Why Believers Lack Assurance 3
Believers often lack assurance of salvation because they have not studied the Bible or heard it taught enough to know that they are kept by the power of God.
1 Peter 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
They often have not only neglected the Bible, but they have not regularly attended a Biblical church. They have not heard other Christians speak about their security in the Lord. Some doubt their salvation because they depend upon their feelings. Our flesh will deceive us about our feelings but the feelings God gives are never deceitful. We need to discern the source of the feelings.
2 Corinthians 5:7: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
I believe we can also say that we walk by faith, not by feelings. God can give us feelings, good or bad, if they will be helpful to us. But so can our deceitful flesh. Feelings come and go. Even harmful drugs can make us feel good. We have probably all heard the expression If it feels good, do it. Bad advice. Better advice is Obey the Bible no matter what it feels like. The good feelings associated with sin are before and during the sin. Regrets and disappointment come after the sin. Sin does not make us feel good for very long.
Hebrews 11:25: (Moses) Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
The good feelings associated with serving and pleasing the Lord come while we are serving Him and the happiness, comfort and satisfaction are deeper and stay with us longer.
Psalms 100:2: Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Job 35:10: But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;
Acts 16:25: And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
John 16:22: And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
Some have a good feeling when they receive Christ that they never had before. Some say they feel as if a weight has been rolled off them, some feel relieved, some feel comfort, some feel peace. Personally, I had a pain in my chest when I received Jesus, but it was a pain that I never had before and it was the most delicious pain I have ever had. I knew it was God doing His work on me and communicating with me through that wordless feeling. I had asked Him to do His saving work on me and He did it. It is easy for us who had a wonderful feeling when we received Christ to lose our assurance and feel like we are lost again whenever we sin and the good feeling from God is replaced by a miserable guilty feeling that we should have when He reproves us. The reproof of God can feel worse than our deceitful conscience ever made us feel before we were saved. God is better and wiser about giving us feelings than our flesh is.
Matthew 7:20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
I don*t believe the passage is limited to the fruits of others. I believe it is also true that by OUR own fruits we shall know OURSELVES. (That we are saved) When Christians are not serving the Lord and bearing fruit it is easier for them to lose their assurance. The more they sin the less assurance they will have. Conversely, the less they serve the Lord the less assurance they will have.
Proverbs 16:3: Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Care to discuss Why Believers Lack Assurance 3 with Ron?