Reason #20: Salvation has not happened.
Some people doubt their salvation because salvation has not happened. Maybe they prayed a prayer, joined a church, were baptized, or did another spiritual activity. However, salvation has not actually happened. If you have never been saved or you would like to review the message of the gospel, please click here.
If you have questions or concerns about your salvation, please email me at the following address: Tom@TomSavage.us. I will get back to you ASAP.
Reason #19: They are trying to read a Bible they cannot read.
I grew up reading the King James Version. Many of the verses I quote I quote from the King James Version. For the first ten years of pastoral ministry, I gladly preached from the King James Version. I think the beauty and flow of the King James Bible is beyond compare. Why mentioned all that here? How could reading the King James Bible or an older translation be a problem with assurance? To be free we need truth and we need to know truth. To know truth we need to understand truth.
The truth is, we do not talk in King James English. People may pray in King James English, but it is not their heart language. The English language has changed a lot since 1611. We do not talk like that or use words in the same way they used them in 1611. Let me know if you need some actual examples.
If I have offended you in this reason, allow me to add this. I would be willing to guess that many people who carry a King James Bible are not reading from the original translation. Rather, they are reading from a modernized version. I have a copy of the original 1611. Your church might have a copy somewhere. It may even be under lock and key. The truth of the matter is, hardly anyone actually reads from a 1611 version and many people would find it very difficult to read from the original 1611 KJV Bible. Rather, they are reading from a more current English translation. Here is a copy of John 3:16 and a few surrounding verses in 1611 KJV.
My point here is, read and study from a translation (not a paraphrase) of the Bible you can read, follow, and understand. I read and study from several translations; primarily the NKJV. I have found it maintains the flow of the KJV. It replaces some of the words we no longer use with ones we do use. In addition, it does not make changes just for the sake of change. Some Bibles I have read leave me wondering if they changed some words just because they wanted it to be different from the KJV, not because it made the translation better to read.
Probably the most literal English translation is the NASB. When I was in seminary for my first seminary degree, the professors held it in high regard for its accuracy in translating from the original languages to the English language. All I am saying here is, read and study from a translation you can read. If you need or want some further help in this area, let me know.
Reason #18: They are operating on feelings.
Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” People who doubt their salvation are operating on feelings and their feelings determine their decision-making. We could call this – “Feeling oriented acceptance.” If they feel saved they are. If they do not feel saved, they are not. They might say things like “If I felt more assured, I would be more assured. People who do not doubt their salvation are operating based on facts in Scripture rather than feelings.
Three Men Walking on a Wall
Imagine with me, three men walking on a wall. Their names are Fact, Faith, and Feelings. Fact walks straight ahead. He never looks to the right or the left. He just keeps on walking. Faith follows right behind him. Where Fact walks, Faith walks. Faith has no problems as long as he keeps his eyes on Fact. However, as soon as Faith looks around to check on Feelings, Faith and Feelings fall off the wall and Fact just keeps on walking.
Feelings are fine. They help us cheer for our favorite team. They cause chills to run up and down our spine when we sing the national anthem. They cause us to weep when a family member or friend is hurting. However, feelings are fickle. When we depend on feelings we are unwise. Appreciate feelings, but trust is the facts of God’s Word.
Reason #17: They have an unhealthy fear of the future.
2 Timothy 1:12 says, “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. In addition, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”
People who doubt their salvation wonder and are fearful that God may not keep them. For many people, the whole concept of eternity is deeply troubling. People who do not doubt their salvation have absolute confidence and faith in the power of God to keep them saved. For more assurance read this.
Reason #16: They have an issue with God’s perspective.
Ephesians 1:6 tells us we have been “accepted in the Beloved”; in Christ. In Colossians 1:22, we find that God’s work in us has a goal “to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” People who doubt their salvation have insecurities stemming from an incorrect view of how God sees them. They see Him as a taskmaster ready to beat them when they make a mistake rather than a redemptive heavenly Father.
People who do not doubt their salvation have a biblical view of God. That the Father sees us as children and fellow-believers in Christ and we are secure and gaining assurance in that perspective.
Reason #15: They were raised or live in a legalistic environment.
Gal 5:1 says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Many people lived or live in a very legalistic environment. Another way to say this is, there were many dos and don’ts to test ones spirituality. They live in a performance-based environment and have themselves trying to live in that kind of a relationship with God. They believe they must perform to maintain God’s approval and His salvation.
People who do not doubt their salvation have a biblical perspective about liberty; the freedom produced by Jesus and that which He is perfecting in us. As Jesus said in John 8:34-36, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
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.
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
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.
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.