Are there some people who choose not to believe
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|Saved for Sure, Overcoming Doubt: How do you overcome those doubts, to be brought to the point where you say, “Yes, I know it’s okay. I’m going to Heaven.” For Doubters Only: There are still some people who have a tough time in having confidence in their salvation. What do those folks need to do? Dr. Erwin Lutzer’s personal testimony.
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 4, Cat. No. YBS2
Keywords: Doubts, Faith, Matthew 17:20
- Ankerberg: What are the reasons people doubt? One of the things you brought up in the book was this. People say, “I can’t remember when I made the decision. I can’t remember saying the prayer. So am I saved?”
- Lutzer: Right. Let’s tick off some reasons for doubt and then we will have to get back to Cowper because we can’t just simply leave him there.
- Ankerberg: Right.
- Lutzer: Because we have to help people who are chronic doubters and he was a chronic doubter.
- First of all, the time of their conversion. Absolutely. Most Christians can remember when they were saved. I remember there out in the farm where I knelt at a chair and received Christ. Many people don’t remember that. But let me say to you, it isn’t necessary to know the day or the hour or what dress you were wearing when you were saved. The question is, is your faith in Christ now, exclusively in Him?
- Let’s look at another one: faulty teaching. We covered that in previous programs. Here we only mention it – that you can lose your salvation whenever you sin or somewhere along the way.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. That’s just wrong teaching. Let me throw another one to you: we must accept Jesus into our hearts.
- Lutzer: Yes. Now many people have been saved by “accepting Jesus into their hearts,” but that’s bad terminology, too, John, because the real issue is whether or not we are accepting Christ as our sin-bearer by faith. So that’s also faulty teaching.
- Guilt. Now here’s a Christian who comes to know Christ as Savior and yet he does something wrong, maybe even something immoral, and what does he think? You’re a Christian?
- Ankerberg: Yeah. The devil probably put the thought in his mind, “If you were a real Christian, you wouldn’t have done that one.”
- Lutzer: Right. So, as a result of that, what happens is, doubts begin to come into people’s minds.
- Confusion between faith and feelings. You know, Luther was once asked, “Do you feel saved?” and he said, “No, I don’t feel saved, but my confidence in God’s Word is stronger than my feelings.” And that was some good advice. At the end of the day, what we need to do is to understand that we are based on fact and it has to do with the facts of God’s Word and the promises of God’s Word, and not our feelings. I think feelings are important and they usually follow the facts and the faith, but it isn’t as if we always feel saved. It is a matter of faith.
- Let me give you another one and that is, of course, the chronic doubter. Here we’re talking about Cowper again before we begin to turn to helping him. But again, I quote Luther. Luther said, “If I’m holding a purse full of money, I can hold it with a trembling hand or I can hold it with steady confidence. Either way, it does not change the contents of the purse.” And the simple fact is, as we’ve emphasized in this series, it is much better to believe in Jesus, trembling with doubts, than it is to believe in something wrong with absolute confidence. Because at the end of the day, it isn’t faith, it is the Object of faith that is important and we need to emphasize that for people.