Can you be a Christian your whole life, and realize one day that you’re actually not? Charo Washer grew up Christian and was married to a missionary for over a decade before she realized that she wasn’t actually saved. It’s not just a cute, catchy little prayer that “saves” us. Time and again the Bible tells us that if we are truly saved, we will show it. Not because we are saved by such works, but because when Christ comes into our hearts, he changes us. It can’t be any other way. Our old selves were dead in sin. If we are born anew, and made to be more like Christ, then how could we possibly be, act, live the same as before. Our thoughts, priorities, actions, feelings change. Not overnight, but they’re moving in a certain direction. Though not even all people who outwardly look like or profess to be Christians really are. Jesus spoke very clearly about this:
(Matt 7: 21-23) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
In fact, Paul calls on us to take a good look at ourselves: (2 Cor 13:5)
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”
The America version of easy salvation can become stale and legalistic. We often make it seem like a legal contract, made on our behalf by a very kind uncle. We get a nice inheritance, but we’re disconnected from the actual transaction. That was done 2,000 years ago by a very nice man, who suffered a little bit. Since most of us haven’t done anything we think is terrible – like murder – and since we’re generally good people, we often feel that’s it’s quite right for us to receive that inheritance.
As the speaker in the third clip points out, when God convicts us of our sin, it becomes personal. It’s so easy to just repeat the mantra that “we’re all sinners.” It’s an easy out, and it doesn’t make us think much. But do we truly understand that we’re sinners? No, not really. It’s only when God opens our eyes to the hurt and pain we’ve caused to Him, to those around us, to ourselves, that we begin to understand our fallen state. Only then can we truly repent. How can you ask for forgiveness if you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong? One of the ways that we know we’ve been saved is when we begin to hate the sin that we once loved.
Charo Washer went through the motions for decades, not because she wanted to, but because it was what she was supposed to do. God finally opened her eyes, after listening to her husband’s sermons for years. Three ten minute installments. The first two are Charo’s story, and the last is commentary. Well worth the listen:
Paul Washer’s Wife Saved – Part 1
Paul Washer’s Wife Saved – Part 2
Paul Washer’s Wife Saved – Part 3