Damned, If Ye DoubtBy: Joseph H. Murray
“It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:21–23).
Many Christians are doing things that they are doubtful about. They ask everyone they meet or converse with, “Can you tell me if it’s a sin to do this or that?” The very fact they imply the word if is a denotation that they are doubtful about what they are partaking of. And if doubtful, they are already damned or condemned and are committing sin. This could even be something that would not be sin to someone who has an enlightened mind on the thing through an understanding of the Scripture. A right understanding of the written word through the anointing of the Spirit is the best known remedy for eliminating many of our doubts. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done” (Matt. 21:21).
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, (to Peter) and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:31).
Friend, when we are weakest in faith and doubts arise on every hand, Jesus is always standing by asking, “Wherefore didst thou doubt?” The reason that we, like Peter, are overcome by doubts is because we get our minds on our dangers instead of our protection from danger. Praise God! I can feel his Holy Spirit as I write these words. Hallelujah! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).
There is, however, an element of doubt that we should have for our protection. This is eradicated when we get knowledge of what we were doubtful. “Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, and called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them” (Acts 10:17–20). Peter had no reason to doubt after the Spirit said unto him, “doubting nothing.”
Neither was Thomas justified in doubting after he saw the nail prints in Jesusí hands and thrust his hand in Jesusí side. “Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27).
Honest doubt serves us in like manner that a checkrein serves a rider of a horse to guide him in the way he desires him to go. Without the checkrein of our honest doubt or caution, the Holy Spirit cannot guide us successfully, for through the precaution of this element we consider the matter.
It does not pay to be over confident. The devil is as well pleased when we get too far ahead of the Spirit as he is when we get too far behind the Spirit. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1Cor. 10:12).
Joe Louis, the world’s heavyweight boxing champion for so long, made a statement of this nature after he won his second fight with Max Schmeling, the German. He said that he went into the ring one hundred percent confident that he could whip Schmeling in their first meeting. The result was, as you know, that Schmeling won in the first round. But the next time he met him, he had only ninety percent confidence and ten percent doubt, and as the result of this, Joe won the fight. The moral of this is that honest doubt will cause us to be cautious. And this is profitable in the Christian life as well as in the boxing game.
The honest doubt is a protection for the wise man, for he heeds the sign, “slow down, proceed with caution, dangerous curve ahead.” The persons who ignore these warnings ofttimes soon become set in their own ways with a seared conscience, and they then plunge headlong into everything that comes along. “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider” (Isa. 1:3) is the description Isaiah gave of this class of people.
Whether a person denies the existence of God by an outright proclamation or by an unjustifiable doubt is very little difference. The same results will come to both if they continue in these attitudes. They both will be eternally separated from God when this life is over, though they were partakers of His blessings on earth. “For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45).
The only difference in a person who is a chronic doubter and an atheist is the part of his doubts that are honest and justifiable. If we could see the comparison of the average man or woman full of doubts about God and His miracle working power and an atheist, you might be surprised how little difference there is in them. Even among the so–called Christian movements there is much kinship to infidelity. This is why Paul instructed Timothy in this manner, “from such turn away” (2Tim. 3:5).
“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1Tim. 2:8).
Unbelief and doubts of the supremacy of God has become a yoke to many of God’s children today.
However, the ministry of today is a yoke breaking power and no one should have to bear these burdens of Satan.
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” (Isa. 58:6).
Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28–30).
Every anointed minister should be a dissolver of the doubts in the minds of the people, even as was the prophet Daniel. The king said, “I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee. And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing: and I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be third ruler in the kingdom” (Dan. 5:14–16).
There is a need, in the Church of the living God, for more dissolvers of doubts, that are damning the souls of so many of the Children of God. “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1:10–11).
“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Rom. 14:1–5). This is the only thing, or one of the only things, that is recorded in Paul’s writing, in that a man is to use his own free–will. This, we presume, is the choosing of a day to keep as the sabbath. However, there is much confusion and difference of opinion concerning this subject. Paul must have been open minded about this subject or either he observed every day alike unto the Lord, for he wrote, “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Gal. 4:10–11).
“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean” (Rom. 14:14). Therefore, those who esteem one day above another are condemned if they do not live by their convictions. Also likewise those who esteem every day alike are condemned should they not live by what they believe. This also pertains to baptism, communion, footwashing, circumcision, or keeping of the law, all or any part thereof. But to depend on any one of these rituals or all of them to save a person would nullify the merit of the blood and grace of Christ. “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:3–4).
All evils proceed from the hearts of man. Alcohol, tobacco, dope nor nothing from the outside is harmful within itself. It is when men lust for these things through habitual craving that they become evil. There would never be another sale of either of the above mentioned if there were no demand and price offered for them. “And He said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:20–23).
There is something about evil habits such as alcoholism, dope addiction, and nicotine slavery that feed and prompt the inward evils of man. This is the operation of the satanic kingdom. The more evils there are operating in the life of a person the weaker the resistance one has against them. The only hope that man has against these evil forces is the power of Jesus Christ, who can break every fetter. Praise God! Turn to Him now, while He is pleading for you to come. Tomorrow may be too late.
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal. 3:13–14).
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:7–8).
Whether the fool say, with his lips, in his heart or by the use of the word if, that there is no God, makes little difference. The “if there is a God” attitude denotes doubt. “And he that doubteth is damned.” To doubt the supreme deity of God is an inward denial of Him. Man has no justifiable right to doubt that there is a God in heaven and that Jesus Christ His Son sits at His right hand. “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God” (Pss. 14:1; 53:1).
The “if it’s the Lord’s will to heal me” attitude will hinder a person from receiving healing. His will concerning us, His children, is clarified in these words, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3John 2).
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1Thess. 5:18).
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10). “For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us” (Heb. 10:14–15).
“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is anti–Christ, that denieth the Father and the Son” (1John 2:22).