Summary: This message is about salvation and the fact that it is free. It was inspired by a survy conducted within my Church.
I Am Saved
This message this morning comes from my desire to confirm with every member here what it means to be saved, especially for our young people. This understanding is crucial to how we see ourselves as Christians and how we’ll come to understand what God will or will not do for us based on our actions. As a Christian we must understand, accept and teach others that being a Christian is about accepting Christ. It’s about believing that He died for our sins and through His death and resurrection, we are able to receive forgiveness for our sins and thus eternal life. If we do not understand this as adults, we cannot teach this to our children. If our children do not understand this, there will be times in their lives when they will experience something and believe that because of something they did or did not do God will not hear them when they pray to Him. This comes out of how we as parents treat our kids as they are growing up. You see if they get in trouble we punish them and teach them to live with the consequences of their actions. We might also have them do things to get back in our good graces. Some of us go so far as to treat them differently when we are disappointed in them thus solidifying the understanding that if they do something bad they must do penance in order to get back in right standing. Several Church denominations and TV ministers preach and teach this same doctrine. In this message I will address what it means to be saved and how you can know without a doubt that you are in fact saved. Let me set the framework by reviewing some survey results with you.
A. Youth Survey Results
Two weeks ago Rev. Williams asked his students (the teenagers) the following question: “If you died today, do you believe you would go to heaven?” He then left the room and allowed the students to write out their answers. What became clear in their answers is that in their minds there is a clear link between being saved and acting “right.” I will be the first to take ownership of this belief because of assumptions that I have made based on messages that Rev Fulks, Rev. Williams and I have delivered through the years. I assumed that everyone understood salvation and what the kids heard here at Church was being re-enforced at home. I am not saying that it has not been, but I am saying there is still more work to be done. Here are some of the responses from our youth. I do not know who said what and that does not matter at this point. As I read these the only people who will know is the person who wrote it and possibly Rev. Williams. I ask that you parents do not try and figure out what your child said, just take this as a whole. Moving forward, just reconfirm within them why they are saved and that will move us forward greatly. So here are some of the comments from the youth in response to Rev. William’s question and I will be reading them just as written.
• I think for me, if I died today I would go to hell. Cause to me I think, I need to improve on being a Christian and getting more into the bible, then I will know if I am really going to heaven and reading the bible it can help people cause I would have more of the Spirit of the Lord and break away this shell in my outer shell in my outer later to show my true stripes for God, then I will go to heaven and rejoice and be grateful forever.
• I would like to believe I’m going to heaven, I think I live my life well and try not to stray too far from doing what the bible says, but honestly I don’t know. It’s hard, to know. I mean, I sin like everyone else but all sins are the same, so it’s not like I’m better than everybody else, so I don’t know.
• I don’t know. I’m not the best person, but I’m not the worst person.
• Yes, because if I work for it and not let him down. Get a whole lot of understanding from God. Talk to my pastor about life situations.
• I think I’m going to heaven because, I am a good person. Sometimes. I should pray more and help, but over all I’m good.
When I read what is in the hearts of our youth I am blessed that they have a conscience that is aware of Christ and that somewhere in the midst of their days they are thinking about what they are doing and how He would view it. The first responder who said that they needed to improve on being a Christian confirmed that one, he/she is a Christian, and two, he/she knows that there are areas where they can improve. Do you know how many adults do not have this mindset? Whoever wrote this just know that you are saved and if you act on what you stated and begin to break free of the outer shell you will not be more “saved” but could potentially be responsible for helping others get saved. There are no levels of salvation per se, either you are saved or you’re not.