Christianity -- Christian Living/OCD
QUESTION: Hi, my question Is if someone has OCD and is always worried if they said the sinner prayer the right way how can they be saved? Plus if they worry about believing the right thing to be saved how can they get saved? Thanks
ANSWER: Hello, Elena.
Salvation is not something that a person can accomplish through their own actions. Salvation is something that is 100% in God's control---God is sovereign concerning this.
Romans 9:15-16: For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Salvation is not necessarily given to those who want it, nor is it necessarily given to those who try and keep God's commandments. It's given to those whom God wishes to save. God has His elect, as described in Ephesians 1, and these are the individuals for whom Christ died.
Most people believe that Christ died for the sins of every human being who'd ever live on the earth. It is then up to the individual to do something to become saved. Some say the Sinner's Prayer is necessary, others say you must accept Christ, or believe, etc., but nearly everyone has some sort of formula that you must follow in order to get right with God.
These are all works-grace gospels. These are gospels in which there is no hope.
Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
"Works" can be words, actions, or actions or words by another person (on behalf of someone else). These are things the person can boast in. If a person were to become saved, for example, because he said the Sinner's Prayer, then he could rightfully boast. He could boast because he was smart/holy/righteous/etc. enough to say that prayer, when others were not. If a person supposedly became saved by believing or by confessing Christ with his mouth, then boasting could still apply.
This is why salvation---true salvation---is totally without works. A person doesn't need to believe, doesn't need to accept Christ, doesn't need to do anything in order to have salvation. We mustn't think that our actions get us right with God. This is impossible when we consider the true nature of the unsaved person.
Romans 3:10-18 outlines what the natural person (unsaved man) is like. Verse 10: There is none righteous, no, not one. Verse 11: None seeks after God. Verse 12: None does good. And so on. Ephesians 2:5 teaches that the natural person is dead in sins. He doesn't want God. He is separated from God (to be "dead" is to be separated from God, Who is life).
There are commands that people like to isolate, such as John 3:16, Romans 10:9, and the like, which seem to indicate that people can do something to help get themselves saved. After all, doesn't John 3:16 say that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will have eternal life? Doesn't Romans 10:9 say that whoever confesses the Lord Jesus will be saved? What people fail to recognize is that by nature, mankind is dead and cannot call upon God. Isaiah 64:7 indicates that no person by nature calls upon God's name. I Thessalonians 1:3 and II Thessalonians 1:11 state that even faith is a work, so we cannot say that our believing helped to get us saved. Galatians 2:16 and 2:20, though oftentimes wrongfully translated "faith in Christ," actually should read "faith of Christ." It is the faith of Christ that makes the difference, not the faith of an unsaved person (the righteousness of an unsaved person is as filthy rags to God; Isaiah 64:6).
In regards to your specific question, whether someone has OCD makes no difference in their salvation, nor does "believing the right thing." We don't become saved by saying a certain prayer, and if we do believe the wrong thing that will be corrected, if God chooses to save us. Everyone has wrong understanding before salvation---the eyes of the unsaved are blinded---but when God saves a person, they will have understanding.
Mark 4:11-12: And He said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Those individuals who were not elected to salvation do not see the truths of the Gospel; once a person is saved, he or she has a new knowledge of salvation and the Bible. So, if a person doesn't believe some things correctly, then this is no hindrance to God; God can save him anyway. If a person has OCD and isn't saying the Sinner's Prayer correctly, then this doesn't matter, since we're not saved by our prayers. We're saved totally by God's mercy, and only God's mercy.
When a person does become truly saved, God applies the Holy Spirit to the individual's heart, making him or her born again (John 3:3). The result of this transformation is a desire to do God's will and a hatred of sin (Psalm 119). In addition, the individual will understand that salvation only occurs because of the mercy of God, and not due to anything he or she did. This is resting in Christ. We must come to this point (Hebrews 4:9-11).
Now, the environment for salvation is the Word of God. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). When an unsaved person is in the hearing of the Bible, God can apply it to his heart if He so desires, making him born again. God can do this with a person who has OCD, a person in a coma, a baby, or even someone in the womb. God can save anyone---He is not limited---but His salvation is not based on whether someone accepts Him or believes in Him, but whether that person is one of God's elect. We must wait patiently for God's mercy in our life or the lives of those we know, but we do have the ability to pray to God, and this is most certainly encouraged in multiple places in the Bible.
Any further questions, please ask.
May God bless you,
Galatians 4:31: So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question, it was very kind of you.
The bible says in Peter 3:9 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance. I must respectfully disagree with you. Jesus died a agonizing death on the cross not just for a few elect but for everyone who calls upon him. There are many bible verses that support that. I guess everyone has a free choice on what they believe but I am willing to trust my eternal soul on this bible verse john 3;16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that "WHOEVER" believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Let's all ask God to show us the truth. God bless you
It is crucial that we don't isolate verses when we study the Bible. As I wrote in my previous answer, many of the verses in the Bible seem to indicate that humans have the ability, within themselves, to come to God on God's terms. They apparently have the ability to accept God's gift of salvation and become right with God.
However, when we look more closely, as I tried to show in my last answer, this is not what the Bible teaches. When Romans 3 is examined, it is clear that unsaved man wants nothing to do with God. When we read Ephesians 2:5, we see that mankind is dead in sins. When we read John 6:37 and 6:44 it says that only those who are drawn are able to come to the Father. And so on. And to top it off, the Bible clearly talks about the elect---those chosen to salvation before the foundation of the world---in Ephesians 1.
So, we have to look at every verse in the Bible that concerns salvation, and not just a few.
You mentioned II Peter 3:9. We have to read the verse carefully, though. Who are the "all" and the "any" mentioned here by God? Is it any and all individuals who have ever lived? That's the common interpretation, but it doesn't square with Ephesians 1. If God didn't wish any of the total population of people who ever lived on this planet to perish, then why did He only elect a relatively small number? In Luke Chapter 2, it says in verse 1 that "all the world should be taxed" in the days of Caesar Augustus. This "taxing" was a sort of registering. Does this mean that literally the entire population of the world at that time was taxed? Native American Indians? People living in China? Of course not. It meant the entire known world. Likewise, the "any" and "all" of II Peter 3:9 don't necessarily mean every last person on the planet; the words could be conditioned by the rest of the Bible.
Let's look at John 6:37 and John 6:44.
John 6:37: ALL that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.
6:44: 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.
The ALL of II Peter 3:9 matches well with the ALL of John 6:37. The ALL that God wishes not to perish are those He gave to Christ. But the only ones He gave to Christ are the ones He elected.
Again, John 3:16, as you quoted, is a true statement. But who is going to believe, when they are dead in sins? When they don't want God? This is the predicament that mankind faces; God offers salvation, but nobody in of themselves wants it. This is the overwhelming message of the Bible---true, another side of the coin is that there is salvation. But the Bible also speaks much about the nature of mankind, how people by nature are in total rebellion against God. It takes a miracle of God---salvation---to effect a change within the person and make them born again. A person doesn't become born again because they accepted Christ or believed. Those are works, and, as I stated earlier, we cannot be justified by our own works (Ephesians 2:8-9). All of the works that justified us were done by Christ. Those who think they're helping themselves become saved by doing something are trusting in their own works, and that is a recipe for doom (Galatians 5:4).
Jesus died for His people, as Matthew 1:21 teaches. And if you don't think He died for an elect, then I suppose you don't believe that Ephesians 1 is true. But the entire Bible is the Word of God. Also, if salvation is based on man's actions, then what of the baby? The mentally retarded adult? The comatose person? None of these individuals, in of themselves, can "call upon God." All of these individuals, if they were to die, would be left in the cold. So, on that basis alone it's clear that salvation cannot be a contest. It can't be something that is earned. It has to be totally the mercy of God, and that's the conclusion the Bible gives us.
I hope this helps.
May God bless you,
Jeremiah 51:63-64: And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:
And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.