23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
The Lord tells us that there will be many who will stand before him and say…
“Lord, Lord…” These are people who honestly believed they were saved from the punishment of their sins; but in fact, that condemnation remained. Why would they be so deceived? Why would they be so sure of something that is not true? What would convince them of such a lie?
Could it be because we as Christians are so anxious to give them that assurance? Although the bible warns us to “work out YOUR OWN salvation with fear and trembling”, to “make YOUR calling and election sure”, and to “examine YOURSELVES, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves”; for some reason, we want to do it for them, and offer them our own assurances instead.
Why does God tell us to examine ourselves? Because when HE assures us that we are truly saved, WE will know it, and no one will be able to convince us otherwise.
Any time someone questions their salvation, instead of allowing the Holy Spirit of God to convict them or show them their true state we rush to offer them something to push that doubt aside. We offer them a reminder of the prayer they said, or the commitment they felt, or even belief in the facts of salvation; but did we ever stop to think that these doubts were from God, to warn them of deception? Maybe he WANTS them to question and turn to Him for the answer. After all, only HE knows their hearts.
If they are not saved, then every time we assure them, we may be leading them further from salvation. The more often a lie is repeated, the more it is believed. Practice makes permanent.
Think about it… How many times do we ask a child or adult to signify by the raised hand, or other means, that they are saved? Every time we do this, we are re-enforcing the lie to those who are not truly saved. This doesn't even take into account the obvious element of peer pressure which inevitably effects their decision as well.
Why are we so concerned with offering assurances of salvation, to others? Is it really for them, or for us? What if we are the reason that someone stands before the Lord and hears, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Luke 17:1 "Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!"