How I Stopped Doubting My Salvation
When I was a teen I struggled with doubts over my salvation. Actually, struggled would be an understatement. For over a year I was plagued by this question, wrestled with it daily, and could find no peace.
I had prayed and asked Christ to save me in sixth grade, but in high school I was still tortured by doubts. I wasn’t sure If I had meant it, wasn’t sure if I had enough faith, wasn’t sure if I could be sure.
Pastors would ask if I “knew that I knew that I knew I was saved” and I would just think, no, I don’t. I must’ve prayed just-in-case prayers (where you ask God to save you again just in case you hadn’t really meant it the last time) about a hundred times – and I sincerely meant them each time. But they didn’t help.
The questions kept raging. What if I didn’t have enough faith? If I have doubts doesn’t that mean I don’t have enough faith? Will I ever be sure?
I asked counsel and listened to sermons and lessons, but it just wasn’t helping. Our Bible lessons on how to know you’re saved left me with more questions than I started with. The talk with my mom encouraged me for one day but left me questioning again the next.
I was really struggling, and I eventually started to sense that these doubts were an attack by Satan, meant to cripple my faith. And his attack was working because, although I was beginning to believe these doubts were unfounded, I still couldn’t banish them.
Until I turned to the Bible.
I started writing down verses that discussed salvation – verses such as Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” and Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” I created an ever-growing list of verses such as these and started to claim God’s promises.
Whenever doubts would assail me, I would get out my list and start reading. I would read Romans 10:13 and remind myself that I had called up the name of the Lord so I was saved. I would read Acts 16:31 and remind myself that God does not lie, so if I believe on Jesus I am saved. As I read and claimed these verses, I would find peace.
The doubts did not go away overnight, but they started to become fewer and farther between. Soon I was going days without doubts then weeks and finally months. I can’t pinpoint a specific time when I stopped doubting, but I praise the Lord that I haven’t doubted His saving work in my life for years.
When I was struggling with my doubts I felt so alone, but since then I have realized that many Christians experience similar challenges. We need to help each other work through our doubts and find peace in God’s promises. So if you’re counseling someone struggling with doubts over their salvation (or if you need help in this area yourself), here’s the key:
Ask this question: “Have you repented, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and asked Him to save you?” Don’t make it more complicated than it is. The question is simple.
- If the answer is no or I’m not sure, then don’t mess around. You need to settle the question today. Romans 10:9 makes it simple: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Don’t overcomplicate salvation. You don’t need incredible faith or to know the answers to every doctrinal question. You simply need to acknowledge that you are a sinner and deserve death but that Christ died to take your penalty and that He rose again and offers salvation as a gift. Repent of your sins, choose to follow Christ, confess that Jesus is Lord and that you need His salvation, and He will save you.
- If the answer is yes, then claim God’s promises. God has promised that if you believe on His Son, He will save you. Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Your salvation is not determined by your good works or even by the amount of your faith. These verses say that even your faith is not of yourself. God is the one who saves you, so if you have repented and trusted in Him and then doubt your salvation, you are actually doubting whether or not God keeps His promises. We know God is faithful, so claim His promises. Create a list of Scripture and cling to them every time you are uncertain
Claiming God’s Promises
Here are some of the verses that helped me. Add to these as you come across other Scriptures that reaffirm God’s promise of salvation.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
- Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
- Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
- Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
- Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
- Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
- I John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
- I John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
What About Evidence of Salvation?
One final thought: Scripture is clear that if we are Christ’s there will be evidence of God’s work in our lives. However, when examining this aspect, we need to 1) involve others and 2) take a big-picture view. This means, rather than looking at the sin you committed yesterday and saying “I don’t know if I’m saved,” look at a broader span of time and ask yourself, “Am I closer to Christ now than I was 5 years ago? Is there more evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in my life now than there was 5 years ago?”
Better yet, don’t just ask yourself these questions. Ask a trusted friend or spiritual mentor. Sometimes we struggle to see the growth in our own lives but others close to us see it more clearly and would be able to encourage us – or, if need be, point out the lack of growth.
If there is a complete lack of growth, then it comes back to the same question – Have you repented and believed on Jesus, trusting Him alone? If not, choose to do so today.
If you struggled with doubts over your salvation, share your testimony in the comments. Those who are still struggling can use all the encouragement we can offer.
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