Can a christian doubt his salvation OR fail to get saved?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    In this video here Paul Washer says a few pretty concerning things.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=_6XJkNlAk9c

    He talks about a man who came to church and he had only 3 weeks to live and he heard the gospel but something was missing. He understood it intellectually but didn't feel anything and so Washer went with him through the bible for hours and then when he was reading John 3:16 for maybe the 10th time or even more he suddenly knew that he is saved.
    Now the huge question is: Did this man only get saved after hours and hours of fighting and struggling or did he only get the feeling after hours which showed him that he is saved?
    If Washer is right and if you basically have to struggle to get saved then HOW can we know that it really worked for us? How do we know wether we met the requirements to get saved? What about the sinner on the cross? He did not have hours to struggle and to pray and to seek God and to beg God to do a work in him to enable him to get saved. If it is possible for a person to be willing to get saved and still not be able to get saved then everything is unsure.
    I have heard the same stuff before. That a person might want to get saved and still fail to receive the salvation because the person does not simply receive it by faith but wait for a feeling as confirmation and if the feeling does not come then the person thinks she is not saved but does this mean that she really did not get saved and that it simply didn't work because the person made a mistake?
    If this is really possible that you may want to get saved and you still fail to get saved because something goes wrong and you don't even know what then everything is unsure then noone can be sure if he's even saved because something might simply not have worked. The more requirements and the more variables are actually in the equation then the more things can go wrong. You can ask yourself if you repented enough, if you were truly sincere enough, if you had enough faith, if you understood salvation enough, if you understood the gospel enough and it goes on and on and on and in the end you can impossibly know if it worked or not because there are hundreds of things which could have gone wrong and prevented the whole thing, that's just great. :BangHead:
     
  2. Cutter

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    I've always felt like if you needed to ask or question your salvation, then you are not really saved. The day I was saved there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I had indeed been saved. I believe, "The (Holy) Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God..."
     
  3. xdisciplex

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    How does this look like? It is a feeling or a knowledge or a voice? Something like an internal "you're saved now" voice?
     
  4. Cutter

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    When it happened to me I was alone and praying in the livingroom with the front door open. The only way I know to describe it is, it was like the Holy Spirit rushed in and made me feel light as a feather. Immediately I felt the presence of the Lord and all of the doubt, despair and fear vanished. One of the reasons I ran from the Lord when He dealt with me was fear of exactly what was going to take place or how it was going to happen. When I totally surrendered and asked him to save me, the Lord replaced my fear with such joy that I had never experienced before in my young life. (I was 16)
    I began to sing Amazing Grace and enjoying this new salvation that made me feel and think I was never going to sin again in my life.(We all know how that turned out..) Anyway, after that I rode up to my Aunt's house where many of them were and shared with them what had taken place and we all rejoiced in the Lord! :godisgood:
     
  5. Bob Dudley

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    Can a christian doubt his salvation OR fail to get saved?

    Sure, I think a Christian can doubt their salvation. Doesn't mean they are not saved just means they doubt. I live in Maryland and we have a bridge that goes from Annapolis to the eastern shore. When I am driving over it I may doubt (especially if the winds kick up) that it can support the car and not collapse. But, just because I doubt doesn't mean that it will collapse.

    Our salvation is not based on a feeling but, rather, it is based on the promise of God. I won't go over all the verses but God says that if we believe on His Son then we ARE saved. Pretty much the end of the argument.

    As for "fail to get saved." Not to be too insensitive but that's just plain silly. That's like asking if you can go through a wedding ceremony, say "I do" and fail to get married. Not possible. If you say, from your heart, that you trust Jesus as your only way to heaven then, according to God, you are saved. If you ask Jesus to save you (and you only have to ask once) then, no matter what you do the rest of your life, no matter if you doubt or not, you are saved. God has promised His children that nothing can seperate us from His love.

    When you are born into God's family you take on His DNA. He doen't ever take it back.
     
  6. JustChristian

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    What do these verses mean to you?

    Mar 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

    Hbr 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

    2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

    1Pe 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning [here] in fear:

    2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
    2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
    2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
    2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
    2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
    2Pe 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    1Jo 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

    1Jo 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, [even] eternal life.

    1Jo 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

    1Jo 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

    2Jo 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

    Many others.
     
  7. Magnetic Poles

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    Cutter, I am not doubting a word of what you say. In fact, I have experienced a similar event. But can you say how your experience is any different than what Mormon's call "the burning in the busom" that confirms the supposed truth of the Book of Mormon?
     
    #7 Magnetic Poles, Jun 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2008
  8. Joe

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    1 John 5:11-13
    And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life,[a] and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

    John 5:24
    24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

    Just believe....
     
  9. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Interestly, I look at this in an opposite way. Doubting is not always the opposite of faith. Sometimes it is simply part of faith. It is the "ants in the pants" of faith -- it keeps our faith alive.

    Personally, I've never met a non-Christian who doubted his or her faith -- "Gee - I'm concerned I'm not really saved." Instead, most are not really concerned about spiritual matters at all.

    Thankfully, my salvation is based upon God's finished work upon the cross for me - not my own faith - my hope is built is built on Jesus' love & righteousness -- as the song goes.
     
  10. Cutter

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    I have no knowledge of the Mormon's faith or experience. I equate mine more to the rushing wind of Acts. Like it rushed into my heart through the open door. All I was trying to do was put into words my experience. I'm sure everyone has their own personal testimony. That's another thing I think stands out in the life of the believer is the day, time, and place of the day they were saved. (Not necessarily the exact date and time of day.) I'm glad mine was so real that I have never had to question whether or not I was saved. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! :thumbs:
     
  11. Cutter

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    Seems you underestimate the importance of faith.
     
  12. David Lamb

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    A Christian can sometimes doubt his or her salvation (or put it another way, Christians can sometimes lack assurance). But in bible terms, a Christian means somebody who is saved. A sinner doesn't first become a Christian, then at some later date get saved. :confused:
     
  13. xdisciplex

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    But what about Washer? Did you take the time and watch the clip?
    Is he simply wrong? I find this hard to imagine. I have heard similar stuff from other pastors, too. That there were people who wanted to get saved but they didn't receive the salvation at the first try because they did something wrong like for example waiting for a confirmation that it worked and if they got none then they also didn't think they got saved and they prayed again and again and again and this means they didn not get saved!

    Sure, you can say "just believe and confess" but this doesn't solve the problem. There are so many things which you have to fulfill to be able to get saved I mean there are whole sermons about correct and false repentance. Everything is made so complicated. There are sermons about faith and what faith is and so on or about the Lordship of Jesus. HOW in the world am I supposed to know if I met all these requirements when I wanted to get saved? Is it possible that I didn't meet them and failed to get saved and now I'm trying to live as a christian but I'm not a christian and don't even know it and all because I didn't meet the requirements back then? :(
    Other christians say that they know that they are saved or that they felt something when they got saved or that they had a drastic immediate change after getting saved. I didn't have this and all I have to do to start doubting my salvation is listen to such a sermon about somebody who wanted to get saved and it didn't work or about somebody who had to struggle to get saved and then all these thoughts come again and I ask myself what if it simply didn't work? What if this explains it all? That's just great. I'm so tired of this. And there is noone who can tell me wether I'm really saved or not. Noone can know it. Even if a pastor assured me that I am saved then he could still be wrong and I rely on his opinion and still go to hell because he was wrong. This means I'm living in the constant state of uncertainty about eternity. In times where I feel like I'm doing well I may feel more assured of being saved and in times where everything goes wrong I feel like I may not be saved or that I may have left the right path. If I am able to sin little then I feel good, and when I mess up then I feel bad and ask myself if I can even be a christian or if a christian should not live much more holy and have victory over sin or at least the "huge" sins and only sin every now and then.
    That's makes life much more pleasurable, doesn't it? Being a christian is really a burden. All these concerns and fears and these constant mind games and the attempt to analyse oneself to find indicators of being saved. That's driving me crazy. And unsaved person does not have to worry about all these things they simply live their lives while people like me are constantly being dragged down by this. How can I be a" happy christian" and feel joy and all these things which a christian also should have when I have these concerns? Then it's impossible to have joy and the lack of joy again is also concerning because a christian should have joy as a fruit of the spirit which I don't have. One more reason to be concerned. Yay.
     
    #13 xdisciplex, Jun 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2008
  14. Bob Dudley

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    Didn't need to watch. If he is saying it is complicated to get saved and a person can fail to get saved then he is preaching another gospel that is not another (i.e., he is preaching a false gospel).

    It really is not complicated at all. A preacher that makes it difficult to get saved should not be preaching.

    There is only one thing required to be saved. Do you believe/trust that Jesus died for your sins? You see, God says that whosoever believes in Jesus shall not perish but have everlasting life.

    If you THINK you are trusting in Jesus as your only way to heaven then you ARE trusting in Jesus as your only way to heaven. Instead of worrying about your own salvation you need to put the devil behind you and start working on getting other people saved.
     
  15. xdisciplex

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    But this is one thing Washer also said that if today people question if they are saved they are told to rebuke the devil or to quote the bible and so on in order to solve the problem. But what if they question it because they really are not saved?
    For example in one sermon Washer said that there was a girl who wanted to get saved or repent but she obviously had done it many times before and always fallen back and then he told her to go home and cry to God to get saved and the next day she came back and looked much worse because nothing had happened and he sent her home to do the same again and the next day she came back and she was happy and everything had changed and that night God saved her so even though she wanted to get saved and repent it didn't really work in the first place she somehow had to struggle or reach a state or fulfill requirements to get saved, maybe internal requirements such as determination or sincerity or something like that.
    In the other sermon with the man who had only 3 weeks to live and who got saved after hours and hours of going through the bible Washer said that another preacher might simply have gone with him through the bible for 5 minutes or had him pray a prayer and then gone to a restaurant and the man would have gone to hell.
    This is a huge problem! This makes getting saved so complicated as if a person may want to get saved but she cannot get saved because something is missing either she is not sincere enough or not repenting enough or whatever.
    This reminded me of an incident where I wanted to make sure that my grandmother is born again and I talked to her and it really wasn't easy and I asked her if she believes in Jesus and she said yes but maybe this is only because how she was raised. She also doesn't read the bible or at least I have never seen her do it. She said she prays before going to bed.
    I wanted to make sure that she really is saved and explained to her that she has to accept Jesus and I asked her if she wants to and she said yes and then I just wanted her to repeat a prayer from a Chick tract after me and when we came to confessing that you have sinned or that you're a sinner she looked at me and said that she doesn't know what that means. This was a shock. I tried to explain it to her but she had this thinking that unless you've done something really bad you're not a sinner. I explained to her that everybody sins and gave her a few examples of sins and she agreed and then we finished the prayer but I don't really feel like it really worked and especially after listening to Washer I am concerned that she still is not saved. I have no clue what to do now. If I try to talk to her about this again when I see her next time and then she says to me the same things then what can I do? This makes me feel pretty helpless. I mean what if she wants to get saved but what if she doesn't understand it well enough or what if there is no conviction? What if she wants to but the conviction is not there and this means she cannot get saved?
    Does this mean a person has to fight for conviction and beg God to be able to repent so that God grants the gift of repentance because without it you cannot get saved?
     
  16. Bob Dudley

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    Hi xdisciplex,

    I honestly think you are being influenced by some really warped peolpe. You need to stick with what the Bible says and ONLY what the Bible says.

    Getting saved is NOT difficult and it is NOT hard. It is the easiest, yet most important, decision a person will ever make.

    Let me suggest an experiment for you. All 4 gospels were written with a different aspect of Jesus as the focus and a different audience in mind. The Gospel of John was written to emphesize Jesus' diety and it was written to unbelievers. It is the gospel that explains, in the easiest terms, how to be saved. My suggestion to you is to study the Gospel of John (without using any outside helps) and see for yourself.

    Some things to keep your eyes open for while studying John:

    How many times John uses the word "repent" or "repentance"
    How many times John uses words like "faith" and "believe"
    What Jesus says in the gospel about getting to heaven.
    What John says (as narrator) about how to get to heaven.

    I think you will find what a lot of others on this board already know - the gospel is simple to understand and just as simple to accept.

    There are other books in the New Testament that address the false gospels you are talking about (Galatians and 1 Timothy, for example). But I'd start with the Gospel of John first.
     
  17. Magnetic Poles

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    Salvation is not a complex matter. The Christian walk that follows is the challenge.
     
  18. Cutter

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    It saddens me to read how some find a reproach in the way a man preaches. Just as we are all individuals and have different mannerisms and characteristics, ministers have differences in delivery styles, too. Of all things, to have a problem if a minister sweats when he preaches or gets a little loud. God told Isaiah to cry aloud and spare not in Isaiah 58. If a man sweats or gets loud do you automatically dismiss the message before you hear what it is being said. I believe many need to be told, as were the Pharisees by Nicodemus in John 7:51, Doth our law judge [any] man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?
    When you take into consideration all of the things that the OT prophets were told to do, i.e. sleep on one side x amount of days, marry a harlot, prophey to the forest, etc... I do not find it difficult to believe a man can preach in the Spirit and power of God.
    PS. This is not an endorsement of TD Jakes, rather a defense of preaching. More powerful, authoritative preaching is needed these days, but just like everything else in society, preaching has been sissified and toned down to appease the super sensitive.
     
  19. David Lamb

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    I must admit that I hadn't watched the clip - I was just replying to the question of the thread title. But now I have watched it. I think I see where the misunderstanding has come. The thread title question is: "Can a Christian doubt his salvation or fail to get saved?" But Paul Washer doesn't say that the man was a Christian before he was saved, just that he had some intellectual understanding of the way of salvation. Mere intellectual understanding won't make anyone into a Christian. That man became a Christian/was saved when God caused him to realise the truth of the gospel message, that point in the video clip where he says something like, "Yes! I am saved! I believe those words of John 3.16!" (Sorry, I cannot get the clip to run again to get the exact words).


    It is God Who saves sinners; sinners don't save themselves. Salvation is not a matter of us struggling to make sure that we have followed some complicated set of rules for being saved. What Paul Washer was warning against (as I see it) was the sort of defficient preaching that seems to suggest that people can become true Christians simply by repeating a set of words - words that they may well understand intellectually, but mean nothing to their hearts. This is sometimes called "easy believism". An Evangelical Times article says that "easy-believism" people:
    ....will invite people to indicate their ‘decision’ for Christ by raising a hand, or signing a card, or repeating a prayer. It then glibly offers an assurance of salvation based on a kind of logic which goes like this: (1) God promises to save all who believe; (2) You just indicated that you believe; (3) Therefore, you must be saved.
    We sometimes describe this as ‘easy-believism’. It would be foolish to suggest that no one has ever been truly converted through such an approach. God is sovereign, and will save his elect, however inadequate the means he may use.
    Nevertheless, the tragedy is that many people are deluded into thinking they have become Christians when in reality they have not. They soon become disillusioned and write off the Christian faith altogether.

    I don't know anything about Paul Washer, so I cannot say whether or not I would agree with him on everything, but what I heard in that clip sounds fine.

    In trying to find out a bit more about him, I came across another clip of his that might relate to this matter. It is called, "How do you Know you believe?" I haven't heard it all the way through yet. It is at: http://vintagechristianity.wordpress.com/2007/07/23/how-do-you-know-you-believe-paul-washer-jam/
     
  20. Bob Dudley

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    There have been a lot of people throughout history that have endorsed what is being called "easy believism." The first to put forth such a theology was Jesus. He said, "whosoever believes in me shall be saved." Pretty easy if you ask me. Peter was a big proponant of "easy believism" at Pentecost when he said, "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Phillip pushed "easy believism" when he basically told the Ethiopian that he could be baptized (a symbol of his decision to accept Christ) as long as he believed in Jesus. Paul also thought "easy believism" was the way to go when he told the jailer, "believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved."

    If a person believes he is trusting in Jesus as his only way to heaven then he IS trusting in Jesus as his only way to heaven.

    And, xdisciplex, there is no such thing as only the "elect." Jesus died for everyone. And anyone that wants to trust in Him will be accepted by Him. Don't let anyone tell you different.

    Believing IS "easy."
     

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