Enough faith?

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by Benjamin, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    I have someone who asked me, “How do I know if I have enough faith to go to Heaven?” I had previously advised him to pray to God and ask Him to show him the truth that is seen through our examining these scriptures, and to ask Him to help build his faith by showing him the truths in these Words. He also stated at the same time when asking about enough faith that he had been praying about this. He understands that Jesus is the only way and it is by grace through faith.

    He’s asked a lot of questions leading to this point and I think he is convicted by the truth. We were interrupted as he asked me this and I only had the opportunity to quickly tell him that it sounds to me that his praying is a sign of faith, and we’ll talk about it some more.

    I’ve thought of something I once heard of bringing him to Romans 10:9, then asking him if he believes this, and if he says, “Yes” to ask him flat out, “Trevor are you saved.” If he says he doesn’t know then ask him about Romans 10:9 again, and repeating it a few times this to see if he gets it.

    1 John 5:13 seems to be a place to begin also.

    I’m a bit nervous about being in this position, although I’ve prayed to God to put me in it.

    How would you approach this?
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, Benjamin.

    Sounds like you have a good approach. I'm sure it will work out fine with your friend as you bathe your approach with prayer. Let me share a couple of approaches I've used for teaching assurance of salvation.

    First of all, I sometimes use Rom. 8:38-39 to teach that once we are trusting in Christ, we are kept by His love, and not any thing nor anybody can take us away from His love. This passage pretty much covers it all. I might say, "Can the Devil take you away from God's love?" Nope, of course not! Or I might say, "Can you yourself take you away from God's love according to these verses?" Nope.

    If there is a child nearby I'll illustrate this by asking the child to take a coin out of my closed fist. Of course the child can't, so I point out that God has infinite power, so no one can take us out of His hand. John 10:27-29 is also great for this.

    My second approach can be done also with John 10:27-29, or with any other verse that speaks of us becoming God's children, such as John 1:12. I'll point out that once you are in a family you can't get out. You can't change your genetic makeup even if you run away from home and change your family name!

    My God bless and help you.
     
  3. bapmom

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    I hope it's ok if I add something here - it sort of sounds like he is trusting in his amount of faith for his salvation. We have faith that God will save us, but that faith is because we have read the Word of God and we believe what's written in there. It's not a blind faith that gropes around looking for something to grab onto and hoping something's there in the dark. This is a faith that comes by the hearing of the Word of God.

    However, once we've trusted in Christ, called on His name, placed ourselves in His care, then even if our faith wavers we are saved. My salvation is not dependent on my keeping up hope in my heart, or in my sincerity......after all, would I still be saved if I got Alzheimer's and forgot all about God? Yes.....so our faith is not what's keeping us saved...it is Jesus Christ and Him alone.
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, bapmom. Well said.

    Interesting that you should mention Alzheimer's and faith. My father died with Alzheimer's, and by then he had forgotten almost everything. But when Mom checked him into the hospital for the last time, she asked him what to put under "religion" on the form. He said, "I don't have a religion, I have a Savior!" Then while in the hospital before being moved to hospice care, he kept trying to hold services for the other patients, using a magazine as a songbook and Bible.

    Faith is a function of our heart, and not our brain. Alzheimer's can attack the brain and in that way the mind, but it can't touch the heart!

    By the way, how is deputation going? Praying for you.
     
  5. bapmom

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    what a great testimony! Thank you for sharing it. :)

    deputation is starting slow and yet with a bang. lol Richard needs to get his schooling going first and he just found out today that he has to take a few more classes then he'd first anticipated, but he'll be able to do the correspondence while on deputation.

    our prayer card keeps getting messed up, so a man in our church is going to help us out with that.

    and we are working on the possibility of getting an RV for our family to travel in. Please pray about that with us, as that is our (well, my) largest concern right now - we need to be able to live somewhere here pretty soon, and an RV is our most likely candidate.

    Thanks for asking and I appreciate all your prayers! :godisgood:
     
  6. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    No problem, and thanks. Although I feel assured in helping him find the answers through the Word, my thoughts are racing as to which direction to go first; I am fairly new to having someone be so eager to have me explain all these things, and also in witnessing them to have a change of heart while I do so. If you could understand my background of having picked up a Bible on my own, that is, without human guidance or witnessing, and coming to see the truth of God in those words while I sat alone at home studying them, then you might understand my struggle in this area of proper procedure. :) Suggestions from my brothers/sisters are always welcome in this area. And actually, on another side note: ever since I did come to God, the question arose, and I have a hard time understanding why there was/is not a church on every corner, and why nobody ever sat me down and explained the truth to me during the first 35 years of my life. This is one strong motivation, among others, that I feel the need to go out and be a witness and do seek the advice of those more experienced than I.



    Could be; he has come from listening to the words men telling him that the Bible was written by men, that all religions have their scriptures and gods, etc, to realizing how the truth is seen in the Bible that these very Words were inspired by God, and that Jesus IS the Word. I believe he has seen that the scriptures testify of there own truths and has come to realize the great wisdom of God in the way he preserved and presented them, in accordance with His plan for us in this way, which no man could ever do.

    This is why I feel that leading him into understanding the meaning of Romans 10:9 might help. He has prayed in his conviction and beliefs because of seeing this truth about Jesus, and one might consider that calling on His Name; but then again, maybe not, because it seems somewhat more of an enlightenment to the realization that it is true, than a confession by the mouth for him, at this point anyway. JoJ, may be correct looking at this as a question of assurance of salvation and is pointing to a good approach, but before this is still the question of: if he has placed his trust in Christ, or not, as he seems to be asking how he can know.

    It may be something that he needs to work out on his own, in his own heart, or it may also be that he is struggling with what the immediate world around him is saying/asking in regards to his belief. Got Romans 1:16 for that.


     
    #6 Benjamin, Apr 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2008
  7. mima

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    Here in this statement by badmom is a great truth!
    " However, once we've trusted in Christ, called on His name, placed ourselves in His care, then even if our faith wavers we are saved. My salvation is not dependent on my keeping up hope in my heart, or in my sincerity......after all, would I still be saved if I got Alzheimer's and forgot all about God? Yes.....so our faith is not what's keeping us saved...it is Jesus Christ and Him alone."
    __________________

     
  8. Tom Butler

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    I understand the motivation for helping new converts. I have pointed people to John 10:27-29 myself.

    But I think we're on very dangerous ground here. It's a short step from giving them scripture to help them understand grace, faith and assurance--to trying to convince a doubter that he's saved. I don't think we should ever do that. We simply cannot know.

    There are two ways to look at it. A believer who becomes concerned about his salvation must be saved because unsaved people don't show that kind of concern.

    And one who doubts his original salvation experience may be exactly right, and to try to talk him into assurance would be actually condemning him to believe a lie.

    I k now several people, including three deacons and several members of my family who've been through this. For all of them, it was not a question of doubting their salvation; they were dead certain they were lost.

    Two approaches can work, I think. One, treat doubters as lost until they give their own testimony of God's saving grace.

    Two, if some are doubting their orginal conversion experience, don't try to take them back there. Tell them, "I'm not concerned about 10,20,30 years ago. I want to know where you are right now. Do you love God? Do you trust him as your Savior and confess him as Lord, right now." Their answers will give you the clues as to where to go next.

    I repeat my concern. We should not ever risk trying to talk a lost man into thinking he's saved.
     
  9. Benjamin

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    Thanks Tom, I think you have picked up on my concerns. I don’t want to be caught up in trying to convince him that he is saved, while I do want him to let him know that he can have that assurance. And in this I do agree in that if he is worried about it, that concern says a lot.

    If he has become dead certain that he is lost then I feel that is what calling on the Name of the Lord is about, and is the next step. A fear comes over while examining your own faith and seeing the need to surrender becomes all so apparent because of belief. Jesus did say, come unto me all you that labor and He will give you rest, and to learn of Him for His yoke is easy and burden is light.

    Anyway, what a wonderful predicament for him to be in! I’ve been hoping and praying that he shows up again soon so we can talk some more; and also that I don’t become a crying sentimental fool if I hear him confess that trust in Christ. :eek: :rolleyes: :)
     

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