This chapter hit my heart like a sledge hammer, and mostly because this is an area of my Christian walk that I struggle with: assurance of salvation.
Assurance, in other words, is a positive declaration intended to give confidence. So, assurance of salvation is a declaration meant to push us confidently toward God. One of the dangers of growing up in and being surrounded by “Christian this” and “Christian that” is that we can begin to assume that we are Christian based upon our surroundings.
Think about it like this: Does standing in a wheat field make you wheat? Then why does doing or living or surrounding yourself with everything Christian make you a Christian? (Growing up Christian, pg. 33)
There is a difference of “doing the things of the Christian life” (that is, reading your bible, praying, going to church, singing the worship songs, etc.) because you know that you should do them, and “doing the things of the Christian life” because you honestly desire to seek, know, love, and cherish Jesus Christ.
To be honest, I would much rather work with someone who outwardly declared his hatred for God then someone who falsely believes that they are saved.
Growing up in a Christian setting is a wonderful blessing, but it also carries its dangers. This topic might be the highest on the danger list. I know this to be true because there is not a week that goes by that I don’t feel this weight upon my own heart. I too was raised in a Christian setting and I too sometimes believe my assurance comes from my background and not from my heartfelt proclamation and claim of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Am I really a Christian? Or am I just going through the motions?
- Do I really have a genuine heart-felt desire for Jesus?
- Are the “good works” in my life done to check off a “list,” or do I do them as an overflow of my relationship with Jesus?