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  • Dan Wilson

I'm Saved. Now What?

When we accept Christ as our savior, we are immediately immortal in the spirit. Yes, our physical body will pass away, but the spirit within us will never die. 

Billy Graham wrote:

“Someday, you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”- Billy Graham, 2018.

We’ve won eternity in the presence of the Lord when we leave this earth, but what about until then? As Christians, we are called to go forth and make disciples. Some ask, if we’re saved for eternity, why doesn’t God just take us immediately to Heaven and avoid all the distress that exists here on earth?After Jesus rose from the tomb and just before He ascended to Heaven, He gave us what is known as The Great Commission.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

In other words, now that you are on the winning team, you have a job to do. If you believe Heaven is everything the Bible says, and you also believe that Hell is as bad as described, wouldn’t you want to share this great news with others that you care about? To do that effectively, we must navigate some challenges during our remaining days here in this world. Once you understand your identity, which is rooted fully and completely in Jesus Christ, the next step is to live out the life that God has for us. God has planned a wonderful adventure for us on this earth as joint heirs to his kingdom. 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

In order to fully enjoy what God has planned for us, which includes being productive in helping build and manage his kingdom, we must be equipped and free from strongholds in our lives. As believers, we will continue to struggle with temptations while we are here on earth. But God has promised us that we are overcomers. 

“Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his [own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you ]will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:31-33 (NKJV)

As believers, we are in a daily battle for the mind. The word battle is apt because the stakes are high, and the challenges are mini. Satan wants to sideline us and keep us from doing God’s work. He knows he cannot steal us from our eternal inheritance, but he is very effective in keeping us sidelined and ineffective. Satan can actually plant sinful ideas in our minds. Here are a couple of examples.

“Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to [number Israel. So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, ‘Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.’” I Chronicles 21:1-2 (NKJV)

“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession.  And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?’” Acts 5:1-3 (NKJV)

Read the full chapters to find out how, in both examples, there were extreme consequences for submitting to Satan’s ideas. Preparing to do battle with Satan daily requires that we plan and execute. There are several scriptures that talk about effective measures against Satan.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. There00fore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13 (NKJV)

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV)

Common strongholds include bad habits, which, in their extreme, become addictions.  Substance abuse such as drugs or alcohol, sexual sin, and gambling can all develop to a point where they are completely life-crippling. Do you mean to say that a true Christian can still suffer from all of these strongholds? The answer is absolutely yes, but there is good news.

“As it is written:

‘For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ 

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:36-39 (NKJV)

The Bible would not be full of instructions about dealing with strongholds if this were not a reality of the Christian life. Six actions indicate a strong Christian prepared to break down strongholds.

1.Revelation – John 8:32                    The Spirit will reveal sin.

2.Repent – 1 John 1:9                           Confess the sin.

3.Receive - Acts 3:19                              Receive God’s promised forgiveness.

4.Renounce - Proverbs 28:13           Renounce the lie.

5.Resist - James 4:7                                 Resist the enemy.

6.Renew - Romans 12:2                       Renew your mind with God’s Word.

We need to replace Satan’s lies with true positive statements from God’s word. Here are a few verses that do that.

·2 Timothy 1:7    “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a  sound mind.”

·1 John 4:4            ”He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

·1 Peter 5:7           “…casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.”

·Romans 8:1         “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…”

·Romans 8:31      “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

One of the most common and very difficult strongholds that Christians face is unforgiveness. In our humanness, we withhold forgiveness because we feel we are justified in situations where we were truly wronged by another person. But God‘s word teaches us very clearly that we are to forgive, because we were forgiven. Unforgiveness is like mixing up poison for the person who offended you, then drinking it yourself and expecting him to suffer. It hurts you the most. One of the most common mistakes Christians make is to confuse forgiveness with reconciliation. Forgiveness never means we must stay in any relationship and accept continued mental or physical abuse.

We never look more like Jesus than when we forgive.

It would be impossible for us to repay God for our sins. That is why Jesus needed to come and live a perfect life and then die on the cross. If we could have done it any other way, I’m sure God would have made it available. Jesus’ death on the cross was extreme. But it was necessary. it was the only way to be restored to a relationship with a perfect God, who cannot look on sin. He paid a high price for you, and He places a high value on you.

“Consider how precious a soul must be when both God and the devil are after it.” Charles Spurgeon

The most beautiful day, the most pleasurable experience we can have here on earth, will pale completely in comparison with eternity in Heaven. God has created great beauty and pleasure for us to experience while we live, and the most wonderful and satisfying of these times are enjoyed when we live in the will and way of God the Father.


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