Questions #02 – This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, October 25, 2009.
Sermon Notes »
It’s a great hymn. One of my favorites. I especially like to sing it at funerals because it is such a confident affirmation of our faith. “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O’ what a foretaste, of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.” There is no more comforting feeling than that of knowing you are secure. To know that you are safe in the arms of a loving and gracious God who has promised to keep you forevermore. But what if your assurance is a false assurance? What if what you know to be true turns out to be false? Have you ever known something only to find out it wasn’t true? I mourned the loss of a classmate for years having been told of his tragic death only to run into one day at the doctor’s office some 10 years after his “death.” It makes you wonder, “What else do I know that isn’t true?” Then you start to look at your spiritual life. Who hasn’t had the thought, “How could I be a real Christian and still do that?” Then you read about those who will be surprised on the day of Judgment, “But Lord we preached the Gospel in your name, we cast out demons, we healed the sick” and He replies, “Depart from Me. I never knew you.” Questions. Doubts. Fears. How are we to respond to them? Are we to live in uncertainty? Are we to push such thoughts away and blindly trust? Are such thoughts always the work of the devil? Are they all unhealthy?
We are Baptists. We are those “once saved, always saved folks.” How are we to respond to questions about our faith and the certainty that we belong to Christ? Do you remember last week I said, “The problem with my questions is that when I come to Scripture and answer one – the answer creates five more?” Last time we asked the question, “Is it possible to be a carnal Christian?” I said the answer is no. You are either saved or lost. There is no third category. A man whose walk is characteristically or habitually ungodly is not a “poor Christian” he is not a Christian at all. Yes, Christians sin. Christians can and do fall into great sin and it can be for an extended time but the man who lives in sin, without the conviction of the Holy Spirit; who has no desire for fellowship with Christ or His church; who lives without regard for the will of God has every reason to question whether he has ever been born of the Spirit of God. I fear such a man will be in that “surprised” crowd on the day of judgment.
- The Basis of Assurance
- The Testing of Assurance
- The doctrinal test – 1 John 2:22-23
- The love test – 1 John 2:9-11
- The test of obedience – 1 John 2:3-6
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