Many following world religions were told at some point in their life that they were in fact a “Christian”. They were told this by their world religion, a parent, a pastor, a friend, not by God. So all their life, whether they admit it or not, they sense a feeling of pure emptiness, insecurity, and confusion having never really realized what it means to be placed in Christ. The sentiment is “don’t worry, you are going to heaven, you are good person”. But the sinner, still fallen in nature, in the back of their mind is naturally questioning this.
The questions mainly are “have I done enough to please God?”. And if you read and study and believe Scripture, that answer would be an eternally NO! Put it this way, you could do over a million good deeds in this world, and it wouldn’t wipe away just one white lie or lustful thought on your sin record. But every false religion will tell the sinner to “work harder”, “believe more in yourself”.
Roman Catholics for example head to the confessional box, and believe by confessing the sins they can admit to and remember, while paying a penance of prayer should pay the debt. But it didn’t pay a thing! It gives them a temporary sense of righteousness, fleeting in every way. And if being honest, they would need to admit that they are not so sure God had let them off the hook this way. A good rule of thumb with Catholics, the more church going they are, most likely the more sinful life they are leading. They are using their church attendance as an off-set to their sins.
Having not been placed in Christ, the misery and confusion of a pending judgment weighs on a sinner’s mind. They were told “you are a Christian”, but that darkness in the emptiness is still there and growing by the decade. As death is surely coming, they are crossing their fingers that the scales of justice tip in their favor. Sadly this is the state of many churches and religions who have placed a sinner on this absurd path.
The placing of a sinner in Christ happens only by the hand of God. The sinner who has been saved, realizes this at their very core knowing what Jesus Christ did on their behalf which is the payment of their entire sin debt. There is a peace without total understanding which comes. An eternal rest is also realized, knowing that whatever the case may be, the end will only result in eternal life with Jesus. The Good News is praised, it is shared, it is shouted to everyone and anyone.
When and if you are placed in Christ, His righteousness has been credited to you! You did nothing, you said nothing, God granted you this most precious gift of eternal life. By this, He also granted you faith, saving faith in one person, Jesus Christ. Placed in Him, Scripturally means “set-apart” or “sanctified”. Now you have the perfection and righteousness of Christ, thus you have met God’s standard of holiness. So now you are banking on Christ, NOT IN YOURSELF, thus as Eph 2:8-9 teaches us “by grace through faith you have been saved, not of works”. That faith is in Christ alone.
If placed in Christ, there is no confusion, there is no emptiness. It doesn’t give you a license to sin away freely as some will accuse you of. It is knowing that sin now will never separate you from Christ. You realize what Christ did on your behalf, so sinning is now the least desired notion. You are not desiring holiness to be eventually saved, you desire it out of a new nature, a desire for holiness, not sin. It is a resultant effect of being placed in Christ. You know that if you stumble, that sin was paid for, and you repent naturally of it as a result.
If you are still confused, empty, insecure, uncertain, while doing all these things your church or religion prescribed, ask yourself if you are really in Christ. Probably the BEST thing you could do is to repent and leave that false religion and ask God to enlighten you to His Son Jesus Christ. If you stay in the uncertainty and confusion out of pride, don’t expect it to ever leave you and in the end, eternal hell is your destination.
SALVATION IS ONLY BY GRACE ALONE (nothing you did) THROUGH FAITH ALONE IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE TO HIS GLORY ALONE! ANY OTHER GOSPEL IS FALSE!