Have you ever doubted your salvation? Others have too—it’s common. The books of Habakkuk and 1 John deal in detail with this dilemma. There is nothing more miserable than a Christian who doubts their salvation.
There Are Several Reasons for Doubts
- They had an early childhood conversion. Either they didn’t understand it or felt no conviction, but they were led through a prayer.
- There is sin in their lives.
- They are untaught on eternal security.
- They don’t feel saved—emotional insecurity.
- A church leader gets saved. Some think, “If he wasn’t truly saved, I’m probably not saved either.”
- They hear a message on Hell or the rapture.
- They cannot remember every word they prayed when they got saved. See Paul’s three testimonies in Acts. He didn’t remember every word either. Most of us cannot remember what we said yesterday.
If someone comes to you with doubts, how do you determine if that person is really saved? Do you simply get them to pray the sinners prayer again? No. You must ask them some questions first:
- Where were you when you were supposedly saved?
- When was it?
- Had you heard the Gospel clearly?
- What did you do?
- Did you have a desire to be saved?
If the questions reveal that the person is lost, get them to admit it and lead them to Christ. If the person was truly saved, get them to say it several times. Lead them to assurance.
When I was in ninth grade at teen camp my mind was filled with doubts. I had been saved in seventh grade—February 23, 1970, in my living room. For the next couple of years I did not grow much. Little Bible and prayer were in my life. I had little joy, and some temptations and rebellion came my way I had not experienced before.
I began doubting if I “meant it” two years before. If I was saved, why was I feeling this way? I kept praying, “If I’m not saved, save me,” but it helped zero. At 3:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, I woke my pastor up and told him I needed to be saved. He examined my previous salvation experience—I did realize, understand, mean, and ask for salvation two years before. That morning I got right with the Lord and the joy returned. No wonder David asked God to “restore the joy of thy salvation.”
During a Christian single’s getaway, I challenged the young people to look closely at their salvation experience. One Sunday school teacher and two Bible College students got saved that day. Not assurance, but salvation. None of them could remember a time or place where they trusted Christ. Parents and grandparents had told them it had taken place.
When a soul is at stake, we’d better not trust someone else’s memory. Have you had doubts about your salvation lately? Find out why. Get it settled today. It’s hard to have boldness in soulwinning if doubts are plaguing your own mind.
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).
Thank God we can know!
Article excerpted from the book Basic Training for Sunday School Teachers by Mike Ray.