Over the past few years, I have received many questions from people along the lines of “I’ve done some bad things. Does that mean I’m not saved?” Some people will ask, “How can I know that I’m saved?” When I receive a question like this, I try to help the person as much as I can, often providing the like above. I know that many of these people would like for me to tell them, “Yes, you are saved,” but I can’t do that.
The thing that fascinates me about the people who ask this question is that they are church people. These aren’t drug dealers and jail birds coming to us looking for some kind of assurance of their salvation. These people might be one people who sat near you at church last Sunday. It is sad, but there are many people who attend church and don’t know whether they will make it into heaven or not. Even worse, there are pastors and choir members who will not make it into heaven (Matthew 7:22, 23).
I was reading a blog post that talked about how much the Christian novel has changed over the years. It mentioned that there is a much wider variety than there once was and that while some Christian author’s used to have all Christian characters, newer Christian novels have some characters who aren’t Christians. The blogger seemed to see this as a good thing. To some extent I agree, but I thought about these questions I occasionally answer and I thought about Matthew 7:22, 23. Many will say to Me in that Day, `Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works?' And then will I profess unto them, `I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.' I wondered about how many people will stand before the Lord and say, “Lord, didn’t I write novels in your name?”
It isn’t my intention to pick authors out and say, “I think this one is saved and that one is not.” That is not my place, but one reader was telling me the other day about some Christian novels she has read in which the author stated something along the lines of you’ve got to have faith, but failed to demonstrate that she knew what we are to place our faith in. Faith is worthless without something to back it up. Maybe some of the “improvements” we are seeing in Christian books aren’t true improvements at all.