Despite my personal commitment to Jesus and my involvement in a church community, I have had some basic doubts about God. I am continually haunted by questions like, Am I really saved? Does God really love me? Does he exist? Did Jesus really die for me? Or did somebody make this up? I kept hoping that the next Bible study or the next Sunday sermon would set me free from my doubts. Because this hasn’t happened, I haven’t been motivated to attend church in a long time.
First of all, you don’t attend the fellowship of Believers because you feel sufficiently “motivated”. You participate in the “ecclesia” (the “called out”, the assembly) because you are commanded to, and your participation evokes motivation. To use doubts and the absence of the “freeing sermon” as your reason to neglect gathering with Christians, is like saying that my daily visits to the bar is why I’m not motivated to quit drinking.
Philippians 2:12 – Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (NKJV)
Everyone deals with doubts, some more, some less. That is part of the idea of “working out” our salvation. Some of your doubts are simply unfounded (as a professing Christian) and in my opinion, culturally driven. For these, it is nothing but a CHOICE on your part to NOT doubt:
Does God love me? Of course, or He wouldn’t be God. Do you think He loves others, but not you? This type of expression smacks of our “self love” culture. You CHOOSE to believe what is true about God regardless of YOUR understanding or feelings about it. God loves us. Period. Nothing to doubt. Any doubt is an indication of our own pride or spiritual immaturity. We CHOOSE to NOT doubt that God loves us. Anything less is an insult to God.
Did Jesus really die? Of course. Both historically and Biblically, this answer can have no doubt. Unless you CHOOSE to doubt. You throw on “for me” at the end of that question. Again, that seems to be self focus again. If Jesus died for sin, then He died for YOUR sins. To think otherwise is either self pity or a cover up for a lack of spiritual seriousness in your life. “Gosh, I know Jesus died, but did He really die FOR ME? I’m just not sure.” Puh-leeze… Put away childish thinking and press on towards the high calling in Christ. Of course Jesus died FOR YOU.
Now, going past the “doubts” that are cultivated by our “what about me” self-focus culture, let’s consider the questions that most Christians have wondered about at times.
Does God exist? Is the Bible true? Is Christianity real? Is there really a God? These are all FOUNDATIONAL questions that have us wonder if ANY of this Christianity stuff is true, or just another religious idea. Those are fair questions and fair concerns most people struggle with at some point.
In light of those we search for truth by looking for EVIDENCE. How do we prove ANYTHING is true? Evidence. How do you know I’m a writer? There is evidence. How do I know YOU exist? You submitted a question, that’s evidence.
So we look for the evidence of God, Jesus and the Bible both objectively and experientially. We read teaching about the evidence for God’s existence, the evidence that the Bible is authentic and true, the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection.
Then we survey our own life for experiential evidence of God’s presence, God’s work in our lives, the answering of prayers, His care, provision and guidance. We consider the experiential evidence of our changed life because of salvation, transformations and blessing that have happened because of what the Bible taught us.
Taken together, a serious look at the objective and experiential evidence for God’s existence and the Bible’s authenticity can lead us to know other result except NO DOUBTS.
Of course, if we are using our doubts as an excuse to neglect our faith and fellowship, then we get what we have lined up for… more doubts.