Question:

I have been living in sin for quite a while now and I been noticing something different happening to me. I used to be so in love with God. Now my heart has been getting gradually increasingly hard and I barely can keep my eyes glued to the Bible. The only prayer I would say is one asking for forgiveness of my sins each time I do something wrong.

How do you know if you lost your salvation? I don't believe in once saved, always saved, but the fact that I'm not worried and not concerned that I'm not worried me puzzles me. I have been asking this same question repeatedly, wondering if someone could give me the perfect answer as to what's going on. I have been committing sins of lust, idolatry, gluttony, and slothfulness.

Answer:

I doubt this will be the perfect answer, but your observation is correct. The more you accept sin into your life, the more numb you get to its presence. "But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13).

The writer of Hebrews noted that the problem is a lack of faith and obedience. "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. ... For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:12, 16-19).

There are two basic things everyone needs to believe: "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). It is the second one that you seem to be struggling with the most. You believe that God exists but because there are no immediate consequences to your sins, you don't really think God will eternally punish you for the sins you commit. You know they are wrong, but don't accept that they are "that wrong." "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation" (Romans 2:4-8).

The response to sin cannot just be regret that you committed a sin. Belief in the danger of sin demands a radical change in both your attitude about sin and the way you behave. "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). You pray for forgiveness of your sins, but you don't truly repent (change). And you don't change because you don't believe there is an urgency or need to change.

You are the one responsible for your life. You won't be able to rely on anyone else. "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13). Don't let sin make you complacent.

Question:

I want to change but I want to stop thinking if I lost salvation or not.

Answer:

A simple answer is that if you know you are living in sin, as you stated at the start, then you are not going to reach heaven. "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21).

However, what I think you are doing is allowing yourself to be overwhelmed and because of that, you are frozen in place. Pick one problem that you know needs to be solved and work on the issue. Don't paint things with broad strokes. Notice a specific issue and address it.

"I'm slothful" is too broad. It is too difficult to come up with an action plan. "I'm falling behind in my school work" or "My room is a pigsty" is more specific. For the homework, you get the current assignments done and then pick a few late assignments and also finish them. Over time, you'll soon catch up. For your room, you pick a section each day and spend 30 minutes straightening it up. Over time, you'll soon have a neat room.

Question:

So you're saying deal with one sin at a time, for example, idolatry. I work on that then gluttony. I work on that then so forth. I hope I didn't fall away from the Lord.

Answer:

When we say that someone fell away from the Lord, we typically mean that they stopped following Christ and follow after sin instead. While you are remaining in your sins, then you are not with Christ because no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).

However, you tell me that you want to return to following Christ. Leaving is bad but the door is always open to returning. You just have to want the Lord bad enough to turn your back on sin and change your life. "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11).

It is very easy to get overwhelmed by all the things you need to change. It can seem like an impossible task. Unfortunately, many simply give up and never try. What I was saying is face one problem at a time. Let's say that at this moment you are dealing with being lazy, then you work on that one issue. Later today it might be lust. When lust arises, then you work on that issue. Focus on the current problem and not that stack of problems that all need to be eventually solved.

Being saved is not a feeling. It is knowing that you are doing the best you can to live in accordance with God's teachings. That brings about feelings, but the feelings are the result, not the cause. Nor are your feelings a measure of how well you are doing. Feelings can be wrong. We are judged by the teachings of God. "On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus" (Romans 2:16).

Thus, what I'm urging you to do is ignore the feelings right now and look at what you need to do next. Don't accept sin in your life, but battle it. "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world" (I Peter 5:8-9).

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