Several weeks ago my wife informed me that a friend hers and mine, who had professed to be saved for years, has now confessed that she has been lost all along and now finally knows the true love of God!
I believe what God has done in her life is a powerful testimony of the miracle of being born-again. In America becoming a christian has become as simple as “saying a prayer” or “making a decision” or something as crazy as “walking an aisle” or “raising a hand.”
None of these is what Scripture calls sinners to do to be saved. Nor is being born again an act of man ( John 1:13). It is solely a work of GOD! It is a “new creation” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)!!! It is the changing of the very nature (core) of man from desperately wicked heart to a heart that loves God and His commands (Ezekiel 36), of which His commands are no longer burdensome (1 John 5:3).
This regeneration does not result in a mere prayer or decision man makes but rather a change so radical that that man is able to wholly trust God for the forgiveness of sin. Salvation is by grace through faith not prayer (although prayer is a common way of expressing faith, I believe the distinction is necessary and important). Any work we contribute will not make us righteous!!! But rather a giving up of our works and a complete surrender of resting in Christ work on the cross!!!
Therefore, our assurance comes not from when we said a prayer or made a decision! Our confidence comes in that the work Christ shed blood on a cursed cross accomplished brings us peace! And our assurance that we are His grows as the Holy Spirit testifies that we are His (Romans 8:16) by His active changing power in our lives to make us miraculously like Jesus Christ from the inside out. This is the power of God to save! Not some man-made religion!
Paul warns us that in the last days (which we are in [Acts 2:17]) professing Christians appear as:
having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
In my experience a large portion of American Christianity has a hollow shell of holiness but inside they are wicked and have not experienced the power of God. For they do not even know it!
Here is one powerful living example of the power of God.
Be encouraged my brother and sisters in Christ! Those who are not, BELIEVE on the LORD Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!