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Am I truly saved? I remember the time I was saved, but I denied it in front of others. I have fallen into sin and never felt the joy that others talk about.
Thank you so much for getting in touch with your question about being saved. This is such an important question - and the answer is even more important!
You say that when you were younger, you prayed to invite the Lord Jesus to be your Saviour and Lord. This is obviously very important to you, even though you may not feel that you have lived up to the prayer. Perhaps you are condemning yourself because you would not admit to others what had happened and because you later fell into sin.
The first thing that you need to understand and accept is that we are saved through the grace and goodness of God, simply because Christ died for us and rose again. We can't earn it and we cannot lose it because we failed to live up to it. Please do not allow yourself to be trapped in condemnation and regret. The Bible says that if we sin, we confess to God and receive forgiveness.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
If we cannot move on from our failures, even though we have confessed them to God, we are simply refusing to receive His forgiveness. So please do not let guilt rob you of the assurance that God has forgiven you. Once you have confessed to Him, the past is over and you can begin to look ahead.
Secondly, it is not so important to know when we were saved. What matters is whether we are saved now. If you believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for your sins and that He is your only hope of Heaven, simply open your heart anew to Him and give your life to Him again. Tell Him how you feel, confess your failure to Him and receive His forgiveness by faith. Ask Him to be your Lord and Saviour now, and trust Him to answer you.
Thirdly, you say that you did not feel the same joy that other people talk about. Remember that we are saved by faith, not feelings. Some people feel great joy when they become Christians, some people feel nothing at all. What matters is your faith and God's faithfulness.
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (John 6:37)
If you came to Jesus when you were younger, it was because the Father has given you to Him. He pledged that He would never cast you out and He meant it. He is always faithful to His word; the same is true now. If you come to Him, it is because His Spirit is working in your heart to call you to Him and the Father has given you to Him. He will not refuse you. You are in His heart because He died for you.
To sum up, all that counts is the saving work of Christ and your willingness to trust Him as Saviour and Lord, today. Don't let guilt about the past keep you from knowing His forgiveness.
I do hope my answer helps you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, it would help you greatly if you become more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader, or someone else whom you trust there, about your question. I know they would be delighted to help, to pray for you and to support you as you continue your spiritual journey:
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to answer to you from the Bible. They will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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