Can a Person Be Saved Who Has Doubts?
by David J. Stewart
I received the following e-mail from a gentleman in June of 2006...
Dear Mr. David J. Stewart,
I recently read through your book about assurance of salvation. It did answer some pressing questions and alleviated much of my doubt. However, I have come across some arguments that trouble me. Some argue that if anyone has any slight doubt about his salvation then he is not saved; for you cannot doubt and have faith at
the same time. Since salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ (believing on His Name), it follows that if you have any doubts about your salvation then you do not really believe, hence you are not saved. My doubts are not about the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, but whether I have truly believed in Christ Jesus. Please help me from the Word of God that I may settle the salvation of my soul. God bless you.
Here is my response to the man's question, as I believe this is something that many people are concerned about...
You certainly can have doubt and faith at the same time. Faith is not the absence of the negative (doubt); but the presence of the positive (obedience to God). That is, even if I'm 99% doubtful that a chair will hold me up if I stand upon it, it is nothing less than 100% faith if I do stand upon that chair. In acts Chapter 12, the church was praying for Peter's release from prison. They didn't believe God would answer their prayer. In fact, they thought the girl who answered the door was "mad" (CRAZY) when she said it was Peter. They were praying for something that they didn't believe could happen; but it did. This proves that God does sometimes answer the prayers of those who are filled with doubts. But please notice, they had enough faith to pray, and that's the key... just enough faith.
If a person has just enough faith in Jesus Christ to believe upon His name for salvation—for the forgiveness of sins, then all the doubt in the world doesn't matter. Doubt cannot prevent a soul from being saved, just so long as they have faith.
Here's another Scripture to prove what I am saying...
"And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." —Mark 9:24
This man had faith and doubt, but wanted the Lord to help him with his doubts. It was the man's faith that healed his son, in spite of the doubts. Faith is our obedience to the Word of God.
One of my favorite heroes of the faith in the Bible is John the Baptist. In John 1:29 we find John the Baptist announcing the coming of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ; but in Matthew 11:3 we find John the Baptist sending his disciples to ask Jesus, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" Jesus said in Matthew 11:11, "Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist..." It is encouraging to know, that the man of God who announced the coming of our Lord, had doubts later on in his own life concerning the Lord. John became discouraged while he was in prison. This conclusively proves that a saved, born-again, child of God can falter in their faith and still be saved.
David J. Stewart