So, tonight my family and I went to see the movie “Left Behind.” (For the record I must say that this movie is, in my opinion, a THEOLOGICAL NIGHTMARE. Whatever you do, please don’t base your eschatological beliefs, or who you think God is or how He operates on what you see on a movie screen or in a fictional novel, or even in what you hear people say. Go to the Word of God to find the Truth. I believe there are well meaning people with great talents and imaginations who produce some impressive entertainment in hopes of furthering the Kingdom of God who unfortunately often miss the mark theologically. It may be great entertainment, but it is not good doctrine.) I am certainly not saying that I am always 100% theologically accurate, or that my opinions should be the standard for what is correct. God is continually teaching me and correcting me through His Word what is true and what is not, and now more than ever I hope I am learning that no matter how inconvenient it may be for my belief system, Truth trumps tradition.
When it comes to the order of events, timing, theories of a rapture that is separate from the second coming of Christ, the tribulation and millennium, the most reputable Bible scholars all disagree. No one can really say definitively exactly what is going to happen, exactly how it is going to happen, or exactly when things are going to happen. Many people waste a great amount of time and energy trying to figure all of these things out in great detail and never really do anything that is profitable for the kingdom of God now. Some things God clearly does not intend for us to fully know or He would have given us enough details for them to be unquestionable. He has, however promised us that in His Word He has given us everything necessary for life and godliness. (2Peter 1:3)
Having said that, on the way home from the movie and for quite some time sitting in the car in our driveway we had the most amazing conversation about a number of topics which arose as a result of what we had seen on the screen. For one thing my children brought up some very tough questions about the “age of accountability.” Questions like “Is it a physical age?” (like 12) or a spiritual age determined individually based on maturity? Where is it taught in the Bible (great question!)? Aren’t all people sinners from birth? Are babies and children exempt from being accountable for sins committed out of ignorance? If so, why are adults not exempt in the same way? These were all so very probing, genuine, and thought provoking, and I was pleasantly surprised at their thinking about this on such deep levels.
But, the subject that captivated me most was about salvation and doubt. My 16 year old asked “why would Satan want me to doubt my salvation? Wouldn’t he be better off trying to convince unsaved people that they are saved? After all Jesus did say that many would come in that day and say “Lord, Lord, did we not cast out demons in your name and do many wonderful works in your name, and the Father will say to them “Depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:21-22) Wouldn’t Satan be better off tempting me to doubt the very existence of God rather than causing me to doubt my salvation? If I doubt my salvation the natural outcome of that is going to be that I will examine myself more closely and cry out to God to make it right in me. Isn’t that quite the opposite of what the enemy of our souls desires? Hmmmm. These too are some great questions!
So, just out of curiosity I want to know what you think, and why. Let’s try to answer these questions:
1. Why would the Devil want you to doubt your salvation? (I already know what the most common answer for this one will be, and I don’t necessarily disagree with it.)
2. Do you think Satan would want to give people false assurance, to convince unsaved people that they are saved? Why?
3. Doesn’t it stand to reason that if Satan were going to tempt a believer with doubt that he would be better off tempting him to doubt the very existence of God, than to cause him to doubt his own salvation?
4. What should a person do if they find themselves doubting their salvation?
5. What should a person do who finds themselves tempted to doubt the existence of God or the truth of the Gospel?
6. What is the best way to gain assurance that you are genuinely saved ?
I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this stuff! Don’t be afraid to think about it. This is some pretty important stuff!
Ronnie Bevill on Moving Targets-How “good… Ronnie Bevill on Why I am opposed to alcohol sa… brotodd on Your Temptations and the Faith… Randy Winniford on Your Temptations and the Faith… Brian on The Game of the Season