Saved and Be Sure of It!
A well known evangelist, along with a few others, was invited to a believer’s home after the evening’s Gospel Meeting. After dinner, while all were exchanging pleasantries, the host softly requested the evangelist to go with him to their bed room for a brief chat. As they both entered the room, the host’s wife was waiting there. So the evangelist thought that probably they had some family concerns and that they expected him to help them resolve it. But when the door of the room was closed, the host told the evangelist that of late, his wife developed confusions and doubts about her salvation and that he could not remove her doubts in spite of great efforts. To the evangelist’s utter dismay, the host concluded by saying that as a result of discussing and handling his wife’s doubts and confusions, it seemed that he also started developing doubts about his salvation.
You are not alone!
All human beings face the reality of doubts and confusions at some time in their lives. Believers also sometimes develop doubts about their faith. Abraham was faced with doubts about God’s promises a few times. Elijah’s faith was shaken when Jezebel threatened him. Many of the Psalms of David indicate doubts and confusion as he was confronted by the enemies. The disciples of Jesus sometimes had doubts which they raised with Him. So doubts are a reality in human lives, but we do not need to live in doubt and perpetuate it. We should not allow doubts to enslave us. We must get our doubts cleared and live victoriously.
The Enemy’s Ploy
There are many believers who are confronted with doubts and confusions about their salvation. This is often a tactic used by the enemy of our souls to shatter our faith, drain our joy and make us backslide. That’s why the Holy Spirit instructed us through Paul that we must always wear the helmet of salvation when engaged in Christian warfare (Ephesians 6:17). The enemy knows that if he can shake the very foundation of our faith which is the salvation of our souls, then it would be easier for him make us coldhearted towards the Lord, His Church and His Word. So we are instructed to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) to make sure about our faith. Regular self examination is foundational to our Christian life.
This self-examination is not for the Lord, for His knows His own (John 10:14 & 27; Romans 8:16; 2 Timothy 2:19). It is for our confirmation and confidence (Lamentation 3:40) so that we will be able to draw nigh unto the Lord with courage and boldness when the enemy tries to shake our confidence in the salvation we have experienced. Then only we will be able to witness to others that we are saved and are children of God and that we are eternally secured in Him.
There are three groups of people who develop doubts and confusions about their salvation. The first group includes people who are not genuinely saved, but have a feeling that they are saved. They would have lifted up their hands at a gospel meeting or filled the columns in a booklet about salvation sometime in the past and have a feeling or impression that they are born again. Such people ought to face the following questions and find satisfying answers:
Do I remember the moments when I got saved?
Did I experience guilt of sinfulness at the time I got saved and repent of it all?
Did I confess that the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary was in my place as the only way to save me from my sins?
Am I walking in the newness of life and enjoying the inner witness and assurance that I am going to heaven?
When a person who has doubts about his salvation examines himself on the basis of these questions, it will be clear whether he is genuinely saved or not. If there is still doubt, these questions will help him to get saved and be sure about it once and for all.
Doubts are Human
Secondly there are those who have genuine human doubts about their salvation. Such doubts often come as we are aware of our failures and inadequacies. But such doubtful occasions are for us to draw closer to the Lord, get confirmation about our salvation from His Word and be reassured.
The doubting backsliders
The third group with doubts and confusions about their salvation are those who are backslidden. It starts with carnality in life and repeated sins (1 Corinthians 2:3). They try to live victoriously, but for various reasons they are unable to get victory over sins. Then they wonder whether they are genuinely saved or not. These doubts overpower them and tend to make them believe that perhaps they are not truly saved. Doubts further lead them to lose their fervor for the Lord, His Word and for spiritual things. They slowly lose their first love for the Lord Jesus (Revelation 2:4). As a result, they do not enjoy fellowship and thus miss the gatherings of the assembly for prayer and the study of the Word. They continue in sin and lose the joy of their salvation (Psalms 51:12). They have poor or no desire for the Word which stunts their spiritual growth and drains their strength to resist sin. They lose spiritual discernment as the Spirit of God is grieved and sometimes quenched (2 Corinthians 2:14). Public witness becomes an embarrassment for them. They fall into a deeper love for the world and the things in it (James 4:4).
There’s a Way Back to God!
To the backslidden persons, the Word of God says that there is always a way back to God. It is possible only if we genuinely confess our sins, as did King David and Apostle Peter. The Lord Jesus is faithful, then, to forgive our sins, reestablish the joy of our salvation and help us grow spiritually. He is our advocate before the Father to argue our case and grant forgiveness for all our failures and weaknesses (1 John 1:7 & 9; 2:1-2; Psalms 32:1).
Baptism: A critical time!
The Bible teaches us that we can be truly and genuinely saved and that we can be sure of it. When we are genuinely saved and experience the joy of our salvation, we will be helped by the Holy Spirit to live a victorious Christian life. It is this victory that we publicly declare at the time of baptism. So it is important that every candidate for baptism is helped to find assurance of salvation before getting baptized.
God wants to assure all His children all the time about their salvation and help them to enjoy their position as God’s children with all the privileges attached to it. Let us appropriate and appreciate such a great salvation all the days of our lives.