By Eric Johnson
It is common for Christians to sometimes doubt their salvation and think they may no longer be accepted by God. These doubts may occur after they have sinned or struggled with their faith. At one time or another, many faithful Christians have asked, “What if I’m not good enough? And what if God doesn’t love me anymore?”
It is important to understand that salvation is “God’s gift” and doesn’t come “from works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). This comes only through belief in Jesus (Acts 16:31; Rom 10:9-10). While some teach that salvation can be lost, it is impossible for a Christian to lose God’s favor. In fact, the Bible provides plenty of references to show how God’s Spirit will never leave the believer.
Paul certainly supported this idea throughout his writings. He wrote in Rom 8:38-39 that nothing can “separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” This is because “He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6). In essence, God “sealed us and [has] given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts” (2 Cor 1:21-22). Jude, another New Testament writer, added that God is “able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy” (Jude 24).
In addition, the apostle John spent much time and effort assuring believers that they are eternally secure in their salvation. According to John’s gospel, Jesus came to earth so that believers could “have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10). God never meant for Christians to worry about their salvation. This is why Jesus said, “Anyone who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24). Jesus later said, “This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day” (John 6:39).
In case there were any doubters, He added, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand…or out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:28, 29).In his first epistle, John stated that “the one who has the Son has life” and “may know that [he or she has] eternal life” (1 John 5:12-13). He specifically used the word know and not feel. Since our emotions can fluctuate based on life’s circumstances, the guarantee of salvation should never be based on shifting feelings. Serving God with the assurance that His love will never be taken away is part of the abundant life that Jesus promised in John 10:10b. Since God would never promise something that He could or would not deliver, Christians should therefore live their lives with confidence of His love for them!