I am a believer in eternal security, that is if we are genuinely born-again into God’s family we are secure, we will not lose that salvation. But I am also a very strong believer in the reality of pseudo-salvation, where a person thinks they are saved, adopted into God’s family but aren’t really.
I am not a proponent of overemphasizing our security to the point that we never question the validity of our salvation. I overhard a conversation between two people which began with one of them wondering if they were really saved based on their recent binge on sin. The other person said “sure you are, don’t let the devil try to get you to doubt your salvation.” I thought to myself, “I am not sure why the devil would do that, it seems like he would be doing the exact opposite!”
If someone wonders about their salvation to me, I don’t talk them into believing they are really saved, I lead them to Jesus again, and have them walk through the steps of faith again. If their name is already written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, recommitting their life to Christ will just solidify it in their own mind.
One of the reasons for a pseudo-salvation in many is because of an incomplete presentation of the gospel that they responded to. I hear over and over the phrase, “invite Jesus into your heart”. The gospel is (1) Jesus is God, infinite, Almighty God, equal and one with God the Father. (2) Jesus emptied Himself of all that He was as God and became flesh, just exactly like us. (3) As a man Jesus live a perfect and sinless life. (4) Jesus was nailed to a cross and while He was there God the father took every sin I ever committed and put them on Jesus, and looked at Jesus as if He actually committed all of them, and then punished Jesus in my place, He died on that cross for me. (5) And then 3 days later Jesus rose from the dead, and is alive today.
There isn’t a single element of the gospel in the invitation to “invite Jesus into your heart, ” and it is certainly vague theologically especially to kids. It is the truth that sets us free, not a sincere feeling.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,