A person goes to the doctor after many days of a low grade fever and he tells him to take an aspirin and rest. He sends him home without running any test and the man dies because the root problem was not dealt with. Sometimes this is the case in the medical world. The doctor tried to mask the root problem with a “band-aid” approach. There had to be an underlying root problem causing the fever and that was needed to be found and treated, either with medication or surgery. The root problem must be dealt with.
In the spiritual realm this type of situation occurs in a larger percentage than in the medical realm. A person who has made a profession comes to the preacher and says “I doubt my salvation.” Instead of dealing with the root problem, many pastors use the “band-aid” approach by telling him “That is just the devil making you doubt.” They also try to reassure him that he is okay because he had “asked Jesus into his heart” or that they were there when he was saved or that they believe him to be saved because of what he does and etc. Yet, they never deal with the root problem causing the doubt.
I heard one preacher say the reason a person doubts their salvation is because there is sin in their lives or they are not in the bride of Christ. The sin he was referring to was sins of the flesh such as lying, stealing, drinking, and adultery which are just four of the 726 sins listed in the Bible (according to some theologian). Concerning the bride he spoke of, he was referring to belonging to (being baptized by) a church which can trace it roots all the way back to Jesus. Therefore, if a person is not a member of that kind of church then he is not in the bride so he doubts his salvation--according to that preacher. Let us look at the Bible concerning that statement.
In Rev. 21 the New Jerusalem, which is where the Bride of Christ dwells, is described and verse 27 states plainly that those not in the book of life will not enter. (Rev. 21:27: “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.”) Therefore, if a person is not in the bride of Christ, he is not saved. So the root problem must be dealt with.
Others say the reason a person doubts their salvation is because they are not adding to their faith the seven things mentioned in II Peter 1:5-7 (And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”), in other words not growing in faith. James 2:17 (“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”) states faith works and adds in some degree just as the good ground of Mat. 13:23 brings forth fruit in different degrees. (“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”) Thus, when this approach (II Peter 1:5-7 just spoken of) is used it gives assurance to a person who has never been saved and the root problem has not been dealt with.
Still others’ entire ministry is dealing with edifying the saints (those who have professed faith). They rejoice in the Saviour and heaven which is right and good. But the one who only professes to be saved is blinded and deceived so he musters up all the emotion he can to rejoice in the person of the Lord Jesus and heaven. He desires that because the Holy Spirit has put a longing deep inside. Yet, he gets no real eternal help from such preaching because the root problem is never dealt with.
Many preachers get stressed out trying to get their congregation to live right. The reason for this is that the root problem has never been dealt with in the congregation’s life. If a person has been saved the preacher doesn’t have to spend all his time trying to get people to live right, the Holy Spirit does that.
There are other examples I could use to reveal that the root problem is never dealt with in most of our churches today. And like the man who had a “band-aid” approach used on him when he went to the doctor--he died because the root problem was not dealt with. So will those “professors” who never have the root problem dealt with--they will die the second death and be separated from God forever in the lake of fire.
The root problem must be dealt with! Thus, the question “What is the root problem?” The root problem is the sin of unbelief which is the cause of all sins (726 if that theologian is right) of the flesh. Most preaching and practice just deals with the fruit and not the root. The majority of the children of Israel did not enter into the promise land because of their unbelief--root problem. (Heb. 3:17-19: “But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”) They heard the gospel but did not mix it with faith--remained in unbelief. (Heb. 4:2: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”)
Peter stated in his second epistle that if a person did not grow in faith to the degree he should--“lacketh these things”--the seven things he mentions adding to one’s faith, he “hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” (II Peter 1:9) He knew what he was talking about because on the night he had fled from Jesus when He was arrested and later warmed by the fire of Jesus’ enemies, he denied the Lord three times. He had forgotten he was purged from his old sin--this means he did not have on the forefront of his mind his conversion experience but when his eyes made contact with Jesus’ eyes, he remembered and went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:61-62: “And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”) He did not doubt his salvation but for a short time allowed himself to forget the time and result of the root problem of unbelief being dealt with in his life.
When John the Baptist was baptizing at Jordan, many came to be baptized but John stated plainly that the root problem must be dealt with--the axe must be laid to the root of the tree if there is to be good fruit. (Mat. 3:8, 10: “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”) This means that a person has never been saved unless the root problem has been dealt with and that is the work of the Holy Spirit in reproval (conviction). (John 16:8-9: “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me.”)
The sad thing in many who profess to be saved is that they have never had the root problem of unbelief dealt with by the Holy Spirit due to the fact that most preaching does not deal with the root problem. No wonder there is so much doubt among “professors.” The root problem of unbelief is still present and the Holy Spirit is trying to get them to realize their problem but they listen to the majority who say, “that the devil is making you doubt.” No! No! It is the Holy Spirit trying to get your attention.
You may say, “What do I need to do about this in my life?” Get honest about your real condition and do not allow some doctor (preacher or personal worker) to apply a “band-aid” when you need surgery by the Holy Spirit to take out your “unbelief”--root problem.
I do not want to be guilty of applying a “band-aid” when surgery is needed. And I do not want you to settle for a “band-aid” when surgery is needed.
The root problem must be dealt with. This is just a shorten paper of a message preached on this subject. If you would like to receive a tape or CD of this message, we would be glad to send it to you for the asking.
The root problem must be dealt with!
THE PERSUADER - April-June, 2007