I have never felt like I was saved.

I am 55 years old and have recently lost my job. I am presently living on what's left of my 401K and trying for several jobs at present. I am backed into a corner with no exit that I can see. I have been married to the same woman for over 30 years and still have one son at home [19 yrs old]. I accepted Christ back in 1979 but I never felt that I was saved. My life definitely changed for the better as it relates to God but, even so, I didn't think my prayers were answered and felt on the outside most of the time. We were in a strong church in the Kansas City area but moved almost 13 years ago and never really found the "right" church in our new location. We have slowly drifted away from God for the last two years and feel He has forgotten us altogether. In looking back, I've often thought that maybe God didn't "call" me. Rather, I came to him and followed the plan of salvation, joined a strong Bible believing church and tried to move forward with our lives.

I presently have sin in my life but it takes "power" to overcome sin. I don't have any power at present. I've confessed my sins and have tried to turn my back on them and have for the most part but some remains. I feel a long way from God right now more so than ever before. I had a preacher tell me once that "maybe God doesn't want to save you" in reference to my feeling of not being saved.

I am a former U.S. Marine and Viet Nam veteran and have had trouble with alcohol over the years. In addition, I had a bad childhood with a father that I felt didn't care about me. I've read it is difficult for some people with my background to trust God because of the "father" relationship. Anyway, here I am at my age having to start over in life and using up what little is left of my retirement to survive. Virtually everything in my life has fallen apart. It is astounding.....nothing has gone right for me for a long time....nothing. I feel that nobody could have bad luck to the degree that I have so I tend to think it has spiritual implications.

I have felt that the best thing for me to do is leave this world so that my family could at least have my insurance. I need answers and need them now.

I ask that you pray for me.

My response is in Green:

I will pray for you and I will try to help you if I can. I want to let you know that the preacher who told you maybe God doesn't want to save you should get out of the ministry, because he doesn't know what he is talking about. God says He does want to save you and everyone else in the world if you are just willing to come to Him. So put that thought of our your mind.

You know the problem is you not God. You said you never 'felt' saved. So what? There are many days when I don't 'feel' saved either, but we can't trust our emotions. We can, however, trust God and His word. His word says that He is faithful and just and will save us if we confess our sins. (1 John 1:9 NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. And again it says: (Acts 16:30-31 NIV) He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" {31} They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." So either God is a liar or you are saved if you confessed your sins and if you believed on the Lord Jesus.

You said you were a Viet Nam vet. Well did you ever see or talk to any of those generals who sent you there and gave you orders? Probably not, but you knew they were real and you believed their orders because of the authority they carried. Well it is the same with God and His word. You can trust Him because of the authority His word has.

You need to get out your Bible and start reading it. You need to find a Bible believing church in your area and get going. You need to take the offensive on this. That whole thing about your childhood is bunk. People like to claim they can't understand who God is or have a relationship with Him because of the bad relationship they had with their father, but that is not right. For one it denies the power of the Holy Spirit to show you who God is and enable you to have a relationship with Him. Second it does not make sense even from a human stand point. Are you going to tell me because of the relationship with your father you don't understand what being a father is? How were you a father to your child? If your father had died when you were one minute old you could still know what a father was suppose to be. No matter how bad your relationship was with your father you can understand what a father is suppose to be.

God can help you with your problems, but you better fix your relationship with Him. Here are some interesting verses which might apply to you, I am not saying that they do, but they might. (Amos 4:6-11 NIV) "I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. {7} "I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up. {8} People staggered from town to town for water but did not get enough to drink, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. {9} "Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, I struck them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. {10} "I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. {11} "I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD. Maybe your problem isn't that God never called you but rather that He is calling you back and you are not listening.

Suicide is not the answer, trust me, it will just give you more of what you hate and give it to you for eternity. It will not help your family either. Most insurance polices will not pay off if there was suicide involved. Plus think of what it would do to your family. How would your son ever be able to trust God after he watches you kill yourself because you did not trust God?

No suicide is not the answer. God is the answer and I think you already know it. Quit running from Him and get your life right. There is no substitute for obedience.

You might not be able to find the perfect church, but I bet you can find a church which believes in the Bible and preaches about Jesus. Go to it, they will help you.

One last thing, this goes back to whether you just decided that you wanted to be saved and maybe God didn't want you. (John 6:44 NIV) "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." See you can't even have the thought in your mind unless God put it there, so if you accepted Jesus as your Savior it was because God the Father drew you to Him. God reaches out to everyone, but only those who respond and accept Jesus will be saved.

I don't pull any punches, but hey you wouldn't want me to would you? I know you were not taught to give up in boot camp, you are in a battle for your soul right now and you better get into the fight. Paul tells us about the struggle: (Ephesians 6:12-17 NIV) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. {13} Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. {14} Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, {15} and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. {16} In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. {17} Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Talk to God, ask Him to help you. You are not the first person who fell into depression and you won't be the last. Even Paul struggled with it at one point and thought about dying. (2 Corinthians 1:8-11 NIV) We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. {9} Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. {10} He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, {11} as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. Paul found out that his problems were so that he would learn to depend on God. Maybe it is time you started depending on Him too. Notice too that Paul said he was helped by the prayers of others. I will pray for you but you need to get into a church where people can help hold you up to the Lord. Also where they can help hold you accountable. Power comes from giving your life totally to God and allowing Him to take over. You might not have the power right now to resist sin, but if you get right with God He will give you the power. It call comes down to your relationship with God.

I will pray for you.

Ralph

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