Q. I have recently read your post on Jephthahs daughter. I have a “vow” that haunts me to this day. As a young teen I felt very guilty over a sin. I told God “if I do this again, you can take my salvation away.” Of course I committed that sin (and still do). I am terrified that because I made that “vow” that I am held to it. Here I am 32 years old and I am still struggling with the fear. It is stories like this in the Old Testament that haunt me. I would love some insight.
A. The story of Jephthah’s daughter concerned her physical life. You offered to forfeit your salvation, which has to do with your eternal life. Her story does not apply to your situation.
Also, you cannot forfeit your salvation for any reason. All the sins of your life were forgiven at the cross (Colossians 2:13-14) and can’t be unforgiven.
Jesus said both He and his Father hold you in their hands and no one can snatch you away from them. The phrase “no one” includes you (John 10:27-30).
In 2 Cor. 1:21-22 and Ephes 1:13-14 Paul wrote that your inheritance (eternal life) was guaranteed by the Holy Spirit when you believed. God set His seal of ownership on you, and now it is He who makes you stand firm in Christ. That is not a reversible action, and protects you to the day of redemption (Ephes. 4:30).
I know you made that vow out of extreme frustration at your inability to stop committing a particular sin. But the simple fact is you don’t have the authority to make such a vow.