Before and After Salvation, How to Prepare and What to Expect
It is no coincidence that a person begins to have a desire to know God and to change their life in the direction of salvation. The will to change is not fully the choice of the person, but a subtle pull from God himself.
It is no coincidence that a person begins to have a desire to know God and to change their life in the direction of salvation. The will to change is not fully the choice of the person, but a subtle pull from God himself. The scripture says: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” St. John 6:44.
Circumstances of life often drive a person to seek after change or a higher level of knowing, and answers to questions they have. This is the conscience at work. A person’s conscience is the presence of God within all men and works subconsciously to find purpose and to separate the bad from the good in life. Often times, people come to a point in their life when they realize the lifestyle they live is not right; but destructive to themselves, harms others, and leading them deeper to a point of no return. This is the beginning of the pull to God and the fear of the Lord.
Nevertheless, many people resist the pull from God and seek satisfaction and answers by other means, such as drugs, continuous unsuccessful relationships, or sources of knowledge that attempt to denounce the supernatural and give answers on a more practical, scientific, or logical level. Others look to various religions for deliverance, wandering here and there seeking truth, purpose and relevance. Many people go years in these directions and never find the answers and end up subconsciously unfulfilled. Yet, the nagging feeling remains to find redemption.
This would be the best time to turn to God, the Bible and the salvation of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, negative stereotypes and misinformation have tainted Christianity and people simply reject its teachings altogether without giving it a chance. They are constantly bombarded with arguments against God, religion, the Bible and Christ by naysayers and agnostics who try to logically defeat all the above concepts. It can seem impossible to navigate through all the negativity without direction. Nevertheless, the power of God can penetrate these obstacles and still draw a person to him.
God often uses one of his children to help draw another soul. People enter our lives almost on a daily bases, or sometimes that someone has been a part of a person’s life all along. It is never the will of the person or person’s that make the change, but the power of God. Basically, people do not have to put forth any efforts to know God or to become saved. They simply have to realize that something is changing in their lives and pushing them in a certain direction.
The draw of the gospel is not a fleshly journey that needs the person’s physical will to complete; God begins with the conscience of the mind and works on the heart. The person does not have to prepare themselves in the flesh to meet God; they do not have to clean themselves up before they come to the Lord or go to church. They simply have to acknowledge that something different is happening and they are being driven by an unseen force.
To prove that self-will is not required to go to God, we see people change their lifestyles all the time without going to God. They quit drinking, sleeping around, doing drugs and other worldly habits on their own, so controlling the flesh is apparently not a requirement for coming to God. It is always the conscience and the heart that directs them to know more about God. They may feel different about the people they hang around or about a place they frequent or an activity they are involved in. They may feel different about their lives and the direction it is going and they have a true desire for change, and begin to search for that release. This is when God introduces someone, one of his children, into their lives.
The witness that God has placed in their lives becomes a regular. The person begins to listen and hear the Words of God and see the reality of true salvation working through their witness and into their own lives. Their faith grows as they listen and watch and they ask more questions and read the Bible more, which increases their faith and belief. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. The word and the Spirit starts to operate in their lives the more the person understands and accepts what is happening.
In addition to their belief in God, submission to the Word and will of God is required before they can come closer. This is the act of God drawing them closer. Once the person can see and understand that they are being drawn by God, they have a direct path by the witness or witnesses placed in their life. The witness can then explain what steps are necessary to enter into the Kingdom of God; and God is now waiting on them to ask to enter. Asking is the only thing a person must do to enter into salvation. What are they asking for? The Holy Ghost and becoming Born Again.
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God… Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” St. John 3:3, 5. From this point, the person will be water baptized and afterward seek for the gift of the Holy Ghost. All it takes to receive the spirit is the faith that it is real and that it is a promise from God. Other than water baptism (which is a part of the new birth), no other physical effort is required of the person except faith. All else comes from God as he fulfills his draw of that person.
Once the person is born again, many of the physical yokes of sin, bad habits, and lifestyles will fall off the person without any effort on their part. The Spirit takes them away. The Spirit then illuminates the believers mind and they enter into another realm of reality. They can see that God was right there in their lives all the time. They can hear his voice and recognize the things he does and have done in their lives and how they reached the point of salvation. Many questions are answered from the beginning, if asked.
However, sometimes there are leftover yokes, burdens, and even relationships in the believer’s life that take prayer to undo. But the ones that were holding the believer back most are the ones taken from the start. Not being delivered from all yokes and burdens does not disqualify the believer from being saved in the end, but requires them to seek further deliverance through trials of faith, prayer, fasting, and fellowship with others. It is all part of walking the walk of the gospel.
Never allow any preacher or professed teacher of the gospel to deceive with the false doctrine that everyone is perfect in the flesh or mind after they receive the Holy Ghost. This is a lie. The flesh is constantly at war with the Spirit after salvation, the difference is it is not as difficult to release the sins of the flesh as it was before salvation. Salvation is a continuous walk to grow in righteousness, faith, and the truth of the gospel and of life and to bring forth fruit of the Spirit.
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Romans 7:18. The Holy Spirit is there to help in doing away with left over yokes of the flesh and any that attempt to overtake the believer after salvation. It is a constant battle between the flesh and the Spirit. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.
The key to both, coming to God and growing in God, is having faith. Believing in the Word and his promises through the Holy Ghost. It also requires faith in the power of the Spirit and not in the word only. Many false teachers lack belief in the power and rely wholly on the word. This is not good doctrine. “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance;” 1 Thessalonians 1:5. Trust in God and do not resist his will to draw closer to him.