Many people feel like they can’t become a Christian until they are 100% sure that Christianity is true. This is completely understandable. Becoming a Christian is the most significant, life-altering decision a person will ever make.
But does a person have to be 100% sure that Christianity is true in order to become a Christian?
FIRSTLY, WE DO NOT HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT THE ENTIRE BIBLE IS TRUE, WE JUST NEED TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN
We do not have to believe in Adam & Eve, Noah & the Ark or Moses & the Burning Bush in order to become a Christian. Consider the following…
A) The Early Christians were not 100% sure of the entire Bible because the entire Bible hadn’t been written yet.
Andy Stanley makes the point that “there was no Bible as we know it for the first three hundred years of Christianity. People were becoming followers of Christ before the Gospels were even written” (Deep and Wide, p 246).
B) Most Christians alive today have not even read the entire Bible, so how can they be 100% sure that it’s true?
C) We are saved by our faith in Jesus, not the Bible.
The Apostle Paul wrote: “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9).
SECONDLY, ALTHOUGH WE HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN, WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE 100% SURE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN.
Certainly the Bible is clear that we need to believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. The Apostle Paul said: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). But we do not have to be 100% sure that Jesus died and rose again. Consider the following…
A) We do not have the luxury of waiting until we are 100% sure
A lot of people think that becoming a Christian is like crossing a busy road. We look both ways and we don’t cross until we are 100% sure that it is safe to cross. Although this scenario seems correct, it assumes that we have an endless amount of time on our hands.
But unfortunately the decision to become a Christian is not without time constraints. All of us will die one day. We only have a limited amount of time to decided whether or not we will place our life and eternity into Jesus’ hands.
Perhaps a better analogy is to think of becoming a Christian like jumping out of the way of a big truck. Suppose we find ourselves in the middle of the road. We look up and see the truck coming straight towards us. We are forced to make a decision. Do we jump out of the way, assuming the truck will continue straight along its path? Or do we stay where we are, assuming the truck will swerve around us? We will never be 100% sure of either. In fact, we may be 51% sure of one, and 49% sure of the other. But we have to make a decision, so we make our decision based on probability.
In the same way, all of us have death coming straight towards us. Do we jump into the arms of Jesus, trusting Him to save us? Or do stay where we are and face death on our own? We may be 51% sure that Jesus rose from the dead, and 49% sure that He didn’t. But one way or the other, we need to make a decision.
B) We do not need to be 100% sure
Suppose a young child has never been on an elevator. One day, she walks into a very tall building. She notices people walking into the elevator, the steel doors close, and they never come out. As you can imagine, this could be quite frightening. After some time, the child decides to take a step of faith and jumps into the elevator. She hears the big steel doors close behind her. She notices that everyone has turned around, and is now facing the front. She then begins to feel this weird sensation in her stomach as the elevator begins to ascend. After some time, she starts to get freaked out by the fact that nobody is talking to each other, and there is some weird music playing in the background.
But no matter how anxious the child becomes. No matter how significant her doubts, no matter how much she may regret her decision, the fact is, she will get off on the 10th floor just like everyone else.
Her doubts are only significant if they stop her from getting on the elevator in the first place.
In the same way, a person can become a Christian and still have significant doubts. What matters is that they are willing to jump on board. Certainly, their experience as a Christian may be plagued with doubt. They may be much more likely to question whether or not they’ve made the right decision than a Christian who has less questions and doubts. But they will still be taken to heaven. Jesus will still be with them on the journey.
We don’t need to be 100% sure that Jesus died and rose again. We just need to be sure enough to place our life and eternity into Jesus’ hands.
THIRDLY, ONCE WE COME TO BELIEVE IN JESUS’ DEATH AND RESURRECTION, WE CAN THEN BELIEVE IN THE REST OF THE BIBLE.
Andy Stanley says: “I’ll tell you why I believe Adam and Eve were actual people. Jesus did. I’m a simple man. If somebody predicts his own death and resurrection and then pulls it off, I’m with him. I don’t really care what he says, I’m with the guy who rose from the dead. I would like to do that someday myself. And he said those who believe, even though they die, they will live. So I go with what Jesus said” (Deep and Wide, p255).