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Am I Truly Saved If I Don't Feel Convicted of My Sin?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 17, 2024 5:30 pm

Am I Truly Saved If I Don't Feel Convicted of My Sin?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 17, 2024 5:30 pm

Episode 1512 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

  1. Where do I go in the Bible for help with addiction? 2. Can a Christian still enter Heaven if they struggle with addiction? 3. What can a member of the military do if the base chapel is unbiblical? 4. Am I truly saved if I don't feel convicted of my sin?     Today’s Offer: How To Keep Your Faith After High School   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Am I truly saved if I don't feel convicted of my sin? 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. You can call us right now with your question. Here's our phone number, 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-833. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, we are on Instagram and on YouTube. And if you go to our YouTube channel right now, you can send Adriel a question through YouTube, and you can always email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com.

Well, first up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners. This is Brandon in St. Louis. Hey, Brandon. Let's take a moment to pray for our brother. And just ask that God would indeed free him from the jaws of addiction.

Our Father in heaven, we come before you right now. Thank you for Brandon. Thank you for his openness, Lord. Thank you that he, every day, is praying to you, repenting of his sins.

And yet, Lord, still feels just the heat of that battle, the temptation, addiction, the effects of withdrawal. We pray, Lord God, that you would free him. We ask, God, that you would surround him with the help that he needs, the encouragement that he needs. That you would serve him, but, Lord, that you would do what only you can do by the work of your Holy Spirit in putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, Lord God. So please be with our brother. Please encourage him and strengthen him that he might serve you and walk with you, Lord, free of anything that keeps him from walking with you in Jesus' name.

Amen. I mean, obviously, there is that spiritual component, growing in grace and, you know, feeding on the Word of God, being in good fellowship. But a lot of times with addiction, sometimes it's wise to seek professional help, depending on the kind of addiction.

Wouldn't you say, Bill? Without a doubt, because there's a physiological portion as well. And so, yes, you know, we need to pray. We need to study God's Word.

We need accountability from those in the body of Christ. But sometimes we do need professional help and sometimes even a 12-step, you know, program. Can be helpful. And there certainly are those for both alcohol and for drugs. And I would, you know, strongly suggest that he find one. And sometimes those can even be Christ-centered addiction groups.

And that's probably what I would recommend if he can find one in his area. Yeah. And so I think what we would say is pursue everything that you know you're called to pursue. I mean, first and foremost, you are repenting, so you're confessing your sin. You realize that this thing, whatever it is—you mentioned you're having withdrawal effects.

I'm not entirely—I don't know if this is alcohol or something else—but you realize that you have an unhealthy relationship with this thing. So you're confessing it to the Lord. I think also probably talking to your church leaders about this, elders in your church. If you don't have a church, you need to be in a church so that they can give you some added accountability and care so that they can check in on you and say, hey, how are things going in that fight?

But then certainly even going beyond that and getting help outside of the church as well could be crucial in this situation. And so God bless you and be with you and strengthen you in this fight and help you to present yourself every day to God as one who is alive from the dead. The instruments of your body, who you are, Brandon, every part of you, for the glory of God, may you use your mind, your body for God's glory, and may God set you free. God bless.

So well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, church life. Maybe we get calls from people who say, you know, there's something going on at my church I don't really understand or I'm not sure I agree with or is this really biblical? Hey, we're open to those questions as well. The number is 833-THE-CORE and we'll be taking calls for the next 20 minutes or so.

That's 833-843-2673. Let's go to Kim calling in from Oklahoma. Kim, what's your question for Adriel? Hi there. Can you hear me?

Hey Kim, I can hear you. Okay. I'm so glad that you all offer Christians a chance and opportunity to ask questions. I've asked several people this question and I've never really gotten a simple, I don't know if it's simple, but a yes or a no. My question is can a Christian enter heaven with a spirit slash demon because I know that everything is spiritual but I don't know the answer to the question.

Kim, just to follow up with you, sounds like you're in the car but I'd love to follow up with you really quickly. Are you asking the question, is this a concern that you have for yourself or for somebody else? I'm just wondering, like, you feel spiritual oppression. You're wondering, can I go to heaven feeling this way?

I want to get some more of the background here. Okay. I believe that I've been delivered of more than one spirit, whether it was a spirit of jealousy, the spirit of forgiving myself. I could always forgive others but it was hardest to forgive myself. But right now I'm dealing with the spirit of addiction and I caught the last end of the last call. So that's my issue right now. Okay.

So a couple of things, Kim. One, I mean obviously in the Bible it's very clear that we're in a spiritual war, that there are evil spirits, demons, that seek to tempt us, that seek to attack us as followers of Jesus Christ. I wouldn't personify those struggles that we have as evil spirits. So you're struggling with jealousy, for example. Oh, that must mean I have the demonic spirit of jealousy inside of me or something like that. No, those temptations, those struggles arise from within. It's like James says, each person is tempted when they're drawn away by their own desires. And so I would want to distinguish there.

I'd want to say, hey, I don't know that it's best to call that. I don't think it's right to call that a spirit or a demon per se. Now, that doesn't mean that the devil can't tempt us to those things. But I think we're muddying the waters because specifically, as Christians, we are full of or filled with the Holy Spirit. We're sealed by the Holy Spirit, Paul says in Ephesians chapter 1. And if the Spirit of God lives in you, you're going to still struggle with sin, right? You're going to feel the conviction of sin because the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. But the Spirit of God and the Spirit of the evil one, or demonic spirits, can't cohabitate.

They don't live together. And John makes this absolutely clear, I think, in places like 1 John chapter 5. He says, we know that we are from God and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

And right before that, he says, we know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him and the evil one does not touch him. In other words, Kim, if you've trusted in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in you, has sealed you, you'll still struggle as a Christian with things like jealousy and even addiction, you know, wrestling with maybe the same pattern of sinful behavior. But that doesn't mean that you're demon-possessed or that you have an evil spirit. Instead, what you should do, Kim, is confess those things to the Lord and continue to fight against them, you know, through all the means that God has given to you by, you know, accountability in church, by being under the ministry of the word, by reading scripture, by prayer. And recognize that you belong to the Lord. You don't belong to the evil one. He can't touch you.

He doesn't have authority over your life. Jesus is the one who has claimed you for himself. And so offer yourself up to the Lord and offer this up to the Lord, this struggle with addiction, whatever it is. Offer that up to the Lord, confessing it to God and recognizing that when you confess your sins, as John says in 1 John earlier, God is faithful and just to forgive you and to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. That's the promise that you have according to scripture. And may you rest in that promise and may this realization, I think, set you free from, you know, that concern of, oh, am I possessed by the devil of jealousy?

Or am I possessed by the evil spirit of addiction? These are the temptations that arise from within us, from our own indwelling sin that still remains. But the good news is Jesus has overcome the world and he's overcome our sin at the cross. And if you are in him, you have been set free to walk according to his word and according to righteousness. May the Lord bless you and enable you to walk that walk. So well said.

And just a follow-up question for you, Adriel. There are churches, there are particular denominations even, that would agree with Kim and they would say, well, this is a spirit of jealousy. This is a spirit of addiction. As if Satan has these particular spirits that are somehow controlling us or aggressive against us.

How would you respond to that kind of teaching? Yeah, you know, I'm just thinking of scripture. My mind goes to that tormenting spirit that was sent upon Saul. And what it, I mean, it led to his frustration, his anger towards King David seeking to kill him.

Probably a great deal of jealousy there. And so there is a sense in which the evil one can tempt us. And again, I think there we recognize we're in a spiritual fight. But where I would want to distinguish once again is to say, look, as believers in Jesus, we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. We can grieve the spirit, but we've been sealed by the Holy Spirit. And if the spirit of the living God is in you, if God himself is in you, well, he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. That is the evil one. Who is the one who lives in you? Jesus Christ by faith. And so not getting confused about this, not thinking, well, Jesus lives in me, but so does the evil spirit of, you know, jealousy or the evil spirit.

No. If Jesus lives in you, you belong to him. And while you might struggle with jealousy or addiction or any number of things, confess those to the Lord and again offer yourself up to God and walk in the freedom that Jesus Christ has purchased for you.

That's what we need to understand. Thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now. If you've got a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe a doctrinal issue that came up in a discussion with someone in a small group or at your church, feel free to give us a call at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

Here's an email that came in from one of our listeners named Jacob. He says, I'm in the military and stationed somewhere where I don't have a vehicle. So my only option is on the base chapel for Sunday service. Without going into detail, I don't agree with some of the teachings that range from the very topical feel good type of preaching to just plain non-biblical. I still want to be part of the weekly gathering of the body, but I'm getting to the point of not looking forward to it. And I can feel myself having a predisposed negative attitude toward whatever the teaching is for that day.

Do you have any advice? Jacob, my brother, one, thank you for your service. What a blessing it is for me to be in San Diego and to get to minister to a number of military families, even in our own church. What a blessing they have been. But I also know it can be really hard depending on where you're stationed, the kind of Christian fellowship that you have.

I think the guys who are on ships for a long period of time. And it's just like, man, you know, just starving for that solid Christian fellowship and a well ordered biblical worship service. I know it can be really, really hard. I appreciate the fact that you're wanting to go to the base chapel or whatever it is to get some fellowship. I think that's a good thing. I know exactly what you mean when you say, you know, it's hard to sit under the teaching there.

I'm so critical of it. I think continue to be discerning, continue to be Berean. Pray and say, OK, this is an opportunity I have maybe to meet some other Christians, some other like minded people. And so in that sense, it could be an opportunity for fellowship. It could be also that God, you know, hopefully, hopefully every once in a while, you know, the chaplain gives a sermon where there is something good and edifying, something nourishing, as opposed to it just always being the sort of feel good, you know, ear tickling type of a thing.

So, I mean, it sounds to me like you're discerning. And so I'm not so much concerned that you're going to go and be led astray. I just know it's important for you to have solid Christian fellowship to meet other believers and folks that you can have conversations with. So for that reason, I would say continue to be a part of it.

Now, if you're just getting flat out heresy, well, then, yeah, I would say don't subject yourself to that. I'm thankful for a lot of the churches that still provide live stream of their services. Our church is currently doing that still. There are so many opportunities to listen to Bible teaching via radio or podcast or YouTube or whatever it is.

I think that that's good. But as you noted, I mean, there's no replacement for gathering together with believers in the flesh. And so my heart goes out to you. And I just pray that you do something does sort of materialize and you do find a solid group of Christian brothers that you can grow together with. And ultimately that the Lord does get you plugged into a solid church because I know it can be a desert out there. And so may the Lord, Jacob, be with you and may he sustain you and strengthen you even in this difficult time, even in this desert of fellowship. I pray that the Lord would be showering you with his grace, helping you to walk in holiness and to set an example for the rest of the men around you. A solid Christian example as you seek to be faithful to the Lord. God be with you, Jacob.

And Jacob, we want to recommend a wonderful resource that we have. And this would be for anyone who's currently serving in the military or maybe a family member of a service person. It's called Called to War, the Christian and the Military, actually written by a, I believe, a Navy chaplain. And really gets into how do you balance that service to our country and your ultimate service to God?

Again, it's called Called to War. And you can find that by going to corechristianity.com. Another resource we have, absolutely free, perfect for this time of year, has to do with those young people that are graduating from high school, maybe heading off to college or the military or the working world, and want to keep their faith. Well, it's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. Yeah, Bill, as you mentioned, a great resource for graduating seniors or those who are heading into college. Really, I think any young adult who is in the season of life where they're trying to make their parents' faith their own, and boy, how important is that?

Especially when there's that transition there, you're breaking away from living under your parents' roof to make sure that that faith, a right understanding of the Word of God, a right understanding of what it looks like to be a Christian, isn't something that's left behind. And so this resource is going to help you there. And I do hope that you'll get a hold of it, especially if you know someone who just graduated or is going through that kind of transition stage in life. And as Bill said, it's called How to Keep Your Faith After High School.

And it's absolutely free. You can find that at our website. Go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers.

And look for How to Keep Your Faith After High School. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the CORE. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave your question on our voicemail system. Here's one that came in from a listener named Gustavo.

Good afternoon. So I discovered that I was not truly saved. I want to, but I can feel conviction of my sins. I tried to see how bad I am, but I just couldn't understand.

It's weird. I want to be saved, but I don't even have this basic step, this prerequisite of salvation. Could you please help me?

Gustavo, thank you for reaching out to us. So one of the things I'll say is a lot of people, what they do is they say, okay, am I saved? And then they determine the answer to that question on the basis of some sort of feeling that they're able to conjure up. The saved person is sealed by the Holy Spirit, should feel a sense of conviction over sin.

I don't feel a strong conviction over sin, therefore I must not be saved. That's not necessarily the case. There can be a number of reasons why we've grown dull or numb.

That doesn't mean that we're not saved necessarily. It could be a sign of spiritual unhealth. But my bigger concern is, and I think this is for a lot of people, when they're wrestling through this question, they're looking for something inside of them, some kind of feeling, some kind of affection, and they're concerned because I just don't have that, or I don't have that to the extent that I should. Let me just say to you, brother, we all lack that level of affection that we should have toward the Lord, that level of love that we should have toward the Lord. That's like the hymn says, you know, Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.

I can see that in my own heart. I can see how cold it is at times, how quickly I wander away from the commandments of the Lord. And if that's all you're looking at, well, then you're going to feel really, really discouraged. And there might be times where you feel encouraged. There might be times where you really feel convicted and you think, you're doing a really good job, and you say, okay, I am saved. And then you struggle the next day or the next week, and you begin to wonder, well, maybe, okay, I guess I'm not.

Here's the thing. We need to base our faith, our confidence, first and foremost, upon the Word of God, upon what God has said through Jesus in His Word and in the Gospel. Jesus says that if we are faithful to confess our sins, if we'll confess our sins to Him, truly bring them to Him, that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

Even, you know, you calling in and asking this question, you're saying, I want this. I want to have conviction over sin. I want to love God like I should, but I recognize that I don't. Well, confess that to the Lord. Send that to God. Confess it to Him and say, Lord, I realize that I don't love You like I should. I realize that I don't desire You like I should. I realize that I don't hate my sin as much as I should.

Help me. Help me to fear You. Help me to grow in wisdom. And that's something we're all doing as Christians. You think of, you know, the book of Proverbs, the fear of the Lord, the importance of hating sin, of departing from evil.

Well, that's what we're called to grow in. And so as you fix your eyes on the gospel, on the objective promises of the Word of God to you in Jesus, that if you confess your sins, you are indeed forgiven. If you're clinging to the gospel, that's your confidence.

That's the anchor of your soul, really. It's Jesus who died, rose again, and ascended at the right hand of the Father, who makes intercession for you. I think of such a beautiful verse. I was thinking about this the other day, talking about this passage with my children. We're reading through 1 John right now. And what does John say? If anyone sins... He says, I write these things to you, little children, that you may not sin, but if anyone sins, any of you Christians sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. Can you imagine? What amazing news. And we think, man, I sin, and the Holy Trinity is up in heaven talking about me, like, gosh, can we be done with that guy yet? Like, again? Really?

No. John says, look, when we sin... I'm writing these things to you so that you may not sin, but when you sin, listen to this. You have an Advocate, someone who is speaking on your behalf in heaven.

Who is that? Jesus Christ the Righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for your sins. Not only for your sins, John says, but also for the sins of the whole world. And so when you're discouraged, when you feel like, man, I'm not convicted enough, I just say one amen. You're right. You're not.

None of us are. We ought to grieve more over our sins and at the fact that we don't love God like we should. But we take that to the Lord and we confess it to Him, knowing that He's gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

And when you bring that to God, know that He forgives you. He doesn't cast you away and say, oh, no, not interested in your plea for mercy. It's like what Jesus says in John 6, verse 37. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me, I will never cast out.

What a promise. Are you concerned that Jesus will cast you out? I don't have enough love. I don't have enough conviction.

Well, listen to what He says. If you come to Me, if you come to Me, confessing that even, God, I don't love you like I should. God, help me to be more convicted about my sins. Help me to fear you like I should. If you come to Me, I won't cast you out.

I will receive you. I will forgive you. You come to Me by faith, confessing your sins. And so that's my encouragement to you. Rest in that great reality. Rest in those promises that God has given to you, that His mercy and forgiveness is greater than the coldness that is in your heart, is greater than your own sin. May God bless you, be with you, strengthen you, and grant you the fear of the Lord that you might serve and follow Him. God bless. You
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-17 18:53:46 / 2024-06-17 19:03:39 / 10

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