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Is It Possible to Be Truly Saved and Not Know It?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 20, 2023 12:00 pm

Is It Possible to Be Truly Saved and Not Know It?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 20, 2023 12:00 pm

Episode 1253 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. Does the belief that Mary was sinless keep you from salvation?

2. What happens to Christians when we die?

3. Is it possible to be truly saved but not know it?

4. How can I make sure that I don't confuse the law and gospel?

5. How can I avoid confusing my works with Christ's finished work for me?

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Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

Is it possible to be truly saved and yet not know it? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open. You can call us at 833-THE-CORE, and if you get our voicemail, feel free to leave a message.

Again, that's 833-THE-CORE. That's 833-843-2673. Of course, you can always email us as well. Here's our email address. It's questions at First up today, let's go to Ann in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Ann, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes, I would like to know, appreciate you taking my call. Out of reach. We have family members who love Jesus, they say, and they think they feel like that, you know, their salvation is secure, but they refuse to allow us to mention, even to our grandson, they believe that Mary's without sin. And, you know, they pray to Mary.

And my greatest concern is the fact that how do you reach them? How can you believe Mary's without sin, and yet trust when Christ is the only one who paid for our salvation? I appreciate your wisdom.

Hey, Ann, thank you for that question. So, some of it is just a little bit of theological triage here, right? Can somebody be truly a believer and hold to things that maybe aren't found in the Bible that don't strike at the vitals of the Christian faith and of the gospel?

And I think that the answer to that question is yes. I mean, there are many, many genuine believers who have, you know, contradictory beliefs and it's important for us to recognize that it's not our perfect understanding of everything that saves us. It's that childlike faith in Jesus Christ laying hold of his mercy and grace, the forgiveness of our sins.

That's what saves us. And even if we don't fully understand how that, quote, unquote, mechanism works, our hope is still in Jesus the Savior. Now, that doesn't mean that holding to the, you know, this view that Mary was without sin or her perpetual virginity.

I'm assuming, Ann, just to go back to you really quickly. So, I'm guessing they're Roman Catholic? Yes.

Okay. So, there are, I mean, there are significant doctrinal differences. I'm glad to hear, you know, that they're saying, you know, we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior. And so, I would say continuing to have conversations that center on the gospel, on the redemptive work of Jesus.

It's perfection. It's finality. But then maybe, I mean, if it's a discussion with the parents, you know, wanting to be respectful, but just opening that door and saying, where do you get the idea that Mary was without sin? And even when you look at, you know, in the gospel of Luke, it's sometimes referred to as the Magnificat. The song of Mary at the beginning of Luke's gospel is she is praising God for that promise that God has given of redeemer.

She says, this is Luke chapter one, verse 46, my soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior. We all, including the Virgin Mary, needed, need a Savior. And Christ, the Redeemer of the world is that Savior. And so, you know, and of course, this is the view of the Roman Catholic Church. And I think it's fair to also ask, you know, is this what the church has believed historically? But fundamentally, I would say, holding that doesn't necessarily make someone not a Christian, not a believer. But I think that there are, you know, it does raise other questions about what is our ultimate source of authority?

And how do we determine what is true? And we would want to say, well, the Scriptures are the ultimate source of authority for us as Christians. And so when you have doctrines like this that are not necessarily biblical, I think, it's worth asking these questions.

And maybe that's a conversation that you can begin to have with the parents. And so God bless you and be with you as you have those conversations. I pray that they're fruitful and encouraging for everyone involved.

My question is, my wife and I are debating on this question. What happens when you die? Do you immediately go to heaven? Or do you fall asleep until the second coming?

And then when you're judged, you're brought back? Okay, Doug, my view on this, and I mean, I have a strong view on this, because I think that the Bible, the New Testament is clear. Sometimes in the New Testament, like, you know, in First Corinthians, for example, death can be referred to as sleep, as falling asleep. But I don't think that means that we're in some kind of a soul sleep until the final judgment, until the second coming. The souls of believers, when a believer dies, the souls of believers are immediately at their death, transferred into glory, perfected in holiness. Their bodies, our bodies go down into the ground waiting for the resurrection of the dead on the last day. But our spirits, our souls are in the presence of the Lord.

Together with all the saints, that is those who have believed in Christ and embraced the gospel who have gone before us, together with all the angels around the throne of God, worshipping him. And that seems to be the expectation that the apostles had. That seems to be what Jesus himself taught. You think of his words to the thief on the cross in Luke chapter 23. Today you're going to be with me in paradise. Paul in Second Corinthians chapter 5 says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

And what does that mean? I think that's, you know, this conscious existence in perfect joy, in perfect holiness, in the presence of the Lord. When Paul is talking about his death to the Philippian church in Philippians chapter 1, he says, he's talking about, you know, staying on earth to continue to serve the church and encourage the church in her relationship with God. But he says, you know, my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. That's Philippians chapter 1 verse 23. And so he viewed death as departing this world to be with Jesus, to be in the presence of Jesus, which is far better than anything he had ever experienced in this world. You also have a picture in Hebrews chapter 12 verse 23 of the righteous, the spirits of the righteous, you know, made perfect around the throne of God, worshipping God. And so that's, again, you also see it in Revelation, I think it's Revelation chapter 6, the martyrs beneath the altar worshipping God. And so it seems like over and over again, the New Testament gives us this expectation, this hope that when we die as believers, we are going to be in heaven, in the presence of the Lord, worshipping him. And it's going to be more glorious than anything we could ever imagine here on earth.

And that's the intermediate state waiting for the glorious resurrection of the dead on the last day. And so, hopefully, now, Doug, you got to tell me, so whose side am I on in this debate? Am I on your side or am I on your wife's side? You're on my wife's side. Oh, I'm sorry, man. That's all right, that's all right.

I got a great understanding of it, so that was very helpful. So do you believe that heaven is on earth? I'm reading Proverbs, and I'm reading a certain scripture, I don't remember which one offhand, and I'm paraphrasing here, but it was that you won't be hungry, you're not going to feel any pain. And I'm under the impression from reading everything that heaven is on earth, and there will be no more bad, no more hate, no more anger, and it'll be like paradise.

What is your thoughts on that? Or is heaven as a cloud? Eventually, this is a great question, and eventually, actually, heaven will be on earth. That's what you get at the end of the book of Revelation, Revelation 21 and 22. John has a vision of the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven like a bride adorned for her groom to the earth. And it's a picture of the new creation, what our ultimate hope is, and so right now, when a believer dies, our spirit's going to be with God in heaven.

Now, that's not here on earth. And boy, I'm thankful for that, like this present existence, this present evil age, frankly, that we live in, that we experience, this is not heaven. Believers who have gone before us, they are in heaven in the presence of the Lord, but one day, on the last day, the whole world, what we see around us is going to be recreated, the new creation. The whole creation is groaning for that transformation, Paul says in Romans 8. And so a lot of times when you read those texts about death fully and finally being wiped away, and you see this in Isaiah, specifically in the prophets, what that's pointing us forward to is the new creation, the new heavens and the new earth. And so that's still yet to come, but there is a sense in which we experience it even now, because Paul says, you know, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come. And so the new creation is here, it's already in one sense, but it's also not yet.

It still is awaiting the consummation, the final restoration of all things, which is going to happen when Jesus comes back. God bless you, God bless your wife, and I hope she's able to listen into this as well. Thanks for that, and thank you for calling, Doug, appreciate you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can always leave us a voicemail.

24 hours a day at this number, it's 833-THE-CORE, that's 1-833-843-2673. You know, there are strong opinions on both sides of the abortion issue these days, and we'd like to offer you a new devotional that explores God's view of human life. Yeah, Bill, it's an amazing new devotional called Fearfully Made. As a father and as a Christian, I feel so blessed when I think about my five beautiful children. As the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade approaches, I think it's important to anchor ourselves in the truth of God's word. For nearly 50 years, our culture has continued to devalue the preservation of life. I think that this is, I mean, it's frankly a satanic attack on the image of God, and so this is where we as believers, I think, need to take a strong stand and promote and value life. I mean, this gets at the heart of God's very law, the commandment not to murder.

It isn't just don't take life, but it's also promote life and defend life and protect life. And so I am excited about this devotional. Head over to forward slash offers to get your free physical copy of this new devotional, Fearfully Made. We do have some wonderful devotionals at our website.

We'd love to have you explore this one and some of the many others. Again, you can find them at This one at forward slash offers and look for Fearfully Made.

Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and we had one that came in from one of our listeners in Missouri. This is David. I had a question, and my question is this. Is it possible for a person to be truly saved and yet not know it? And I'm thinking of 1 John 5, where the apostle says, These things I have written unto you that believe in the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life. And the impression I get is that apparently the apostle felt there were people that were genuinely saved but did not know it. So we just appreciate your comment.

Thank you so much. So I don't think that we get accidentally saved. You know, like somebody just has no idea who Jesus is and they just sort of slip into salvation, you know, like you fall into a ditch or something like that. But I do think that there are genuine believers who struggle with assurance. I know that there are. I've been there myself. People who wonder, Man, am I really saved?

I'm not sure. I wrestle with this question. And they are truly born again. They belong to the Lord. And I think, you know, part of what John is doing there in 1 John 5, I love that you brought up that text, is he is helping to give that assurance, that confident hope that we can have as Christians. Not, you know, presumption, but a hope that's rooted in the gospel, a hope that's rooted in God's word and his promise to us as his people, that when we trust in Jesus, when we believe on him, we have eternal life. And Jesus himself said that the one who believes in me has already passed from death to life.

He doesn't enter into the judgment. This is, you know, what he says in John 5. But of course I know, and if you listen to the broadcast, we get so many calls from people who wrestle with that very question for themselves. You know, they've been walking with the Lord for years. Or maybe they're newer Christians and they're wrestling with assurance, wondering, Am I truly, truly saved? Of course there are people who can be just self-deceived, but I do think that there are also many people, many genuine believers who wrestle with this question and do belong to the Lord.

And so to answer your question, yes, I do believe it's possible for someone to be truly saved and not know it or fully grasp that reality, but to wrestle with assurance. God bless. You're listening to CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have any questions about the Bible, the Christian life, maybe a Bible passage that's been confusing you for years, you'd like some clarification on that. You can email us anytime. Here's our email address. It's questions at And as we said, you can always leave us a voicemail at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Jared calling in from Texas. Jared, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi. So my question actually has to do with the previous one and it's just on law and gospel distortions and remedies. I know the Martin Luther commentary on Galatians was recommended.

It's been helpful. And there was one line says, the true doers of the law are those who through faith are the good tree that comes before the fruit. They are doers and workers before doing any of those works. And I was wondering if you could just kind of elaborate on law, gospel, the distortions and the remedies to those distortions for someone who, you know, learning about the doctrine of regeneration, still sees that corruption that we know we're still going to face in this life, but not wanting to, you know, fall into those legalistic or, you know, those types of errors. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. I've recommended that Galatians commentary by Luther. I'm glad you're reading through.

I do think that's just a wonderful resource. And he does get into, because it really is a part of the, you know, Paul's epistle to the Galatians, the proper application of the law of God. That seems like, you know, the agitators in Galatia, they were misapplying the law of God in particular as it related to the doctrine of justification. And so properly distinguishing between the law and the gospel, the law gospel distinction is key. It's so important when we're talking about justification specifically, law and gospel are like oil and water. We can't be justified by law keeping, by our obedience. We're justified purely through the gospel of God's free grace. And so when we begin to sneak works into our justification, which frankly is what was happening in Galatia, they were beginning to include the sort of ceremonial laws of the Old Testament together with the whole law of Moses.

And Paul says, wait a minute. This is not how you receive the Holy Spirit. Was it by doing these things or was it by hearing the gospel of God's forgiveness? And so, listen, if an individual, if a ministry can't properly distinguish between law and gospel, it's not worth listening to, frankly.

I mean, this is like the fundamentals, the basics. And Luther, this says as much. I mean, the entire, you know, Protestant tradition has recognized as much.

But there are ways of also misunderstanding, I think, this distinction in a way maybe that just abandons the idea of the law altogether. That was what was known as antinomianism. And Luther actually had a bit that he wrote about that as well. There was the quote-unquote antinomian controversy where he says, look, we're justified purely by faith, but as the justified, right, God does by the grace of his Spirit work in us. So that we've kept the law in two senses. This is what Luther says. We keep the law as believers in two senses.

One, we perfectly kept it in Christ through the imputation, the gift of his righteousness. So that is, the law is and has been perfectly kept by Christ on your behalf. That's the good news of the gospel and God's grace. Now, as believers now, filled with the Holy Spirit, we also formally keep the law of God. Now, this is an imperfect kind of keeping of the law of God, but it's by the Spirit, you know, and he fights places like Romans chapter eight, where it talks about by the Spirit, we believers now having been justified by the Spirit, we keep the righteous requirement of the law. Of course, none of us do that perfectly. And we won't until we're in heaven with the Lord and we're, you know, perfected in holiness and we have that perfect love in the presence of God. But the Spirit of God is at work in us. And so somebody who just sort of discounts that reality and says, oh, that doesn't matter. You know, I'm saved and the law doesn't matter and I just do whatever I want and live however I want.

That's right. The rejection of the law, that's antinomianism and that's a huge problem too. But properly distinguishing between the two and then understanding how the law functions in the life of the believer and how the gospel functions in the life of the believer as well is key. And so just with that, Jared, I want to go back to you and in terms of distortions, is there something specifically that you're seeing or that you're concerned about or just thinking about in your own life as you sort of properly distinguish between these two? I guess it's more just in my own life.

You know, doctrinally, it's sound. I say that with as much humility as I can, but just I've seen so much corruption in my heart lately. You know, just whether it's blasphemous thoughts or thoughts of suicide or anything like that, just because I look at the promises of the new birth and I see so little of that in me. And there are times when I read God's word and I think an evil thing against him and I just want it to stop.

I'm just trying to nail this down. Jared, let me just pray first for you, brother, and invite all of you listening to pray for our brother Jared. Father, we lift Jared up to you in the fight that he is in, truly to cling to your promise. Lord, not on the basis of his own merit or righteousness or the good that he finds within him, but purely, Lord, your love and your mercy which you have so clearly exhibited in the sending of your son for us and for Jared. And so I pray, Lord, as he is in that fight, that you would grant him grace, relief, the comfort of your Holy Spirit to help, Lord, to apprehend those promises in your word for him, Lord, truly for him.

And God, that the sin that he sees inside of himself, that indwelling sin that we all have as regenerated Christians, that that mountain of sin would be eclipsed in the eyes of his heart by the surpassing love of Jesus and the power of the cross and the potency of his blood. And so please be with Jared today. We pray, minister to his heart by the power of your spirit and grant him your peace through your word. In Jesus' name, amen.

Amen. You know, Jared, we've talked about this, and I'm so grateful that you call in and just want to continually encourage you, and I know that you are seeking the Lord, pursuing the Lord, and looking in. But this is why we see the indwelling sin that's still there, and it ought to grieve us, it ought to discourage us, but I don't want you to look at that and that leads you to despair.

And it shouldn't. Recognizing that that's something that we're all going to have until we're in the presence of the Lord, and that does not excuse it, but it's recognizing that the gospel of God's grace that we were just talking about is big enough to deal with that mountain of sin that we oftentimes still feel and see within us as we wrestle to obey the Lord and to seek the Lord. And so may the Lord comfort you. I do hope that you're plugged into and getting support from your local church as well, and that they're praying for you, and we'll continue to pray for you as well. God be with you. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-the-core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-20 14:17:07 / 2023-06-20 14:26:42 / 10

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