Here is your weekly newsletter created for listeners and friends of
Paul Heil's "The Gospel Greats" syndicated radio program.
Published November 18, 2014
In This Edition...
- Paul's Epistle... ("Doubting Salvation")
- Coming On the Next Broadcast...
- Notes from Last Weekend's Broadcast...
- Shelia Shares... ("Thankful For Real Joy")
- On The Lighter Side...
Last week in this column I discussed the old song, "Sorry, I Never Knew You." It brought back a lot of memories. But it also caused some people to think about this whole matter of salvation.
One reader wrote, "I am not sure about being a Christian. When I accepted Christ I meant every word. I am not really sure now. I have not really grown, probably feeding on milk' right now if I am one."
The writer is referring to remarks by the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 3:2) and the writer of Hebrews (5:12-13) about the need to move past milk (as infant food) and move to the "solid food" of the Gospel more substantive spiritual matters. Even so, Peter encourages Christians to "crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation" (1 Peter 2:2). There's nothing wrong with spiritual milk we all need it everyday. But the point is to grow.
More to the point of the reader's question, though... A few years ago I wrote a column that addresses the very issue of doubts about salvation. For this reader and anyone else questioning his or her salvation here is that (slightly revised) column...
Do you have days when you just don't "feel saved?"
Unfortunately, too many Christians have lingering doubts about their salvation. So this question is one of the most fundamental that can be asked.
If that's you, let's assume, for the purposes of this discussion, that you have had, at one time, a genuine conversion experience. Now what about those recurring doubts?
The devil loves playing "mind games" with people. And one of his favorites is to try to place doubts in the minds of Christians about their salvation. The devil is a liar (John 8:44), and this is one of his favorite lies. Satan is simply out to ruin the joy* that you should be experiencing as a Christian. How do you cope with this? The Bible tells us to "resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7b.)
How do you do that? The first part of that same verse has the answer: "Submit yourselves therefore to God." And the next verse makes it even more clear: "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts..." The closer we get to God, the better we know Him. And the better we know Him, the more confident and bold we can become in the certainty of our salvation.
Here's the bottom line: If you have confessed your sins to the Lord and asked Him to forgive you and invited Him into your heart to be your Savior, fulfilling the requirements of Scripture, then you are saved! You are a Christian! You simply must accept that this is something that is settled, once and for all. (See Romans 8:38,39.)
Remember, "...if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9.)
What does Jesus say about doubt? To Peter as he began to sink beneath the waves, Jesus said, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matt. 14:31.) In Matthew 21:21, Jesus said that "If you have faith and do not doubt..." you can do great things. What is He saying? Faith casts out doubt. True faith leaves no room for doubt.
To put it simply, doubts are of the devil. Certainty is of the Lord.
The "sinner's prayer" on our web site's "Free Gift" page addresses this: "Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner. I believe that you died on the cross to pay the penalty of all my sins, and then arose from the grave so that I, by faith, could live eternally. I thank you for doing this, and I now receive you as my Savior and Lord. Come into my heart to cleanse me of all my sins and to grant me, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the assurance of salvation. Help me faithfully to live according to your Word all the days of my life. Amen."
The "assurance of salvation" is what you're seeking. Pray for it earnestly. Accept it. You'll have it. Remember 1st John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Surely you have had acquaintances who have, in some way great or small, left you down. God is not like that. He is "faithful" to do exactly what He has promised He would do.
When does "believing" become "knowing?"
Talk with any long-time Christian who has been active in their faith and they will tell you of ways God has made His presence known to them. Romans 8:16 reminds us that "the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God..." This happens in many ways. The other day I was driving to the store, listening to the radio in the car, and happened to hear a testimony of a recent conversion experience. Something happened. My eyes watered and suddenly a spirit of praise came over me. The Spirit was bearing witness. Yesterday, Shelia and I were viewing a video presentation about our home Lancaster County. A simple passing reference in it to the local religious community's beliefs included the promise of the Lord's soon return. That just jumped out at me "from nowhere" and got me excited, as it always does. The Spirit was bearing witness. And then there are the examples that any long-time Christian can give you about answered prayer.
Do you believe God's Word? If you truly do, and have accepted God's terms for Salvation, then you are saved! You can't say you believe God and still have doubts about Salvation. If you believe God, then you believe what He says He will do. Look at 1st John 5: 10-13: "He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."
Now here's the key in the next verse: "These things have I written to you who believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe on the name of the Son of God."
Did you see that? God gave us His Word so that "you may know that you have eternal life." It doesn't say He did it so we can "wish for" eternal life or "probably have" eternal life. It says He did it so you can "know" that you have eternal life.
That's a key, too, to removing your doubts. If God gave us His Word so that we may know we have eternal life, that presupposes that we know the Word. Read the Bible! Study God's Word! Thomas doubted, and it took a personal appearance from Jesus to remove his doubts. We have the Word in printed form. Every time we read it, God is there talking to us. Read it!
And, of course, pray! That's another key to doubt abatement. You get to know someone by communicating with them. That's what prayer is all about! God already knows you. He wants you to know Him better. And the better you know Him, the more you will trust Him. And those doubts of yours will disappear.
Then you can say with the old preacher, "I know that I know that I know that I know that I've been saved!"
*See Shelia's column, below.
Comments on this? email@example.com
(To ensure that we get your comments, please use that address and do not simply hit "reply" on your email program.)
A printable version of the Epistle above can be found in our online archives.
Coming on the broadcast the weekend of November 22nd & 23rd, 2014:
Thoughts Of Thanks! Coming as this program does soon before Thanksgiving (in the States), all of the artist comments and music will be about thankfulness to God for His many blessings.
Among the artists who'll share their thoughts with you are Guy Penrod, Tim Riley (Gold City), Brian Free (Brian Free & Assurance), Sonya Browder (Browders), Chris Allman (Greater Vision), Rebecca Burke (Littles), Kelly Bowling (Bowling Family), Bryan Walker (Perrys), Scott Howard (Legacy Five), Gary Casto (Tribute Quartet), Dusty Barrett (Soul'd Out Quartet), Jeff Hawes (Karen Peck & New River), Jetta Roark (the Roarks), Eric Bennett and Clayton Inman (Triumphant Quartet), Matt Felts (Lesters), Mark Bishop, Phillip Collingsworth, Jr. (Collingsworth Family).
"That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works." Psalm 26:7
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name." Psalm 100:4
Who can YOU invite to listen this weekend?
From the broadcast the weekend of November 15th & 16th, 2014:
Our Featured Artists on this program, the Ball Brothers, has a motto on their website that says, "Music That Spans The Generations." And that's true in many respects. Musically, they range from traditional Southern Gospel quartet singing to more modern sounds and even, yes, 40s-style big band sounds. And it's been successful for them, as you heard them say on the program, as they entice audiences across the age spectrum. Originally four brothers, the group now includes two brothers Andrew and Daniel Ball along with brother-in-law Chad McCloskey and the Ball Brothers' life-long friend, Andy Tharp. Their CD from which songs were featured on this program is called "Pursuit." Included was their very popular radio song, "Who's Gonna Stand In The Gap." Their first song on the program and on their CD is called "It's Gonna Be A Good Day," and that showcases the postive optimistic attitude these guys have about their music and their ultimate goal of sharing the Gospel. More info about them can be found on their website: http://theballbrothers.com/about-us
The Ball Brothers' CD featured on this program, "Pursuit," is available from our mailorder service, Springside. Just call 1-800-38-MUSIC to order. Call by Friday, November 21, 2014, ask for the "Featured Artist Discount," and get 20 percent off this item. You can order easily from our webstore by using this link to go directly to this item. Note, too, that our "Featured Artist Discount" applies to any other currently in-stock recordings by this artist. While ordering online, when you get to the "Checkout" page, find the "Special Instructions" lines near the bottom, type in "Featured Artist Discount - 20 percent" to get the discount. Note that the discounted price will not be reflected online or in your first confirmation e-mail, but it will be applied here when the order is processed and before it is charged or shipped.
The Littles our Artist Spotlight guests on this program are a father-wife-daughter trio based in Monroe, North Carolina. Jack and Jan and their daughter, Rebecca, feature close family harmony and appeal to all ages. Songs included during this visit were from their current "Time After Time" CD. On their website they include this mission statement: "The Littles have a very clear mission that compels them -- telling His story, singing His praise. Through the universal medium of music they strive to share the message of salvation in Christ alone while singing His praise for all His goodness. This mission is accomplished through revival services, concerts and other special events that require heart-felt Gospel music."
On the Headline Update I mentioned Chonda Pierce's new "Learning To Laugh Again" tour, following the death of her husband back in July. A more detailed story about how she's "coming back" can be found here.
For the song list from this broadcast, click here. (PDF viewer required.)
Hear last weekend's Headline Update report about your favorite artists by clicking here.
New items available this week from Springside.com:
Whisnants & Mark Trammell Quartet - Home For Christmas (CD)
Rick Webb Family - Joy To The World (CD)
Revelation - Christ For Me (CD)
Tim Lovelace - Barbed Wire Fences (DVD & CD Set)
Click here to view those Southern Gospel music items in this week's Springside Music Update newsletter including 20 percent discounts on this week's new releases. Or get the Springside Music Update newsletter by email each Monday. Details can be found here. Or call 800 38 MUSIC during weekday office hours to ask about this week's specials or to order. Your purchases from Springside help support The Gospel Greats program.
"Thankful For Real Joy"
It was a cold day, but we bundled up and headed for our walk through town. As we walked, we chatted and I looked for coins amid the leaves on the sidewalks. Crossing a parking lot at a convenience store, I saw a quarter. Then I saw another quarter, a dime and another quarter.
I continued finding coins until I had a nice handful. The total $2.05. I was happy.
My happiness depended on finding lots of coins on a walk. It lasted until something else changed my mood.
What is joy? Joy is finding Jesus many years ago and knowing Him today. I can have joy even when I don't find coins. I can have joy in the midst of a storm or trial. Joy doesn't change because circumstances change.
Happiness is temporary. Joy is eternal. During this Thanksgiving season, give thanks because you know Jesus, the author of joy.
Comments on this? firstname.lastname@example.org.
(To ensure that we get your comments, please use that address and do not simply hit "reply" on your email program.)
A printable version of Shelia's column above can be found in our online archives.
On the Lighter Side...
Guy 1: "My uncle in Detroit tried to invent a new kind of car. He took the engine from a Ford, the transmission from a Chevy, the tires from a Cadillac and the exhaust system from a Chrysler."
Guy 2: "Really? What did he get?"
Guy 1: "Fifteen years for theft."
When I worked for the security department of a large retail store, my duties included responding to fire and burglar alarms. A side door of the building was wired with a security alarm, because it was not supposed to be used by customers. Nevertheless they found the convenience of the exit tempting. Even a sign with large red letters, warning "Alarm will sound if opened," failed to deter people from using it. One day, after attending to a number of shrieking alarms, I placed a small handmade sign on the door that totally eliminated the problem: "Wet paint."
The Privileged Rich
"Take a pencil and paper," the teacher said, "and write an essay with the title 'If I Were a Millionaire.'" Everyone but Philip, who leaned back with arms folded, began to write furiously. "What's the matter," the teacher asked. "Why don't you begin?" "I'm waiting for my secretary," he replied.
The Music Critic
A couple phoned a neighbor to extend birthday greetings. They dialed the number and then sang "Happy Birthday" to him. But when they finished their off-key rendition, they discovered that they had dialed the wrong number. "Don't let it bother you," said a strange but amused voice. "You folks need all the practice you can get."
"I like Christmas presents, Christmas music, Christmas trees, Christmas cards. I like the Christmas spirit. What I don't like is the way people, whose only interest in Christmas is money, have moved in on a nice, non-commercial holiday like Thanksgiving."
Andy Rooney, on the preponderance of Christmas commercials, ads, sales, etc., weeks before Thanksgiving even arrives.
Are You Ready?
1 Thess. 5:2-10; Matt. 24:44; Luke 21:34,36
Pray for the President!
Until next Week...Keep Looking Up!
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