Forest Park Church
Scheme #1 Dangerous Doubt
September 5, 2021

Scheme #1 Dangerous Doubt

September 5, 2021

Paul wrote to the troubled Church in Corinth and encouraged them in the following statement.

2 Corinthians 2:9-11

Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Paul realized, as many have over the generations, that Satan works with tireless energy to promote his schemes

  • Much of God’s purpose in scripture is to reveal these schemes and provide us with tools to combat them.

Over and over, Satan has drawn his bow and shot this arrow of doubt into the human heart.

  • He succeeded in stirring up enough unbelief in the children of Israel that they had to mill around in the wilderness for 40 years within a short distance from the Promised Land.

  • The Old Testament stories are filled with doubters, including some of the most famous.

  • Adam doubted that God meant what He said about the forbidden fruit.

  • Sarah laughed at God’s promise of a child in her old age.

  • Patriarchs and prophets, alike, had their moments of doubt. 

When Jesus spoke God’s words, most who heard Him doubted them, even when they saw the miracles.

  • Throughout the record of the Acts of the Apostles, some believed their preaching, others doubted and strove to silence the messengers.

  • Paul was hounded from city to city by the doubters.

Satan wants us to:

I.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

Genesis 3:1

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

Notice what Satan does here

  1. Did God actually say,

  2. You will not surely die.

Satan wants us to:

II.

Genesis 3:5

For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Satan bombards each of us by whispering lies like:

  • God is trying to hold out on you …

  • He is robbing you of some good times …

  • He is out of touch with your needs …

  • He missed that disaster you just went through …

  • He messed up on how He made you …

  • God means well, but since He doesn’t quite have everything under control, that makes Him not good.

  •  

At such times, watch out because Satan acts like a prowling lion (1 Peter 5:8), and you must not give the devil a place to land in your life (Ephesians 4:27).

Satan wants us to:

III.

There’s a big difference between actually doubting God’s existence and choosing to disbelieve God’s existence because you don’t like God.

Just as many people actually do believe in Christianity because they like the idea of this God in the Bible, there are many people who choose to not believe in God because they don’t like him.

  • Liking God, however, is a different topic than believing in his existence or not.

  • You can’t be a Christian if you don’t like and love God.

  • But if your problem is doubting God’s existence you must make sure your personal feelings towards God as a person are not infecting your rational mind.

IV.

When we say with our mouth there is a God but then choose to live like he doesn’t exist.

This is the thing that doesn’t make any sense and causes more damage than ever in the Church.

V.

Every believer has questions and doubts from time to time.

  • Trust in God has to be built and continue growing throughout your life.

  • If you handle your doubts in a healthy way, many times they can be the catalyst that helps you grow spiritually.

There are a few effective tools you should use to help you overcome doubt in your relationship with God.

1.

Everyone has faith. the question is, in what?

Look for Answers in Faith. Don’t Just Look for Questions in Doubt 

Regardless of what atheists or agnostics might infer, all humans have faith because we all believe certain things that we cannot prove.

  • That’s what faith is. Faith is not a belief without evidence.

  • Faith is believing something you can’t prove.

  • Hebrews 11:1 explains, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

  • I didn’t see the Civil War happen, but I have faith that it happened because there is reliable historical evidence that supports the belief that it did occur.

 

Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

2.

Narrow down the actual question you have and then look for assistance with that answer.

If you just have vague doubts you won’t be able to receive specific answers.

  • Once you have identified the actual question fueling your doubt, research that question from a Christian perspective.

  • It is very helpful to seek the assistance of good Bible teachers, apologists, Christian scientists, and other specialists that relate to your question.

  • The resources are out there and there are some truly brilliant people who have been working on the same problems as you have.

3.

When you really want to cut right to the crux of the issue, you will find yourself at the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If Jesus was not raised form the dead by the power of God,

  • Then the all the Old Testament stories, all the miracles of Jesus, and all the truths in the Bible will be a lot less likely to be true.

  • However, if Jesus really was raised from the dead, then all the miraculous stories and spiritual truths in the Scriptures really don’t seem that unrealistic.

  • In fact, they seem very natural

    1 Corinthians 15:3-8 states the following about the importance of the cross and resurrection:

    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”

    4.

    Conclusion:

    Help me overcome my unbelief (Mark 9:21–24)

    Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

    “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

    “If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

    Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

    This father’s expression of faith is one of the most honest and meaningful statements about doubt in the entire New Testament.

    • Faith and doubt aren’t opposing positions on the same light switch.

    • They’re often conditions that exist side by side.

     

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