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Assurance of Salvation (Vol 02) - Sources of Assurance: When doubts arise...?

Sunday English Service - 29 SEP 19

Transcript

Last week we began a series called the assurance of salvation. Every believer needs to have assurance that they are saved. Not enough to have the salvation. It's important to have that assurance. Don't get me wrong, even if you don't have assurance, if you're saved, you're still safe only. Problem is you don't know you're safe. People who don't have the assurance don't know they're safe. If they are saved, they’re saved and they will end up in heaven and they will be saved for all eternity. But the journey will be a miserable journey for them if they don't know that they are safe. Until they get to heaven, they’ll have no peace. People have doubts about their salvation they lose their peace. If you don't have peace about this, you can’t have peace about anything. They lose their joy. They lose their boldness. When a person has doubts about their own salvation, there's no boldness there. No boldness to do anything. God has called each one of us to do something great for His kingdom, for His glory. But when we have this kind of problem, doubts about our salvation, it just drains out all the boldness, it fills us with doubt and worry and fear and we hold back. There is no boldness to go forward and do the things God has called us to do.

So, this is a very serious matter - these doubts about salvation. When a person has doubts about salvation, it affects their whole life. It affects every area of life. I spoke more about it last week. It has to be taken very seriously. The truth is, many believers have doubts about salvation. The thing is, they don't know what to do or where to go. When the doubts come, they don't know what to do. They don't know where to go. They don't know how to deal with those doubts. Today, we are going to teach you how to deal with those doubts. Where do you go? When doubt arises where do you go? How do you deal with those doubts? The goal of this is, by the end of today's message you will know what to do, where to go. And you can go there and find assurance. You can get rid of that doubt. You can find true assurance. And when that comes, you get back your peace, you get back your joy, and you're able to move forward in your spiritual life. So, that's what we're going to look at today.

Today we're going to look at what to do, where to go when the doubts come. How do you deal with the doubts? What do you do? Where do you go? Well, the answer is, you go to the sources of assurance. There are certain sources that God has given us which if you go to them, if you pay attention to them, if you focus on them, surely you will get assurance. They will surely end up giving you true assurance. Just as doubt has its own sources, assurance has its own sources.

Doubt has many sources. If you're having doubts about salvation, there are many reasons why a person has doubts about salvation. Main reason is sin. When they sin, maybe repeated sin, maybe something unusual, doubt about salvation could come. Another reason it's not always just sin, it's other reasons as well, such as their background, the people's background. Different people have different backgrounds. And some people their family background, they may not have received the love of a human father, for example. In certain situations, human fathers have forsaken their children, dealt badly their children. And so, the person who has gone through that kind of difficult childhood, when the Heavenly Father says, “I will never leave you,” they doubt Him because the human father left them. When the Heavenly Father says this and that they're not able to believe because of their backgrounds.

Some people's church background itself keeps them in doubt because in their church background, they kept saying, “Will you go, will you not go? If Jesus comes right now, will you be taken or will you be left behind?” Constantly. That kind of talk ends up leaving them in doubts. And so, because of that itself, they may not have committed great sin, but because of that kind of talk, hearing that again and again, they are stuck in a state of doubt. They’ve somehow learned to manage it and put it aside and cover it up and just move on.

Doubts have many reasons. Sometimes circumstances. When somebody doesn't have a doubt, and then sometimes very terrible circumstances come and everything appears to be going wrong in life. And then the doubt comes in the mind, “If all this is happening, how can we still believe that God is for us? If He is for us, then why is all this happening? If He's with me, then why is all this happening? Maybe He’s not for me, maybe He's not with me, maybe this whole thing is a lie.” That's a bigger problem. Bigger doubt. Circumstances bring doubt. There are many reasons for why doubt arises but there are also many sources from where assurance arises. And today I want to talk to you about let the doubt come from anywhere, but I'm going to tell you certain sources, if you go to them, you will find true assurance, and you will grow in that and the doubt will go, my friend.

What are these sources? Today, we're going to give you certain sources, few of the sources, important sources. And then we're also going to teach you how to use them practically, how not to use them. This is the goal today. We're going to tell you what the sources are, show you how to use them. The source number one is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everybody say, the gospel. What is the gospel? Well, that's a simple term. It means the basic truth about what Jesus did through His death and resurrection for us. We're all familiar with the gospel. We know that word. The Gospel has to do with certain facts about Jesus. What kind of facts? 2,000 years ago, historically, He actually came, born of a virgin, and He actually lived on this earth. This is not some kind of a fable. This happened historically. It's a fact. It's a historical fact. Jesus actually entered this world, lived as a man for 33 and a half years. And then how did He die? That's very important, those facts. He suffered and he died on a cross, and He shed His blood. Those are all facts. And then on the third day, He rose again. We believe, that is a historical fact. That's why we are believers.

So, these are all facts about Jesus. But facts alone don't make up the gospel, it's the meaning of the facts. If He simply came and lived and died and rose again and went away and that’s it, there's no gospel in that. What's the good news about that? He did all of that for me. Everybody say, for me. Why did He come, my friend? He came for you. He came for me. He lived a perfect life for Himself? To prove His own perfection? For me. For me, that's the gospel. The gospel says everything that happened to Him happened to Him for you and me. Why did He suffer so much? Because He deserved it? No, He suffered, because I deserved it and yet He took my suffering. Why did He shed His blood on a cross? Why die on a cross? Because He bore my sin and the curse of that sin. “Cursed is the one who hangs upon a tree,” the Bible says. That's why He hung on a cross for me, bearing my sin, bearing my curse, and every last drop of blood He shed for me. Everybody say, for me. You got to personalize it. Otherwise, it doesn't move you.

That's the gospel. The facts about Jesus and the meaning of the facts and how it benefits you. We've all heard some version of the gospel. That is how we got saved. Think back to the time when you got saved. Think back to the time when you first put your trust in Jesus. You heard something about the gospel. Maybe a simple version somebody told you, maybe a preacher, maybe your Sunday school teacher, maybe your friend, I don't know who first gave you the gospel. You heard it and you believed it and you got saved. Now, think back to that time. When you got saved, you also got a little bit of assurance. Just remember it. Think back. Did you get some assurance? You didn't even think of it as assurance but you were at peace. You had some kind of assurance or some kind of peace. “Yeah, my sins are forgiven. I am okay. I am safe.”

When a person usually gets saved, immediately they don't get doubts about salvation. What they get immediately is confidence, assurance. Let me ask you, where did that assurance come from? The first time you got assurance, you don't even realize it. But now think back to your own experience. Most of the experiences are like this. When we get saved, immediately, we get assurance. I'm asking where did that assurance come from? You didn't know much about the Bible; you didn't know much. Then where did the assurance come from? It came from that simple gospel which you heard and believed and got saved through. The same gospel which saved you, you didn't even realize also gave you assurance in the beginning. That's where you got your assurance. For the first time you got assurance from what? The gospel. Everybody say, the gospel.

So, why is this important? When you lose your assurance, when you get your doubts now, where do you go? You go back first to the gospel. You go back to the same source which first, not only gave you salvation, but also gave you assurance. And you go back, you bring it back to mind, you think about the gospel, you meditate on the gospel, and my friend, you will again get assurance. The gospel has the power. The gospel is very powerful. The Bible says, Paul says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation.” The gospel has power to save. Now, let me ask you, does it not have the power to give you assurance that you are saved? Surely. Assurance is not greater than salvation. Salvation only is greater. The gospel has the power to give you salvation, it surely has the power to give you the assurance that you are saved.

So, what do you do? You go back to that gospel. Everybody say, go back. Believers think the gospel is not for them. No, but you go back. It's the same thing I said last week. I said it differently. I said, look at the cross. Remember? I said, if you have doubts, what is the solution? Look at the cross. It's the same thing. The cross is the center of the gospel message. So, when I say look at the cross, it's the same thing. It's like saying, look at the center of the gospel. Today, I'm putting it in a little broader term. And I say, look at the gospel, focus on the gospel, look at the cross. When you have doubts, don't look at yourself, look at the cross. And the more you look at the cross, the more your doubt goes away and the more you get assurance. See Jesus suffering and hanging on the cross. Meditate on that. See Him doing it all for you. Everybody say, for me. That's the key.

Whatever is causing you doubt, especially if it is sin, the cross will easily quickly solve it. If some sin in your life has now led you to doubt your salvation, and is disturbing you so much, what do you do? Look at the cross, look at the gospel. Center of the gospel is the cross and you say, “Jesus died for my sins. Even this sin. Even this sin.” And you see again, your sin being put on the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. He's bearing even this sin, all my sin He bore. That is the gospel. Well, some people say, “Brother, you don't know about my sin. My sin is very great.” Do you believe in the greatness of your sin? How do you believe in the greatness of the power of the blood of Jesus? What is greater? The blood of Jesus is able to cleanse us from all sin. All sin. No matter what it is. Remind yourself of the gospel, my friend. When you go back to the gospel, you get assurance. When you go back to the cross, you get assurance.

Second source. Where do you go when you have doubts about salvation? And by the way, these sources are not just for when you have doubts about salvation. Let me also say that. These are sources, especially source one and source two, you can go to if you have any doubt. In fact, I will say this, you can go to if you have any problem even. The gospel is the answer to all problems. That's why we believe. We say Jesus is the answer. What do we mean? What He did on the cross in His death and resurrection is the answer to all of man's problem. Whether the problem is sickness or financial or, I don't care what, the solution is the cross. So, it applies to anything that you're going through. Not just if you have doubts about salvation, but it applies to doubts about salvation as well. So, the number one source is the gospel.

I will elaborate more on the gospel, maybe next week, but today, I just want to introduce you quickly to certain sources. Source number two. Where do you go when doubts come about your salvation? Source number two is the promises of God. Everybody say, promises. The Bible has thousands of promises. People count and say 5,000 something or 6,000 something. Thousands of promises. And among those promises, are many, many promises about our salvation. They relate to various aspects about salvation. When you have doubts, what you do is you go to those promises and you look at them and you focus on them. The more you focus on them, the more your doubts will go away, and the more you will get assurance. Promises.

Let me give you an example. Acts chapter 10 verse 43. The first one is gospel. Second one is promises. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. Now, this Peter is preaching here to a Gentile crowd, because it's the first-time gospel is going to Gentiles. Peter is preaching. I want you to look at the kind of assurance he gives. We don't notice this but in the preaching of the gospel itself there is assurance. Look at that. He says, “Everyone who believes.” You see that word? “To Him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” What is Peter saying? Everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sin. Does that include you? Yes, it says everyone who believes in Him. Do you believe in Him? Then it includes you. Everybody say, everyone. Nobody is left out. Everyone who believes. Not everyone in the world but everyone who believes in Him receives what? Forgiveness of sins. You don't see any doubt there. You don't see any qualification, do you? You don't see everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness for most of the sins. Receives a blanket forgiveness of sins. You see assurance there, don't you? Everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.

So, what do you do? you take a verse like this, and you look at those words, and you meditate on those words. Everyone means me. I believe in Him. I receive forgiveness of sins. You go to this verse; it turns you to the gospel. They both are related. And I receive forgiveness of sins. Who's saying this? Not just Peter. Peter is preaching but look the way Peter is saying. He says, “I am not only saying it, all the prophets bear witness to this.” He's saying, “Not only me, man, all the prophets in the Old Testament say this only. That everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” So, Peter is saying, “The whole Bible is saying, everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

Now, let me ask you, there are doubts in our head, right? People, going through doubts, what happens? The doubts, they get crazy. All kinds of voices in the head, all kinds of arguments going on. When the doubts come, the mind works very amazingly, overloads working feverishly, overtime, very busy. Other times mind won't work well. When the doubts about salvation come, it works very well. The arguments are going back and forth in the head, all kinds of things. What do you do, my friend? Don’t just sit there and take that and hear all those voices in your head. Open your Bible and go to a verse like this and say, “The whole Bible says everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins. I receive forgiveness of sins, I stand on this promise, I don't believe in these doubts.” See what I mean? What are you going to believe? The 100 voices in your head or the one word of God, one promise of God? What is more believable? What is more trustworthy? The voices in your head or the voice of God in His Word? The promise of God? My friend, what do you think of the promise of God? How do you value it? How do you esteem it? The voices in your head are not so important. Look at the promises of God.

Next verse. While Peter is preaching this, this kind of thing Peter is preaching this time only, the Holy Spirit falls on the Gentiles. The next verse says, “While he was preaching these things, the Holy Spirit, the power of this kind of preaching, everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sin.” Peter is just preaching this and right in the middle, Holy Spirit falls on the Gentiles. My friend, this is a powerful word. You have to take words like these, promises like these, and put your faith in it. When the doubts come you go to the promises. Another example of a promise, John chapter 6 verse 47. This is Jesus speaking here. When the doubts come, you go to the promises. Here's an example. “Most assuredly, or truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” Jesus is speaking. What does He say? “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” Do you see any doubt there? He’s fully sure. Assurance. What does He do? He says, “If you believe in Me, you have eternal life. He who believes in Me, no matter who he is, he who believes in Me has eternal life.”

But the voices in your head say you don't have eternal life. The voices in your head say you don't deserve to get eternal life. The voices in your head say you lost that eternal life. No matter what it says, you don't just keep listening to that. Go to the word, take the promise and look at one simple line like this, my friend, and say, “Jesus said, ‘He who believes in Me’. I believe in Jesus; therefore, I have eternal life.” Do you believe in Jesus, my friend? I’m not saying, are you perfect? You may have 100 problems, 100 weaknesses, failures. Question is, do you believe in Jesus? If the answer is yes, then you have eternal life. That's His word. I'm ready to accept His Word more than any other 1,000 voices in somebody's head. If you say, “Yes, I believe in Jesus,” then on the basis of God's Word you have eternal life.” Well, if you say, “Well, I'm not sure, brother. I'm trying to believe as much as possible. As much as possible, I'm believing but I don't know if I'm believing enough.” That's okay. Don't worry. What do you do? You say to Jesus, “Jesus, I believe in You as much as possible. But I want to believe more. You help me to believe more.” You keep looking at Him and He will help you believe more, my friend. And you will get your eternal life even if you don't already have it.

See, last week, I said, you cannot go wrong by focusing on Jesus. Can you go wrong? No. You cannot go wrong. Even if you say, “I don't think I believe in Jesus, brother.” I say, look at Jesus. You keep looking at Him, the belief will come. He's like that. You keep looking at Him, He will cause faith to rise from within you. No matter who you are, what kind of situation, what kind of doubt, I say, forget about those voices in your head. Take this one word which Jesus has said, “He who believes in Me has eternal life.” And as if that is not enough, Jesus says, “Truly, truly I say to you.” He doesn't have to put that. He doesn't have to say, “Truly, I say to you.” Everything He says is true. But He adds two ‘truly’s’ why? It's almost like He's begging you. He’s saying, “Please believe what I'm saying. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has eternal life.” Is that enough? That one word is more powerful than the 1,000 doubts in a person's head. If they're willing to accept this word, my friend.

Go to the promises of God. When the doubts come, go to the gospel. Secondly, go to the promises. Everybody say, gospel, promises. You got to memorize this. Certain things you have to memorize. They’re writing it down. All of them, Our intermediates. Certain things you got to memorize. The biggest problems in life are not because of the problem itself, are because we don't know what to do when the problems come. When we don't know what to do... everybody goes through problems, all kinds of problems. But some people know how to deal with the problems when the problems arise. That's sometimes the difference between those who win and those who lose. We all go through problems, but the ones who win somehow know what to do when the problems come and how to manage them and how to go past them. You got to know before it comes. You got to prepare how to handle certain problems.

Even they tell us as children, memorize certain phone numbers. You want to call the police, memorize this number. It used to be 100. You want to call the fire department; you memorize another number. You want to call the ambulance, memorize another number. But I think the government saw nobody's memorizing, they don't know. When the problem comes, then only they’ll be going and searching for the number. So, now they’ve made it one number. Do you know what the number is? In India there is a one emergency number now. You don't have to know a separate number for police, separate number for fire and all that. It's one number. Do you know what it is? It's 1-1-2. Single emergency number. You can’t say you didn't learn anything today. 1-1-2 any emergency, that's a single number. You call that, they'll assist in any way: police, fire, ambulance, whatever. They're trying to get us to memorize it and know it beforehand so that we can help ourselves and help others.

I'm talking about something more important, my friend. For a believer the worst problem is doubt about salvation. Because He saved. The problem is doubt about the salvation. You memorize, what should you do when the doubts come? Go to the gospel. Everybody say, gospel. Second thing is, you go to the promises of God. Those two you memorize. Those two are the most important ones. But now let me introduce the third one, source number three. Our changed life or transformed life. The Bible relates our assurance and our life. It teaches something like this, if you are living a changed and transformed life, that itself will give you some kind of assurance that you are saved. When you see the changes and transformation in your own life, it gives you a sense of assurance, confidence. “Yes, I am saved.” Have you been surprised by your own self? Not in a bad way, in a good way. Sometimes we’re surprised by ourselves in a bad way. “I never thought I was so bad. I never thought I had that bad thought in my mind or something.” I'm talking about surprised by ourselves in a good way. Have you surprised yourself in a good way? Suddenly you realize, how did I become so good at this? Or, how did I become better in this? How did I leave all those sins, for example? I used to be doing those sins but now I don't find myself doing it and I don't even find myself going after it or even desiring it. How did I end up desiring these kinds of things? When everybody in the world wants to go do something else, how come I want to go and do the things that God wants in His word?

Have you seen changes in your life and are you surprised by that? Do you see that kind of transformation? Do you see yourself leaving sin more and more and doing righteousness more and more? Do you see yourself obeying God's commandments more and more? Do you see love for God growing more and more? Do you see changes in transformation? Do you see yourself more concerned about others than yourself? Do you see yourself doing good works, loving others, forgiving others? These kinds of changes, transformations. Before salvation a person is different, after salvation a person is different because God does something really on the inside. He does a heart surgery, gives us a new heart and a new spirit. Makes us a new creation on the inside. Fills us with new desires, new pursuits, new purposes. Do you see those kinds of things in your life? When you see that, that itself gives you a sense of assurance that you are saved.

A transformed life is a source. Let me show you that the Bible actually teaches this. 1 John 2:3. Last week, I said that the first epistle of John, the main subject of that book is assurance of salvation. John actually, through the entire book, he gives various tests for salvation. And he says, “If you pass this test, then you are saved. If you pass that test, then you are saved.” And he wants to give assurance. That's the actual goal of it. We’ll maybe spend more time later. But just look at one of those tests here. John says, And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. What does he mean? He’s saying, “We have come to know Him.” What does that mean? We have come to know Him means not we know Him, His name. No, no. We have come to know Him; means we’ve become believers. We’ve become His family. He's our Father, we are His children. If you look in verse 5, look at this. By this we may know that we are in Him. So, in Him, come to know Him, it's all the same. What he means to say is, we have received salvation, we are in Him, we have come to know Him but how do we know that we have come to know Him? How do we know that we are in Him? By this we know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commandments. He’s saying, if we keep His commandments. He doesn’t mean perfectly because before these two verses, before this only if you read, he says, “If any man has sin don't worry, confess the sin.” Few verses before this one he says that. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive. Then if you look at two verses before this, chapter 2 verse 1, he says, “I write these things to you that you don't sin. So that you won’t sin. But if you do sin, don't worry. We have an advocate Jesus Christ, the righteous. And He is the propitiation for our sins.”

So, he's not talking about, you don't have any sin, you’re living a perfect life, but he's talking about a life where your holiness grows, your obedience to God grows, there is real change and real transformation. He says, “If we keep His commandments.” When you look at your whole life, the whole tone of your life, is it one of obedience or disobedience? If you keep His commandments, by this we know we have come to know Him. Look at verse 4. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Verse 5, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this, we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. He’s saying, “You can't say I know God; you can’t say I'm saved, I'm a believer, but then no evidence of transformation in life. There's something wrong about that. A believer who has absolutely no evidence, there's something wrong. There's no match there. There is something seriously wrong. So, John says, “Keeping the commandments itself or doing what God says, pleasing God assures us that we are saved.”

So, the three sources we have looked at are what? First one is gospel. Second one is promises. Third one is a changed life or transformed life. Now, there are more sources. I'm only giving these three for today. I've left out certain important ones, because if I start talking about that, we’ll have to stay extra one hour. Just kidding. I won't talk about that today. That's for future but even these three sources, many people don't know that these sources are there. They don't know that when doubts come you can go to these sources. They don't even know these are sources of assurance. Like, they think gospel is only for the first time you believe in Jesus, after that you forget about gospel. They think of gospel like the door to the Christian life. You enter through the gospel after that you totally forget the gospel. No. The gospel is the door and the living room and everything.

Paul is writing to the Romans believers. First four chapters what is he talking about? Gospel. Paul is writing to Ephesians, believers, hat is he talking about first three chapters? Gospel. See, people don't know that the gospel is a source of assurance. People don't know. People know but sometimes they don't realize that the promises of God you can go to them when you have doubt, you take the promises of God and you focus on them. Today, just knowing this will help you deal with the doubts. You know now that when you have doubts, if you have doubts, you know where to go. You go to the gospel; you go to the promises of God. But one source, everybody knows, you know what that is? That's the third source. Transformed life, everybody knows. I didn't even have to say it. Everybody knew it already. Especially the people with doubts they know very well, transformed life. You know why? Because they're looking at that only. And in fact, that's where they're getting the doubts from. They’re looking at 1 John, this verse I read they know very well. “If we keep His commandments,” they look at their life, it doesn't appear like they're keeping the commandments.

The same source which is meant to give assurance actually ends up giving them doubt. Now, why I say this is, everybody generally, all the believers, even without teaching it, they know that one of the sources is transformed life and they look at that only and get doubts many times. See, it is biblical, that source is actually biblical. The Bible teaches that that is one of the tests for true salvation. If a person is truly saved, he should keep the commandments. That's what the Bible teaches. You cannot ignore that. But the problem happens when you're only looking at that source, when that is the only source you see. When you pretend like the only matter that really matters is whether there is change or transformation in life. When you forget that there are other sources, when you don't know there are other sources and only this is the only criteria, my friend, that's a little dangerous. That'll end up giving you doubts. That is why purposely I put it as number three. It is not number one, it is number three. Number one is what? The gospel. It is there. It is one of the sources, but it's not number one. I'm not trying to say our transformation is not important. No, it is important. That's why I put it as one of the sources. But it's not more important than the gospel. It's not more important than the promises of God. We have to put number one as number one. You have to give the due credit to whoever deserves it, and the gospel deserves that place, number one. The promises of God deserve that place. In fact, number three, I would put something else but I didn't want to bring it in today. Something about the Holy Spirit but I’ll bring it in later.

Our life, our transformation, our good works, our obedience have to come down the list. What God has done for us is more important than what we do for Him. It is important, but it's not more important than what He has done. It is one criterion, but it is only one source. Listen to me, it is one source. Why do I say this? People don't know. People think that's the only source and they end up getting doubts. No, my friend. Go to the gospel, go to these promises. So, you know there are three sources today. You also need to know how they operate. Not enough to know what they are, you need to know how they operate practically and how you should use them practically because there is a slight complication in this. These sources don't function in the exact same way. There is a slight difference.

Why do I say that? Let me explain that. The first two sources, the gospel of Jesus Christ and the promises of God, they are what you can call as assurance producing sources. Or assurance increasing sources. Now, the third one, changed life, transformed life, is not an assurance producing source or an assurance increasing source, it is rather an assurance confirming source. There's a difference. Let me explain that with an example. Pick a car or a motorcycle. There is something in the car which increases the speed. What is that? Accelerator? You press that, the car goes faster. That is a speed increasing source. But there is something else in the car that confirms the speed or tells you what speed you are going in. What is that? It’s the speedometer? Speedometer is what is always before your eyes. So, you look there, you can see it. Suppose the needle is showing very less, car is going very slow. What do you do? You press the accelerator. What you don't do is, stretch out your hand and try to move the speedometer. That's not going to increase speed. That only shows you what speed you're going in. It cannot increase the speed. The accelerator increases the speed.

Now, you laughed for that, it sounded ridiculous. But that's exactly what people do when they don't have assurance. They look at their life, they don't see enough transformation, they don't see enough change, what do they do? They try to go and meddle with that. Either they're lamenting over the fact that there is not enough change and transformation in their life. Just wailing, “Oh God.” That’s like looking at the speedometer and just lamenting, “Oh, so slow, it's going.” Or, they're not lamenting, they're trying to work on that, focus on that. They're trying to say, “Okay, with great grit and determination from now on, I'm going to make sure I don't commit that sin anymore. I'm going to make sure I improve. I'm going to make sure I bring some transformation into my life. They're either lamenting the lack of transformation or they're saying I’m going to, with all my strength and power bring more transformation. But the point is, they’re focusing on that. But that is only a confirming source. They need to put the weight on the accelerator. The accelerator is what? The gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross. The more focus and weight you put on that the speed will increase. The speed of your spiritual life itself will increase. Your assurance will increase and the transformation also will increase. The wonder of these first two sources, gospel and promises, it's so amazing because when you put your focus on that what it ends up doing is, it improves your life in every area. It ends up giving you more assurance and it transforms you more. If you just focus on, “Oh, my life is not transformed. How do I somehow try and transform more and more?” The transformation also won’t increase. Assurance surely will not increase.

Another example so that we can understand this clearly. We have a tree; we have fruit on the tree. The fruit on the tree is a very good indicator of the tree’s health. You can look at the fruit and quickly know whether the tree is healthy or not. Now, let us say you look at the fruit and it's not very healthy. Now, what do you do? What you don't do is try to meddle with the fruit. You don't just say, let me just paint this up, make it look nice.” No. Once you know the fruit is not good, you forget about that and you go to somewhere else. Maybe you go to the root, maybe you pay attention to other things so that the general health of the tree can improve and the fruit also can improve. What you don't do is you don’t focus on the fruit. But you see, why they don't have assurance? Because they don't see enough fruit in their life. Jesus Himself said, “You shall know them by their fruits.” He’s talking about distinguishing between false prophets and true prophets. You shall know them by their fruits.

Now, that's a little extreme but this principle applies. You look at your life and you don't see enough fruit or you don't see enough good quality fruit. What do you do? You don't meddle with the fruit; you don't focus too much on the fruit. You leave that as it is, and you come to something else, the root from where all our solution comes from. What is the root for us? It is the cross. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the promises of God. That is the thing that can bring true change and transformation and progress in life. The Christian approach to problem is very different from the world's approach. The world's approach is, “Oh, you're not good at this. Focus on this and improve it.” The Christian approach, “You're not good at this, focus on the cross and improve everything.” You know what I mean? Worldly ways are different, my friend.

Another example. Let's say you know something's not right and you go to the doctor. And the doctor says, “Take this test,” and you take the test and the result comes. Now, the result will show whatever is there. That's the nature of the test result. It shows whatever is there. It doesn't hide anything. You see the test result, oh, boy, it's not good. So, what do you do now? What you don't do is, you don't keep on looking at the test result, that's not going to change anything. What do you do? You will put this aside, and you go to the prescription. The doctor has given you a prescription. There is a difference between a test result and a prescription. The test result simply says it's not as it should be. But the prescription says, you do this and it will get better. And the doctor writes the medicine or some solution to the problem that you take it and stick it somewhere on the fridge or somewhere where you can see it every day, make sure you follow it. You don't put the test result on the fridge. Do you do that? No, in fact, we take the test result and go and hide it some corner and push it away. The prescription must be before our eyes.

It's the same thing spiritually. When you look at your life, that's like a test. You see the result. If it's good, it will say good, if it's bad it'll say bad. Whatever the result is, even if it's bad, you see it’s bad, fine. First, it's very upsetting. First, you're sad about it. Okay, all that is there. But you put it away. When you see that there is not enough transformation in your life, if there is sin, if there is something else, not enough peace, not enough joy, not enough this, not enough that, whatever is bringing you the doubts, if you can see it, maybe you are upset over it, you're sad over it, you get a little depressed over it, whatever it is, okay, after that, put it away. Now, what do you do? Go to the prescription. The medicine which will cure it is what, my friend? It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it is the promises of God. In Christianity, the gospel is the cure all for everything. What Jesus did in the cross of Calvary, in His death and resurrection, is the cure for every problem that you have, my friend. Go to that, put that before your eyes, see that every day. And the more you see that, assurance will come, transformation also will come. And after some time, if you go and take the test again, you will find that the result is better. But the problem with people is we don't like to wait. We take the test again and again.

I’ll give you another example for that. You have a weighing machine. Why do we have the weighing machine? So that we can just stand on it and quickly tell. As soon as you look down you know, “Oh boy. It's not as it should be.” What do you do? You get down. You’re a little shocked, “I didn't realize I put on so much weight.” Then what do you do? Have you noticed yourself doing this? I've done this. Pulling your stomach a little bit, hoping this time if you do something else, stand a little differently, now it is going to show significantly lesser. You check your weight again, it’s still pretty much the same. You're upset over it. Okay. But that's not the solution. What is the solution? You put the weighing machine aside. The solution is what? Something else. You got to go on a diet, maybe cut down all those sugars and go through some exercise, and then come back after many days and then see the weight. But you know what some people do? They check the weight in the morning again, they go and check the weight in the evening. Again, next day they check the weight. They get more and more upset. “It's not going down. How is it going to go down, my friend?” You should not be paying so much attention, you should not be taking those tests so frequently.

The world will say introspection is a good thing. Too much introspection is not a good thing according to the Bible. According to the Scriptures, God's way is different, my friend. Introspection is not the answer. Focusing on Jesus is the answer. Focusing on the gospel, focusing on the promises of God is the answer. Don’t keep taking those tests so often. Destroying whatever little assurance you have also. Okay, you saw the situation is bad. Now, go to the solution, pay attention to it. Put more time to that. Give more effort to that. To what? To the gospel. Everybody say, gospel and promises. Those are the assurance producing sources, the assurance accelerating sources. Your life is only assurance confirming. If it's good, it will say good, if it's bad, it will say bad. It's meant to show what there is.

Now, I'll talk more in detail later on. Sometimes problem is, when you see the life you only assess it negatively because the devil hides all the positive stuff. Most people who have doubts, they'll assess themselves and say, “I have nothing positive.” But actually, they are wrong many times. You sit down with them and assess them and that's why you should not only assess yourself, you should let others also sometimes assess you. But that's for a different time. We'll go into that later. Today, what have we learned? When you have doubts, go to the assurance producing sources: the gospel and the promises of God. Everybody say, gospel, promises. When you go there, my friend, guaranteed it will drive your assurance, it will accelerate your assurance. And after some time, you will see change and transformation as well in your life, but you have to give it some time.

So, no matter what situation you're in, no matter how you have assessed your own life, I don't know, don't despair. Don't think, “There is no hope for me.” My friend, there is hope for you, no matter who you are. Look to Jesus, look to the gospel, look to the cross. The cross will not only forgive you; it will transform you. It will deliver you from the power of that sin. Whatever it is, no matter who you are, there is hope for you. Don't let the devil just push you down with the doubts in your head. Preach the gospel to him. Talk and say, “Come on devil, let me preach the gospel to you.” He says, “You're not worthy.” What does he say? He says, “You are not worthy. How dare you even go to God? You're not worthy.” What do you say? “Well, I'm not worthy, devil, but do you know what the gospel says? All are not worthy. That's where the gospel begins. Nobody is worthy.” If you see like that, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one. Romans 3.

We’ll look at this in more detail. That’s how the gospel starts. It starts by giving the bad news. Bad news is, nobody can make it on their own. Good news is, that's why Jesus came so that everybody who believes in Him will make it because of Jesus. Do some preaching to the devil. By the time you start, he’ll run away. And preach to yourself. And by the time you’re through, assurance would have gone up. Devil says, “You're not worthy. With what qualification can you go before God?” Gospel says what? I am righteous. In fact, I am the righteousness of God. God has justified me. That's what the gospel says. You read Romans first four chapters; we’ll be looking at it maybe next week. But what does the gospel say? The Gospel says, God has made you righteous or God counts you as righteous. That's the better way to understand it. How does he count you righteous? Not because you did righteousness. No. Because Christ lived a perfectly righteous life. And when you believe on Jesus, a great exchange takes place, a glorious exchange. My sin goes to Jesus and His righteousness comes to me.

That's what happened on the cross. on the cross, a great exchange took place. My sin was placed on Jesus so that His righteousness will cover me from head to toe. When God looks at me today, you know the only reason He accepts you and me is not because of the good things we did? It's because of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. We forget the gospel, that's the problem. That's why next week we’ll look more detail. What I'm saying is, the more you put your eyes and focus on the gospel, when the devil says, “You are not worthy. You don't qualify to go before God. God will never accept you in His presence.” You say, “I am clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Based on that, God will accept me.”

Now, what I'm talking about is something you do after repenting and after feeling sorry for your sin, and after crying and after all that. I'm not saying don't do all that. All that is good. Repent, feel sorry for your sin. That shows that you're really God's child. Only true believers will feel a deep sorrow for their sin, that they've offended God. That itself shows that you're probably a true believer. Unbelievers don't feel truly sorry for their sin. They may feel sorry because of the consequences but they don't feel sorry for the sin itself. But believers feel sorry, because they have offended their God. They're loving, merciful, kind, gracious God. That itself shows. So, feel sorry, shed those tears if you want, repent, do whatever, but that's not the end of it, my friend. Then look to the gospel. Just feeling sorry for your sin and repenting is not going to bring you out of it and give you assurance nor bring you transformation. It is when you take the medicine.

Not enough to feel sorry, “Oh, I ate too much. I ruined my life so far.” Now, you got to go and do the exercise. Now, you got to do the diet. You got to take the solution, the medicine, the gospel. You got to go to the promises of God. Let me take you to a promise. I’m just trying to help you to practically apply it. But let's go to John chapter 6. One promise from Scripture, and then we'll close today. Today, I'm just trying to emphasize these two sources, gospel and promises. And we'll deal with this in more detail later. We will deal with every source in more detail. John chapter 6 verse 37. Now, this is how you practically use it. You look at your life, the quick way to assess it is the speedometer. Quickly you look you know what is the situation. Is it good, bad? If it’s bad, well, what do you do? Immediately go to the promise. Find a promise. Find a good promise. Later on, I'll give you more promises. But simple way to find it is, Google the word assurance promises, you’ll find it. Assurance promises or assurance Bible verses.

But here is one, John 6:37. Jesus is speaking here and He says, All that the Father gives Me will come to Me. He's talking about people coming to Him for salvation. Okay. All that the Father gives me will come to me. He's referring to people. And then look, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. This one statement of Jesus has given me assurance so many times. “The one who comes to Me, I will never cast out.” Because the devil is saying, “Now, He won’t accept you. Now, you’re done. Finished. He accepted you 50 times before. This now He's not going to accept you. Now you're through. That's it. Get lost.” But Jesus says, “Him that cometh to Me, I will in no way cast out. Never cast out. Never.” Everybody say, never. That word means so much to me. I hope it means something to you.

If you are having doubts, wondering whether Jesus will accept you, whether God will accept you, my friend, Jesus is looking at you and saying, “Him that comes to Me, no matter who he is, I will never cast out. I will never reject.” And it's not just a simple rejection. That word cast out here is the same word used sometimes for casting into hell. Okay. And so, I think probably the emphasis more is, not only is Jesus saying, “I won’t reject,” but He's saying, “I will not reject them. I will not throw them in hell. I will never allow them to go to hell.” Look at the next verse. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. Verse 39. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing. And I will raise him up at the last day.

Three things He's saying, “If you come to Me, I will never cast out. Once you come, I will not lose you.” You see that? “Of all whom the Father has given, I will not lose nothing.” Nothing means no one. That is the real meaning. I will lose no one. If you come to Jesus, Jesus won't reject you, He’ll accept you. And once you’ve come, He will not lose you. And then the third thing is what? “I will raise him up at the last day.” That means what? He’s saying, “Once you come to Me, I won't lose you. I'll keep you safe until the last day when I raise you up from the dead.” What He's doing is, He’s securing our salvation from beginning to end. He’s saying, “Nothing can go wrong. Don't worry.” He's guaranteeing salvation from beginning to end.” And He's saying, “If you come to Me, don't worry, I'll never cast you out. I'll never reject you. And once you come, I will not lose you. And I'll keep you all the way to the end and I'll raise you up at that last day.”

Verse 40. Threefold assurance, isn't it? You come to Him, you're safe in Him, you're safe till the end. Verse 40. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. Again, He's emphasizing the beginning and the end of salvation. “Everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise Him up at the last day.” He's talking about when you first get saved, and then all the way to the end. I want you to look at this last thing that He says. This is the will of Him who sent Me. What is the will of Him who sent Me? This whole thing is the will, not of Jesus, but, of the Father. He says that again. Previously, He already said it in verse 37. “All that the Father gives Me.” Verse 38, “I have come down from heaven not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent Me.” Again, third time in 40, He says, “This is the will of Him who sent Me.” What He's trying to say is, this whole thing is the Father's idea.

Some people have doubts. You know why? Because they trust in Jesus. But they're a little skeptical about this Father. They’re saying, “Jesus, He died for me, He gave up everything for me. This Father, oh, I don’t know what He will do in the end. Everything might be ruined because of Him.” People have thoughts like this because some of you see Jesus and Father as people of different character. Those are heresies in the early church based on this. Marcin who said, “The Old Testament God doesn't match the New Testament God. We should cut out the Old Testament portions and throw it out,” he said. There are people who have that kind of problematic thought in their head. They trust Jesus but they don't trust the Father. You know what Jesus is saying here, you coming to Him and believing in Him and Him not rejecting you. And then Him not losing you. And then Him keeping you safe till that last day and raising you up on the last day whose idea is all this? It’s not Jesus’ idea. It is the Father's idea. Jesus’ saying, “It's not even My idea, man. I didn't come up with it. The Father came up with it. He planned it. He willed it. He purposed it and I'm carrying out His plan.” That should give you more assurance.

Jesus is saying, “Don't worry. If you come, I'll never reject you. And if you come and once you're in, I’ll never lose you. And I will raise you up on the last day. And guess whose idea this was all? From the very beginning, it was the Father's idea. The Father loves you and cares for you.” You don't have to worry about your salvation. Receive that assurance, my friend. See, the more you look at the promises of God, you get the assurance. But for this, you got to stop looking at yourself, stop looking at your weaknesses, stop looking at, “But I have this, but this happened to me.” When people have doubts about salvation, you will notice they'll always talk about me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. “But I didn't do this. But I did this. But I have this.” No wonder they don't have assurance.

Robert Murray McCheyne, he said, “For every time you look at yourself, look at Christ 10 times. No problem you'll have.” Boy, if we ever did that, we’ll be somewhere else. For every time you look at yourself, look at Christ 10 times. Amazing man he was. My friend, don't look at yourself and lose your assurance. Look at Christ and gain your assurance. Increasing your assurance. Look at the gospel, look at the promises of God. This is the way God has for us. And it's easy. In some ways, it is easy. I trust that you will put this into practice in your life. And if you don't have doubts today, it may come in handy tomorrow. If it doesn't come handy for you, it will come handy for someone else. You can advise other people; you can help other people struggling with these kinds of doubts. Not only that, these are the same things you do when you have doubts of any kind.

Let me say that and close. Whatever your doubt is, don't take the doubt lightly. The doubt is the thing which stops us from progressing in life, you see. Some people today are facing very terrible circumstances and they're hearing voices in their heads that goes something like this, “If God is with you, how did all this happen? If God's word is true, then why did all this happen? If God loves you, then what about all this?” Voice after voice after voice. You hear it and hear it. Don't just keep quiet, my friend. No. Go to the gospel and look at Jesus on the cross and assure yourself, “No, God is for me. If God be for me, who can be against me. If He delivered up His own son for us all, will He not also freely with Him give us all things. Look at the gospel, go to the promises of God and say, “No. No matter what this voice says, I will believe that God is with me. And God said He will never leave me nor forsake me. Therefore, I will say, the Lord is my helper, I will not fear. What can man do unto me?”

See, you got to talk. When the thoughts run in your head, this has to open up. Your mouth has to open up. One word from your mouth is more powerful than many thoughts in your head. You open your mouth, you speak the word of God, these thoughts will go. Sometimes they won't go immediately, but they will go. God has given our mouth power. We know this, you know this, you’ve heard this teaching. Words of your mouth have power. And when you put God's word in your mouth, and you open it and say God's word, what happens? These doubts go away. My friend, don't take those doubts lightly. Deal with the doubt. Wage warfare with the doubts in your mind. No matter what doubts those are, how do you wage warfare? Go to the gospel and go to the promises of God. Once those doubts go, faith rises and the next thing is victory.

This is the order, my friend. This is the way God blesses us, prospers us. This is the way He wants us to progress in life. This is God's way. His ways are higher than our ways. We are thinking the biggest problem is my problem. But God says, “The biggest problem is not the problem outside, it's the problem inside our mind.” The mind is the battlefield. Thoughts and arguments and all kinds of things going there. Open your mouth and speak the word of God and bring it into control. Stand in faith with patience until you see the victory. Let's all stand up.

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