“Can you have Doubt and be a Christian?”
John 7:17; 12:37
Many spiritual seekers have questions concerning Christianity that often causes them to hesitate in a decision for Christ.
But sometimes Christians find themselves with doubts about some aspect of their faith too.
– they often feel insecure about expressing such doubts because they are not sure if it disqualifies them from being true Christians.
– so instead they keep it in and let it fester until they succeed in doing what they wanted to avoid – chocking out their faith.
Let’s take a closer look at “doubt”
1. To be undecided or skeptical about: began to doubt some accepted doctrines.
2. To tend to disbelieve; distrust: doubts politicians when they make sweeping statements.
3. To regard as unlikely: I doubt that we’ll arrive on time.
Sources/Species of Doubt
Some doubters are rebellious – even if they don’t identify themselves that way; their attitude says “I’m not going to let somebody run my life or do my thinking”
-can take the form of an arrogant pride
-rebelling against a person by rebelling against their God
Some doubters have disappointment with God
-they ask God for something and it doesn’t
-Was God really there? Does he hear me?
Some have personal or family wounds
-image of missing/abusive fathers can be applied to Father God
-sense of rejection by family or a mate
-If there’s a God why does this stuff happen?
Some experience intellectual doubts
-Influential Intellectual leaders who don’t believe
Seasons of life can bring doubts
-moving from college student to young parent to middle age, etc
-dips in career; pressure to provide for family or move up the career ladder
Comparisons with the faith of others
-they go to church and believer everyone is experiencing God better than they
-don’t feel like the are being guided by God like others
These doubts make some feel like they don’t have the faith to please God or be saved
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” – Hebrews 11:1
Faith is not Feelings
some people equate faith with a perpetual religious high; when it wears off they doubt their faith
feeling can be fickle
Faith is not the absence of Doubt
Mark 9:24 – “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
Genesis Chp 15 – “And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” – Abraham, our Father of Faith
How do you deal with Doubt?
Be Honest with Yourself
-some people claim to have doubts but in truth have another underlying source
-rejection of peers
-afraid they have to give up personal desires
Make the Choice to Believe
-John 7:17– “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
-John 12:37– “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him”
Go to where faith is
-Get around people who you respect for their life, and learn from them; watch their life
-Put faith-building materials into your minds
-Books, tapes, and music that build strong motivation for faith and help bring clarity and understanding; give you tools
Clarify the object of your faith
-Who is your faith in? What is the substance of your faith?
So, can you have doubt and be a Christian?”
Answer – Yes you can
Doubt does not have to be fatal or disqualifying.
You have to be honest with yourself; Do you really want to believe or not?
Faith is a decision and choice we often must make without having all the complete information we’d like to have.
Psalm 34:8 – “Taste and See that the Lord is good” – Eventually, you have to move out and do it.
(* Lee Strobel, (2000) The Case for Faith)
Next Week – Last Session
Talk about some practical responses to questions- “How to”
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