Welcome to our brand new series! Every Monday in February I will attempt to tackle a big question our teen girls are asking about God, the Bible, or salvation.
It is absolutely vital in the spiritual life of our teen girls (especially this generation) to provide a safe space for them to ask big questions. Remember, our girls aren’t looking for perfect responses, but they are looking for transparency and guidance as they navigate their questions.
My hope through this series is not to give you all the right answers (because I’m not smart enough to do that), but to ultimately point you to God’s Word and how He answers those questions. I want you to feel equipped to have the hard conversations with your teen girls, so they can build a strong confidence in Christ and His Word.
This week we are going to talk about the question: “Am I really saved?“
In middle school, I remember a conversation I had with a close friend one night about a secret she hadn’t told anyone. My friend shared with me that she prayed every single night that God would save her “just in case” it didn’t work the first time. She desperately wanted to be hopeful in her salvation, but she wrestled with doubt and didn’t know what else to do.
I have seen that same kind of wrestling with doubt countless times in student ministry. I noticed it especially whenever our church hosted big events like Disciple Now or camp. Students would come up after an emotional invitation was given and they would ask, “Can I talk to you?” While I never knew where that conversation would lead, more times than not, a girl would look me in the eyes and say, “How do I know if I am really saved?” Often, I would also hear something like, “I think I need to get saved again.”
I know many of you have teen girls who are wrestling with the assurance of their salvation right now. They are asking you the same kinds of questions, and they are looking for you to calm their doubts. These girls want you to assure them that they are saved, that God loves them, and that they will go to heaven when they die. And let’s be real, that is kind of a terrifying situation to be in because you don’t want to say the wrong thing.
Like what if she actually isn’t saved and I give her false hope? Or what if she is saved and is just living in sin? How do I help her make that decision on her own?
Listen, the last thing you want to do is persuade your student or daughter one way or the other. At the end of the day, you aren’t the Holy Spirit in her life. Your job is to help her recall her salvation, remember her security in the Father, and help her understand the work of the Holy Spirit.
So, instead of answering her question, “Am I really saved?” with a “yes” or “no” response, you should help guide her to finding the answers on her own by asking three questions.
1. When was there a time when you surrendered your life to following Jesus?”
I know this seems like a basic question to ask, and if you know this girl really well, you probably know when she first admitted to be saved. But I was in ninth grade when I realized the decision I made in elementary school was actually someone manipulating me to read a salvation prayer out loud. If she cannot recall a time when she began following Jesus, this would be a great opportunity to jump right into sharing the gospel as if she’s never understood it before. May I suggest Ephesians 2?
If her answer is yes, and she can confidently share her story, I’d recommend reading Romans 10:9-10 together. Share how the Scripture doesn’t say, “You may be saved” or “You will only be saved for a little while.” It says, “You will be saved.” Build her confidence in the message of the gospel.
2. Do you know that your salvation is forever secure through your heavenly Father?
If she is struggling to understand how she can’t lose her salvation, point her to John 10:28-29. Through His death, we have eternal life so that no one (no thief, enemy, or stranger) can snatch us from the hands of the Good Shepherd. We can be secure and trust that we are in the hands of our heavenly Father, the Good Shepherd who is stronger than anything on earth, and He has no desire to let us go.
3. How is the Holy Spirit at work in your life?
Allow her to talk about how God is working in her life (through the love of His Word, the changing of her heart toward sins, and so on). This can be a more difficult question for a teen girl to answer on the spot, so you may have to ask her more specific questions, such as, “Since you began following Jesus, what in your life has outwardly changed?”, “What is God teaching you right now in His Word?”, and “Do you have a desire to daily live for Jesus?”
Open up your Bible to John 15:1-8 and let her read the Scripture out loud. Jesus said that in order to prove that we are His disciples, we are to produce much fruit to reflect we are His.
Obviously, our teen girls are not going to be perfect. They’ll still struggle with sin (like all of us) and they won’t be theologians by 13, but these questions will allow her to evaluate her own heart. Because maybe you’re talking to a girl who is saved, but is living in sin and needs to repent. Or maybe, she needs to work on abiding in Christ more. If she doesn’t desire to repent or to live for Christ, then maybe you need to revisit the first question once more.
Again, only she can answer those questions! But your job is to provide a place where she can answer and wrestle with her doubts honestly. You don’t have to have all the right answers. Just keep pointing her back to Jesus.
For more great resources about helping your teen navigate salvation or other big questions, check out:
- Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart (for Teens)
- Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart (Teen Bible Study)
- Big Questions