Christian Has Deep Doubts About Their Salvation

man praying
How can I know that I'm saved when I don't feel saved?

I’ve given my life to Christ, but I struggle with doubts about my salvation. Pastors say that if I’ve asked Jesus into my heart, I am saved. And I know that the Bible says that God will save us if we simply call on Him (Romans 10:13). But knowing that doesn’t always help. Sometimes I’m convinced that I am not saved and never will be. It can be more than just a feeling of doubt — it can be debilitating fear and despair to the point where I can’t function.  


NOTE: This article speaks to people who have already asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior but are hurting from obsessive spiritual doubts. If you have questions about what it means to have a personal relationship with God and the promise of eternal life with Him, we encourage you to read our free online booklet titled Coming Home: How to Know God. 


The struggles you’re experiencing have two sides: the spiritual (or theological), and the physical (or psychological). Both are real and deserve attention because you are a whole person made up of body, soul, and spirit.

Spiritual troubles can affect your mind and body. In the same way, physical illnesses and imbalances can upset your emotions. (Physical illnesses can even lead to episodes of mental distress and spiritual depression.) So, if you know the source of the struggle, you’ll be able to address it more effectively.

First, let’s look at the spiritual side of your question.

How can I know I’m saved?

The Gospel message is clear. God’s Word tells us that there is no room for uncertainty on the theological side of doubting our salvation. Our feelings don’t save us; Christ saves us.

To have peace with God, you don’t have to “do” anything because Christ has already lived a perfect life and paid the price for your sins. You can’t earn your way to God on your own. But you do need to believe that what the Bible says about your own sinfulness and Jesus’ perfect holiness is true.

When doubt hits, remember God’s promises:

  • “For God so love the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
  • “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
  • Once we belong to God, nothing can separate us from Jesus’ redeeming love, “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation (Romans 8:38-39).
  • Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30).
  • The apostle John also tells us that if we fall under conviction and become aware of the presence of sin in our lives, we need only confess it. When we do, God will be “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
  • Even when we are faithless, “[Christ] remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

How can I feel that I’m saved?

It’s easy to say that the Bible assures you of your salvation. However, as you’ve learned from painful experience, it can be hard not to feel doubt. Why? There can be a lot of reasons. But at least one may have to do with the fact that feelings often have a physical (psychological) basis.

We wonder if this might be true for you because you said your feelings “can be debilitating fear and despair to the point where [you] can’t function.”

The constant doubts and worry you experience about your salvation might be a type of OCD called scrupulosity. We encourage you to read our Q&A for more insight: Scrupulosity: Understanding Religious OCD and How to Treat It.

Where can I find help?

Working through questions and struggles with a professional therapist is an important step toward peace. Call us for a free over-the-phone consultation at 1-855-771-HELP (4357). Our licensed or pastoral counselors would welcome the chance to talk with you about what you’re going through. They can also give you referrals to qualified therapists in your area.

In the meantime, you can look through the recommended resources listed below.

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