Basic Truths: Assurance of Salvation - Why People Have Doubts #1

Faith Church September 14, 1991

- we're beginning a new series today on "Basic Truths Every

  Believer Should Know"

- there are certain topics in God's Word that every believer

  needs to know and understand and we want to study some of

  those topics with you over the next series of weeks

 

- today we're going to study the issue of Assurance of

   Salvation

 

 

- the Scripture makes it clear that God wants you to be saved

    - II Peter 3:9  - "The Lord is not slack concerning his

        promises as some count slackness, but is

        longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should

        perish, but that all should come to repentance"

 

- He also wants you to be sure of your salvation

 

    1) II Peter 1:10 - "...give diligence to make your

        calling and election sure."

 

    2) I John 5:13 - "these things have I written unto you

        that believe on the Son of God that you might know

        that ye have eternal life."

 

    3) Heb. 10:22 - "Let us draw near with a true heart in

        full assurance of faith."

 

- Input - what are some of the reasons why individuals doubt

   their salvation?

 

    - (various answers)

 

- INPUT - why does God want you to have assurance of

          salvation?

 

    1) So that our faith is not in vain - I Cor. 15:2b

 

    2) To obey His commands - II Peter 1:10

 

    3) That we might kive a certain kind of lifestyle - Titus

         2:11-15, 3:5, 8

 

         - develop - place of works

 

    4) That we might serve out of love - Eph. 1:4b

 

        - ultimate purpose - God's glory

 

- point so far - God wants us to be saved and to know that

    we're saved, yet many doubt their salvation.  In this

    week and in the coming weeks, we want to show how a

    person needs to have assurance:

 

        - historically

        - theologically

        - experientially

 

 

- today we're going to study the "first part of that

  equation," those who are having trouble with whether the

  historical decision he/she made for Christ in the past was

  really valid

- let's talk about three reasons why that may be so

 

I. One May Doubt Because His Historical Decision Was At Such

   An Early Age That His Memory Is Vague

 

    A. The condition

 

        - we're talking about the person that would say

          something like: "I thought I was saved. My parents

          remember my decision, but to me it is vague."

 

    B. The remedy

 

        - there are a couple of different possibilities for

          the person in this condition

 

        - the best way to know what to do in this situation

          is to think about what is known in Evangelism

          Explosion as the "2 diagnostic questions."

 

            1) Do you know that if you died tonight, you

               would go to heaven?

 

            2) What are you trusting in to get you to heaven?

 

        - if a person, or you, can't answer the second

          question with something like:  "I am trusting the

          fact that I asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and

          Savior and I am trusting Him alone to get me to the

          Father," then the remedy is:

 

        1. Trust Him today

 

            - this is often the simpliest remedy

 

            - "Lord, I know as a sinner, I could never save

               myself.  I do believe Christ's death on the

               cross and resurrection is the only payment

               acceptable for my sins.  I trust you, Lord

               Jesus, as my savior and Lord"

            - the person who made this decision would need to

               be baptized (develop - baptism after

               salvation)

 

      - on the other hand, you may have answered the

        diagnostic questions correctly. If you can say

        confidently that you are trusting Christ and Christ

        alone as your only hope of heaven, them the remedy in

        this situation for you would be:

 

        2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            - "I know I'm a sinner and I do not trust in

               myself for salvation. I know that there was a

               time that I trusted Him, though I don't know

               exactly when.  I trust His death and

               resurrection alone as my only hope of heaven.

               Although I'm not perfect, I love Him and have

               been growing in obedience to Him as taught in

               his Word."

 

            - of course for a person in this position, they

              would not need to be re-baptized.

 

    - the point is - if you were saved early in life, chances

      are that you don't remeber a lot about the event. Thats

      not the most important thing. The real issue is - "What

      are you trusting to get you to the Father?"

 

II. Many Decisions

 

    - some folks doubt their salvation because they came up

      in a theological background where they made many

      "decisions to be saved" and as a result are unsure of

      any of them

 

    A. The condition

 

        - we're talking here about the person who has based

          his salvation on feelings, performance, or a belief

          that a person can be saved and then lost.

 

    B. The remedy

 

        1. needs to understand several things about salvation

 

            a. Salvation is not of anything a person has done

               or can do. It is not of works

 

                - Rom. 4:4, 5

 

                - Eph. 2:8, 9

 

            b. The test of salvation is never feelings, but

               always faith in Christ

 

               - Rom. 4:20, 21

 

               - Rom. 6:11

 

            c. When a person is saved, he does change and

               grow, but will have many defeats.

 

               - I John 1:8, 10

 

               - cf. life of David

 

        2. If person has not been changing, consistently

           shown no genuine fruit of the Spirit, he needs to

           understand salvation clearly and probably needs to

           trust Christ as Savior.

 

 

 

        3. If however, he has a sensitive conscience over his

           sin, fears to hurt his Lord because he loves Him,

           and has shown evidence of some growth, admits his

           only hope of heaven is Jesus Christ--

               - he needs to understand theologically and

                 continue to grow.

 

            - we'll talk next week about some of the

              theological issues we've alluded to in this

              section

 

III. May Be Unsaved

 

    - testimony

Faith Church