Question: Am I not really a Christian if I still have doubts about God and heaven?
Answer: It’s important to understand that if you have already told God you repented of your sins, turned away from them, and accepted Jesus’ sacrificial death to pay the penalty for your sins, then you are a Christian – forever! What a comfort that we have God’s promise of this fact!
To clarify, once you became a Christian, your future with God in heaven was sealed, and the Bible assures us that nothing can steal that away. Believing comes at the beginning; as you grow in knowledge of God and faith that He always keeps His promises to you, you’ll become more and more confident in your future with Him, also known as your “salvation” from your former life without Him and the penalty of hell. Jesus said:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they will never have to face hell. No one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30
“And it is God who establishes us with you in Jesus Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put His seal on us and given us His Holy Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
What exactly is doubt? It can be defined as perplexity, confusion, or a struggle to fully believe without questioning and trust. When the Bible records instances when people doubted, they were always believers. Doubt seems to be a part of believing, of being a Christian!
All Christians have doubts at times, for many different reasons – sudden injury or sickness, death of a loved one, fear, loss of a job, or fatigue.
Don’t get the wrong idea that doubt cancels out your faith. It absolutely doesn’t! You can feel secure that you are still a Christian.
As a matter of fact, the Bible shows that the giants of our faith doubted at many points in their lives – Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, Zacharias, and the apostles, to name a few. Jesus referred to John the Baptist as the greatest man who ever lived; however, great in faith as he was, John doubted that Jesus was the Messiah sent to redeem mankind, and so He sent friends to ask for confirmation from Him. And remember how Jesus’ disciples doubted that He was who He claimed to be, even after all they had witnessed? They lived in fear and desperation in the few days between His death on the cross and His miraculous resurrection from the dead when they met Him again, face-to-face, and spent more than another month with Him until He departed into heaven.
How should we deal with doubts? Pray! Take time out to spend time with God, talking about it. If possible, fast and pray, asking Him for help. Fasting eliminates distractions for a while so you can communicate with God and sense His instruction. Have faith that He is certainly able to take care of your needs. The following Biblical passage in Mark is one example of such an approach to moving past doubts into stronger faith.
In Mark 9:21-29, a father asked Jesus to cast out the demon that possessed his dear son. Jesus took the opportunity to teach him and everyone else on the scene the way God would have us to deal with our doubts. Here’s what was recorded:
“Jesus asked the boy’s father, ‘How long has he been like this?’
‘From childhood,’ answered the father. ‘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!’
When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. ‘You deaf and mute spirit,’ He said, ‘I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said that he was dead.But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. After Jesus had gone indoors, His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ He replied, ‘This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.’”
Do you see Jesus’ answers to doubts? Admission of doubts, reaching out to God for help, believing God can accomplish it, prayer, and fasting. Amazing how Jesus emphasized the importance of PRAYER! You could ask a friend you trust to pray both for you and with you.
“Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous person carries much influence with God.” James 5:16
If you are a Christian, don’t allow your doubts to cause you to lose confidence that you truly belong to God. Don’t think that no one else feels like you do or be embarrassed to admit this temptation to doubt that you are facing. Deal with it, God’s way, and move forward! Actually, the way you face your spiritual doubts and continue pressing ahead in faith is proof of your progress in believing.
You may not be a Christian, or follower of Jesus Christ. If you have never taken the time to ask Jesus to be the master of your life, this is the perfect opportunity. You have read this article and must be seeking true peace in your life. Know that God is the ONLY one who can send His lasting peace into your heart, mind, and life. Don’t delay and put it off any longer. Say this to Him right now:
God, I know I have sinned much during my life, and I am ready to allow you to lead me and cleanse me so that my life will be pleasing to you. I understand that you sent Jesus into the world to die for my sins, past, present, and future, and you raised Him from the dead. Thank you! Saying thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but I am very thankful. I have read that the Bible, your word, explains that there’s no way I can be good enough to earn my way into heaven, but it’s only by putting my trust and faith in Jesus that assures me of a heavenly home with you after I die. Thank you for loving me this much, that you would allow your own son to die in my place. I can’t fathom that kind of love that you have, and I confess that I don’t have that same love for others that you do. But I am opening my heart to you and expecting you to begin transforming me each day until I meet you. Bless you for hearing my prayer, amen!
“But God, who is so rich in mercy, because He loved us so much, that even when we were considered dead in our sins, He gave us eternal life when He raised Jesus Christ from the dead. It is only by God’s grace – His unmerited favor – that you have been saved!). Ephesians 2:4-5