Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, June 26, 2005, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
WHY SOME FAITHFUL BAPTISTS HAVE LITTLE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
By Michael D. O’Neal
Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church
Scripture Reading: 1 Thess. 1:1-10
Text: 1 Thess. 1:5
1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
Introduction: Do you have absolute assurance of salvation?
The word “assurance” occurs in seven verses of the Bible.
How is your assurance of salvation, on a scale of 1 to 7?
God intends for a person to have a “KNOW-so” salvation.
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Baptist revivals – retreads
Most converts are previous converts
Some obvious reasons
1. Some are unsaved
2. Some are out of fellowship with God – no peace and awareness of God’s presence
3. Some are living with unconfessed sin and have a guilty conscience
However, there are other faithful Baptists who are trying to live right, serve God, and attend church faithfully, but still have doubts about their salvation. Why is that? Having been saved for 36 years and having been preaching for 33 years, I have come to these conclusions:
I. SOME PEOPLE LACK ASSURANCE BECAUSE OF A MISUNDERSTOOD MESSAGE
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
Even if the gospel is preached clearly, as Paul did to the Corinthians, some people may have misunderstood the message. The Corinthians had people in their midst who denied the resurrection, which is what Paul preached as part of his salvation message.
This misunderstanding on the part of the listener could be due to:
A. A lack of singlemindedness (attention)
1. Distractions without – people in church
2. Distractions within – preoccupation with other thoughts
B. A lack of sincerity
1. About wanting to hear
2. About wanting to be saved
C. A lack of Spirit-conviction
II. SOME PEOPLE LACK ASSURANCE BECAUSE OF A MISSING GOSPEL
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
(Read 1 Cor. 15:1-4)
When the gospel is omitted from a witness,
A. The power of salvation is omitted
B. The person of salvation is omitted
1. To preach the gospel is to properly preach Christ to the lost and vice-versa
C. The plan of salvation is omitted
1. The plan of salvation is not what you do, but what Jesus did for you on the cross.
III. SOME PEOPLE LACK ASSURANCE BECAUSE OF MISLEADING INSTRUCTIONS
Acts 16:29-31 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Someone told them, rather than to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ:
A. To cry for salvation
B. To contribute something to God
1. Give your heart to God
2. Give your life to God
C. To change the life
IV. SOME PEOPLE LACK ASSURANCE BECAUSE OF A MISPLACED FAITH
Ephesians 1:12-13 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
A. In a disciple or a deceiver instead of the Redeemer
B. In the deeds of man instead of the redemptive work on Calvary
C. In the declaration of man instead of the record of the word of God
Michael D. O’Neal (Proverbs 11:30), Pastor,