Why So Many Doubts and Fears?
To include these last pages may seem strange, but at the very heart of our concern is the simple salvation message, for without that saving gospel, all is futile. If we miss heaven, we’ve missed it all. We hear of those who live many years in the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, without being born again. We ourselves are guilty of not making the message clear enough to our own children, merely assuming they were being taught it. This is dedicated to all who may have missed that all-important message:
We often hear testimonies of doubts and fears. Is it possible that you tremble in your soul because deep down you really don’t have peace with God? Could it be that you have made confessions, given your all, stood up at revivals, re-consecrated your life to God, promised to love the Church and her doctrines—and didn’t know salvation comes by none of those things?
The Bible says we are saved by one thing only: believing that Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, lived without sin and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, which gift we receive by faith. We deserved eternal death and were unable to save ourselves. No amount of good works, confession, surrendering, or consistent living can save us 1 for the Bible says our own righteousnesses are as filthy rags. 2
But God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.3 This Jesus, who was fully God, took upon himself the flesh of man 4and was born of a virgin without a human father. As a sinless human, only He was qualified to bear the penalty of mankind’s sin. He bore our sins in His body 5 so that we might receive His righteousness. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. By His stripes we are made whole!6
We could do nothing— Jesus paid it all!
When we see our works as filthy rags, when we realize we can never earn salvation by any of our actions, then we fully recognize our lost and helpless condition. We believe Christ paid our debt on the cross. We believe He rose again, showing that God was satisfied with His sacrifice in our stead. We believe salvation is a free gift obtainable only by grace through faith.7
Oh, how we repent! (change the mind and go in the opposite direction). No longer are we refusing God’s grace, no longer are we trying to reach God with our own works. We repent of those useless, dead works 8and we repent of our sins. We turn to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all our heart. He forgives our sins, and we receive the free gift of salvation. We are truly born again.
Dear brother or sister, if your experience of conversion was just surrendering all to God, you have reason to doubt and fear, for you can’t be born again that way. If your conversion was just a giving up and later making confessions, you have missed the true gospel message. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through believing and receiving His sacrifice on the cross9 We don’t give Him something—we must receive His free gift
Surrendering all, making apologies, living a changed and consistent life are all fruits a true Christian will do after he has been born again. But those things are NOT the way to become born again or find peace with God.
The Bible tells us what the gospel is: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. 10Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. 11 Only through faith in His work at Calvary can we receive the new birth and find peace and assurance of salvation.
1 Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us (Titus 3;5).
2 All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags(Isa. 64:6).
3 For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life(John 3:16).
4 Christ...which was made of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh (Rom. 1:3,4)
5 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).
6 But he was wounded for our transgression, he was bruised for our iniquities...with his stripes we are healed(Isa. 53:5).
7 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast(Eph. 2:8,9).
8 Repentance from dead works(Heb. 6:1).
9 Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me(John 14:6).
10 I declare unto you the gospel...that Christ died for our sins...and that he was buried, and that he rose again(I Cor. 15:1-4)
11 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31)
Love letter to the Holdemans:
Whether it be of God and No Proselytes in Zion--a Re-examination: (this is the original pamphlet sent to 2,000 members of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite)
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