If I’ve fallen away before, should I question my salvation now?

Many years ago — young, naive, ignorant — I was baptized to please my husband’s family. I was a believer, but I didn’t realize fully what baptism meant. As time went on, I fell away and sinned terribly. Years later my husband and I were re­baptized into the church. Now I have become con­cerned about Hebrews 10:26, 27. I pray about this but can’t seem to find peace of mind. Can you help?

Think a moment about God’s attitude toward all people:  He loved them while they were still sinners (Romans 5:6-9), and He loves them still. Then recite John 3:16 prayerfully and insert your own name in place of “whosoever”.

Here’s another point in your favor: “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a mul­titude of sins” (James 5:19, 20).

Romans 8:7-9 should help you evaluate where you are in relation to Christ. Are you submitting to the law of God? Do you practice obeying God, resisting the temptation to break His laws? If you are, you can rest assured the Spirit of God and of Christ is in you, other­wise you could not consistently obey the law of God.

Now read 1 John 1:6—2:2. Since you do confess your sins, these are points in your favor. So is Hebrews 10:9-18, which says there is no other sacrifice necessary than what has already been made by God in giving His only begot­ten Son to die in our place. What Jesus has already done in your behalf is sufficient.

Hebrews 10:26 is the passage that troubles you: “If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sac­rifice for sins.” The willful sin of this verse is a picture of backsliding from being a child of God, like the younger son of Jesus’ parable.  If we think about the prodigal son, his return to his father, and the welcome his father gave, we see God’s attitude toward anyone who leaves Him, goes into sin, and returns “home” to God.

If the Holy Spirit is working with you and you long for reconciliation with God or for assurance that you are indeed reconciled to Him, it is inconceivable that you have committed the unpardonable sin.

How do you feel about God? Do you love Him? His Son? His Holy Spirit? “He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27). The Holy Spirit is on your side!

May you find peace in knowing that not God, not His Son, nor the Holy Spirit will say, “No!” to a heart full of love (1 John 4:18).

– Elder Calvin Burrell

Psalm for Troubled Times

Written By

Calvin Burrell is former editor of the Bible Advocate and former director of G. C. Missions. He retired in 2015 and lives with his wife, Barb, in Stayton, OR. They attend church in Marion, OR.

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