7 Signs of a True Conversion

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Do you know people who claim to be Christians but doubt whether they really are or not?  Here are seven sure signs of a person that’s truly been converted.

No Ongoing Pattern of Sin

The Book of 1 John to me is the litmus test for those who claim to be a Christian but really are just false converts.  Many profess to be Christ’s but do they possess Christ?  Apparently John had been dealing with a lot of false converts and even today there are tares mixed in with the wheat and it’s hard to tell the difference by looking at them but there are ways to tell.  John gives us help by writing that “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4) and “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness” (1 John 2:9).  John makes it clear that “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness” (1 John 3:4) since “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (1 John 3:6-8).  In other words, if someone claims to be a Christian and yet makes a practice of sinning, they are lying to you and to God and are in reality “of the devil.”  No Christian is sinless but we do sin less but those who keep “on sinning has either seen him or known him.”

7 Signs of a True Conversion

Do you know people who claim to be Christians but doubt whether they really are or not?

Loving One Another

Jesus once said that by our love for one another “everyone will know you are My disciples” (John 13:35).  If you are hating or being hateful to your brother or sister and calling yourself a Christian, then you are a liar. Now I didn’t say this, God did in 1 John 4:20-21 where he writes “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.  And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:20-21).  I have had some very hateful “Christians” attack me and call me names and yet they claim to be a Christian. I would imagine that many of these couldn’t be proven guilty of being a Christian in court of law because there wouldn’t be enough evidence to convict them.   Jesus spoke about hating someone as committing murder in their heart.  In Matthew 5:21-23 He says “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”

Being Convicted of Sin

We all sin and the Apostle John knew this which is why he wrote “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8, 10) but the difference is when we sin, we are convicted of our sin by the Holy Spirit.  Conviction of sin is one of the works of the Holy Spirit.  Just before He was to die on the cross and go back to the Father after His resurrection, Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8).  If there is no remorse, no guilt, or no conviction after we have sinned, then that person may either be grieving the Holy Spirit or may not even be born again because God gives His Spirit only to those who obey Him because the Holy Spirit, “God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32).  David was heavily convicted after His murder of Bathsheba’s husband and his adulterous affair.   If there is no conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit, there may be no Holy Spirit in the person at all.

Do You Love God or the World?

We return again to the 1 John in chapter two where He writes “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:15-16). James asks the rhetorical question “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).  You cannot love the world or the things of the world and say you love God too because these two are not compatible with one another. (see also Galatians 5:19-25)

Where is Your Heart at?

If you love God then you will be storing up treasure in heaven and not on earth because the things of the world, including earthly treasures, will all pass away.  This is why Jesus commanded us to “not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-21) since “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matt 6:24).  Put another way, your checkbook ledger or your credit card statement indicates where your true treasure is and where your heart is also.  If it’s in things then you are serving money (and your own pleasures) but if you are generous to others including your local church, then you are truly serving God.   James writes “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:15-17) because “if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 2:17-18).  James and John both write that we must love in deed and not just in words because faith without any works is a dead-on-arrival faith.

True Christians Bear True Fruit

Returning to James he wrote that “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17).  He is not saying that we are saved by works but a person that is saved will naturally produce fruits of good works.  False prophets and teachers, just like false converts will be known “by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.  A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus you will recognize them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16-20).  Jesus is clear that if a tree doesn’t bear good fruit that comes as a result of conversion, then that tree will be cut down and cast into the fire.  He also said that we would “recognize them by their fruits.”  We can also recognize them from their lack of fruit.  If they are not truly saved, they’ll produce bad fruit because bad trees cannot produce good fruit any more than a good tree can produce bad fruit.  What a tragic day that will be for many who say to Christ “Lord, Lord” but He will say to them “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matt 7:23).  What is even worse is that “On that day many will say” “lord, Lord” but these same “many,” not a few, will be cast into the lake of fire because they were never really born again (Rev 20:11-15).

Do We Deny or Proclaim Christ?

This is one terrifying passage where Jesus says “everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God,  but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God”  (Luke 12:8-9).  How many people that you work with, or among your friends or in your family know that you are a Christian?  If you deny Christ before others then Christ will deny you before the Father and the angels of God.  We have far too many who claim to be Christians but are not living like Christians.  They are silent, underground, secret agent Christians who are afraid to bring Christ up in the conversation because we fear man more than God (Matt 10:28) and they are not like Paul who was not ashamed of the gospel (Rom 1:16).  If we are ashamed of Christ, so will He of us on the day of His visitation, but then it will be too late.

Conclusion

If this article has made you doubt your salvation or whether you are truly a Christian or not, then I say good!  I know that sounds cruel but I would rather you find out today that you are not a true believer so that you can repent and trust in Christ right now than find out that you are not one on the day of Christ’s coming judgment of the world (Rev 20:11-15).  I plead with you to examine yourself “to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test” (2 Cor 13:5).

More about growing as a Christian: Christian Discipleship

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan September 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Very good article Jack. (I have talked to you on the Depression site) It makes me look at myself again, that’s a good thing. God bless you and your family. Would like to meet you one day this side of heaven.

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Jack Wellman September 29, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Thank you so much Dan. You are so encouraging and hey, that might be one of the signs of a true conversion…that someone is encouraging, exhorting, and edifying….because you are all three brother!

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Jill October 3, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I take issue with the entire premise of this article. Under what circumstances would I ever judge someone else’s heart? Ephesians 2:8-10 tells me that I am saved through faith alone by grace alone, and this is a gift from God–not by works! This idea is repeated throughout Scripture, esp. in Romans. Works will follow, and the list above is a good tool to examine whether I am doing the work God has for me to do, but why would I try to examine someone else’s heart, which is impossible?

Even King David wouldn’t have passed this outward test, nor Paul who considered himself the chief of sinners, nor Peter who denied Jesus at one time. But God knew their true spiritual condition despite the outward appearance.

It is certainly relevant to have a sense of the spiritual maturity of those who lead, i.e. pastors, elders, teachers, but I am not sure it is appropriate to ever judge anyone else’s spiritual condition but my own.

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felicia July 10, 2015 at 12:44 am

That is where the difference between GOD and the “world” is. The world condemns and shames us when we sin or fail. But God convicts us of our sins and brings us to His Truth and path of righteousness.

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Harry October 4, 2014 at 12:02 am

Hm, I see the need for a call to Christians to not be ashamed in your faith but rather to pronounce it. However I am confused by a few unclear statements in the article.

(1) You cannot love the world and God. This is taken from James 4:4. However the words of Christ differ, most notably John 3:16 (For God so loved the world where Greek is agapao) and in James 4:4 where Greek is philos (same in John 15:13-15 but these are clearly 2 very different situations). How is it believers can hate the world and love God and yet God loves the world? Perhaps more Greek understanding and context are needed.

(2) The classic example of God and money should be expanded upon. I feel the article missed a key moment to distinguish those Christians who serve God with a great love and those who serve with a duty. If I tithe and give money to the local church, that is all well and good but what is further than that? What about those who lack for money? I check my credit card charges and see my pleasures are outweighed by gifts. But gifts are so much more than money. How about time? We always complain in this day and age about how little time there is. Giving a person a sympathetic ear, a stern warning, or a reminder of love and support can go much further than the cold security of cash.

(3) The fruits passage. Does God often let us see our fruits? Did Bonhoeffer see his enduring fruit through those fantastic theological works produced in the hours of a greatest need? Did Mother Teresa see her fruits (she claimed a lifelong feeling known as the long night of the soul)? I’m not too sure. After all can’t these fruits, the very stuff of God’s love and ceaseless work, become idolatry in itself? I cite the bronze serpent as an example where the Israelites worshiped the object and not the power behind the object. How does one know fruits are produced? I think in most cases it is an act of faith. After all our faces must look upon God so as to reflect His light to all the world and not to our works. Faith without works may indeed by dead as James rightly says but Paul counters in Ephesians that works without faith are useless. Emphasizing one aspcet too much can be dangerous. What does that faith require? What of the faith of Jesus in his work? Speaking of which, I’d love a good resource not the faith in Jesus but the faith of Jesus. In other words, how did Jesus view his own faith in God? He did after all ask why God forsook him.

(4) Last, sorry for the length, but lots of questions, how does a Christian “pass the test” (and why did you leave the ? mark out of the passage?)? Examining your motives is a good habit and I certainly support your enthusiastic points about that but going so far as to question your salvation…that can lead to a long, dark, and nasty path. Ultimately the question is unanswerable until Judgment Day. We take it on faith (Hebrews 11:1-3) that God’s sacrifice was ample enough for our sins and that we are indeed pardoned, have the Holy Ghost dwelling within us, and will see the New Jerusalem. Reading the gospels closely reveals the high level of doubts shared by the disciples and it was not until Jesus’s second coming on the third day (technically, it was) that they believed. I certainly have faith I am a part of the Body of Christ and the communion of saints but I must confess that a small part of me says this is not absolute nor final to my sense of salvation until the Book is opened and I see my name there though it may for all reasons concerned be there already (that whole issue of time, eternity, and paradoxes). I work on these doubts but I feel that they are a part of sin and redemption. Working through doubts often lead to the most productive times of a Christian’s life. I’ve always found a very poetical meaning in Luke 13 where the manure (excuse the French but shit) is put around the tree so that it may bear fruit. When life feels crappy and we work through it, that feeling is beyond earthly description. As plants need the nutrients found in the piles of crap, so believers need the bare presence of God in the darkest times. Psalm 88 is another great treasure trove on the subject of doubt, faith, and the believer. Have you read Psalm 88? I mean really read it? It is the most depressing part of the Bible (darkness my only friend…I mean jeez, but 1 Kings 8 does say God can dwell in darkness…eerie thought).

Anyway, it is good to examine as you say but 1 John and James alone take practicality a little far. The irony of relying on appearances versus the heart (do they produce fruit? how can you see a Christian’s bank reports? Has he told me he’s a Christian? Isn’t this ultimately between God and the individual concerned?) is far too sharp. On the other hand loudly professing one’s faith, while admirable, may not be what God calls you to do. We are told not to be as the Gentiles who mourn in public so that all may see their sacrifice. But rather we are told to keep all appearances up as if we have no suffering and the Father who sees in secret will reward you. If someone asks point blank, are you a Christian and you deny it, well, that’s another matter. I think going around to all of your friends and family and informing them you are a Christian is not what God had in mind. Jesus did not walk around proclaiming I am a Jew. He first did works and only later did he acknowledge He was the Son of God (in fact he told others to keep that part secret–Matthew 16). Jesus in Luke 4 says He came to proclaim the kingdom of God and its good news, not his faith or status in the Trinity. Your faith is a private matter or for the community of believers only. The world does not understand faith but they do understand good works. Live the life of a Christian but do not advertise it. The Father who sees it in secret will reward you, otherwise I’d say you have your reward.

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felicia July 10, 2015 at 12:52 am

The world in the Bible can be viewed in 3 ways: 1. The world God created; 2. The world God loves which means humanity; 3. The world which we live in now that is vile, wicked, evil, sinful and ungodly.

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DocReits October 7, 2014 at 3:13 am

Hey Harry,

Don’t mean to step in front of Pastor Jack, but perhaps this will be helpful on a couple of your questions:

1) You ask, “How is it believers can hate the world and love God and yet God loves the world? Perhaps more Greek understanding and context are needed.”

The Greek word for “world” is Kosmos. Strong states it can be used to mean, “the world in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants”. The”world” in Jn 3:16(references its inhabitants), since the latter half of the verse makes that clear by defining the world by using the word “whosoever”.

1 Jn 2:15-17, OTOH, defines its meaning of the word “world” by stating, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Clearly this does not include people as Jn 3:16 references, but the listed items in/of the world.

2) You ask,

“The fruits passage. Does God often let us see our fruits?”

Yes, they should be in evidence daily. These “fruits or works” are to be exhibited by Christians. They were exhibited by Bonhoeffer(Have you read Eric Metaxas’s biography of the same?..it is incredible) and Mother Teresa. Those “fruits of works” are “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self control”(Gal 5:22,23).

You ask,

“Anyway, it is good to examine as you say but 1 John and James alone take practicality a little far. The irony of relying on appearances versus the heart (do they produce fruit? how can you see a Christian’s bank reports?”

As Pastor Jack stated:

Matthew 7:16 in the New Living Translation makes this clear when speaking of Christians:

“You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (See reference to fruit above).

3) Most distressing was your final point 4) when, in speaking about how we can tell we are saved(Christian):

“Ultimately the question is unanswerable until Judgment Day.” and,

“Reading the gospels closely reveals the high level of doubts shared by the disciples and it was not until Jesus’s second coming on the third day (technically, it was) that they believed.”

You are close to answering your own question. It was after the Resurrection that they truly believed(remember Peter and John at the empty tomb? “Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Jn 20:8,9) and then when they saw Jesus’s post Resurrection in the upper room? Then Pentecost when the Holy Spirit imbued them with power. They “KNEW” that they were saved, because the Holy Spirit indwelled them. Read these verses in that light:

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may ‘KNOW’ that you have eternal life.”(1 Jn 5:13, emphasis mine). They were not waiting to see their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, they knew they were there.

The early disciples knew they were saved, that God was real, and they proved it by willingly, literally dying for that settled knowledge.

“You received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father. The Spirit itself BEARETH WITNESS with our spirit, that we are the children of God(Rom 8:15,16, emphasis mine).

When you are saved the Holy Spirit does a transformation within you, so that you know, by settled internal revelation that you are born again, a new creature. God’s own Spirit indwelling you. All the Bible reading and resources and going to church and study will not save you. Intellectually believing will not save you(“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Jms 2:19). None of those things makes you a Christian and forgive me Pastor Jack, but that was Pastor’s point. He wants folks like you and me to be sure we are saved.

There are so many church going people who believe they are saved because they go to church, read their Bibles, and give a head nod to thinking the Christian message is as good as the next religion, so why not? They are not saved!! Salvation is in Jesus Christ alone! If we believe all roads lead to God we are not saved. With Salvation comes settled knowledge, because Christ’s Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are His, adopted, and redeemed from the terrible weight of our sins.

Do we know what we have done wrong and how we are under God’s wrath? That is the question that we need to ask ourselves. You make allusion to Christ doubting by referring to that moment on the Cross, “…at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Mk 15:34).

It was at that moment, when Jesus took ALL of mankind’s sin upon Himself, and when God the Father broke fellowship for the first time in eternity past or future with His Son that Jesus’s own flesh cried out, reciting Psalm 22. Another writer states it well, ” Isaiah chapter fifty, verse seven states, “I have set my face like a flint.” This is a statement of courage with a firm commitment to accomplish what God had sent Him to do, in spite of all the scorn and hatred heaped upon Him. The Messiah was dedicated to one thing in life…He came to do the will of the Father. His death was not just an event that happened. He achieves that for which He was sent. His face was set like flint knowing that He would be put to death.”

He never doubted, for He was God… how could He doubt Himself? He bore all of our sin! Do we realize the depths of God’s wrath against us for our sin which sent His sinless Son to die that horrible death? ….and can we ever grasp the even greater love He has for us that He again, would even conscience such a rescue for our sinful souls? There is a dichotomy to wrap your head around! There is the fodder for repentance! Do we understand the depth of our transgression? We broke God’s Law. We have all either stolen,blasphemed God’s Name, lied, cheated, lusted, murdered, or coveted. We must be convicted of our sin! For without conviction there can be no repentance. Without repentance there is no need of a Savior.

So how then are we saved?

A)We must repent(by the way, that was Jesus’s first word to us when He began His public ministry(“From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Mt 4:17),

B)then “Confess” Christ is Lord with your mouth and believe that God raised Him from the dead(If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Rom 10,9,10)

Then, once filled with His Holy Spirit you will demonstrate your salvation by allowing the Holy Spirit’s fruit to flow from within. This reconciles James’, John’s and Paul’s writings for we now are able through the Holy Spirit to “show” our faith(salvation) by our works(fruit) being produced.

Hope this helps and sorry Pastor Jack if I misrepresented your intent,

Blessings Harry,

DocReits

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Jack Wellman October 7, 2014 at 8:37 am

Doc, you are spot on, as usual my friend. Please never hesitate to comment where you feel led to do so. I could not have said it better. You are not stepping in front of me but standing right next to me. Thank you.

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ed October 12, 2014 at 10:47 am

Excellent Article

I would like to have your permission to post the exact printable pages of this article into my Web page, “Once Saved Always Saved ? ” at http://www.watchmenministries.info/Once-Saved-Always-Saved–.html with your Website Link at the top before paste.

It is such a blessing to find agreement with another in the Word of God?

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Jack Wellman October 12, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Ed, thank you so much sir for your very kind words. It is permissible and in fact I encourage you to use our material but not the entire article so if you put in a brief summary of the article and then provides a link like this for example:

(Intro or brief summary) Have you heard the saying that God hates the sin but loves the sinner? Can that be found in the Bible? How can God love us while hating our sins?

What is Sin?

Sin is transgression of the Law of God (1 John 3:4) and sin is lawlessness or the breaking God’s Law’s (1 John 3:4). Sin is something that is so abhorrent to God that He had to send His one and only Son to die for it. It took the perfect Lamb of God to live a perfect life and then to die in the most excruciating manner that anyone has ever endured to pay for it. Even if you consider yourself a good person, your goodness is like filthy, leprous rags before God (Isaiah 64:6) so your goodness is never going to be sufficient to cover your sins. Only Jesus Christ can become sin for you so that you will be seen by God as having Jesus’ own righteous because He will become sin for you (2 Cor 5:21) if you repent and confess your sins and then trust in Christ (Rom 10:9-13). All lawbreakers will have their place in the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15).

Then) You can read more about this at: WhatChristiansWantToKnow.com (with an embedded hyperlink to the original article).

The reason we can’t have the article reprinted in its entirety is because it is copywritten material so it is out of my control, even if I wrote it. I am thrilled that you like it and I checked out your website. Very, very rock-solid theologically my friend. Most excellent. How sad many believer think they can receive eternal life but then can lose it. What a fearful way to live the Christian life. May God richly bless you sir.

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Arnold November 13, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Hello Mr. Wellman. I’m a 19 year old from Australia and I just got a few questions I wanna ask. I grew up a catholic a good portion of my life. I came to knowledge of Christ when I was 15, finally accepting Him as my only hope for my salvation. These past few months, certain sins have gotten hold of me, and I am in an endless cycle of commiting a sin, saying sorry, only to do it again days, if not a day later. I know now that that can’t continue. I have also since then asked myself if I really am the ‘real deal’, or am I just playing Christian. I sleep at night but I never really rest, and there are even days that I simply did not care if I had sinned. It wasn’talways like this. Once, upon first finding about Jesus, I was filled with such hope and I truly loved Him, but now that is all ceasing, almost altogether. So at your conclusion when the article made me doubt my salvation, it did so – heavily. I suppose it is a good thing I’m even thinking about this, right?

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Jack Wellman November 13, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Thanks Arnold. Good to know you. You can certainly call me Jack or Pastor but I appreciate your respect my friend using Mr. so use whatever title/name you wish my brother in Christ. You know, you are not alone. We all sin and struggle time and again. I would ask you to read Paul’s struggle with sin, even after conversion in Romans 7. I think it is good to examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith, as Paul writes “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5-6). The very fact that you are worried shows me that the Holy Spirit is convicting you Arnold. I confess my sins every single day so that’s fine what you are doing. I think a better sign is to look back over your life. Have you grown in the last year or two or 10? I re-read my conclusion and I really don’t like it. I should give more evidence like a hunger to learn more from the Bible and God. Praying daily, in the Word of God daily. And confessing sin daily (which you do it seems!). I would also talk to your pastor. No one can keep these 7 signs perfectly. If you even keep some of these or do some of these…none of us, me included, do all of these all the time. You do one sign very well…you are convicted of sin. If a person is not truly saved, they could care less about that but you DO care and that’s awesome. If you have ever had a time in your life where you have repented (turned from sin) and confess them to God, and then put your trust in Christ, the Bible says you are saved. After reading Romans 7 and Paul’s struggle, then read the happy ending in Romans 8! Even if our sins are great, our Savior is greater! Even if we have much sin, the cross always provided much more forgiveness. Does this help you Arnold. Read John chapter 6 and 10 tonight and feel and sleep better. I pray I have helped you my brother. You are loved by me but infinitely more by God. I fail but His love never fails.

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DocReits November 21, 2014 at 1:08 am

Hi Arnold,

Please allow me to add(to Pastor Jack’s good points) that the reason you have these problems with overcoming sin is that you are human. Welcome, to the species…;-) You are not alone! At last count there are about 7 billion of us out here, and we all struggle with sin, Christian or not.

You occupy a very unique subset of our population though, and that is….you are male and 19 years of age.

(Aside:Now if your sin problem is drunkenness or gluttony or murder then forget what follows. The number one repeated sin problem for men, especially 19 year old men, centers around lust , so I am running with that thought).

Did you know that the male hormone, testosterone, is at its very peak at your current age? It gets less and less, each year, after age 19. My personal belief is that God created men this way because, in the past, it was at this age that men got married and started having children. Testosterone makes us desire the opposite sex and God wanted that, so we would marry and have children. Makes sense, right?

The problem today, is that society has made it much harder to get married young. It takes more education(usually) to get a good job to support a family. In fact society is trending towards a normal marriage age of 27(for men), instead of 17-19, which was the norm 40 years ago. I remember that it was considered odd to wait until 25 to be married back then.

In the past, society was also more agricultural(more farms) so men would exhaust themselves in the fields during the day, thereby depleting much of that testosterone from their bodies. Not today. Its all right there in our veins with the temptation of the computer directly in front of us. Much tougher!

So, here you are, like all normal 19 year old males, with this burning need/desire for sex because testosterone is coursing through your veins. Further, you are probably not in the outback of Australia hunting water buffalo for supper. That is just my guess. So no physical exhaustion. Making it much worse is that most 19 year olds spend more time today at home, around their computer, with a lot of free time on their hands. Am I pretty accurate?

So what is a 19 year old, red blooded male to do in today’s world, besides the good words of Pastor Jack, which were to read your Bible and pray? Those are key, for God helps most and best when/after we pray. Even if that prayer is a scream of, “GOD HELP ME!!”, which, BTW, is my favorite prayer, because it is usually from the heart, and doesn’t waste God’s time with a bunch of thee’s and thou’s….;-) Here are just a few quirky, practical helps to battle temptation:

1) Do something physical if you are not already. Run, play tennis with a friend, golf, swim, or just work out. Jump rope until you are exhausted. This lowers the testosterone load in your body. Keep the rope around your computer. When/if you get the urge to wander to inappropriate sites, YELL!!. I mean it. Yell out loud. This breaks the concentration on the temptation. Example: Shout at the devil and praise Jesus. Or just yelllll. Then force…it will be extremely hard…but FORCE yourself to stand up, away from the computer, grab your rope and start jumping, until you are exhausted.

2) Keep some bottled water around your room. Chug a whole bottle at a time when you get the urge to sin.. It is amazing how the filling of the stomach diverts our mind away from temptation. Then, throw at least half a cup in your face and on the back of your neck and rub as you walk and walk around the room. It helps if the water is cold. NOW, at this point, with the water in your face….turn your computer off. Cold stop the computer if you feel yourself being drawn back in. The water in the face was a diversion, to enable you the emotional strength to leave the temptation. Now, with the computer off:

3) Take a cold shower if available, or dump another complete bottle of water over your face and neck. Keep towels present…;-)

4) Finally, praise Jesus in the shower for dying for you and allowing you the victory over sin. If this works every once in a while only…hey, its better than never, right? You are not weird, evil, or going to hell if you blow it, and you will, we all do…. because we are…..human, remember? Rejoice that you are saved, that God loves you and that we are all in this fight together. It gets easier with the passing years. Right now you are saying, “No way!”, but it is true. Hang in there…and get out your jump rope…;-)

Blessings,

DocReits

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Arnold January 11, 2015 at 7:43 am

DocReits,

Sorry for the long reply, I had almost forgotten about my post here. To be perfectly honest, I confess that every word you typed there is as accurate as it can be, but no, I don’t live in the outback, hunting water buffalos (that did make me snicker). I tend to feel at home in cities. I couldn’t help but cringe a little at the ‘pep talk’ on puberty, but I fully understand where you’re coming from.

Lastly, the advice on avoiding temptation was not precisely what I was expecting, but it seems hilarious to scream when temptation comes my way. Especially now, more than ever, that my mind needs to be as pure and renewed as it can be, because I’m studying theology starting this year, and I know I got a lot to learn and experience still.

Thanks,
– A

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Eric January 4, 2015 at 10:58 pm

Hi Jack, Great article! When I have questions this is one of the websites I visit. Thank you for your ministry.

Question:
If a person is born again but does not show fruit they can not be born again twice as this would be sacrificing our savior all over again correct? So would this make them a false convert or in need of repentance and putting their trust back in Jesus Christ. Should they go back and renew the relationship they had when they first were saved?

How can you tell a false convert from a person who is need of repentance. Should we warn these people to test themselves?

Thank you. Eric

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Jack Wellman January 5, 2015 at 8:23 am

Great point Eric. Paul wrote to make your election and calling sure and John gave us the litmus test in 1 John 3. If a person is truly born again they will bear fruit proving that they are (read John 15) so I believe that there are so many false converts out there that believe they are saved but really are not and will hear Matthew 7:21-23 to their horror…so should we warn them? No doubt! I totally agree Eric. Thanks brother.

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Eric January 5, 2015 at 11:21 pm

Thank you for the quick reply Jack. The current church I goto believes in OSAS. Our pastor had made a good point that if you are a father of a child you are always the father of that child. Once you are born again you are born into the family of Christ. You can never be told you are not of the family you are born from but you can fall out of fellowship with that family. He also mentioned just like you did that he feels there are many false converts. OSAS can be very confusing at times for me.

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Brandon Hooks January 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm

Hi, Jack. I am under bondage to doubts about my assurance of salvation. A large part of it is because Jesus said His sheep hear and know His voice. I struggle hearing His voice. I know that I receive my greatest joy just being with the Lord. I cannot get enough of His Word. I have begun to underline passages for study.

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Jack Wellman January 24, 2015 at 6:55 pm

Brandon my brother…I have been where you are at and during the nights I sometimes struggle with this too believe it or not and I’m a pastor and should know better. The good news is that a person that is worried about losing their salvation shows a heart that shows concern with their life but someone who isn’t saved could care less. Make sense? I don’t know anyone who has all of these 7 signs fully…these are just to show if you are not in alignment with all of them then you might not be saved. Reading your comment, I feel that you are because you are concerned about it. That’s the enemy trying to steal your joy. Read John 6:37.39 and John 10:28-29 and tell me what you think. But I want to share an article that I believe will make you feel better and its called “How to Have Confidence in Your Salvation” so please, please read this at: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/how-to-have-confidence-in-your-salvation/ Let me know if it helps sir. Also, read the Gospel of John…its powerful in reassuring believers and talk to your pastor too. Another article that might help is http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/can-a-christian-lose-their-salvation-a-biblical-analysis/

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William August 28, 2018 at 9:21 am

Pastor Wellman; I love the article and will use this as a basis for a sermon I am working on. The points on doubts of assurance hit me especially hard. I will go for a long time and never even think about assurance of salvation, but then it will come down on me like a ton of bricks. I am in Freetown pastoring a small missionary church which has grown dramatically over the last three years but sometimes when I see errors or sin in their lives, I start questioning myself. My answer to myself is walk the walk back through the Romans Road and remind myself of my first love, Jesus Christ.

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Jack Wellman August 28, 2018 at 9:45 am

Thank you sir. I love the Word of God. There is comfort for the afflicted. Perhaps matt 11:28-30 is most comforting of all. God bless you richly sir.

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Jack Wellman August 28, 2018 at 9:49 am

Hello William. I am so glad this was helpful. Perhaps my most comforting verses are Matt 11:28-30. May God richly bless you sir for the encouragement.

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Joseph February 5, 2016 at 6:53 am

Thank you very much sir. It is helpful to know whether you are a true Christian, and we will forever have our struggles till the day we meet the Lord. Not only does this help you to know if you are a Christian, but it also helps you to become a better Christian if you don’t act like a true Christian before. God bless you and your family and I hope to read more of your helpful articles again.

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Haman Ahmedi August 9, 2016 at 9:03 pm

WHEN I READ IT ALL THE SIGNS / WHAT THE BIBLE DESCRIBES A TRUE CONVERT CONFIRMS THAT I WAS FIRST FALSLY CONVERTED BUT THEN I STARTED TO TRULY SEEK CHRIST AND I GOT TRULY SAVED AND I’VE BEEN TRULY CONVERTED SINCE THEN
Ps. I DON’T BRAG ABOUT MY WORKS BUT ONLY GLORY TO GOD, FOR IT WAS HIM WHO IS TODAY AND WILL CHANGE ME INWARDLY DAILY, WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST ALONE IT IS NLT WHAT WE COULD DO OR HAVE DONE, BUT WHAT CHRIST DID ON THE CROSS OF CALVARY

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Ed Trizzino February 27, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Why do we except we will sin less? What sin are we not able to stop doing? Are 1John 2:10 (He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.)and 2 Peter 1:10 (Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; being disingenuous? Do we not have the desire and ability to agape love via the gift of Their nature now indwelling in us via the gift of the Holy Spirit. If I just sin less how can I fulfill Romans 12 (I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.)

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Jack Wellman February 27, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Thank you Mr. Trizzino. Can I ask you, “Do you not sin any more?” Have you not sinned in the last 24 hours? What about the last week? I will respond to your comment when you can answer me that sir. No offense meant. I want to seek what God’s Word says and not be my opinion. Just asking, “Do you not sin anymore at all…ever?” Thanks for your time sir.

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