Does God understand my skepticism?

What happens if someone died believing in Jesus and what the Bible says as much as they can, yet were still skeptical? I’m sure God could understand our skepticism as human beings and wouldn’t condemn that person to suffer in the pit of hell as He would a person who didn’t accept Jesus. Surely God doesn’t see everything in “black and white”. I don’t believe that everyone is either just “good” or “bad” – Heaven or hell – there has to be something in between. What are your thoughts?

Someone who dies, having believed in Jesus as their personal Savior, goes directly to Heaven. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:1 & 8, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens…we are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord”. Also, in Luke 16:22, Jesus told the story of a beggar who died and said, “So it was that the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom (Heaven).” These, and other Bible verses, clearly teach that true believers in Jesus go directly to Heaven when they die.

On the issue of “skepticism”, one’s salvation is not based on their “intellectual assent” alone, it is essentially based on their “spiritual faith”. Everyone, even dedicated Christians, have some skepticism every now and again. So to answer the second part of your question…no, skepticism as a result of human nature wouldn’t condemn someone to hell. God is holy and just, dealing with everyone in “exactly” the right way. To understand this better, notice 1 John 3:20-21, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.” This proves that even when a true Christian is skeptical or self-condemning, he or she remains “saved”, because God is greater than one’s skepticism or self condemnation.

Now, God does see everything and everyone in an “absolute” way, thus there is no “gray area” in God’s knowledge. Therefore, people are either “right” with God or not, based on whether they have received His Son, Jesus, as Savior or not. So, in reality, the Bible teaches that a person is either on their way to Heaven or on their way to hell, with no “in-between”.

This is supported with verses like John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” So, one’s “goodness” or “badness” is not the issue. The real issue is if the person has prayed and asked Jesus to be their Savior and Lord, at which point they are “saved”, no longer “lost”!

The so-called “in-between” places such as Purgatory or Spiritual Limbo do not exist, because our eternal destiny is not determined by our good works or our bad works. Our eternal destiny is determined by our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross, came back to life in resurrection, and lives today to give believers an eternally secure destiny. In John 10:28, Jesus says, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish…”

I hope the Lord will encourage you with these thoughts from His Word, the Bible. May He bless you with understanding and hope “in Him”!