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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Skip Heitzig » Skip Heitzig - Watch Out for Fakes

Skip Heitzig - Watch Out for Fakes

Skip Heitzig - Watch Out for Fakes
Skip Heitzig - Watch Out for Fakes
TOPICS: Rock Solid

Would you turn in your Bibles to Second Peter, chapter 2. And I will warn you that it is a difficult passage, so I'm going to ask as we pray that you say committed to staying with me in this and don't tune this out. This is as important as John 3:16. It's in the Bible. It's God's Word. And let's pray for grace, shall we?

Father, we pray that you would give us the grace to be able to hear very difficult things, and Peter wrote them, and a whole chapter is devoted to it. And he wrote them, Lord, we believe, at the prompting and at the inspiration of the Spirit of God, so that these words reflect truth. And not only do they reflect truth, Lord, but they reflect what is truthfully written by Paul and by John and spoken by Jesus. Help us, Father, to become good at discernment, in Jesus' name, amen.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to go with some of you on a Journey's of Paul Tour where we went to the city of Ephesus where Paul spent three years of his life. Well, you have to land first at the port city of Kusadasi to get to Ephesus. So, I'm walking down the street of Kusadasi and I see a sign hanging down that caught my attention. It plainly said, "Fake Watches." And I thought, "I have to go." "Fake Watches," so I was just so intrigued, and I was with my tour guide who said, "Skip, these watches are like the best fake watches you'll ever, they look so realistic." So I went in. And I still have mine, by the way. It's, after three years it's working fine. But I was with a guy who had the real version of what I bought the fake version of. He has the real one, and he looked at it, and he looked very closely.

And he had a little magnifying glass, looked front and back, weighed it. And he said, "You know, I really cannot tell the difference. In fact, if we were to mix these up, I may walk away with the wrong watch." And I thought, "Now that's a thought." But so I purchased it. And I was with another friend of mine who knows watches pretty well, and he recognized it. He goes, "Oh, that's one of those da-da-da-da." And I said, "Actually, it's a fake watch." And he said, "Wow! It looks pretty good." And then he looked it over and he said, "If you opened it up, you could tell. If you look inside, you can tell it's fake." Today we have the opportunity to look inside the mind and heart and results of false teachers as we'll be told in this chapter.

Whenever somebody speaks for a company or an advertisement is shown that represents a company, you expect that there's going to be an accurate description of what that company is all about or trying to sell. It doesn't always work that way, though. Here's an example: Years ago when Gerber baby food decided to market in the country of Africa, they decided they would use the same strategy that they have used here over the years. You know, Gerber baby food has on the front jar a cute little Gerber baby, right? And so they thought they'd use that cute little Gerber baby to put it on their jars in Africa. What the Gerber Company didn't realize is that in Africa, because of the very high rate of illiteracy, most people, many people, at that time especially, did not read, that companies would place on the labels the contents of what was inside.

So can you imagine what it would look like to see a little baby on the front of a jar? You'd be repulsed by it, and so it didn't really work well. It was the wrong message they were sending. And then there was the case of Pepsi-Cola who was marketing in China, and they wanted to use the slogan "Come alive with the Pepsi generation." But it didn't translate that way in Chinese. It actually said to them: "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the grave." Again, not a great selling point. And then there's the case of the Coors Brewing Company who wanted to use the slogan that was very successful elsewhere: "Turn it loose." But when translated into one Spanish-speaking country, it was read this way: "Suffer from diarrhea."

I don't think you're going to want to drink that, right? Now, these are innocent mistakes. Babies aren't in jars, and your ancestors won't come back from the grave, but the point is it did not represent what that company was all about. Anyone who claims to speak for God must represent God correctly or they will be labeled by Scripture "false prophets." False prophets' words are like false labels on the front of jars. They send the wrong message, the wrong information.

Second Peter, chapter 2: But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has been not been idle and their destruction does not slumber.

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption. They will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.

H'm, welcome to church. What a heavy passage of Scripture to read. And we immediately ask after reading that: "Why is Peter so harsh?" In fact, some of us might say, "Come on, Peter, don't you know that really what's important in life is a person's sincerity? Doesn't matter what they believe, everybody believes different things, as long as you're sincere." I would answer that by asking you a question. If there was a blind man walking down a path and that path ended in a cliff. And as he's walking down that path toward the cliff, he hears that you're around and he asks you for directions. And he says, "Which way should I step?" Would it be appropriate for you to say, "It doesn't really matter which way you step, as long as you're sincere"? No. That wouldn't work in this situation, would it?

Or if you went to a doctor who diagnosed you with a fatal disease and then said to you, "You know, just go home and take two aspirin and get a good night's rest, as long as you're sincere." You'd say, "No, no. Tolerance is not a virtue in this case, truth is." And when you're giving people eternal directions, you better be careful. And Peter, like a good surgeon, diagnoses the problem and is ready to conduct surgery. Now the central thought here is this: God loves you enough to warn you about it. God cares for you enough that he would say you and I, "Discerning what is true and what is not is all-important." Think of it this way: God is hanging a "BEWARE" sign out. You've seen those signs: "Beware of Dog." It's a little Chihuahua, "Beware of Dog."

Sometimes you better be beware of the dog, because they'll take you, take you down. Or "Beware of Falling Objects," or "Beware of Oncoming Traffic." I saw one sign that said, "Beware! I just turned sixteen and I have a license." Well, that is scary. Here's God hanging the sign: "Beware of false teachers and false prophets." Now, as we have read this, I want to make three statements based upon what we just read. In fact, they are three principles, three rules, really, of dealing with counterfeit teachers and they're simple: be aware, be assured, be aligned; be aware of their falsehood, be assured of their fate, and be aligned with the faithful. All three of these are clearly seen in the text that Peter writes.

The first thing, though, is that we are to be aware of some of the things that would characterize a false teacher, a false prophet: be aware of their falsehood. Now, listen, I went through this text and I counted about twenty-five things to be aware of. I'm going to spare you that. I've summed them up by giving you six little things you ought to be aware of, six little things that are features of common false prophets. Number one, they are always around. They're always around. Verse 1, "There were also false prophets among the people," that's the people of Israel, "even as there will be false teachers among you." Throughout all of the Scripture there are warnings that are sounded from the time of Moses to the time of Messiah.

Do you know that in Deuteronomy 13, way back in the time of Moses, it's a whole chapter devoted to instructing the Israelites on how to spot a false prophet, a false dreamer, even a false miracle worker? Then the prophet, the true prophet Isaiah warns about "prophets who teach lies" and "cause [Israel] to err." Then there's Jeremiah, the Lord spoke through him saying, "The prophets prophesy lies in my name." God continues, "I did not send them, I did not command them, I did not speak to them, and yet they prophesy false visions." You see, there's always been false prophets. There's always been false gospels. There have always been fake Christians. And in the end of days, there will even be a false Christ that will be presented. And why is that? Because that's Satan's MO. That's his biggest trick in the bag.

His number one tactic is deception. That's what Jesus said: "He is a liar and the father of lies." Not only that, but as we near closer and closer to the end of days, you can expect it to proliferate. It's not going to get any better. It's going to get worse according to Jesus in Matthew 24, "Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am Christ,' and deceive many. And many false prophets will rise up and they will also deceive many." When you were in school, you learned Newton's third law of motion. You go, "No, I wasn't there that day." Oh were you were there. You'll recognize it when I say it: Every action brings an equal and opposite reaction. And that is also true in the spiritual world. Every action from heaven brings a correspondent reaction in the realms of hell, and earth and earthlings are the crossfire.

It's just like when you turn on a light in the summertime on your back porch, all the bugs come. The light of truth shines in this world and bugs will come. They've always been around. A second thing to be aware of is that they will distort the truth. Verse 1 tells us: "who will secretly bring in destructive heresies." That's a loaded word, isn't it, heresy? Heretic, we've heard the word; I just don't know if we know what it means. It speaks about somebody who makes a preferential choice, and the idea here is somebody who chooses something that isn't true. William Barclay said it best: "A heretic is a man who believes what he wishes to believe instead of accepting the truth of God which he must believe."

Why would anyone choose something to believe rather than what Jesus said or what the Bible said they must believe? Here's why, I think: all of us, all humans have a longing to worship something. It's the way God wired us. But because natural man, modern natural man has any aversion at all to absolute truth, what most people would rather do is simply adopt some generic spirituality. So, they'll pick and choose. They'll come to the Bible sort of like a salad bar and they'll say, "I'll take the Golden Rule and that 'love your neighbor as yourself bit. I like that. And, oh yeah, that 'Judge not lest you be judged,' gotta have that in there." So basically what they're saying is, "I'll take a small order of Christianity, please. Hold the guilt. I'm on a guilt-free diet these days."

And that's what is more palatable to believe. And notice something about them: not only do they bring in destructive heresies (how do they do it? What does it say?) they "secretly" do it. They'll come quoting Scriptures, big smiles as they knock on your door, and they'll say "Jesus" and all the right words. Nobody knocks or comes up to you and says, "Hi, I'm your local neighborhood false prophet. Give me five minutes and I bet I can deceive you." They're not going to come that way at all. Think Little Red Riding Hood, that's how they'll come, the Big Bad Wolf dressed up like Grandma; but first like Little Red Riding Hood to get in Grandma's house, then after eating Grandma, waited, dressed up like Grandma, to get Little Red Riding Hood in the door.

They come in secretly. Listen, false prophets will use our vocabulary, but not our dictionary. They use the same terms: "Jesus," "Savior," "salvation," "inspiration." But the meaning of the words that they are using are not the meaning of the words as you know them from Scripture. Same vocabulary, different dictionary. Here's something else you should be aware of: they deny Christ. They deny Christ. Verse 1 says: "even denying the Lord who bought them." Next time you encounter somebody from an aberrant group, from a false cult, ask them a simple question. Don't argue about all the minutiae, about this and that, just ask them a simple question: "Tell me about Jesus. Who is he? What do you believe Jesus to be?" You will discover within moments truth or error, if they deny or affirm Christ.

And by the way, when it says here they deny the Lord, it means they contradict the Lord. They say about Jesus what Jesus never said about himself. So here's the scoop, To deny Jesus Christ is to deny his incarnation, that he left heaven and came to this earth. To deny Jesus Christ is to deny his salvation, that he lived the perfect life that we could never live, and then paid the atoning death. To deny Jesus Christ is to deny his substitution, that he bore our sins, that he took our punishment. To deny Jesus Christ is to deny his resurrection, that he conquered death and he promises to us eternal life. And to deny Jesus Christ is to deny his ascension, that he's actually seated at the right hand of God and is worthy of our praise and worship. In a nutshell, Christianity is Jesus Christ.

And if he is not who he claims to be, then we don't have a Christian faith. In fact, if Jesus is not who he claims to be, then he's guilty of putting the wrong label on the jar. But if he is who he claims to be, and others deny that, now they're guilty of putting the wrong label on the jar. Something else you should be aware of: they will broaden the way to heaven. They broaden the way. Look at verse 2, "And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed." You see the word "many"? This tells me that the false teachers will be very popular, because they take the narrow way and they broaden it, they make it easy. Now, please don't misunderstand me. It's not some major, hard feat to be saved; you just have to trust in Jesus Christ, that he paid the price for your sins.

But part of that is the willingness to repent of your sin, to turn from that and turn to Christ. The false teacher comes along and will say, "Yeah, you know, but anytime you make it so narrow and one way, you just alienate so many people. So, let me just broaden it out a little bit." I was in a book store. I don't know if there are any bookstores around anymore, but we have one. That might be the last one. But I was in a bookstore, and it was back East. And I was in a book stand where they were featuring a book of a religious leader newly put out. I won't tell you his name or the name of the book. And there was a young girl who opened the book and started to look at it. She was curious. And then I saw a young man come up beside her and I heard the conversation.

It went like this: "You ought to buy that book. It's really good. And here's why: this preacher, he won't talk about sin. He won't make you feel bad. He won't talk about repentance." What this young man said is, "Now, this preacher will just tell you how good you are already, that you don't need to change." And I thought of the words of Jesus who said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many go in by it." You need to be aware of that. Something else you need to be aware of: they will cover up their motives. Verse 3, "By covetousness they will exploit you." They want something from you. They want power. They want money. They want status. And they will make merchandise of you. They will exploit you. I've seen this for so many years in obvious things like this.

I've been in meetings where I've heard this: "Wait a minute, wait a minute. I'm hearing from God. Yes, there are, yes, Lord. Yes, yes. There ten people here with $10,000 each. Hallelujah!" And I'm going, "Oh, gag! Give me a break." No wonder Paul wrote to the Thessalonians and said, "Neither at any time did we use flattering words, nor a cloak for covetousness." That's the motive: "I want something out of you." Many, well, I'll be accurate. Many, many, many, many years ago I taught a Bible study in Garden Grove, California, right off the 22 Freeway and Beach Boulevard. It was a home Bible study that was growing, growing. And one night I remember a young man came in, smiles and a Bible, and he was there the next week and the next week.

By about the third week, because we didn't know who he was or his background, he kind of revealed who he was after the Bible study. He had been eyeing this cute little girl in the Bible study, and he walked up to her, and I overheard this conversation. He said, "The Lord told me that you're to be my wife." Now, how's that for a pick-up line? Have you ever heard that one before? That's new, isn't it? "The Lord told me you're going to be my wife." So she held up her wedding band. She said, "I'm already married, thank you." And he didn't stop. He persisted. He goes, "Well, that only proves that you married the wrong person and you need to leave him and marry me." So I gave him a good dose of "Thus saith the Lord..." right on the spot.

But that's exactly the kind of stuff that was happening back in Peter's day. Did you know there was a book circulated around 100 AD known as the Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles given to local churches to help them spot false teachers? I won't read it all to you, it's lengthy, but here's just a quip: "If an apostle, that is, a missioner," is the term they use, "comes to you, you should welcome that person. Let him come amongst you. However, if he stays more than three days, he's a false prophet. If anyone speaking in a trance", you know, "Wait a minute, I'm hearing from the Lord now", "anyone speaks in a trance and says these words: 'Give me money (or anything else),' do not listen to him. Everyone who comes in the name of the Lord is to be welcomed."

"The latter you must test him and find out about him. Make sure he does not live in idleness simply on the strength of being a Christian. Unless he agrees to this, he is only trying to exploit Christ", the exact same language Peter uses. So, they're always around. They distort the truth. They deny Jesus Christ. They broaden the way. They cover their motives. The other and final thing you ought to know is that they despise authority, because authority means accountability. Look at verse 10. "And especially those who walk according to the flesh and in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. And they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord."

Now, every commentator that I read on this, every scholar that did a work on Second Peter, all of them said the same thing: that when it said "speaking evil of dignitaries" is a reference to demonic dignitaries. And that is because of the cross reference to this passage is very similar to the book of Jude, verse 8 and 9, that says this: "For even Michael the archangel dared not bring a reviling accusation against Satan when he disputed with him over the body of Moses, but rather said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'" And so what these scholars are saying is that these teachers who were among the people are so arrogant that they did what Michael the archangel wouldn't even do; and that is, they would mock, though fallen angels, still dignitaries nonetheless, because Michael didn't do it, but said, "Look, the Lord will do it, not me."

And I read that and I thought about the fact that some people today actually make a living going from church to church binding demons, yelling at demons. I've been in meetings where they go like this: "Now, Devil, we bind you and we want you to know..." And now they're carrying on a conversation with the devil. And I'm going, "Really? You're talking to the devil about God when you ought to talk to God about the devil." That's where the power is, that's called prayer. When Satan knocks on the door, ask Jesus to answer it. Don't go toe to toe. Don't go one-on-one. Then in verse 12, says, "But these", listen to this language, "But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed", gnarly, "speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption."

He compares them to wild, rapacious animals. They are not sheep. They are not sheep. And, yet, they act like experts. They speak about things that they're ignorant of. They despise authority and they're experts on everything spiritual. And, you know, the Internet is full of these kind of characters. They feel so empowered with a pseudonym and behind a computer screen to rail on anyone and everyone who has any spiritual authority at all. So, be aware of their falsehood. The second great truth here is: be assured of their fate. Over and over again throughout, woven throughout the entire text is the fact that these false prophets have a judgment that is severe.

Look at verse 1, "and bring on themselves swift destruction"; verse 3, "and their destruction does not slumber"; verse 12, "and they will utterly perish in their own corruption"; verse 13, "and will receive the wages of unrighteousness." The wages of sin is always death, and God will make sure that payday is coming. Have you ever found an apple with a hole in it, tiny little hole, maybe a little brown spot around the hole? And when you look at it and you think what? Worm. You put it down. So you find an apple that looks really good on the outside, right, unpenetrated? You look at it, and you go, "That's the apple." But sometimes you'll bite into that apple and there's a worm in that one.

You see, it's a perfect deception, because worms don't crawl from the outside in, the eggs are laid in the blossom of the flower, so that when the apple comes, it's already been living inside. It's a perfect deception. Now, when you, when you bite into an apple, and you get brown worm junk in your mouth, what do you do with that bite? Do you swallow it? "Gulp, ahh!" You spit it out, right? You spit it out? God is saying, "That's what I do with false teachers. They will be eternally spit out." And here's why: there is nothing more offensive to God than deception. There is nothing more offensive to God than those who will falsify facts about God. False teachers who enter the true church will face certain judgment.

And just so we don't misunderstand that, he gives three illustrations of it: first illustration is fallen angels, verse 4; second illustration is the ancient world in the flood; and the third illustration is Sodom and Gomorrah. And verses 4 through 10 is one long, running sentence in the Greek language filled with these illustrations. It's simple what he's saying: "God didn't spare the first angels who rebelled with the devil, but cast them to hell. God didn't spare humanity in the flood; he destroyed them all except for eight who believed. God didn't spare Sodom and Gomorrah, that horrible incineration. So, don't you think that false teachers will get a hall pass when it comes to judgment, theirs is coming." Now, again, "Oh, this is such an uplifting sermon. I'm just feeling so encouraged by this."

Why is God so punitive and why is Peter so descriptive of that punishment? Because it really does matter what you eat, spiritually speaking. My mom used to say, "You are what you eat," and I was always afraid if I had too many carrots, I'd turn orange. But what you take into your life and listen to and meditate on really is important, because it can bring you life or it can destroy you. That's why this language is employed. There was once a farmer who was just sick and tired of the rising cost of oats. And he wanted to buy the oats to feed his mule, so he decided that he would beat the system, and he took out some of the oats and put in sawdust as filler for his mules. He thought, "I beat the system." But by the time his mules were satisfied, they were dead.

Took a while, but eventually it caught up, and so it is with so-called truth but is really error. It might just start out really okay and innocuous, but over time people die. So, be aware of their falsehood, be assured of their fate; here's the third thing, I want to close on this: be aligned with the faithful. That's another theme here is that all out of all this mess that Peter is describing there are two people he writes about as wonderful exceptions that should be our examples: Noah and Lot. Now neither of them were perfect people, but Noah preached a message, and he happened to be right about it. It was a very narrow message, by the way. Can you imagine going to church in Noah's time and hearing Noah preach? He preached for 120 years. No one wanted to listen to him, no one.

Imagine what people thought: "This guy's so narrow. He says there was only one way to be saved; and that is, this boat." Happened to be right. Lot ran out of Sodom because God promised to judge that city. And the point of this passage here, the point of these two exceptions that Peter brings out is simple: both Noah and Lot escaped the promised judgment, follow those people. Verse 9 sums it up: "Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment." Please notice that, and if you have the freedom to mark in your Bibles, mark that text, because verse 9 shows you a theological pattern of how God judges. That God rescues the godly before he ruins the ungodly.

When wrath come from him directly, he rescues the godly first. He let those eight people get lifted up above the judgment on earth by that boat, and I believe he will do the same before he unleashes the great tribulation period on the earth in an event called the rapture. That's his pattern. Now, I want to close with just two lingering thoughts to leave with you summing it all up. Number one, walk away with this thought: God loves me enough to give me the warning. He loves me enough to tell me this truth. I bought a fake watch. I saw the sign. It was hung. It gave me fair enough warning. I did it anyway. I'm responsible for the little money that I laid out for this fake watch. Just be thankful that God hangs out the sign: "Fake prophet," "False prophet." That's God's love.

The second lingering truth is this: I think God wants us to find faithful people as examples that we can emulate. Now, Lot is one of these two, so it shows us God doesn't always set the bar so high. Because Lot, like, okay that guy's so out to lunch, but he's called "righteous" here. Noah built an ark, Lot ran out of Sodom, and boy are they glad they did. Because they knew that when God made a promise, he was going to act. Years ago a columnist for the Chicago Tribune named Bob Greene wrote a little article about what he believed was wrong with our world, our culture. And he blamed the problems in our culture to a very interesting thing that he called "The Death of the Permanent Record," "The Death of the Permanent Record."

This is what he said in his article. He said, "When I was a kid in school, my teachers used to warn me about the 'Permanent Record.' 'Now this is going to be on your permanent record.' 'Don't do that, because that'll be on your permanent record.'" He said, "I heard those words all the time." He goes, "I don't hear them at all anymore. It's as if people don't think there a permanent record." "The Death of the Permanent Record", well, there is a permanent record. God keeps good books. But the greatest truth of all, though there is a permanent record, is to allow God to overwrite your permanent record with the permanent, blood-stained ink of Jesus Christ where he would write over all of your transgressions "forgiven," "cleansed." It's not that God winks at what you've done, but he chooses to love and forgive you in spite of what you've done. Let's pray together.

Our Father, we have considered a very difficult passage of Scripture, one that I didn't relish expounding on as I saw it in front of me for this week's passage. And, Lord, yet it's here and it's not the only one. He has more words to say, and Jude had more words to say, and John had a lot to say, and Paul had a lot to say, and Jesus had a lot to say about false prophets, false teachers, a false gospel, something that sounds so appealing, that isn't so narrow, that isn't calling for repentance from sin, but it will kill us in the end, like the mule who eats sawdust. It might feel good temporarily, but it can damn a soul forever. So thank you, Lord, that you love people enough to send a true record of the way by which they can get to heaven, by Jesus Christ alone, by what he did on Calvary's tree 2,000 years ago for us. And that by his incarnation and salvation and substitution and resurrection we have life. That is the gospel and that is good news. I pray we would run toward those who believe that, and we would be encouraged of good examples of those who live that. And we would shun those who try to broaden the way and just make us feel good in any condition with any belief system, however we choose to live, because in in the end that will just destroy, and you don't want that. Lord, for anyone who's gathered here at this service who doesn't know you personally, if you have awakened them, I pray that they would grab a hold of the lifeline of Jesus Christ. That instead of drowning in their present condition, they would say yes to him.

And if you've never known Jesus personally, if you're not sure that you're saved, you're not sure that if you were to die or when you die that you would be in heaven, but you want that assurance, you want the hope of the future, you want to be able to live in uncertain times with a certain hope, then just right where you're seated just talk to him. And say right now:

Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner and I'm sorry. I believe that your Son Jesus died for me on a cross, shed his blood for me, and rose again from the grave. Lord, I turn from my sin. I repent of it. I turn to you as Savior. I want to live for you. Help me to do that, in Jesus' name, amen.

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