Summary: It is biblical obedience to examine ourselves, concerning our faith, however, when the examination is over, we need to be perfectly settled in the matter of faith. We need to be at peace about the matter of our salvation, for several reasons: 1. Our ow
It is biblical obedience to examine ourselves, concerning our faith, however, when the examination is over, we need to be perfectly settled in the matter of faith. We need to be at peace about the matter of our salvation, for several reasons:
1. Our own emotional well-being.
2. Our productivity in bearing Christian fruit.
3. Our worship.
The Reality Of Doubt
Most people have times that they deal with some doubts. Even John the Baptist, one whom the Bible portrays as the long promised forerunner of the Messiah, the one who got the attention of the multitudes with his powerful message, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; make straight the way of the Lord.”
Remember, it was John the Baptist who was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb. That’s not true of anybody else in the history of the world. This was not even the case with Jesus.
John the Baptist prepared 30 years for a ministry that would last six months. When he spoke of Jesus, he said, “There is One coming who is mightier than I, One whose shoes I’m not worthy to untie, and He must increase, and I must decrease.”
It was John the Baptist, who was baptizing people in the Jordon River, and he looked up and saw Jesus coming, and he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world!”
And, it was John who baptized the Lord Jesus, then he visibly witnessed the Holy Spirit descending on the Messiah in the form of a dove.
At this point in John’s life and ministry, he had zero doubt. He was as certain that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, as he was of his own identity.
But then, after being thrown into prison for doing nothing more than bodly proclaiming the truth of God, and after having to sit there, for what some estimate to be up to two years, just looking at those old dungeon walls, with seemingly no opportunity to do what he knew he was called to do, doubt crept into his thinking. One thing this says is that anybody can have doubts.
The Response To Doubt
I don’t want to gloss this over. Doubt is unbelief. On the other hand, I want to encourage you, if doubt creeps into you thinking, respond to it in the right way.
John could have very easily said to himself, “If Jesus was really the one, and if God really loved me, people wouldn’t be treating me the way they are treating me, I’ll just give up on the whole business.”
Every one of us know people who have done just that. I can think of a half dozen preachers without even thinking hard, who have done just that.
John couldn’t go himself, so he sent two of his disciples to Jesus.
Jesus has the answer to every problem of life. Not only does He have the answer, He is the answer! John did the right thing, when he put the matter before the Lord.
The Remedy For Doubt
It is very interesting the way Jesus handled this. He didn’t do what one might expect. You’d think He would’ve said, “Go back and tell John not to worry. Tell him to remember all the things that he’s experienced. Tell him everything is okay.
But, what he said is in verses 4-6: “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: the blind see and the lame walk, the leapers are cleansed and the deaf hear. The dead are reaised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And, blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
Just as a little side note, why did Jesus say, “The poor have the gospel preached to them?” Why didn’t He say, “The poor have food and clothing given to them?” The answer is that when people hear the gospel and trust the Lord with their life and the material things that they presently have, their standard of living shoots straight up.
Now, back to what Jesus told John’s disciples. He had some very complimentary things to say about John, but He didn’t say them until John’s disciples had gone. It seems like if John had heard those those things from Jesus, it would have been very comforting to him. Why didn’t Jesus send that word to John?
Look at Isaiah 35:5-6. This is a passage that speaks of how things will be when the Messiah comes. Jesus knew that John would know this Scripture. These verses say, “Then, the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing...”