {17} But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. {18} Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Note two things here.

First,  YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN FREED FROM SIN!  Being then made free from sin. WHEN YOU CAME TO CHRIST FOR SALVATION GOD FREED YOU FROM SIN’S RULE IN YOUR LIFE. Like a prisoner of war held captive in sin’s prison, God delivered you from sin’s dominion. He set you free. You’re no longer imprisoned by sin. Sin is no longer your master or jailer.

It’s like changing jobs. When you get a new job, your old boss no longer has any authority over you, you don’t have to listen to him, you don’t have to do what he tells you to do. Why? Because he isn’t your boss anymore.

Brethren, you’ve got a new Boss now and your old boss, called sin, doesn’t have any authority over you anymore. You don’t have to listen to your old boss. Your old boss cannot force or compel you to sin. He doesn’t have that kind of power over you anymore. Christ has given you His power and you’re now free to serve Him—not sin. Brethren, you don’t have to sin!

Second, YOUR FREEDOM FROM SIN REQUIRES YOUR OBEDIENCE. It involves your participation. You’ve got a part to play in being set free from sin: but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you (Romans 6:17). Your freedom involves your obedience to God’s doctrine or teaching. Brethren, YOU’VE GOT TO DO WHAT GOD COMMANDS YOU TO DO, I.E. DIE OUT TO SELF; IF YOU WANT TO STAY FREE AND STAY OUT OF SIN’S PRISON. God said in Romans 6:16, Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin under death, or of obedience unto righteousness? WHEN YOU GIVE IN TO YOUR LUSTS, BRETHREN, YOU LOSE YOUR FREEDOM AND YOU BECOME A SLAVE ONCE AGAIN. Ask a druggie or an alcoholic if he can live without his addiction. Ask him if he can give it up. They’ll tell you what God says, addiction is slavery, not freedom. Friends, if you want to stay out of sin’s prison you’ve got to put Self on the cross. Freedom comes in crucifixion: for he that is dead is freed from sin (Romans 6:7).

If you’re truly God’s sheep and still desire to gratify your fleshly lusts and sin, then call upon God and ask Him to make you willing and desirous to live without the particular sin or lust involved. Ask Him for the willingness and grace to die out to that lust, hate it, and triumph over it. Philippians 2:13 promises, For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Hebrews 13:21 reiterates the promise: {God} Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Brethren, this is one prayer that God will hear and it’s one promise that He will fulfill! He’ll give you the willingness and power to rise above sin. He’ll give you the willingness to crucify that lust and die out to it.

But, in the final analysis, you’ve got to be the one who goes to the cross and put that lust for sin to death. What do you do? You learn to say No. You refuse to give in to your lusts. You develop a hatred or abhorrence of that lust so that, over a period of time, you lose your desire for it and the lust quits being the powerful, driving force that it once was in your life. It can be done. Many of God’s people have had to do it and they succeeded. I’m in that number, so I know what I’m talking about. It ain’t easy. But it’s doable. God will make sure to that.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 7. The concluding post in this series. If you’re really having a hard time with sin and rising above it, it may be indicative of the Devil’s power in your life. It’ll help explain why victory and holiness has been so difficult and elusive for you.  This is Required Attendance for all sin addicts. No AWOL’s allowed.



LOSING YOUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD VERSUS LOSING YOUR SALVATION.  Sin disrupts your fellowship and communion with God. Isaiah 59:2 reads, But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear (see also Psalm 66:18).

But WHILE SIN DISRUPTS YOUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD, IT NEVERTHELESS DOESN’T TERMINATE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. We see this clearly in the parable of the prodigal son. Even though the prodigal son left home and sowed his wild oats, he nevertheless remained his father’s son all the time that he was in sin. He didn’t quit being his father’s son (Luke 15:20-24). When your children disobey you, they don’t quit being your children. They’re still your children in spite of the fact they disobeyed you.

Brethren, you’re still God’s child in spite of your sins. God doesn’t cast you off and forget all about you when you sin. What does He do when His sheep go astray? He goes out and searches for them, He finds them, and He brings them back to the fold (Luke 15:3-7). Why does He do that? Isn’t He angered and grieved with their sins? Yes He is. But He goes out after them because HE LOVES THEM. THEY’RE STILL HIS SHEEP. HE’S RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM. AND IT’S HIS DUTY TO SEE TO IT THAT THEY NEVER PERISH. In Jesus’ words, this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Sin, I am saying, severs your communion and fellowship with God. But it doesn’t terminate your relationship with Him. Just because you’ve lost your fellowship with God doesn’t mean you’ve lost your salvation. Repent of your sin, ask God for forgiveness, and the fellowship between you and God will once again be restored.

LOSING YOUR SALVATION VERSUS LOSING YOUR REWARDS.  Alright. Let’s get this straight once and for all. A SHEEP WILL NEVER LOSE HIS OR HER SALVATION. NEVER! But, because of sin or disobedience, a sheep can end up losing some of his or her own rewards in glory.

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 speaks about losing some of our rewards. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; {13} Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. {14} If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. {15} If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Similarly, 2 John 8 goes on to say, Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

In other words, it’s possible for a true, Heaven-bound Christian to lose some of his or her own rewards. Brethren, you will likely lose some of your rewards because of sin or disobedience. But the loss of some of your rewards must not be equated with the loss of your salvation. JUST BECAUSE YOU’LL LOSE SOME OF YOUR REWARDS DOESN’T MEAN YOU’LL LOSE YOUR SALVATION. YOU’LL NEVER LOSE YOUR SALVATION. SALVATION IS ONE THING YOU WILL NEVER LOSE. That’s God’s promise and He’ll make good on it. Of course, you’ve got a part to play in this. You’re not going to be habitually, continually sinning.  You’re going to be living like a sheep. You’ll be obeying God. And the like. But as you live the life of a sheep you can rest assured that you’ll receive the reward of a sheep: you will never lose your salvation.

GOD WILL JUDGE YOU. BUT THE JUDGMENT WILL DETERMINE YOUR REWARDS, NOT YOUR SALVATION. All men are going to be judged—both saved and unsaved. Matthew 25:31-46 and Revelation 20:11-15 talk about the Judgment Day when all men will be held accountable for everything they did in their lifetime.

There’s a difference between the judgment of the saved and the judgment of the unsaved. The unsaved will be judged and sent to Hell because of their wicked works. The sheep, on the other hand, will be judged too. But they’ll be judged for their works—not their salvation. The judgment isn’t going to decide if they go to Heaven or Hell. That judgment or decision has already been made and nothing’s going to change that. As a child of God, we’re going to Heaven.

All that our judgment is going to do is determine what kind of rewards we’re going to get and how many rewards we’ll get. We’ll be responsible for the rewards we get by the way we live our life here on Earth. The Lord, as Judge, is going to evaluate everything you’ve done. Conspicuously absent, thank God, is the sins we’ve committed. They won’t be brought up for trial, attention, or punishment because they’ve been forgiven and buried through the precious blood of Jesus. Besides that, Jesus already paid the penalty and punishment of our sins, so we won’t have to. Do you see how wonderful our God is? Can you appreciate everything Christ has done for us? Bless God for His goodness indeed!

When we stand before the judgment throne of God we’ll stand as saved, blood-washed individuals. When Christ saved us, He gave us eternal life at that very moment and He’s never taken that away from us. By His gracious hand and work, we’ll never perish. We’ll never go to Hell. In conclusion, our coming judgment is not about us getting saved: we’re already saved. Said differently, our salvation isn’t determined at the end of our life when we stand before the judgment throne. We don’t have to wait until we get to the Judgment Seat to know where we’re going to spend eternity. We can know it now. We know it the moment we believed in Jesus and gave our heart to Him. Thank you, Gracious Father, for saving us!

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 6. Next stop on the theology train: what we’re supposed to do with sin. It’ll be a steep, uphill trip. So travel light.  See you then.



As we’ve already seen in Ephesians 2:8, you’re saved by grace. Salvation is a gift of grace. It’s unmerited, undeserved, and unearned. You can’t do anything to earn God’s salvation or grace. His grace, and the salvation that goes with it, is totally sovereign. God saved you because He wanted to, not because you deserved to be saved. Brethren, no one deserves to be saved! We all deserve Hell and damnation because of our sins. But God saved us because it was His sovereign pleasure and goodwill to save us.

Now because salvation is purely a matter of God’s grace and not something that you can work for, then you must understand that YOUR SALVATION ISN’T CONDITIONED OR DEPENDENT ON YOU BEING SINLESS OR PERFECT. THE ONLY REQUIREMENT FOR SALVATION, THE ONLY THING YOU CAN DO TO BE SAVED, IS REPENT AND BELIEVE IN JESUS. John 3:16 promises, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God, you see, didn’t say you had to be sinless before He saves you. He didn’t condition your salvation on you being perfect first. To be sure, God wants you to be perfect, Matthew 5:48.  But perfection isn’t a condition or requirement for salvation! If you believe in Jesus and have received Him as your personal Lord and Savior, then you’re already saved and JUST BECAUSE YOU AREN’T PERFECT DOESN’T MEAN YOU AREN’T SAVED!


Okay. Let’s get this straight up front. Christians aren’t perfect. Christians can sin. Christians do sin. There’s isn’t a Christian around who doesn’t sin. We all sin from time to time. We try not to. Some try harder than others. But the bottom line is, we all sin. The difference between us is, some of us try harder than others. Some give in easier than others. We differ in the kinds of sin we commit. And the number of times we sin. So when it’s all said and done, we all need God’s forgiveness and the cleansing blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all our unrighteousness.

YOUR SINS ARE NOT UNFORGIVABLE. I know I’ve said it lots of times already. But it bears repeating because we all need God’s assurance that He’s forgiven us. 1 John 1:9  assures us that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It’s sins. Plural. We sin any number of times and that’s how many times we’re forgiven. No sin is left unforgiven.

YOUR SINS WILL NOT KEEP YOU OUT OF THE KINGDOM. You’ve got to repent of them, of course. And you’ve got to keep trying hard not to sin. But when you asked God to forgive you, He forgave you. And that sin—those sins—now forgiven and blotted out from God’s sight and memory will not keep you out of the kingdom. When Jesus said, I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand, that means you’ll not perish in perdition. You won’t end up in Hell. Jesus similarly said in John 6:39, And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. As God’s sheep, GOD WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO SIN A SIN THAT’S UNTO DEATH OR PERDITION! Before you die God will make sure you repent of your sin and are forgiven. The promise is, they shall never perish.

YOUR SINS DON’T MAKE YOU QUIT BEING A SHEEP. SIN DOESN’T TURN A SHEEP BACK INTO A GOAT. YOU DON’T QUIT BEING A SHEEP JUST BECAUSE YOU SINNED. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is quite enlightening on this point, If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

What does the Lord call these people who were sinning? He calls them My people. They’re sinning. They haven’t repented yet. But the Lord still calls them My people because they’re still His people. Beloved,  sheep don’t quit being sheep when they sin. A straying sheep doesn’t become a goat.

If you sin or backslide for a time, God will come after you and He’ll find His one lost sheep, Luke 15:4-6. Since God promises that they will never perish, then  GOD WON’T ALLOW YOU TO DIE IN SIN OR IN A BACKSLIDDEN CONDITION. As the parable of the lost sheep teaches us, God will rescue His wandering sheep and He’ll restore them to Himself before they draw the last breath.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 5. More on sin’s effect on salvation. Stay posted.



Here are some practical steps you can take to keep yourself free from the torment of doubt about your salvation.

1. SETTLE THE FACT NOW, ONCE AND FOR ALL, THAT YOU’RE SAVED AND ARE GOD’S SHEEP.  Brethren, if you’re not sure you’re saved because you don’t remember a time when you asked the Lord to come into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior, you just don’t remember if you ever had a conversion encounter or experience with Christ; then make sure right now by repenting of all your sins, ask Jesus to forgive you and be the Lord and Savior of your life. Give your life to Him right now. And do you know what? Jesus accepts you and saves you. He doesn’t reject you! Friends, there’s no such thing as coming to Jesus for salvation and Jesus refusing to save you! If you come to Jesus, He’ll save you. That, my friends, is His will and it’s His promise.

Jesus said in John 6:37, All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Jesus went on to say in verse 40, And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

If you’re prone to forget, write today’s date in your Bible or make a note of it somewhere, frame it on a wall, and let it be known that on this particular day  you received Jesus Christ into your heart and you became a child of God. You’re now, and forever will be, God’s sheep. The next time the question or doubt about your salvation comes to mind, refuse to entertain the thought. Don’t meditate on it. Quit asking the question! Point to the inscribed date in your Bible and say, “I am saved.” Praise the Lord for saving you. I guarantee you the Devil will beat a hasty retreat when he hears you praising God and rejoicing in your salvation!

Now that you’re saved, here are some things you need to know about salvation.


When you gave your life to Jesus and asked Him to save you, He saved you at that very moment and gave you eternal life.

  • John 3:36a, He that believeth on the Son hath (present tense, has) everlasting life.
  • John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath (present tense, right now, this very moment, has) everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (the future guarantee); but is passed from death unto life (the present reality).
  • John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath (present tense, not future; not going to have, but already has) everlasting life.
  • 1 John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God hath given (in the Greek, past tense, God gave) to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. {12} He that hath the Son hath (present tense, you have it right now; not future) life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. {13} These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have (present tense, you already have it right now) eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Brethren, you’re already saved. You’re saved right now! Do you know what this means? It means YOU DON’T NEED TO BE SAVED ANYMORE! Why? Because you’re already saved! Salvation isn’t something you’re going to get someday in the future when you stand before God’s throne: it’s something you already have right now!

Now because you’re already saved, then you must understand that your salvation isn’t going to be determined at the end of your life. God doesn’t wait until you’ve lived your whole life to decide if He’s going to save you and let you into Heaven. You’re saved right now, you have eternal life, you’re going to Heaven, and you’ll never perish.

You see, the torment about your salvation comes in you not realizing that you’re saved right now. Torment sees salvation as something in the future. And since it’s in the future, since it’s something you think you don’t have right now, then, naturally, you’d be worried and anxious about not having something that you desperately want to have.

Brethren, salvation isn’t something you’re going to have one day hopefully some time in the future. If you’ve given your life to the Lord, then salvation is something you have right now. Quit worrying about something that you already have. Quit worrying about something that can never be taken away from you as God’s sheep. Quit worrying about where you’re going to spend eternity!


Let’s clear the air, once and for all, about the relationship between salvation and works. Torment not only sees salvation in terms of the future: it also sees it as something you’ve got to work for. With this wrong theology, you’re constantly working for your salvation. But, with every fall you suffer, with every sin you commit, with every lingering shortcoming or imperfection, you realize what a hard task it is for you to attain to salvation. So you fall into despair and lose hope of ever being saved.

SALVATION’S A GIFT. Brethren, you don’t work for your salvation! Salvation is given to you by God. It’s not earned. It’s a gift God gives. If you’ve already given your heart and life to Jesus, then you’re already saved! God’s already given you the gift!

YOU CAN’T WORK FOR YOUR SALVATION. You can’t earn it, merit it, or deserve it. Why is that? Because you don’t have enough power or good will in you to earn it. Paul says in Romans 7:18, For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. Without Christ in your life to save you and change you, you can’t rise above sinful human nature. The Lords asks in Jeremiah 13:23, Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. In the power of human flesh, no matter how noble or well-meaning, we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6).

Brethren, without a changed heart and a changed nature, you can’t rise up to the level of perfection or righteousness that God demands of His people. Everything in the Christian life starts with salvation. Unless you’re saved first, you aren’t going anywhere but to Hell. You certainly can’t work your way into Heaven.

You can’t work for your salvation because God made salvation something that no one can ever work for or earn. Ephesians 2:8 reads, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Why did God make salvation something you can’t work for? So that you won’t be proud and take credit for saving yourself. Verse 9 reads, Not of works, lest any man should boast. Brethren, quit trying to work for your salvation. You can’t work for it! You can’t save yourself! Only God can save you. and the good news is, if you’ve given your heart and life to Jesus, He’s already saved you. Quit trying to work for something that you already have. You’re already saved! You don’t need to be saved anymore!

NOW THAT YOU’RE SAVED YOU NEED TO DO GOOD WORKS. God saved you first of all. Then He commanded you to do good works. Ephesians 2:10 goes on to say, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Titus 2:11-14 similarly tells us, For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, {12} Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; {13} Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; {14} Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Once you become a Christian God wants you to live a life of godliness and good works. But while God obliges you to do good works, you must nevertheless understand that you’re not working for your salvation: you’re already saved. What you’re doing now, now that you’re already saved, is, you’re working out your salvation. Philippians 2:12 puts it this way, Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out (not, work for) your own salvation with fear and trembling.

There’s a big difference between working for, and working out, your salvation. Here’s an analogy that I find very helpful and easy to understand. You apply for a job as a computer technician. You’re hired. Now you go to work repairing computers. You repair computers because that’s your job. You’re not repairing computers to get a job: you already got the job. You’re repairing computers because that’s your job; you’re only doing what you were hired to do.

In much the same way, when God saved you He ‘hired’ you to do all kinds of good works, Ephesians 2:10. You do good works because that’s your job, that’s what you were ‘hired’ to do. You don’t do them because you want to be saved: you’re already saved. You do them because that’s what you were saved to do. YOU DON’T DO GOOD WORKS TO BE SAVED: YOU DO THEM BECAUSE YOU’RE SAVED. Good works are a matter of obedience, not a matter of salvation. You do them because you want to obey God, not because you want to be saved. Brethren, you’re already saved: you don’t need to be saved anymore.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 4. More things you need to know about salvation. The more you know, the more you’ll be settled and sure about your salvation. It’ll clear up the air even more. So pop in. God’s got the air purifier going. You’ll be breathing good in no time.



The Devil wants to keep you confused and tormented about your salvation. There are demonic spirits at work here. In my previous post we looked at a lying spirit and the spirits of unworthiness and rejection. Now for the rest.

(4) THE SPIRIT OF TORMENT IS A SPIRIT OF CONDEMNATION.  When you sin or disobey the Lord, the Devil is real good at reminding you of these sins and keeping you condemned for them. True, you don’t have any excuses. You knew better, but you went ahead and sinned. As a result, here comes the Devil’s lies: “God’s rejected you, He’s not going to forgive you, He’s set His face against you, and He’s determined to keep you out of Heaven.” SIN, YOU SEE, OPENS THE DOOR TO CONDEMNATION. CONDEMNATION OPENS THE DOOR TO UNWORTHINESS. AND UNWORTHINESS OPENS THE DOOR TO REJECTION. The end result is, you’re tormented with thoughts and doubts about your salvation. Sin, I’m saying, plays a huge role in torment and in order for you to get rid of the torments you’ve got to deal with the sin and rebuke the spirit of condemnation that’s keeping you condemned for your sin.

The first thing you need to do is repent for your sin. If you’re not sorry for it and have every intention of doing it again, then you may as well forget about going through the motions of repentance because you’re not truly repentant. God isn’t fooled by outward shows of grief or remorse. And He isn’t obliged to forgive anyone who’s unrepentant.

But if you’re truly sorry and are doing your best not to sin, then repent of that sin. Ask God to forgive you. Then, by faith, receive His forgiveness. God, you see, forgives you when you repent and ask Him for forgiveness: HE DOESN’T WITHHOLD FORGIVENESS FROM YOU. HE DOESN’T REFUSE TO FORGIVE! 1 John 1:9 assures you, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Do you know what this means?

It means, first of all, that it’s God’s will to forgive you of your sin. He doesn’t like the fact that you’ve disobeyed Him. It grieves Him that you’ve sinned. But YOUR SIN DOESN’T CHANGE GOD’S MIND ABOUT FORGIVING YOU. IT DOESN’T CHANGE HIS WILL OR DESIRE TO FORGIVE YOU. Brethren, you serve a very forgiving God! Don’t you ever forget that!

The promise of God’s forgiveness, in the second place, isn’t qualified or conditioned on the type of sin that you committed. If we confess our sins. You see, God didn’t list the different kinds of sins that He would forgive, nor did He say that there are some sins that He will not forgive. Sin is sin. If you sinned, then it’s forgivable. And it’s already been forgiven if you repented for it.

The only sin that’s unforgivable is the unpardonable sin and if you’ve committed that sin you wouldn’t be concerned, bothered, or convicted by it; you wouldn’t be seeking God’s forgiveness for that sin.

Aside from the unpardonable sin, THERE IS NO SIN THAT’S UNFORGIVABLE. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS AN UNFORGIVABLE SIN. NO SIN THAT YOU’VE COMMITTED IS UNFORGIVABLE. Brethren, no matter what sin it was that you committed, it’s a forgivable sin and it lies within God’s desire and will to forgive. THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE SIN, MY FRIEND, DOESN’T CHANGE GOD’S DESIRE OR WILL TO FORGIVE YOU!

Lastly, God’s faithfulness and justice require Him to forgive you of your sin when you repent of it and ask Him for forgiveness. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.  The reason why God forgives you is because His nature demands it. He forgives you because He has to. If He didn’t, He would be unfaithful and unjust. And if He were unfaithful and unjust, He would quit being God. He would no longer be God. Friends, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD NOT TO FORGIVE YOU WHEN YOU REPENT OF YOUR SIN AND ASK HIM FOR FORGIVENESS! GOD WOULDN’T BE GOD IF HE REFUSED TO FORGIVE YOU! Do you seriously think God’s going to quit being God because of you and your sin? Fat chance.

If you’ve repented for your sin, then there’s no such thing as an unforgiven sin in your past. Psalm 103:3 plainly tells you, He forgiveth all thine iniquities. Brethren, there’s no exception to that promise! THERE’S NO SIN IN YOUR PAST THAT REMAINS UNFORGIVEN IF YOU’VE REPENTED FOR IT. THERE’S NO SIN IN YOUR PAST THAT CAN KEEP YOU OUT OF THE KINGDOM. Listen once again to what Jesus said, I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish. Brethren, if God has forgiven you, you stand forgiven right now! You’re not condemned! Don’t let the Devil tell you otherwise!

Romans 8:1  assures us that there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Read it again and read it slowly. God said right now, this very moment, there is no condemnation. Brethren, THE LORD DOESN’T CONDEMN YOU FOR SINS THAT YOU’VE REPENTED OF. He forgives you.

If you’re not sure you’re saved because you sinned and you find yourself mired in remorse, unsure of God’s forgiveness; then chances are, somewhere along the line, you’ve opened the door to a demonic spirit of condemnation. It’s the Devil who’s condemning you. And in order for you to get delivered from the torment of condemnation and unforgiveness you’re going to have to renounce and rebuke this spirit of condemnation and get that demon out of you. Start with repentance for your sin. And while you’re at it, repent to God for your refusal or failure to believe the fact that He’s already forgiven you. Believe that God has forgiven you. Accept His forgiveness. Then go after that demon of condemnation, command him to loose you and come out of you in Jesus’ Name. He has to and he will. Then the next time that demon comes around, telling you your sins haven’t been forgiven, rebuke that lying demon and put that spirit of condemnation on the exit ramp.

(5) THE SPIRIT OF TORMENT IS A SPIRIT OF UNBELIEF.  Unbelief and torment go together and they work together. Those who are demonically tormented don’t really believe that God loves them and wants them to go to Heaven. They don’t believe they’re saved. They’re a pretty hard group of people to deal with and get through because they’ve so completely swallowed up Satan’s lies.

But nothing is too hard for the Lord to do, He can prevail and bring His unbelieving sheep to faith and repentance. Friends, to get rid of all these doubts that plague your mind you’ve got to get rid of unbelief and resolve in your heart that you’re going to quit arguing with the Word and quit finding all sorts of reasons why you can’t possibly make it into Heaven. Repent of your unbelief and believe everything the Lord says about you and your salvation. Don’t argue with Him!

Unbelief is like the gas that fuels and powers your car. When you deprive a car of gas, you deprive it of its ability to run. Brethren, YOU’LL BE FREE FROM TORMENT WHEN YOU DECIDE YOU’RE NOT GOING TO FEED AND FUEL THAT TORMENT WITH YOUR UNBELIEF ANYMORE. Believe and confess God’s promises, especially those that we’ve just look at, and get rid of that demon of unbelief!

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 3. Now that we’ve got the Devil out of the way, it’s time to fix the messed up theology that tormented people have about salvation. It’s theology that’s actually very interesting. Captivating. Definitely not dry-as-toast. Water bottles or Heimlichs not needed here.


The following blog builds upon everything I covered in my five blogs on Eternal Security. If you haven’t read them I urge you to do that now. These blogs on Knowing You’re Saved are dedicated to all God’s people who question their salvation. They’re posted with the prayer that God will bless you with the knowledge and peace of His loving, saving, forgiving hand. From His heart to yours, you can be sure you’re saved!


In reading through these Scriptures that we’ve just read in my previous post (Eternal Security Part 5), the thing that I’d like most for you to see is the fact that God comforts and assures His sheep of their inalienable salvation. It’s God who tells them that their salvation will never be taken away from them, no one will ever be able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand, and they will never perish. GOD, I’M SAYING, COMFORTS HIS PEOPLE WITH THE FACT THAT THEY’RE SAVED AND GOING TO HEAVEN. BRETHREN, IT’S NOT THE LORD WHO TORMENTS YOU WITH DOUBTS AND FEARS ABOUT YOUR SALVATION!

GOD’S NOT TRYING TO KEEP YOU OUT OF HEAVEN. His invitation is, always has been, and still remains, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). Whosoever, my friends, means you! It includes you! God’s not trying to keep you out of Heaven. He’s trying to get you into Heaven and Calvary is the proof of that! Jesus died for you so that you wouldn’t have to spend eternity in Hell.

Your torments and doubts about your salvation come from the Devil. He’s the one who’s planting all these doubts in your mind, telling you you’re not saved or going to Heaven. Do you know why he’s doing it? Because he’s trying to render you useless as a Christian, trying to tell you you’re no good to God, so that you’ll turn your back on Him and go to Hell.

In order for you to be rid of these torments you’ve got to come face to face with the Devil, do battle against him, and silence his lying tongue. Brethren, you’ve got to fight the Devil if you want to be freed from the torments that plague your mind. If you don’t feel like fighting the Devil, ask God for the grace, willingness, and courage to fight. God promised you in Philippians 2:13 that He would make you willing and able to do His good will or pleasure. God, my friends, will give you the willingness to fight and with that willingness, He’ll give you the victory in the fight, you’ll win over the Devil and the torments will cease. But you’ve got to fight the Devil for your freedom.

Now there are any number of demons that are directly responsible for tormenting you about your salvation. You need to wait on the Lord for wisdom as to which demons in particular you’re fighting against. Here are a few of the ones that are commonly involved, and work together, in any warfare relating to your salvation, preservation, and eternal destiny.

(1) THE SPIRIT OF TORMENT IS A LYING SPIRIT.  One of the first things you should know is, if you’re a true child of God, then a lying demon will come to you at some point in your Christian life and try to convince you you’re not saved. He’ll tell you all kinds of things that may even sound good and right. But the truth of the matter is, they’re all lies. He’s lying to you because he doesn’t want you to go to Heaven. He doesn’t want you to believe you’re saved. Brethren, there’s a lying demon talking to you and he’s trying to rob you of your faith and assurance regarding your salvation. Don’t listen to him or believe him. Come against that demon in faith and in the name of Jesus. Rebuke him, tell him to shut up, then send him to the abyss where he belongs.

(2) THE SPIRIT OF TORMENT IS A SPIRIT OF UNWORTHINESS. One of the things a lying demon will tell you is that you’re not worthy of God. You’re nothing to God. God isn’t the least bit interested in you. This is the spirit of unworthiness talking to you.

While it is indeed true that we are unworthy, in and of ourselves, and that we are to have a humble view of ourselves and not be lifted up with pride; the unworthiness that’s involved here is a false humility that robs its victims of their joy (they’re not joyful because they’re just miserable, unwanted sinners); it robs them of their faith (they can’t believe God for the promises because they’re unworthy of God’s goodness); and it robs them of their victory (they live defeated lives of depression, convinced of the lie that God doesn’t love them).

The truth of the matter is, God has made us favored and accepted in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 1:6 once again reads, God hath made us accepted in the beloved. Do you know what accepted means? It means favored. God has made us favored in Christ, He looked upon us with favor and made us an object or recipient of His goodness and love.

There are two things about God’s favor that I’d like for you to note. First, God has already, past tense, made you favored in Christ. It’s not something that’s going to happen to you sometime in the future. To the contrary, it’s something that’s already done! You’re already favored in God’s eyes. You’re favored right now!

And second, it’s God who made you favored. You didn’t do one thing to earn God’s favor and there’s nothing you can ever do to earn it. God favored you because it was His sovereign will and pleasure to do it. While you are truly unworthy, in and of yourself, nevertheless, by God’s grace, He has made you worthy, favored, and accepted in His sight. Brethren, despite your desire to be humble in the sight of God, don’t open the door to this spirit of unworthiness. Don’t let him convince you you’re no good in God’s eyes. Believe and quote the truth of Scripture: God has made you favored in Christ. You are a favored child of God!

(3) THE SPIRIT OF TORMENT IS A SPIRIT OF REJECTION.  Another thing a lying demon will tell you is the lie that God doesn’t love you or want you, He hates you, and He’s out to damn you. This is where another demon, the spirit of rejection, comes in. This spirit of rejection doesn’t want you to know, or believe, that God loves you and has made you accepted in Christ. If the Devil can talk you into believing God doesn’t want you, then you won’t want God; it’ll be useless for you to want God because He doesn’t want you anyway (so the Devil says); so you quit walking with God, you don’t talk to Him, you turn away from Him and give up on Him.

Brethren, if you’ve received Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then you need to know that God accepts you, He wants you, and it’s His will for you to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Ephesians 1:6says God hath made us accepted in the beloved. GOD ACCEPTS YOU, NOT REJECTS YOU!

Read what Jesus promised in John 6:37, All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Friend, GOD DOESN’T REJECT ANYONE WHO COMES TO HIM FOR SALVATION. HE DOESN’T TURN ANYONE AWAY. AND THAT INCLUDES YOU! God’s will is to receive you, not reject you. He said if you draw nigh to Him, He’ll draw nigh to you (James 4:8). Brethren, God’s won’t step away from you when you take a step towards Him. He loves you, wants you, and accepts you.

If you find yourself constantly feeling rejected by God, then you need to know that THE FEELINGS OF REJECTION THAT YOU BATTLE DO NOT COME FROM GOD. The Scriptures that we’ve cited above make this abundantly clear. The rejection that you battle is a work of Satan and chances are, somewhere along the way, you’ve opened the door to oppression by a spirit of rejection. Repent to God for believing these lies of the Devil and for giving in to these feelings of rejection. Believe the promise of God’s acceptance. Then ask God to deliver you from this spirit of rejection.

You can get another believer to pray with you and take you through deliverance. If there’s no one around, you can address the Devil yourself and command the spirit of rejection to loose you and come out of you in the name of Jesus. As long as you resist him, the spirit of rejection cannot stay inside you. He cannot defy you and oppress you against your will. He must come out and the torments must cease. Proclaim your deliverance and confess the promise of Ephesians 1:6, God has made me accepted in the beloved. When you start to battle feelings or thoughts of rejection, send that lying, rejecting demon packing!

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 2. A couple more demons to get rid of. God’s cleaning house, so don’t harbor these fugitives. Aiding and abetting are not allowed.