The Word of God teaches that we as humans all have the same common temptations. Doubting one's salvation is a common issue. Certainly it is not a sin to doubt and/or fear something that you may not clearly understand. The blame for so many churchgoers being unable to settle the matter of God's gift of eternal life, lays primarily on the shoulders of pastors, for failing to clarify God's simple plan of salvation. Tragically, preachers are guilty more than anyone of complicating the Gospel.
I love something that Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold said:
“There is power in this Gospel message. Most people just don't know how to present it... The clarity of the Gospel is what makes it easy for them to believe.”—Pastor Yankee Arnold, a quote from the excellent MP3 sermon titled, “WHY GRACE CAN SAVE THE WORST MAN!”
Someone today asked me if he is not saved because he has doubts...
I was at a missions conference yesterday and a preacher quoted a Spurgeon quote, which caused me to doubt my salvation. The quote went something like, if you don't know Gods will in your life you're not saved. Have you ever had these feelings of doubt?
To answer your question, yes, I sure have! I had many feelings of doubt for several years after I got saved at age 13. What confused me so much was that every preacher I had ever heard, and every religious tract I had ever read, all ended by leading someone to PRAY to be saved. That confused me concerning the simplicity of God's plan of salvation.
Even though I knew that praying didn't save me, I thought prayer was the vehicle through which you put my trust in Jesus to be saved. Since I couldn't remembered exactly what I had prayed for the years to follow, I worried. I literally cried tears in fear of going to Hell, because I couldn't remember what I had prayed. I wrote this helpful articles about it. And also, this one.
Pastor Charles Spurgeon was a partial Calvinist, somewhat corrupt in his theology, although he did make some astoundingly brilliant theological statements, just as Dr. John MacArthur does. Unfortunately, if a man is wrong on repentance he cannot be trusted. It is like buttoning a dress shirt; that is, if you get the first button wrong, then all the other buttons will be wrong too. I advise people to avoid listening to Charles Spurgeon, because he was wrong on salvation. He got the faith and grace part right, but he messed up when he mixes sanctification with justification, confusing people's minds.
I love what Pilgrim's Progress book author, John Bunyan (1628-1688) wisely said concerning this matter:
“If you do not put a difference between justification wrought by the man Christ without and sanctification wrought by the Spirit of Christ within, you are not able to divide the Word aright; but contrariwise, you corrupt the Word of God, and cast stumbling blocks before the people.” —Evangelist John Bunyan
Bravo John Bunyan! I love that guy! The following truthful quote by John Bunyan in this image, refutes the Devil's lie of Lordship Salvation (which heresy teaches that you're not saved unless your life has changed to prove it). . . .
I used to worry and ask myself, "What if?" What if I am not saved and miss Heaven? What if I go to Hell forever? What if? What if? What if? It drove me nuts for several years.
When I was 17 years old I finally mustered up enough courage to go talk with my Baptist pastor about the matter. I had never felt so nervous, as I walked toward the door of my pastor's office (at the Christian school I attended at our Baptist church in Chicago). I shared my worries and concerns with my pastor. He horribly assumed that since I didn't know I was saved, I must not be.
He then did the absolute worse thing he could have ever done—he led me in another Sinner's Prayer. 1-2-3, repeat after me. Oh boy! I felt sick in my soul. When I left his office, after having just prayed to ask Jesus to save me, I felt as worried and as lost as before I talked with him. It is tragic that pastors have turned God's simple plan of salvation into a ritualistic prayer. I encourage you dear reader to listen to Pastor Jack Hyles' helpful sermon titled, "Fundamentalist Heresy" in which he teaches that a sinner doesn't need to pray to be saved. Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do.
After several years, I eventually learned enough about salvation in the Bible to stop worrying, but I still didn't have 100% perfect peace. A couple decades later, I read a helpful book by Pastor Max Younce which open the eyes of my understanding, titled: "SALVATION AND THE PUBLIC INVITATION." Original source. Pastor Younce graciously gave me permission to repost and share all his books freely on social media. THANK YOU Dr. Younce!!!
I highly recommend that you read this book by Dr. Younce. He went to Heaven on August 11, 2023. I dearly miss my ministry friend. Here is the church website for the Heritage Baptist Bible Church in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, where Dr. Younce was pastor since 1992 to 2023. He wrote dozens of books which are all freely available in .pdf format, or for purchase. I love that Dr. Younce shared all his hard work freely to those who want it.
So, again, to answer your question, I DID have many doubts for many years. It's like walking into a dark room, there is fear of what we don't know. I feared what I didn't understand. The way to rid those fears is to keep studying and asking questions until you find perfect peace. What finally solidified my salvation beliefs was reading Dr. Younce's book on SALVATION AND THE PUBLIC INVITATION. Dr. Younce teaches the biblical truth that no one needs to pray or walk down a church aisle to be saved. The Bible simply tells us to believe. John 6:47, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." No one in the Bible was required to pray to be saved, but just BELIEVE the Gospel (the Good News) of Jesus' death on the cross, burial and bodily resurrection (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Faith plus the Gospel equals eternal life.
The reason why the book helped me so much is that I was saved in a church pew on a Sunday morning in 1980. I was too shy to walk forward during the invitation. But God's Holy Spirit convicted my heart that day, for the first time in my life, that I needed to get saved. The pastor said if you can sin, and have no conviction from the indwelling Holy Spirit whatsoever, then you are not saved. I knew I didn't have the Holy Spirit. But since that day until the present, I have had God's blessed Holy Spirit presence in my life, because I trusted Jesus as my personal Savior at age 13. I am not sure what quote by Spurgeon that you heard yesterday, but not knowing God's will has absolutely nothing to do with the new birth. I also encourage you to read this helpful printed sermon by Dr. Curtis Hutson titled: "THE ONE THING THAT DETERMINES SALVATION."
The Devil's lie of Lordship Salvation has confused millions of churchgoers, causing them to fear not being saved due to the sinful bad habits that we all struggle with (Romans 7:14-25).
One of my favorite free grace Gospel preachers is Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold. This guy is special. I don't know of a preacher any more than Dr. Yankee Arnold who emphasizes the simplicity of salvation. Most preachers today are guilty of embellishing the Gospel, which confuses people by obscuring God's simple plan of salvation. Yankee Arnold will help you my friend, I am confident. I hope you will listen to some of his sermons on YouTube.
And also, I cannot recommend enough that you read one of my favorite books by Michael P. Bowen's helpful book: "I NEVER KNEW YOU." And finally, most of all, I recommend that you kick back, close your eyes, and just listen to Alexander Scourby read the Gospel of John, over and over, and you will hear how easy, free and simple it is to be saved.
You can listen to the entire Gospel of John in 1:46 hours. According to John 20:31, the Gospel of John is God's Gospel tract. I hear Billy Graham, Ray Comfort and other infidels citing Matthew, Mark and Luke to try to prove their damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation, but God authored the Gospel of JOHN for the specific purpose of convincing the reader that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and that by BELIEVING we will be saved. I hope this has been edifying to you my friend. God bless.