I totally believe in the perseverance of the saints. That means, in layman’s terms, that a truly saved person will still look truly saved in five years, in ten years, and at the end of her life (this is also known as “finishing well” in Biblical/theological language).
I am more than troubled by the number of people who walk the aisle for salvation on Sunday morning, then don’t return to church on Sunday night, nor Wednesday, nor the following Sunday morning . . .
I am not a legalist and I know it takes time to grow and become what Christ created us to be. But I balance with that the idea that a person totally in love with Jesus should show some signs of wanting to learn more about Him . . . (just a thought . . .).
We are not judges of other folks’ salvation, but we also should avoid the pitfall of assuring them (perhaps falsely) that because they walked the aisle once twenty years ago, they really are saved. What does their life look like since then? Any fruit of the Spirit in evidence?
Fact is, we can’t know for sure about anyone’s salvation except our own.
And that is the personal way J.D. Greear wrote his book. To help those who truly are saved but have assurance issues (like me, for years. There is a kind of OCD that can attach to the salvation issue and keep us from assurance, even as we show evidence of Christian growth). He also uses his book to help people diagnose themselves if they falsely believe they are saved due to saying the sinner’s prayer years ago, but have never subsequently shown any evidence of new life in Christ.
This is a good book. The title is a bit shocking, but the contents are theologically sound. I highly recommend it.