As the grandson of Billy and Ruth Bell Graham, Tullian Tchividjian grew up hearing the Christian faith preached to millions. Yet he struggled to come to faith personally. His first book, Do I Know God? captures the sincerity and intensity of his own spiritual quest, and shows the way for a new generation of seekers.
Combining careful thinking, warm personal story, and an exceptional grounding in biblical truths, Tullian delivers trustworthy answers to the questions you've been asking:
*Is it really possible to know God?
*Is being "spiritual" or "religious" the same thing as having a relationship with God?
*What is the relationship between saving faith and good works?
*How does believing God's promises assure me of salvation?
*How do my feelings for God affect my relationship with him?
*How can I trust that God is present when I feel only his absence?
*Can a relationship with God assure me of a future with him in eternity?
Do I Know God? was written with a wide range of readers in mind: those outside the Christian faith, newer Christ followers who feel confused about their relationship with God, and long-time Christians who have never gotten clarity on key questions like eternal security and assurance of salvation, faith and works.
Tullian shows readers how to discover a genuine, vibrant and enduring relationship with God. And it all begins with the vital question: Do I Know God?
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August 20, 2007
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Excerpt from Do I Know God? by Tullian Tchividjian
The Hope of Certainty Is knowing God really possible? I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. –Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 1:12) It was the week after Christmas, and the office was quiet. Most of our staff at New City Church were either out of town or at home with family. I’d taken the week off too, but one morning I stopped by my office to pick up some books. A few minutes after I arrived, someone walked through the front door. His name was Mike. He and his family had been attending New City for a while. Holidays or not, Mike had a question that couldn’t wait. He slumped down in the chair next to the window. He confessed he’d been sitting in the parking lot for more than an hour debating whether he should walk in and talk to me. He had finally mustered the courage to come inside to ask me a single question: “How do I know if I know God?” As we talked, it became clear that the question had been eating at Mike for at least a year–ever since I’d preached a sermon on Matthew 7. That’s the chapter where Jesus warns there will be many who go through life thinking they know God, only to hear chilling words when they meet him in eternity: “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (verse 23). Those eleven words–“I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness”–were haunting Mike. He was haunted by the simple, stark tragedy they convey: that a guy can be so badly mistaken about such an important relationship he can go through life thinking he knows God, only to hear a shocker at its end. “Is it even possible, Tullian, toknowGod?” asked Mike. “I mean,reallyknow him?” Mike took his question further. If knowing God in this life determined whether we received an eternal welcome or its very disturbing opposite, then the stakes were even higher. “How can Iknowthat I know God?” he asked. One look at Mike’s face showed me he hadn’t driven to my office during Christmas week just to play Stump the Preacher. Mike was confused and distressed, besieged by doubts. And he wanted answers. No, heneededanswers. There’s a story behind the story that you should know about Mike, something that might have been pressing him to get at the facts about knowing God. Before Mike started attending New City, he’d never been a churchgoing guy. When he fell ill with cancer, that changed. On his first Sunday at our church, Mike introduced himself and told me about his cancer. He asked me to pray with him and his family, and I did. Today, thankfully, Mike’s cancer is in remission. But anyone who’s had a brush with death is more likely to think deeply and courageously about life’s big questions. Of course, Mike isn’t alone. I meet people almost every day who are struggling with whether God is knowable and, if he is, what it means to have a relationship with him. Recently I received an e-mail from a friend named Curt. Although Curt says he’s a Christian, for some time he and his girlfriend had been struggling to integrate their relationships with God into their relationship with each other. They recently broke up. Heartbroken and confused, Curt has been questioning the genuineness of his relationship with God ever since. When he discovered I was writing this book, he wrote: “Ever since Jill and I broke up, I feel as if I’m slipping away from God, and I need help. When I read your e-mail about the book you’re writing, I almost didn’t read it all the way through, but something told m