(Read Matthew 11:1-6. John the Baptist doubted Jesus as Messiah.) I have dealt with numerous people in these years who experience doubt about salvation, even though they have no good reason to do so. Many times doubt is experienced by those who are sincerely trying to live a Godly life. Many times they say, "Pastor, I just don't have peace in my heart." I will review their experience of salvation and try to identify the weakness that many times results in doubt. Here is a partial list of answers given:
- I was so young at the time that I don't remember what I said.
- I went to the altar in a meeting and no one came to talk with me.
- I was in a gorup that responded to the altar call and they questioned us all at the same time. I followed my friend to the altar.
- I went through confirmation, but I don't remember asking Jesus to come into my heart.
- I got baptized, but I did not understand the Gospel.
- I am not sure I really repented.
- I don't know if I had enough faith or really believed at the time.
- I don't believe I could have been saved, living that way I have lived.
- I just don't feel saved.
- I think thoughts that a Christian should not think.
The amazing thing about doubt is the fact that the word never shows up in the Bible concerning Salvation. Since doubt is so common in our time, we would think the subject would be addressed as often as other such subjects. Possibly the reason for this is that assurance is dealt with so often. No need to deal with doubt if you deal with assurance. In banking, they do not study counterfeits; they study the genuine. When you know the genuine so well, you can spot the counterfeits with ease.
I have seen more anguish over doubt in the lives of people than any other subject. It is a debilitating, demanding, disheartening, controlling, cruel master. It robs a saved person of peace, power, joy and contentment. God did not intend us to live under that dark cloud. It is any enemy to the saved and a friend to the lost. We have to understand that both Satan and the Spirit work in the area of doubt. Satan works in the area of doubt in Believers to rob them of the blessing of the Christian life. The Spirit of God works in the area of doubt in the lost to bring them to repentance and faith, Salvation. Part of finding out why there is doubt, is finding out the source of doubt, Satan or the Spirit of God. To be continued..........