Becoming a Christian is meant to produce peace and joy, yet this is not always the experience of the believer. Why not? Most often it is because we have failed to grasp the true meaning and extent of the gospel message.
This book is designed to help those people who have truly received Christ as their Saviour but are confused by the feeling that nothing seems to have changed. Are you one of them? Most people gauge the reality of their conversion by the way they feel. For some people becoming a Christian is such a momentous event that the sense of being pardoned and inwardly renewed often results in joy and relief and a sense of belonging. But this emotional adrenaline has to solidify into a rugged understanding of the gospel or it will leave the new believer bewildered when the feelings wane. On the other hand some people become Christians in a progressive and unemotional way and they may sometimes wonder if anything real and lasting has happened to them.
Many Christians are ignorant about how they are supposed to feel from day to day. The ordinary burdens of living in a fallen and sinful world descend on them and they no longer feel good or victorious. Instead they often feel guilty and confused. There are sometimes huge emotional expectations about the moment of commitment to Christ. When these don’t materialise, some people commence a fruitless search for spiritual thrills. This can lead to perpetual disillusionment or even weird and wrong teaching. Such people often end up in the arms of strange and fanatical groups on the periphery of Christianity.
I urge you to avoid that. If you are feeling spiritually dry and barren, let me assure you that the answer lies primarily in understanding the enormousness of what happens to those who turn to Christ. I do not mean to suggest that feelings are not important or that nothing should be experienced in the realm of the emotions. Far from it! I merely want to point out that feelings are the result of other input into our lives – especially our minds. To use computer jargon, if the input is wrong, the print-out will be wrong. But if the input is right, the results will be right.
Feelings are so easily manipulated and changed. We are fallen people and part of the effect of our fallenness and imperfection is seen in the changeability of our feelings and the ease with which they can play havoc with us.
We need to make sure that our information is correct, that we understand the privileges of believing the gospel. If we understand these privileges, then I say unhesitatingly that, regardless of the ups and downs of life, we can and should have blessed assurance.
*Adapted from Frank Retief’s introduction to Safe?: How We Can Be Sure of God’s Love, p. 7-9.
Praise for Safe?: How We Can Be Sure of God’s Love:
“I can think of nothing better to give to new converts – or to be read by believers who are not crystal clear about their eternal security.”
John Blanchard ~ Internationally known Christian preacher, teacher, apologist and author
“Enquirers and believers alike will find in Frank Retief’s compelling style and luminous stories a readily-constructible platform for a credible Christian world-view.”
Richard Bewes ~ OBE, Author & retired rector of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London
Where to Buy:
Safe?: How We Can Be Sure of God’s Love by Frank Retief is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below: