Some say I border on the morbid, as I contemplate life; how one day you’re breathing and living life, and one day your existence on earth simply ceases. Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss this very subject with a friend (whom I shall name Sarah). She’s experiencing minor doubt regarding her place in eternity. I began sharing with her at times I too have this same concern. She looked at me with amazed eyes as if to say, “You!”, if you could have doubts I’m in big time trouble”. Sarah, the enemy can make all of us doubt from time-to-time. You are not alone.
Sarah, like many others, is afraid she won’t have done enough for God. The Bible says none of us will achieve good enough standard to receive salvation (an eternal home with Jesus) on our own; Christ came to be our redemption due to the fact we all have sin in our life. We cannot do enough right things to counterbalance our sin. Christ came to pay the price for our ugliness, our sin and restore us to a right relationship with God; not only for today’s sin, but for past and future sins.
Sarah and I read the passage regarding Nicodemus in the Book of John chapter 3 together. “Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling Council He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher, who has come from God….” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a 2nd time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘you must be born again’ the wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “Sarah through your act of surrender in baptism you became born of water and Spirit. You truly believe Jesus is the Christ the son of God and you have love for Jesus; correct?”
Sarah became very quiet, “Yes, but I have done some pretty awful things; Sandra you just don’t know”. We talked about God’s death covering even the ugliest act we have done or could imagine doing. God sees through ugliness to the heart which says, I am sorry Lord. What I wouldn’t do to take those actions back. We explored the bible passage further, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. In the book of acts, the jailer assigned to watch over Paul asked the question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” In the book of Romans, we read “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Sarah’s reply to me, “I got all that, I know all that but still…. as her voice trails off while her mind went to that dark place in her life.
“Sarah, I know the enemy, the devil himself, places voices of doubt within. His voice says, we are not good enough, we haven’t done enough, and we can’t be forgiven for what we have done! In the book of 1st John, John says, ‘I write these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God, so you may know you have eternal life.’ God knew we would be vulnerable to doubts and the schemes of the devil. God does not want us to doubt. He had John write those words so we could have confidence in our eternal home, in our salvation, no matter our circumstance and no matter what our minds might try to tell us.” “Sarah, it’s much more about our heart – our belief in Jesus then it will ever be about what we do.” “Sarah, I know you love the Lord” Yes, I do”, came Sarah’s reply as her eyes began to swell with tears. “Sarah, don’t doubt Christ’s love for you. God’s desire is for you to have assurance, have confidence in knowing you are His child destined to live with Him for eternity!”
Many scriptures, in the Bible, speak to believing in God and salvation. I encouraged Sarah to look up those scriptures, write them on a piece of paper or a large post-it note and stick them on the inside cover of her Bible. When the thoughts and doubts come regarding assurance of her salvation she will have a handy reference to fight off the enemies attacks.
My doubts per se come from a deep core. One which says it won’t matter if you believe, if you have been baptized, if you have, etc., etc., etc. Lately, I find myself asking the question, “Do I truly love God?” My doubts come from the question of love; not Christ’s love for me, but my love for Christ. I am full of questions. I wonder what Heaven will be like? I wonder, “What exactly is heaven?” Is it the new earth to come, spoken of in Revelation; or is it some far away dimension in the heavenlies, way beyond our Galaxies? Where does love come into the equation? Is it possible to do all the right things and not have love for Christ? The Bible talks about, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.” Do I obey out of obligation? Do I obey out of a sense of doing what’s right because I know this will get me to heaven? Or do I do, what I do, simply out of fear of going to hell? This question stings, yet fear at the core can be a great motivator of action. Or, do I obey because I truly love the Lord? It’s time to answer my questions.
Since I was a child I have heard the phrase, “You never need worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes”. Nice saying but not really a true; tomorrow does come. For each of us there will come a day when tomorrow on earth will not come. With each passing day we all grow closer to our eternal destination. Are we ready for that day? Am I ready for that day?