Published February 28, 2012

Paul's Epistle...
"‘Doubts' – Responses"

Last week's column about those times when doubts arise about salvation – ("Am I really saved?") – generated a lot of responses, probably because it's such a common question. Let me share a few of these responses with you...

"I live this epistle! Thank you so much for putting so much time and effort into presenting this in such a beautiful and straight-forward manner. Salvation really is very simple to understand in the head, but has a difficult time making that 12-inch trip to the heart. I believe, for me, it is because I know how sinful we are as human beings and I see and hear so much depravity that I find it so hard to understand why such a Holy and Pure God would give His Son for me – for us.

"When Satan tries to remind of what has been forgiven I remember what the father of the possessed boy said to Jesus in Mark 9, "I do believe, but help my unbelief." I pray that prayer and He shows me His presence in my life and relieves the doubts. He is so faithful! I do this every time and He shows me His presence, EVERY TIME! I love Him so.

"I felt your joy at the news of the conversion experience and how the Spirit was bearing witness. I, too, have experienced that, but didn't know what to call it. It excites me that, today, the Spirit has bourne witness to His bearing witness to me. Thanks so much..." – Glenda D.

Sometimes a life event gives us new perspective on this matter, as it the case for this writer:

"I was saved about thirty-eight years ago and can remember the occasion and details perfectly, but don't know the exact date. I, too, wondered once in a while if I truly was saved until 2003 when I had a stroke. I was lying in bed and my wife realized what was happening and wanted me to be in the hospital, but I resisted. I felt so ‘at peace' that I was welcoming my demise. I'll never forget what my wife said: ‘You may be ready but I'm not!' So she got me to the hospital and here I am almost ten years later in pretty good health for one who is 77. That morning I knew I was a child of God's and there was certainly no doubt any more. I have never doubted my salvation since!" – (Anonymous)

Another common problem is that some feel they just aren't "doing enough" to be worthy of salvation. Here's a letter about that:

"I accepted Christ when I was 16 but growing up Catholic I struggled with the ‘works' thing, thinking that I still had to earn my way to heaven. It wasn't until a few years later when I attended a local Billy Graham crusade when I finally ‘got it' when the speaker shared Ephesians 2:8-9 and drove home the point that salvation is a gift and my works do not come into the equation. It is only after we realize how great a gift that God has given us that we desire to do good works in thanks and appreciation for His unending love and Christ's sacrifice for us." – Chuck Y.

That's one of the most concise responses to the whole "works" issue that I've heard – especially powerful as a personal testimony.

"I appreciate your sharing this with us! Even though I know I am saved, I do get misgivings at times as Satan whispers a doubt in my ear! But, after reading your column, I am renewed in my belief!" – Jeanie P.

Some years ago, Tim Lovelace and Paul Lancaster wrote a song with these appropriate lyrics:

Well, Mister Doubt's been hangin' round, knocking at my door.
When will he get the message He ain't welcome anymore?
But I'm not gonna fall again for these tricks he's tried to pull.
He might as well just hit the road, because my house is full.

I've got one room for believin'
One room just for faith.
Another for receivin'
The blessings of God's grace.
Well, my house is filled with hope
And not a single room left out.
I ain't got no room for doubt.*

Let's not give Christ occasion to say, as He did to Peter who was about to sink into the waves, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matt. 14:31).

- Paul

*"No Room For Doubt," Tim Lovelace & Paul Lancaster, Centergy Music BMI
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