Doubting My Salvation

By “Matt”

I was so strong in my faith as a very young man. I believed, trusted, had faith or whatever terminology you would like to use. Christ was the central focus of my every thought. Then, after years of feeling a call to ministry, God opened a door for me to begin preaching and teaching youth. I was 20 years old at the time, and one day, out of no where, I began to question if I was really saved or not. So I went to the Lord and “nailed it down” (Asking Jesus to save me if I was not already saved). I have actually “nailed it down” many times. This lead to wondering then what is true faith? I picked apart the word faith instead of just stepping out and trusting Christ. But over the last ten years, I have wrestled with doubt about if I am really saved. Strange enough, I don’t doubt the validity of scripture at all, never have. My doubt is “can I truly be saved”? Do I really have faith in Christ or more recently am I able to have faith in Christ.
The most terrifying thing is that assurance is gone. I actually had to start adapting around it and just say that its too much for me to deal with anymore. I never walked away from faith or Christ, never denounced him, but I certainly shelved it and began just going through motions. I have read evey possible publication on doubt through the years and been to so many pastors and counselors and called every single radio ministry, been on every kind of depression and anxiety medicine imaginable, etc. But, nothing ever seemed to help. So, every few months since 2007 I would put it away for a little while, that is to say I can’t deal with another dead end, only to pick it up or re open the case again hoping this time would be different;But, to no avail. Each time, it gets worse. Now, over time, as with anything that goes on for a length of time, you become desensitized. I guess I have felt it would never go away.

I have not sought a new religion, I still don’t question the validity of scripture or the power of Christ, or any theological things. I never have. Now, I am at a place of this: is my doubt emotional, volitional, a combo of both. Am I choosing not to trust Christ and hence am destined to live in this torture forever? I told my wife recently that I just want faith in Christ. That is all I want. People say “then get saved or just believe”, I guess I am the current version of the man in Mark who said “I believe, help thou my unbelief”. Never until now have I seen a community online, or otherwise, that specializes in this. If this community had been present earlier, maybe I would not have gone now 10 years with this thorn in my flesh. I commend the writers, and participants of this website and I am just discovering it.

Finally, one thing is certain in the midst of of my uncertainty and that is that I will not shelve it this time. I can’t! I need to know. I need help. There is so much more I want to say of my story, but I don’t have time to do so today. But I look forward in joining this online community. Let me leave this advice for people who may be new to doubt or have not been there as long as I have: I have heard it all from the devil, I have believed a great deal of it. His ultimate goal is to rob us of joy and faith. I hope this will bring healing in my life! God bless!

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6 responses to “Doubting My Salvation

  • Darrell

    I UNDERSTAND! It happened to me at the peak of my walk with God. I even thought I may have committed the unpardonable sin!
    Bless God! His Word made all the difference! Have you read 1 Thessalonians 1?
    Bless you.

  • Matt bell

    Dear Matt

    Sharing a name isn’t the only thing we share. We share a common enemy, we share our load of accepted lies, of mistrust, anguish, rolling around in fear, doubt and wondering if the childlike smile of seeing his face shine on us shall ever return to our cold, hardened and numbed soul. We share, I am sure, a firm belief that those whom are truly his will make it to the end, but wandering in a desert so long we can’t believe we are his. We may share the same view that we are like Hebrews says “being treated as sons” but wondering how could treating sons this way be a good thing.  Or we wonder if Christ died for all my sins, then maybe he will just kill me like he did the Corinthians who took his communion in an unholy manner. Hey, at least they were judged so they may not be condemned along with the rest of the world like Paul says. At least they got an early ticket home. Or, maybe, just maybe, we wonder if any of his children are experiencing this same coldness, will be gathered along with the lukewarm ones who feel cast off, will we be gathered into the room with the rest of the un productive children and barely squeak into the kingdom, as through fire. I often contemplate death as a welcome task so as to remove me from this state of “just not knowing” where I stand, who I am and tired of wondering if the throne room is just shaking their heads at Christians like me saying “man, he once clung to Christ as a child clings to his father in the darkened cave, man that kid was almost something but look at him now. He watches reruns of television shows just to pass the time alone in his apartment and can barely remember his conversion, and being washed of his former sins”. I know what it’s like to feel temptation so close to your eyeballs that you order your lunch from the nice girl with your head looking at the floor reciting scripture, temptation to say curse words with God’s name in them that just claw at your every thought that you’re afraid to speak out loud in casual conversation because your ability to say no to cursing his name hangs by a thread, or having such blasphemous pictures, words and name of female body parts screamed in your mental ears by the demonic that you want to run away, hide, and dream of ways to kill yourself, if only it wasn’t a sin. Then the guilt and 40,000 lbs of shame come over you for shrinking to such a thought. Danged if you do, danged if you don’t. Being tired of having naked images of women and men flash across your mind and then feeling the gavel of heaven tell you “away from me you vile putrid dog”. How does one escape from the hell that seems to have been opened on our souls. Are we being disciplined, are we being forced to prayer when we try to pray every voice screams that the heavens smirk at us and we get off of our knees as fast as we tried to kneel on them. May the Lord grant mercy to us for asking that our lives be taken by him so that whether judgement or heaven await, at least we won’t be Doubting any more.  
    Wishing and hoping that the heavens aren’t disappointed with me,
    Matt Bell

    Sent from my iPhone

  • Matt bell

    Dear Matt

    Sharing a name isn’t the only thing we share. We share a common enemy, we share our load of accepted lies, of mistrust, anguish, rolling around in fear, doubt and wondering if the childlike smile of seeing his face shine on us shall ever return to our cold, hardened and numbed soul. We share, I am sure, a firm belief that those whom are truly his will make it to the end, but wandering in a desert so long we can’t believe we are his. We may share the same view that we are like Hebrews says “being treated as sons” but wondering how could treating sons this way be a good thing.  Or we wonder if Christ died for all my sins, then maybe he will just kill me like he did the Corinthians who took his communion in an unholy manner. Hey, at least they were judged so they may not be condemned along with the rest of the world like Paul says. At least they got an early ticket home. Or, maybe, just maybe, we wonder if any of his children are experiencing this same coldness, will be gathered along with the lukewarm ones who feel cast off, will we be gathered into the room with the rest of the un productive children and barely squeak into the kingdom, as through fire. I often contemplate death as a welcome task so as to remove me from this state of “just not knowing” where I stand, who I am and tired of wondering if the throne room is just shaking their heads at Christians like me saying “man, he once clung to Christ as a child clings to his father in the darkened cave, man that kid was almost something but look at him now. He watches reruns of television shows just to pass the time alone in his apartment and can barely remember his conversion, and being washed of his former sins”. I know what it’s like to feel temptation so close to your eyeballs that you order your lunch from the nice girl with your head looking at the floor reciting scripture, temptation to say curse words with God’s name in them that just claw at your every thought that you’re afraid to speak out loud in casual conversation because your ability to say no to cursing his name hangs by a thread, or having such blasphemous pictures, words and name of female body parts screamed in your mental ears by the demonic that you want to run away, hide, and dream of ways to kill yourself, if only it wasn’t a sin. Then the guilt and 40,000 lbs of shame come over you for shrinking to such a thought. Danged if you do, danged if you don’t. Being tired of having naked images of women and men flash across your mind and then feeling the gavel of heaven tell you “away from me you vile putrid dog”. How does one escape from the hell that seems to have been opened on our souls. Are we being disciplined, are we being forced to prayer when we try to pray every voice screams that the heavens smirk at us and we get off of our knees as fast as we tried to kneel on them. May the Lord grant mercy to us for asking that our lives be taken by him so that whether judgement or heaven await, at least we won’t be Doubting any more.  
    Wishing and hoping that the heavens aren’t disappointed with me,
    Matt Bell

  • ELIZABETH

    To both Matts,
    I would highly recommend a book by H. A. Ironsides titled “Full Assurance”. It helped me tremendously. I suspect that the main problem is that when we focus on “our” faith or repentance and not the Word, we enter into a world of self. Our “feelings” play a major role in the devil’s tactics to cause the dilema. Ask yourself WHY do I think I am not saved? Is it anything specific? The devil deals in “what ifs” with no substance to it.
    Our doubts start in the mind and if we allow these vague suggestions to cultivate, then we are off on another tangant of fear and more doubts. I know you have heard it before, but we must stand on the word and not our thoughts or feelings. I can tell you this from experience as I have had the same problem probably for about 40 or more years, even went back into the world twice, just because I couldn’t deal with it anymore, so don’t feel like you are the worst case or without hope because you are not.
    Another big help for me is to get alone with the Lord and play some praise music and sing along with it and eventually with some practice, we can feel the presence of the Lord. It may take awhile, but if we come to Him with a yielded heart and praise Him, he will manifest Himself to us.
    As far as tempting thoughts, if we cast down the VERY first thought, and purposely occupy our thoughts and actions elsewhere, the temptation will subside. “Take every thought captive.”
    I hope this helps and the book I mentioned addresses so much to help,
    Elizabeth

  • Maryjo

    those nights that never seem to end…spiritual warfare that if spoken they’d think your crazy!…The devil sprang into action as a young girl who never knew an earthly Father’s love, or Mother, abused in every way only to grow into adulthood believing this to be the norm…in the years that follow are many abusive relationships…Manic Depressive, (if there is an interest in really understanding this illness and how people suffer please rent the DVD “Helen” starring Ashely Judd) suicidal, intrusive thought pattern that I am unable to control, Trust issues that seem to come in every form which makes it almost impossible to have a healthy relationship with anyone. While in this last one, I was abused for over 10yrs by a man who claimed to be Christian?? How does a Christian claim to be a child of God while turning to a women saying, “I believe God has blessed this and one day we will be H/W…so it’s okay to continue having sex outside the boundaries of marriage. Your probably asking, “How could I be so Gullible/Nieve??…It is not something you mean to happen…you are just longing for the right Love and when it never comes you begin to believe this is the best you could ever hope for especially now that you’ve given away your best years only to be left hanging with no real answers…I’t usually over the minute they discover what’s lurking behind the medicine cabinet hearing one to many times “your crazy”…I don’t know that I can really stomach that again so I just don’t date…I cannot explain my irresponsible behavior…It is not all His fault…I can only say that a bad up bringing can leave you without knowing how to find a way out…I can’t explain it or put it into words…I can only say “your stuck in every way and you lack the skills and know how necessary to break free…but then there’s Jesus! I try so hard but can’t seem to break from the mold I had grown accustomed to…Therapy only makes it worse…talking about it is too difficult…So I am in and out of vicious cycles of all those things mentioned above constantly living in fear of God ownership of me. I often contemplate death as Matt mentioned and I am gripped with the realities of Hell…23min was barely enough for me to get thru….I have not dated in 4yrs…I have not kissed a Man or as much as held a hand in all that time…I am a recluse, I struggle daily with deep depression, I bounce from taking meds to living with the horrible side effects to not taking med and living with the horrible side effects, I go out mostly at night to Walmart when i need groceries b/c people make me nervous and uptight…I have tried nearly every church in my area to no avail…Most Churches today have such a desire to serve thier Man desires more than God…I am frustrated so with this that I mostly view Charles Stanley on Sunday mornings now…So, with all this … I often ask “Am I Saved”?? I Love Jesus so much and stand on his word…even in the most difficult to times I will not blame God….then the vicious cycle of guilt and shame begins again….

  • Bryan

    Hi Matt 🙂
    I believe that our Mighty God can move the mountains you are facing.
    Visit this website/link : http://www.gotquestions.org/assurance-salvation.html

    I know what you are feeling right now because I went through this as well.
    I have a question for you. You mentioned the story of the man in Mark 9. Though his faith was very very small to the point that he begged Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief, Jesus still answered his prayer. It does not matter how big or small your faith is, all you need is just ”faith”.
    Now you might be wondering if you really believe in Jesus. Roman 10:14 says ” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?…”
    The very fact that you have cried to Jesus to save you shows that you believe in Him.

    Christ is alive and the tomb is empty…“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”Roman 10:13

    here is the Gospel Paul preached to Corinthians : 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 :”Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are SAVED, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

    3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was BURIED, that he WAS RAISED on the third day according to the Scriptures,”

    Do you believe that Jesus is the Savior, that He died to pay the penalty for your sins (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21)? Are you trusting Him alone for salvation? If your answer is yes, you are saved!

    Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/assurance-salvation.html#ixzz2ZKiJeaoE

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