If there were a Guinness Book of World Records entry for “amount of times having prayed the sinner’s prayer,” I’m pretty sure I’d be a top contender. For many years I struggled to gain an assurance of salvation. I have since learned that I am not alone. “Lack of assurance” is epidemic among evangelicals.
In this book I show that faulty ways of presenting the gospel are the source of much of the confusion. Our presentations of the gospel are not heretical, per se, but they often mislead. “Asking Jesus into your heart” or “giving your life to Jesus” often give false assurance to those who are not saved and keep those who genuinely are saved from it.
In this book I unpack the doctrine of assurance, showing that salvation is a posture we take to the promise of God in Christ, a posture that begins at a certain point but that we maintain for the rest of our lives. Along the way, I answer tough questions about assurance: “What exactly is faith? What is repentance? Why are there so many warnings that seem to imply we can lose our salvation?” I attempt to handle these with respect to the theological rigors required, while not losing sensitivity of a pastor or the communicative technique required to teach these things to teenagers. I weave through the book my own personal, often comically tragic struggle.
Chapter titles are:
1. Baptized Four Times
2. God Wants us to Have Assurance
3. Jesus in My Place
4. What is Belief?
5. What is Repentance?
6. Why Does the Bible Seem to Warn Us So Often About Losing Our Salvation?
7. The Evidence We Have Believed
8. What to Do When You’re Worried You are Not Saved
I would love your thoughts, so feel free to share below!