Statistics don’t mean much until they impact our lives. A case in point: No one pays too much attention to the number of people that need to be evacuated from the Emerald Coast if there was a hurricane. Nor does anybody worry about what route can handle what number of people. Very few people conduct test runs so they know the route or have a procedure in place so the family knows what to do. But all that would change if a hurricane was heading in our direction. We would want to make sure that we are ready to deal with it. The greater the issue, the greater the need for assurance.
Christians need assurance as well, sometimes the assurance they are saved. A a pastor, I have spent time talking with Christians who have doubts or at least questions about their salvation. This is not a new issue. Christians for centuries have lived in fear, wondering if they missed something or whether it could be that simple or if there was a misstep that could cause them to lose their salvation. They just want the assurance that they will spend eternity with their loving Savior.
Let me take a few moments and look at the question of assurance.
Many Christians have been assaulted with doubt. Doubt will make us wonder if God really loves us. Doubt will produce fear when troubles arise. And for many believers, doubt is what brings a sense of uncertainty to whether or not they are eternally saved.
When those thoughts creep into our head, our first inclination is to shake them off. We reconcile those doubts by telling ourselves that it is healthy to be worried, because only true Christians really worry about salvation. But then we take stock of our lives and our overall performance as Christians. Our sins flash before our eyes, and the more we evaluate, the worse we feel. Suddenly a thought creeps into your mind. ”Maybe I’m not saved after all.”
But then we retreat to a quiet place and open our Bible. After a few minutes we find ourselves on our knees talking to our Heavenly Father. “Lord, here I am. I can’t point to my obedience. Or my accomplishments. I know all too well there is nothing I can offer. There is only Your atonement for my sins. I can only throw myself on Your promise of salvation.”
Jesus promises eternal life to all who believe in Him. If someone is not sure he has eternal life, he plainly doesn’t believe Jesus’ promise. Since Jesus is completely trustworthy, assurance is as simple and as objective as simply taking Him at His word. Assurance is not subjective, it is rooted in the trustworthiness of the One making the promise, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no degree of uncertainty in the deity of Christ, the inerrancy of Scripture, the bodily resurrection of Christ, or the guarantee that all who believe in Him have eternal life.
The apostle John reveals his clear intention for writing the book of 1st John. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” – I John 5:13. The salvation that God gives is not a hope so, maybe so, or a think so salvation. John tells us that we can know that we have eternal life.
Certainty is found in taking God at His Word. “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life” – John 6:47. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life…” – John 3:36. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” – John 3:16.
If you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you know you have everlasting life.