Tag Archives: Assurance

Why People Doubt Their Salvation

Reason #14: They operate from a works perspective.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

For many people, somewhere in the shadows of their thinking, they are actually practicing a works salvation. They want to do something more to be saved. The grace of God and the forgiveness of God is just too good to be true. People who do not doubt their salvation have a grace perspective. They understand salvation is totally by the grace of God.

Why People Doubt Their Salvation

Reason #13: Confusion about judgment from God.

Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Some people who doubt their salvation are not clear on God’s perspective of sin and sins. They feel like they are still accountable for sins Jesus died for on the cross. This is what makes salvation great. Even though we were guilty, God justified us.  He declared us righteous at the moment of salvation.

People who do not doubt their salvation have confidence in the mercy and grace of God as revealed in His Word. Romans 6:22-23 is an example of this truth.  “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Reason #14 tomorrow

Why People Doubt Their Salvation

Reason #12: They have a guilty conscience.

Hebrews 10:22 says, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Many times, people who doubt their salvation are in a sinful lifestyle, they have a sin issue they have not dealt with, or a sin issue in their past so huge they do not believe God has forgiven them nor could forgive them. Therefore, they are stuck. They need to surrender this area or these areas to the Lordship of Christ. If you find yourself in this dilemma, we should probably talk. People who do not doubt their salvation have a clear conscience. They are walking in victory and the assurance made possible by the Holy Spirit.

God is transforming genuinely saved people into the image of our Lord Jesus. However, we are not there yet. When we “slip off the path” of faithfully following Jesus, we will come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We will leave that sinful lifestyle and pursue holiness. If we resist His conviction, we will quench the Spirit. When we quench the Spirit, the Provider of assurance, doubting salvation will follow. If this could be a reason for doubt in your life, utilize 1John 1:9; God’s remedy for dealing with sins and sinful activity after salvation. Let me know if I can help.

Why People Doubt Their Salvation

Reason #11: They believe challenges from the enemy.

The enemy always wants us to doubt divine facts. This is as old as Genesis 3:1. The enemy threw out the question to Eve “Has God indeed said …” Ever since then, he has been causing people to question the truth of what God has said in His Word.

The enemy is the deceiver of the world and the accuser of the brethren. He is a skillful liar. He distorts, confuses, tricks, and deceives people. If he can get you to believe his challenges and work on you in any single area, it will be this one. If he can get you to doubt, not only does he make you miserable, he keeps you quiet in your witness for the Lord. Why would you witness about that which you are unsure?

When we listen to the enemy more than we listen to God, when we believe him more than we believe God’s Word, it is natural that we will doubt. Consider how quick we are to receive bad news and yet question the accuracy of good news. This is his ploy. To cause us to question the truth of God’s Word and believe his lies.

Let us remember that three times he tempted our Lord during the wilderness temptation.  Each time Jesus used the Word of God to counter his attacks. Once again we see the power of known truth.

Why People Doubt Their Salvation

Reason #10. They depend on another person to give them assurance.

Although I have never had anyone come into my office or call me with this specific request, if we could filter through much of the verbiage, this is what they are requesting many times. They want a person to assure them of their salvation.  The fact is, assurance of salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit alone.

I want you to imagine this picture.  You sit in a dimly lit room. You have a Bible in your lap. It is at night. The moon is shining so there is a little bit of light coming into the room, but not enough to read the Bible. You say to yourself, “I wish I felt more saved. I wish I had more confidence in my salvation.”

The truth that will set you free is in your lap, but it is too dark to read. On the table beside you is a lamp. You say to yourself “I wonder why that lamp is not on. I wish that lamp were on. I wish someone would turn on that lamp for me.” As silly as this scenario appears to be, what are you doing? You are expecting someone to do for you what you could do for yourself. What do you need to do? You need to flip the light switch or turn on the lamp.

The situation here is you need illumination.  You need to read the Bible.  You cannot expect someone to do for you what you are able to do for yourself. You need to reach over and flip on the light, open the Bible, read it, and keep reading it on a regular basis.

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” One of my favorite statements of Jesus is “You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.” To the degree that we know Him and know truth, is the degree to which we will be free. While we read, the Holy Spirit illumines the Word so we can see what we need to see.

Why People Doubt Their Salvation

Reason #9: They deprive themselves of time in the Word.

I find this problem to be quite common.  It is especially true of people who do not spend sufficient time in the Word for one or more of the following reasons:

  • they just don’t or they choose not to,
  • they lose the ability to read, or
  • they lose the desire to read because they are in a pit of depression or have become disillusioned.

The Word of God is spiritual food for us. In 1 Peter 2:2 we find these words, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,” In Matthew 4:4, we find Jesus saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” Remember the Bible is the inspired Word of God. In Jeremiah 15:16 we find, “Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.”

When we deprive ourselves of time in the Word, our spirit begins to dry up. It is like what would happen to your physical body if you were to just stop eating food. It would start getting weak, anemic, etc. When we deprive ourselves of time in the Word, the result is loss of hope. A remarkable illustration of this is what I call the John the Baptist Syndrome.

                               The John the Baptist Syndrome
To appreciate this, remember the time when John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to Jesus with this question: “Are you the Coming One, or should we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3). Can you imagine? This same John said previously “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” and “His sandals I am not even worthy to untie.” But now he is questioning whether Jesus is the Christ. How are we to understand this? John was losing hope. John had become disillusioned. In his situation of prison confinement, John was not in the Word as he had been.

If you are questioning your salvation, examine your personal time in the Word and you personal time with the Lord in prayer. If it is lacking, that just might be an important cause for your doubt.