A student of mine wanted to write an apologetics paper on the role or place of doubts in the life of a Christian. He wanted to find an answer to the question, “Is it OK for Christians to have Doubts?”
His conclusion after reading non-Christian and Christian sources was that one will still be saved even if that person doubts his or her salvation in Christ.
Here were his arguments:
1. Doubting your salvation is actually good! Doubting leads one to grow spiritually and intellectually, because a doubter will want to know the answer for the doubt, and through the research can increase trust or connection with the subject he or she had doubt. For Scriptural support, he cited 2 Cor. 13:5.
2. There is no reason to doubt your salvation. Doubts show a lack of understanding, but God has revealed all that we need to know for our salvation. “These things I have written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).
3. Salvation is important to any religion and every religion includes doubts as an important step to reach their goals. Overcoming doubt in Hinduism is an important step to reaching moksha. Buddhism calls for believers to overcome their religious doubts. His conclusion here was, “It is important to know how other religions take care of this problem because by knowing those religions, one can increase interactions with other religious believers and convince them to become Christian since it is easier for people to move towards Christ if they know that they can still have doubts and be a Christian.” It thought this was an interesting point. Other religions require a person to overcome doubts for salvation. Christianity allows a believer to still have doubts. It’s a more inviting offer.
4. God will always love you and tries to save you even if you are unfaithful to Him. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, he [God] remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.” Luke 11:10 says, “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.” The student concluding this point by quoting John 3:16 and saying, “Even though we have sinned too much that we should be eternally separated from Him and put to death, He still saved us and took our punishment upon himself.”
The final conclusion was “you will still be saved even if you doubt your salvation as doubting is an integral part of growing faith in God and trust in the Bible, which is the only source that answers questions beyond our natural knowledge. This student also stated that this research has “made it easier for me to invite more people to Christ because Christianity is the only religion that only requires faith for salvation, while still allowing a person to be saved even if they have doubts.”
I’ll keep the student’s name anonymous, but I’d also like to share that he is a Japanese international student.
2 thoughts on “Is it OK for Christians to Have Doubts?”
We all have doubts. Doubts cause us to ask questions. We are not robots, and we are not meant just to believe whatever some preacher or vicar says. Having a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus, or working on that relationship, is the difference between being in the dark and being in the light, and the difference between being merely a churchgoer or religious (whatever that means) and someone who is protected, guided, nurtured and prospered by the Lord.
The fact that we might all have doubts from time to time does not mean that they are a good thing to have. But God can use them and mercifully they do not cost us our salvation, any more than does immorality or professed ‘apostasy’ after earlier conversion