Counseling Seminar: Assurance of Salvation, May 6th (9 am – Noon)
Doubt comes to all Christians at some point in their journey. It is a universal experience of living as a follower of Jesus in this fallen world. In fact doubt as a lack of assurance of salvation is often a symptom of many other problems that people face. It can come upon us as a result of life-dominating sin, anxiety, depression, and even suffering. The causes of doubting our salvation are as many as the experiences of it, and yet what is most important is what we do with our doubt. How we respond to doubting can lead us deeper into relationship with God or further away from Him. For that reason Cornerstone Counseling Ministry is hosting a seminar on Assurance of Salvation. This seminar will emphasize both the universality of doubting and the hope of assurance.
That we all doubt at various times is true, but very few of us discuss it. Because of the lack of conversation about our doubts often those who are plagued with chronic lack of assurance feel particularly isolated. They worry that if they express all their doubts they will be judged, they will be condemned, they will be told that they are in fact not Christians. So, they suffer alone, in silence, hoping against hope that they will simply stop doubting one day. The more that we can openly and humbly talk about our doubts the more we can benefit and help one another. Doubting does not make you less of a Christian, in fact various heroes of the faith (both in Scripture and church history) suffered from doubt (Abraham, Peter, Thomas, William Cowper, Charles Spurgeon, etc.).
In this seminar we will discuss the common reality of doubting our salvation. We will be honest and humble about the variety of experiences, the common causes, the shared hurt, and the deep concern. We will invite participants to reflect on their own experiences and to identify some potential causes and situations that may have produced or exacerbated their experience of doubt. We all doubt, discussing the universality of this struggle, then, can be a great encouragement to us.
Yet, we don’t want to simply acknowledge the universality of doubt. The fact that everybody has it can bring some comfort, but it does nothing to resolve the tension and struggle. There is hope for assurance of salvation. In fact, the apostle John tells us that the expectations is that we will have assurance (1 John 5:13). So, we want to explore what assurance looks like, and how we can cultivate it. We will examine loads of passages of Scripture that affirm this doctrinal truth, but we will also discuss how to use doubt for spiritual gain, how to think humbly about our assurance, and how to depend upon God.
While this seminar is open to anyone, those who are in counseling training will find some particular help. We will discuss some potential homework and other assignments you can give in counseling those who struggle with assurance, and we will look together at a case study to dissect how to work over a long-process of counseling.
Don’t miss this seminar, Saturday May 6th, 9 am – Noon, at Cornerstone Baptist Church. We will have a great time of discussion and education as we seek to strengthen our own faith and help others around us strengthen theirs.