Shaky or Solid Assurance?
Yesterday an illustration of the vast difference between Mormonism and Christianity hit me right between the eyes. It deals with how to know you are forgiven.
I had spent a portion of the day writing a series of five emails we will send to Mormons who contact us. Each email focused on a specific Bible passage proclaiming God’s forgiveness. I wrote brief explanations for each passage. This exercise once again reminded me how fervently God wants to assure us of our forgiveness in Christ. He has covered our sins with Christ’s blood obliterating our debt of sin. He has separated them as far as the east is from the west. He tells us he not only forgives our sins; he also remembers them no more. It’s obvious that God doesn’t want us have any doubts about being forgiven.
Then, later in the day, I read one of the talks from last spring’s LDS General Conference. I do this because many Mormons are doing it. They are urged to read and reread these talks between conferences. So, to keep current, I do the same.
I was reading the talk when suddenly I was stopped in my tracks by the following statement:
“Even though we may believe in Christ’s cleansing power, the question often arises: ‘How do I know if I have been forgiven of my sins?’ If we feel the Spirit, that is our witness that we have been forgiven, or that the cleansing process is taking place.”
Really? Your feelings will assure you that you are forgiven?
What a striking contrast to the passages I had focused on just an hour or two before! There, God in his Word repeatedly assured us that, because of what Jesus has done, we are forgiven. It established forgiveness on the solid foundation of Christ’s work for us.
The more I thought about it, the more sympathy I felt for Mormons. I thought of the many people over the years who talked to me because they didn’t feel they were forgiven. I always steered them away from their feelings and pointed them to God’s Word. Even if you don’t feel forgiven, you are – because God says so – because Jesus has already paid the price for you!
But Mormons, instead of being directed away from their feelings, are pointed to them. Talk about a shaky foundation. We all know how unreliable and fickle feelings are. They often send the wrong message. Think, for example, of how many times people weren’t worried about a sin they committed because it felt so right.
From talking with many Mormons, we know many struggle with guilt and feeling rejected by God. Many who feel this way end up giving up.
They so desperately need to hear what the Bible has to say about forgiveness. Please pray that many Mormons contact us so we can send them those emails. And also pray that the Lord gives you the opportunity to personally be the bearer of good news – the good news that we can be assured of God’s forgiveness because Jesus has already paid our debt of sin.