Although a number of people are not adversarial toward Christianity and may even agree with many, if not most, of its teachings, they are hesitant to make an affirmative decision about becoming a Christian. We will address three primary reasons why many of these people are hesitant to make such a decision.
Reason #1: They Believe that They Do Not Deserve to Be Forgiven for All the Bad Things that They Have Done in the Past
People in this category do not think that God will forgive them for some of the sins that they have committed – sins that they probably regard as worse than most other sins. However, the Bible indicates otherwise, as evidenced by the first two scriptures that follow.
[Note: When we quote Scripture in this article, we use the wording in the New King James Version of the Bible.]
Romans 3:23: [F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
This scripture makes it clear that every human being has sinned. However, the Bible also indicates that, with one exception, God will forgive all the previous sins of every person who trusts in His Son Jesus Christ for eternal salvation. [The sole exception is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which can be accessed by clicking on “What Is the Unpardonable Sin?”]
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because of their sins, every human being deserves the penalty of spiritual death, which is generally believed to involve some form of eternal punishment. Nevertheless, because of God’s love, mercy, and grace, He offers eternal life to everyone who genuinely trusts in Jesus Christ as their Savior. And, as previously implied, this offer includes the forgiveness of all of a person’s previous sins, with only the one previously mentioned exception. Thus, there are no distinctions as to the types of sins that God forgives.
Reason #2: They Do Not Believe that They Will Be Able to Be a Good Christian
The people who have this belief do not think they are capable of living according to the biblical standards regarding how a Christian should conduct themselves. The next scripture offers encouragement to people who are concerned about their ability to live a moral life if they become a Christian.
1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
This scripture provides assurance that God will provide Christians with the ability to overcome the temptations that they face. However, it is our belief that this ability necessitates that each Christian must have a sincere desire to overcome their temptations and that such a desire compels them to be genuinely striving to lead a holy lifestyle. [For a discussion regarding being holy, click on “Can Anyone Except God Be Holy?”]
Reason #3: They Do Not Believe that They Are Ready to Trust in Jesus Christ As Their Savior
The people in this category think that it is not urgent for them to become a Christian. At least some of these people, and perhaps many of them, do not want to make a decision about becoming a Christian until near the time when they expect to die. However, the scripture that follows provides no assurance that such people will not die before they decide to become a Christian.
James 4:13-14: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow [a]we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
This scripture emphasizes that it is precarious for a person to presume that he (or she) will be able in the future to do what prudence indicates would be wise to do much sooner. Several million people in our country die every year and many of them die without much, if any, advance warning. Furthermore, thousands of the people who die each year are not elderly. Therefore, when a person continues to postpone making the decision to trust in Jesus Christ as his (or her) Savior, it is a very risky choice that has eternal consequences.
The scriptures that we have cited counter the three reasons we have discussed with regard to why people are hesitant to become a Christian. There are also other reasons why people do not want to become a Christian. Most of these reasons suggest either ignorance about Christian beliefs or skepticism, if not hostility, toward Christian beliefs. For a discussion of these other reasons, click on “Why Do People Reject Jesus Christ?” and/or “Does It Really Matter What You Believe?”]