Every Christian at some time in their life has probably experienced a period of doubt. They wonder about their real relationship with God. Sins un-repented of, careless living, the cares of this life, and a host of other reasons may contribute to such feelings. The sooner we take our doubts and feelings to the Lord in prayer, the better. We may begin to doubt that we are good enough to deserve everlasting life, – and in this we would be absolutely correct! Paul tells us that “there is none righteous, no not one.” But he also tells us “by grace we are saved through faith, and not of ourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8-10) If our doubts come from a lack of faith, our prayer should be the same as when the apostles asked the Lord to increase their faith (Luke 17:5). Getting back to the basics of our faith can be a helpful antidote for our doubts. What are some of these “basics”?
Jesus died for all of us because we are all sinners. – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).
God forgives our sins when we ask for forgiveness. – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). So when doubts creep in we need to understand where those doubts come from. The answer that we must come back to is that our relationship is not based on our performance but on the blood of Christ.
In addition, many Christians do not understand the Biblical requirements for heaven. The first requirement is to recognize that he is a sinner and cannot approach God on his own merits. The second is to accept Jesus as his Savior, and the third is to make a complete dedication of his life to doing God’s will. If someone is having doubts, the first approach could be to ask, “Which of the three requirements is being violated?” If we feel that we cannot approach God because of some sin we may have committed – then we should repent of the sin and ask God’s forgiveness. He knows that we are weak and will fall short. We have the merit of Christ to cover our sins, but God is looking for a repentant heart. Doubts often arise when we fall short of meeting the third requirement, living up to the ideals of consecration to God. However, consecration is an ongoing work that experiences many trials and setbacks. The Apostle Paul admonished us to meet with other faithful Christians. In that way we have examples and encouragement in our Christian walk.
If, in your heart you do not feel called to a heavenly position (Romans 8:28), and you have not made a covenant by sacrifice with God, abundant blessings will still be yours in Christ’s earthly kingdom! Not all people receive a heavenly calling. God’s wise, loving plan includes two ages of salvation. 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us that God desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. It does not say God wills that all men be saved to heaven. In God’s purpose “all men” will be saved from the condemnation of death standing against them. This salvation will take place during two different time periods. In the Christian age, believers are given “remission of sins” and the gift of the Spirit to begin in the pathway to the heavenly calling. During Christ’s 1,000 year Kingdom, the remainder of mankind will return from the grave and be given the opportunity of receiving everlasting life upon the earth. The faithfulness, death, and resurrection of Jesus guarantees this opportunity. So an understanding of God’s Plan is extremely helpful in removing the natural doubts that can arise in a Christian’s mind.