Are You Saved? Do You Know?

How often have you felt a quiet uneasiness about your life? A feeling that something is missing, but you are not sure what it is, a longing to be happy, to feel at rest? 

The following article and Bible verses can help you better understand that uneasy, sometimes lonely feeling and how you can find that rest that takes the place of unease. 

Do you know that the Bible teaches that all men are born in sin and are naturally inclined to do evil? Thus all men are in a lost state and condition. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22). Psalm 51:5.

Do you know that the Bible teaches that God has no pleasure in the death of a sinner, and is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to the knowledge of truth and be saved? “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” (Ezekiel 33:11). “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13). 1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9.

Do you know that the Bible teaches that God’s plan of salvation is very simple and effective? “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “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” (John 3:16). Romans 10:13; Acts 8:36-38; Hebrews 7:25.

Complete text of: Are You Saved? Do You Know?

Do you know that the Bible teaches a saving experience that you may know that you are saved? “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 55:12-13). Luke 7:47-50; 1 John 3:14; Acts 16:30-34.

Do you know the Bible teaches that a saved person has fruits as evidence of his salvation? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance… And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:22-24). “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). Romans 8:1; Matthew 25:37-40.

Do you know that the Bible teaches that a saved person is in danger of being deceived and of losing his salvation? “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:4-5, 24). “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10). 1 Peter 5:8; Luke 12:39; 2 Peter 2:22.

Do you know that the Bible teaches that God has a plan by which to keep your soul? “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17). “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 24-25). Acts 20:20; Mark 16:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 4:30; 2 Timothy 1:12.

Do you know that the Bible teaches that a saved person is actively mission minded and, in appreciation of his salvation, endeavors to help others find their Savior, too? “And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee” (Psalm 51:12-13). John 4:29; Psalm 66:16.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

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Deliverance From Tobacco—Say Goodbye to Smoking

There are numerous reasons that people start smoking. Some may smoke because their parents did and to them it is just a fact of life. Some may smoke because their friends do and they don't want to feel "left out". Others probably started out of rebellion. Rebellion to something their parents told them and they want to prove to their parents that they can do whatever they want to. Read on for some encouragements on breaking this vice. 

In his search for happiness, man has taken many byways that have left him disappointed. Among these have been wealth, social activities, and the use of tobacco and alcohol. All this has left man with an emptiness within. In John 4:1-30, Jesus refers to this emptiness in his encounter with the woman of Samaria who was drawing water from a well. He offered her living water that would satisfy the thirst of her soul. The well water satisfied her physical thirst, but Jesus satisfied her inner thirst.

Perhaps not many people today would admit that they have a need or an inner thirst in their lives. Even though physical actions and desires often suppress this need, it is still there. For this reason God sent Jesus to deliver man from the temptations and sins of this world (or flesh). He holds out hope to the captives of sin that there is freedom and renewal for hearts and minds.

Why People Use Tobacco

Why do people use tobacco today? Does it give lasting satisfaction? Perhaps friends whom one admires have this habit, so smoking looks desirable. Sometimes people feel the need to do certain things they otherwise wouldn’t, just to be accepted. Is there an underlying feeling of insecurity that demands fulfillment? It would be good if everyone would seriously analyze these questions.

Complete text of: Deliverance From Tobacco—Say Goodbye to Smoking

Insecurities often cause a person to fill his time with activities that take the mind off the more important things of life. Sometimes habits are developed that give one the outward appearance of being in control. Nervous people often seem to need something in their hands to calm themselves. They become dependent on cigarettes, but find no lasting calmness.

Many young people are influenced to try cigarettes. Their friends may offer them a smoke. Advertisements show healthy young adults using tobacco, giving the impression that this is the thing to do. Some may imitate parents who smoke. They feel that they can control their desire to smoke and are sure that they can quit at any time. Too late, they realize they cannot quit but are addicted to tobacco.

Is Tobacco Sinful?

Is the use of tobacco wrong? Does the Bible say it is sin? These are frequently asked questions that deserve an answer. No, the Bible does not specifically mention the use of tobacco. But it does give directions and principles that can be used as a guide.

The Bible clearly teaches that our bodies are not our own, that they are intended to be temples for God and for his Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 shows that it is sinful to harm or defile our bodies: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” The use of tobacco has been clearly shown to weaken and even destroy the body that was meant to bring honor and service to God. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

God pleads with men to abstain from those fleshly appetites that dull their spiritual senses. “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). Both the distractions from real values and the carnal pleasure sought in the use of tobacco identify it as an agent that “wars against the soul.” The use of tobacco is an effort to satisfy the fleshly nature. The Bible says, “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).

God wants his servants to live pure lives, separated from the unbelieving society which surrounds them. Accepting Christ and his way, bearing his cross, will cause a person to live differently from those who are not Christians. The apostle Paul wrote, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14). Can it be said that the use of tobacco is a clean, pure, harmless habit that is inoffensive to others? Does it belong to a person who has been separated from the world by the cross of Christ? We must conclude that its use identifies one with those many others on the broad road who seek their own pleasure rather than the will of God.

Misuse of Resources

The need to spend money for tobacco often deprives children and other adults of the needful things of life—food and clothing and even homes. This selfish use of money is causing much suffering and discomfort in the world today. Billions of dollars are spent annually purchasing tobacco for selfish pleasure. The Lord says, “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness” (Isaiah 55:2).

God Can Deliver

God loves you and wants you to come to Him just as you are. He is well able to deliver you. Even though tobacco is strongly addictive, and you may have a craving for it, God will gladly bring his almighty power to bear upon your problem. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19).

If you are using tobacco there may be many questions that come to your mind. You may ask, “What will my friends think if I stop smoking? What will they think if I can’t stop? I’ve tried before and failed. The desire for a cigarette is so strong. Smoking one gives me some relief—until I need the next one. Who will help? Does God understand how I feel?”

God sees your heart. He not only sees your habits and problems, but He sees how Satan has trapped you. Your own pride may have brought you into these problems through your desire to find acceptance from your friends. Jesus died on the cross to bring deliverance from the hard master of sin. Those who recognize their need for deliverance and crucify self will find help. Romans 6:5-6 instructs us: “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

God created us in his image and expects us to glorify Him with our lives. The Scriptures say in 1 Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Those things that do not glorify God are the very things that leave an especially empty feeling afterward. People are tempted to do them again and again, trying to find pleasure. But, alas! It does not last. God’s compassion and mercy reach out to those caught in this circle of vice to lift them into the newness of life in Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

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Evidence of Personal Salvation

Does the Bible give an answer to the often asked question whether or not a person can have an evidence of salvation? Can a person know if his sins are forgiven or not, or must he wait until Judgment Day to find out? It would be most unfortunate and risky to leave this most important question unsettled until then.

Yes, one may know, and the Lord wants us to be sure that we are saved. His invitation is “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world [sinners, everyone], that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It is true that by nature all have sinned and come short of doing the will of God.

Man needs a Savior in his unregenerate state. He is dead in sin and trespass, lost, and needs a Savior to save him. Our kind and merciful heavenly Father has provided salvation through Jesus Christ for all who avail themselves of his wonderful grace. He shed his blood and died on the cross a “propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2). It is necessary for a sinner to feel the need of cleansing and forgiveness of sins, imploring “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). In contrition he acknowledges his guilt and confesses his sins, first to God, and also makes proper restitution with men. He looks in faith to “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus then forgives his sins.

God gives evidence of forgiveness of sins in various ways. Sometimes He says in plain words “thy sins are forgiven thee” (Luke 5:20). If our sins are forgiven us, we have peace with God. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). (Having been confirmed, baptized, or being a member of a church does not constitute a new birth). “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is born again (anew) as Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This is a spiritual birth. A natural birth produces a natural life, but a spiritual birth produces a spiritual life. Spiritual life is effected by being “born of water (the Word of God) and of the Spirit” (John 3:5).

A person born of the Spirit is risen from the dead (spiritual death) and seeks “those things which are above” (Colossians 3:1). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

Complete text of: Evidence of Personal Salvation

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). Their affections are set on things above and not on things on the earth. They will mortify (deaden) their members which are upon the earth: not be carnally minded nor follow the course and desires of nature. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16). The Spirit of God assures: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17).

When “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5), we will be reaching out for heavenly things: loving and feeding on the Holy Scriptures and witnessing for our Lord.

This love from God reaches farther than natural love and family ties. It enables one to love his enemies and those who may hate him (Matthew 5:44).

The Lord Jesus taught when He commissioned his disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Converts, born again Christians, are to be received into the Church of God through water baptism by spiritually alive, called-of-God ministers. A prayer life naturally follows a Christian experience. Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath. Through prayer spiritual strength and vigor are replenished to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10); to be able to “hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Revelation 3:11).

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