As we're talking about doubt and faith, it's only natural to then transition and talk for a minute about what faith is and why we believe in the first place. After all, Peter tells us to be ready and able to give a reason for our faith at any time.
So let's be honest about it: the number one reason that persons become Christians is because they fear their own mortality.
That's it. They know that one day, they are going to die, and what they desperately want is for this to not be all there is. This can't be all there is. There has to be a way to deal with whatever happens after we close our eyes for the last time and become consciously unaware of this life that we now live. Thus, we believe in Jesus because through Him, God promises that this isn't all there is, that we never just...die.
Then, we build the central identity of our faith around this one thing, this one promise of God - that there is eternal life for those who believe. That we will never die. That we don't have to worry about it like those without the hope of heaven.
And that's what we tell others about our Jesus - He has promised us heaven! He has made a way for eternal life! He has taken away the stress and distress that we feel when we think about what happens next. Sure, we know we won't live forever, but now, we will live forever! What a great promise this faith is! What a great hope!
This is why, by the way, we see so many conversions late in life. So many conversions when that point of death is near. This is why those who start their life in the church feel so confident in wandering away for most of their years, then coming back to Jesus "when it matters" - when death is near. Because, hey, if the reason for your believing is that Jesus offers you eternal life, then you really only have to reach out for that hope one breath on this side of eternity to get it. Does it really matter what you do with the rest of your days?
It's our own human insecurity that keeps us holding onto this idea as the central point of our faith. It's our recognition of our own frailty and the fact that 100% of us will die a human death. 100%. That's all of us. As they say, there is not one of us getting out of this life alive.
It's also the one completely unknown reality that we have. We all die, but no one really knows what that means from the other side of it. No one's been able to tell us what death is really like, except from the point of view of the life that we have now. And so, the only way for us to put ourselves at ease about the one thing that we cannot know is to embrace a God who tells us that we'll never have to experience it, so it doesn't matter.
Then, we walk around talking about how we're never going to die. And well, that sounds good to just about everyone. That really takes a load off of all of our plates.
But what if the Christian faith isn't about eternity? What if that's not the point?
What if there's a better reason for our faith than just this?
There has to be.