I was teaching group of teenagers last year and I asked them to send in some questions before I came. Here is one of them and an answer that I gave right out of Matthew 13:
Question: If you accepted Jesus into your heart, but then go out and do really bad things and stop following God’s Word, will you still go to Heaven?
Answer: It depends! There are four types of people who hear the gospel but only one type is truly a Christian. If you were never a Christian in the first place then the behavior makes sense because continuous willful disobedience with no guilt is to be expected. If you are truly a Christian then you are a SAVED SINNER who will still sin but will experience a war within between the sin nature and your new nature. More importantly you will experience guilt or remorse once confronted by God’s Holy Spirit inside directly or indirectly if you are confronted by a loving brother or sister in Christ. Furthermore, if you are a true Christian know than you cannot ever ever ever lose your salvation for God does not want you to be in an insecure relationship with Him. The question is do you have salvation in the first place!
Below are the four types of people who hear the gospel. In this parable people labeled #1, #2, and #3 are not Christians but the ones labeled #4 are truly Christians. You will find 1 – 4 in Christian churches!
Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23 – Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
… “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When #1anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The #2 one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The #3 one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the #4 one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
So let’s break down the four people who hear the gospel and “say the prayer”:
#1 The Hearer – The word of God never penetrates the soul of this person so Satan snatches the word from the surface.
#2 The Stoner – A person who makes merely an emotional commitment to Christ as shown by their lack of commitment.
#3 The Thorny – A person who again makes a superficial commitment to Christ without repentance so he or she easily chokes on the love of money and worldly pleasures.
#4 The Christian – Truly makes a transaction with God! He or she moves from a creation of God to an adopted child of God who becomes a disciple and makes disciples.
If you are truly #4 the Christian then you must remain secure in your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This security and acceptance is what enables you to grow as a child of God. You work from your salvation not for your salvation!
John 6:28-29 – Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
There is a class that I teach at McLean Bible Church called “Christianity 101” that ends with the assurance of Heaven. The below information is taken from the course book:
(OF COURSE, THESE APPLY TO #4 ONLY)
In order to lose your salvation someone (including you) you have to be able to accomplish the following:
1. Someone would have to ___SNATCH_____ you out of God’s hand.
John 10:28-30 – I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
2. Someone would have to break the ___SEAL_____ of God’s ownership.
Ephesians 1:13-14 – And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of his glory.
3. Someone would have to remove the ____SPIRIT_______ of God in you.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 – Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
4. Someone would have to ___SEPARATE_____ you from the _____LOVE____ of Christ.
Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
5. Someone would have to erase your ___NAME____ from the ____BOOK______ of Life.
Philippians 4:3 – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.
6. Someone would have to burn your ______ADOPTION______ papers!
Ephesians 1:4-7 – In love He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Now you will experience a real war in your body between obeying God and disobeying God by following your sin nature. As you grow the war will increase, and you will win some battles! But the war is not over because our commander has not returned–yet! The goal in the teenage years as young men and women is to give your body God’s temple no territory so that you avoid a lifelong war! As adults your job is to fight and take back the territory that the enemy once accessed from the inside and now has to get to you from the outside!
Below is a very encouraging section of the Bible as the Apostle Paul describes this war that he experienced some 20 years after coming to Christ:
Romans 7:18 – 8:13
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members….Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did…For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
I did a deep dive into this war within earlier this year. You can find that post here
Maybe you are loosing because you don’t know how to fight. Take a look at the book that I recommend above called “The Invisible War”.
Get someone to disciple you and invest on how to fight, or invest in someone else! Some of you have reached your spiritual peak because you spend your time with others when God wants you to invest it.
Come Lord Jesus Come!
Until He Returns,
Peter P. Lackey, Jr.