Q. Although I grew up in the church and my family members were all Christians, I am totally unable to remember any time when I “went forward” to an altar to be “saved.” Despite praying all my life for strength of faith, for “blessed assurance,” I often ask myself whether I’m one of those vessels destined for destruction. Can you help?
A. Like you, I never responded to an altar call while I was growing up because the church my family attended didn’t do such things. I was born again at age 40 after being in church all my life, but for me it was a rush of logic, not emotion. As I studied the remarkable record of fulfilled prophecy in the Bible, I became convinced that there could only be one logical explanation. Someone from outside the time domain had been promising things in advance and then keeping those promises to prove to us that He exists.
As for vessels destined for destruction, that’s a misinterpretation of Scripture that has caused far too many people to worry like you are. The Author of Life did not create anyone destined for destruction, but wants everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Tim 2:1-4), The assurance you seek is found through out the New Testament. The Lord’s own words confirm this.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8).
I could go on and site John 3:16, John 6:38-40. Romans 10:9, Romans 10:13 and a number of other places where it’s clear the we have the choice to accept the pardon the Lord purchased for us on the cross. God has given you what He knows you need. The rest is up to you. Commit these promises to memory and repeat them when you feel uncertain, adding prayers of thanksgiving. The Lord who saved you is trying to give you peace but you have to do your part, too (Phil. 4:4-7).