Growing Up Christian: The Danger of False Assurance

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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.

For those of you who read this, I pray that verses like John 3:16  and Romans 10:9 would not become lame or boring. I pray that you and I included would be challenged to ask ourselves these questions:

  • 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? 
Like I said, there is no greater danger than believing you are a Christian when in fact you are not. Verses like Matthew 7:21-23 cause me to lose sleep often. So please, take ownership of your relationship with Christ and have just that: a relationship. Be honest with your doubts, feelings, and moments of unclarity. I too struggle with assurance! I often look at what I preach and what I do and think: there is no way I am one of God’s children!
It is in those times that I have to come to the Cross of Christ and His Word and humbly ask for His grace again and again. It’s okay to pray things like this: Father, I don’t feel like a Christian. Teach me through your Word what it means to love and follow Jesus. 
I would rather we pray things like that than ask for vain and empty blessings. Our joy is at stake, and more than that our eternity. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but labor for Christ who will satisfy your deepest longings and meet every need you have.
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One thought on “Growing Up Christian: The Danger of False Assurance

  1. Jimmy–

    I am greatly ministered by your honesty in this post, as well as bringing to light how growing up in a Christian environment doesn’t provide assurance of salvation or salvation itself. So often as a child I fell back on my community, my surroundings, even my church “status”, as a safety net with the thought of “By these actions, or by these associations, or by my family, I am assured Christ’s acceptance.” And as you point out, that’s just not the case! We are assured of our salvation by the words of Christ in scriptures like John 10:27-30.

    Thanks for sharing Jimmy–and I look forward to the subsequent chapters & posts!

    –ryan

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