I always had doubts about whether I was really saved. I think partly because I never really had a ‘moment’ (I don’t remember any specific times that I prayed the sinners prayer or had a radical heart change – it was gradual). I was raised in a Christian environment, went to Christian schools up through university, and have been around the ‘culture’ of Christianity my whole life. It wasn’t until I was an adult, and very shortly before I met my husband, that I truly became to believe that Jesus is my personal Savior, that through Him alone I can be saved, and that I on my own can do nothing to earn the favor of our Lord. But years and years of hypocrisy, legalism, and doubt all threatened to drag my belief down with them.
This is a thought I have been pondering for a while now. My husband and I are blessed to have found a solid bible believing church where Christ is preached. Where the gospel is for Christians, not just unbelievers. Where we are challenged every day to seek Christ and to live abundantly in Him. This is not a ‘feel good’ church. People are struggling, people are real, and people need Jesus. Well, this is true of everyone everywhere – but it is refreshing to be among believers who acknowledge this. Anyway, I digress… my point is about a sermon topic that I was richly blessed to hear in March. We had been doing a study through Hebrews and that week fell on Hebrews 6:1-12. I’ll start by sharing the passage:
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:1-12 ESV)
Wow. There were a multitude of things that convicted me in this passage, as well as the sermon, but I will only be touching on a small piece. But it’s SO important!
I use to think that it was something wrong with me, that’s why I doubted. If you ask me today, “Are you 100% positive you will spend eternity with Christ in heaven?”, I would say yes. I KNOW this to be true. But I have had days where I struggle, wondering if it truly is possible. As time goes on, though, these fears are more and more abated. It wasn’t that long ago that I would have said I wasn’t good enough to get into heaven. Well, duh. Isn’t that the point? But having been raised in an legalistic environment and being a rigid legalist myself for many years, it’s hard to shake the fear that God didn’t mean what He said. But I came to a pinnacle of awareness through the sermon I recently heard. When I do not have assurance of my salvation, it’s not that I’m doubting myself… I am doubting the Lord Jesus Christ. I am doubting that He is able to save me. It expresses ‘no confidence’ in the Savior. This brought me to my knees.
I don’t even remember where I heard it now, but this next thought has stuck with me recently. There are no works, no actions, nothing of myself that puts me in favor with the Lord. The works of my life are not going to save me. But it is the works of my life that SHOW I am saved (aka ‘fruit’). Faith without works is dead. Of course it’s not the faith that saves us, but faith is what shows the world around us that we are saved. That we have devoted our life to Christ, the ONLY reason we could ever be saved. By believing in Him.
And we are truly doing ourselves a disservice if we are doubting our salvation. Why? Assurance of salvation gives hope, gives us drive, gives enthusiasm. If we doubt, we become sluggish. I found this point to be pivotal in how I will move forward. Am I not sharing the gospel of Jesus and His salvation because I can’t be bothered? It’s too inconvenient? Too uncomfortable? Maybe the people in my life that need to hear it the most are ones I’m afraid of having confrontation with? Sounds sluggish to me.
I want to live my life with hope, enthusiasm, and drive to grow the Kingdom of God, by knowing without a shadow of a doubt, that the Lord Jesus Christ IS enough. He chose to save me. He bought me with a price. I am His. And in Him, I have a life beyond this one. A perfect, complete life where doubting will not exist. So I’m going to practice now, and throw my doubts away.
What about you? Have you ever had doubts? How has God been working in your life to show you He is the only One who can save you?