Few things are more dreadful than doubting one’s own salvation. Though I understand, may I encourage you that our salvation is to be a “know so” salvation. 1 John 5:13 declares, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life...” Why then do some doubt their salvation? I want to cover just four reasons.
1. Some do not have a clear understanding of the plan of salvation.
When it comes to questioning their salvation, many revert to a time when they walked an aisle, signed a card, or said a prayer. Please know that none of those actually save us.
John explains that “these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). The word believe is used 98 times in the Gospel of John in explaining the way of salvation. It means to trust.
As mankind, we have to come to God as sinners, recognize Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again, and place our trust in Christ alone as our only way to heaven. As my mentor, Haddon Robinson used to say, we have to “be satisfied with the thing that satisfies God.”
Walking an aisle, signing a card, or saying a prayer might be how we indicate to someone else that we are trusting Christ, but none of those have anything to do with being saved. We are forever His the moment we place our trust in Christ alone to save us. If you haven’t already done so, I invite you now to place your trust in Christ alone to save you.
2. Some overlook the period.
Note the finality of John 6:47: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” That sentence contains a period, not a comma. It does not continue by adding, “and lives a good life” or “and lives like a Christian.” Our salvation is not based on Christ in addition to a good life, church attendance, baptism etc. Our salvation is based on Christ only.
God’s promise is guaranteed. On the cross Christ did not make the down payment; He made the full payment. The moment you trust Christ, you have everlasting life—period.
3. Some have been victims of unbiblical teaching.
When someone teaches Scripture out of context, people can unnecessarily doubt their salvation. For example, 1 John 4:20 says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”
Some have used that to say, “Therefore if you don’t love your brother, you’re not a Christian.” That verse does not say, “if someone says I know God and hates his brother…” Instead it says, “If someone says I love God and hates his brother.” You can know God and hate your brother, but you cannot love God and hate your brother. If you love the Father, you have to love the family. Study Scripture in its proper context to be assured of what it is saying.
4. Some doubt everything.
The problem some people have is not merely doubting their salvation; they doubt everything! They doubt their mate’s faithfulness or their children’s love. Therefore, a general doubting nature can manifest itself in doubting one’s own salvation.
Recognize your doubt for what it is—doubt. Maybe you have reason to question what someone else says, but you know that there is no reason to question what God says: “He who has the Son has life…”(1 John 5:12). Enough said!
Struggling with your salvation can be a growing experience as long as you handle that struggle the right way. When you have handled your struggle properly, know you are His and know why, you can say, “He said it. That settles it. I am His forever.”