Monday, September 15, 2008

Sources of Doubt & Uncertainty Re. Salvation

Review Scripture: I John 5:11-13 – Summary – “That you might know

Last Week – Being Sure of Your Salvation”. Where then do these doubts come from?

It’s true that ultimately they come from Satan. He WANTS you to be UNSAVED first of all, and UNSURE if you are already saved.

HOWEVER, he cannot create these things that cause doubts out of nothing. He can ONLY use tools supplied to him. And many times we supply him with these tools.

As stated last week, those who most question their salvation are Christians. Before salvation, Satan wants you to be secure in your lost-ness. After salvation, Christians tend to develop a disease called “yeahbuts”. This is an affliction of a great number of Christians. “Yeah, but, I don’t feel saved.” Yeah, but, I still do bad things, so I must not be saved.” Etc., etc.

Here are 11 possible sources of doubt concerning your salvation.

#1. A Lack of Biblical understanding.

Romans 10:17

You can know scripture through memorization, study, etc. but not understand it. It is IMPORTANT to be in a good, Bible-teaching church. You MUST have Biblical understanding ( know what the scriptures mean.)

#2. A lack of counsel. Shared wisdom, knowledge, experience, discipleship, mentoring, etc.

Prov. 11:14

Prov. 24:6

#3. A lack of growth (maturity)

Without growth, you get confused which leads you to pull back and sit down so you don’t grow and that leads to more uncertainty.

Eph. 4:14

A good way to offset this cycle = stay hooked up and continue to learn and thereby grow.

#4. A lack of experiences. You don’t see or have any things happening in life, so doubt the reality of your salvation.

BUT NOTE: A. God gives enough evidence Mark 8:11 & 12

B. Experiences don’t convince, and won’t solidify our faith.

Examples: a. Israel and the exodus. They saw miracle after miracle, but when things got rough, they didn’t believe God would take care of them.

b. Jesus and signs. The people wanted signs and more signs. But, in spite of all the signs and miracles He’d already performed, they still didn’t believe Who He was.

#5. Response to feelings. Emotions are NOT a reliable measure!!! Don’t measure reality by your feelings.

Some Christians are like an emotional roller coaster – feel saved when they are up and don’t feel saved when they are down.

Some Christians are an emotional freight train (stoic) – these are the ones who keep plugging along but NEVER feel saved.

#6. Repeated failures.

Especially: A. Moral failures

BUT even B. amoral failures (financial, relational, career, etc.)

John the Baptist had doubts when he was in prison; Paul had apparent failure with the churches at Galatia and Corinth. Does that mean that those two weren’t saved???

Romans 3:23

Romans 7:21

#7. A faulty view of yourself. – I’m not good. I keep messing up. I’m a failure and a screwup. I must be inferior. (Inferiority complex).


HOWEVER, you are lovable, valuable, and salvageable.

John 3:16

Phil. 1:6 - “will continue” if YOU let HIM!!

#8. A faulty view of others. – Assume they are better! Doing fine!!

The FACT is: Every Christian is Struggling! Regardless of appearances!!!

Romans 3:23

There is a great need for Christian transparency. To share with each others our troubles and doubts and struggles. We ARE NOT ALONE in our struggles.

#9. A faulty view of salvation. (Refer to point #1)

Eph. 2:8 & 9

What is it? - “gift”

How do you get it? – accept

How do you keep it? - You don’t! God keeps it for you!

#10. Any combination of the above. (As Satan sees the opportunity to use these.)

One more totally separate from these first 10.

#11. The Holy Spirit. Perhaps there IS a lack of salvation. It is His job to convict and convince you of that fact.

So, How should you respond? Combat?

#1. Recognize it’s God’s will for you to know your standing – lost or saved.

#2. Examine yourself. 2 Cor. 13:5

#3. Get counsel (if needed) from pastor/leader/teacher/friend, etc.

#4. Get Christ (if necessary)

#5. Establish your standing (determine it) Know where you are.

#6. STAND THERE! I Pet. 5:8 & 9

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