To The Men and Women of Various Christian Denominations Who are Seeking Assurance of Salvation,
I hear you. I have heard you call into various Christian radio programs. I have read your e-mails. I have paged through your blogs. You are out there.
You want to know if you are really saved. You call into the radio program and ask the Christian host, some scholar or pastor, for reassurance that you are truly a Christian.
My best advice to you: ask a Lutheran pastor. Because honestly, they are the only ones who can give you what you are seeking.
The Roman Catholic cannot give you assurance because they will tell you to love God and love your neighbor. But the questions you are asking is: how do I know I have loved them enough?
The Calvinist will tell you that God is sovereign, that He is in control, and that you just need to trust Him. But you are wondering how you can know if God, in His sovereignty, has chosen you. And they don't really have an answer for that.
The American Evangelical will tell you to have faith and then you will be saved. But you are asking the question because you are not sure that you do believe, or that you believe enough.
I know this is what they will say because I have heard and read their answers. They point you back to the very person that you doubt: yourself.
If you are looking for assurance that you are saved, here is what a Lutheran will tell you: Jesus Christ has done everything that is necessary for your salvation. He has lived, suffered, died, risen, and ascended for you, for the forgiveness of your sins, for the redemption of your life from death and hell.
Do you have doubts? Lay them at the foot of the cross. Jesus has done all. Your salvation rests in His hands. Your faith has been created by His Holy Spirit. He has done everything that needs to be done. He has given you everything that you need.
Don't trust in your love. Don't trust your own faith. Trust Jesus. Faith in anything else is shaky. He alone is the Rock upon which nothing that is built will fall.
No, really, rest.
Be assured that you are saved by the grace of God in action through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
A Concerned Lutheran Brother