Friday, July 2, 2010

Feelings or Faith?

I suppose we've all been there, done that. So many times, my belief system has been driven by my feelings, or emotions, rather than on truth. I have worked myself up in a tizzy, thinking the worse case scenario of my children. You too? When they're late coming home, do you envision all sorts of tragic things that might've have happened? Only to breathe a sigh of relief when they come strolling through the door sometime later, complaining about the traffic? Truth was, the traffic was horrendous. Emotions didn't go in that direction, though.
My emotions followed after my thinking, which had already envisioned the kids in a wreck--or worse. My emotions had no clue of what was true or not.

So it was with the caller in one of this week's broadcast. He 'felt like' he wasn't saved, and had perhaps gone beyond the point of God's grace. So many questions I would have liked to ask him. Some of those questions, the show host asked him. First, what IS 'being saved', to which the caller answered eternal life. Secondly, how does one GET eternal life? The caller sounded puzzled, but he answered correctly--we receive eternal life through Jesus Christ. So, the caller was no stranger to the gospel. I would like to know though, what does eternal life FEEL like? The caller FELT like he had gone beyond help. Why? Was the sin in question bigger than the grace of God?  We might FEEL like we're not in Christ, but is that our reality? Maybe we've had a bad day, and spoken unkindly towards our neighbor. Does that 'unsave' us? Maybe in a hasty decision, we choose the wrong decision and hurt our loved ones. How about that? Will that 'unsave' us? No... it might make us 'feel' bad, but we should never allow our feelings to take priority over truth.
So, where do we go for truth? The Word of God would be the most solid thing to be grounded in. Let's take a look at what it says:

I John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. 
so... do you believe that Jesus is the Christ? Yes? Then you have been born of God.
But, I don't FEEL born again, one might say. That's really irrelevant. John wrote that we are. Who are you going to believe? The Apostle John, or your feelings?

Romans 10:9-11--...that the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be save; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the scripture says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed" (that's in Isaiah 28:16)

I suppose the list could go on... but the thing is.. it's not a good idea to base our belief system on feelings. Sure, we'll have feelings--some of good, some of anxiety, and everything in between. Feelings are simply following what our thoughts are thinking. If we 'think' that we've out-sinned God's grace... where do we go to prove such a statement? By who's authority do we base the "gone past the point to no return" of God's grace? God never said that, and nobody else has that authority to make that claim.

So...are you acknowledging that Jesus is Lord? Yes? Then you have eternal life.

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