“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.“ 1 John 5:13
I recently had lunch with a friend who is struggling, and he told me he was not sure if he was saved. He thought he might be, but he was not certain. I told him that hopes and wishes don’t count when it comes to salvation, and one is either saved or unsaved - there is no middle ground. Eternity is a long time and is nothing to play with, so the question of salvation is the most important decision one will ever make. I may have hope in a lot of things, but I have so much more than hope when it comes to my salvation. I know if I were to die today, I am 100 percent sure I will go to heaven because I placed my faith in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I wish I could say I was always this sure of my salvation, but I have had my doubts throughout the years.
I was in a high school Bible class when I was confronted with something I had not given much thought to in quite some time. The assignment in my text book was to write out your testimony and describe how you knew you were going to heaven. I stared at those directions for quite some time and I was stumped as to what I could write. I remembered the time I placed my faith in Jesus Christ as a young boy, but by that time in high school, I did not see any evidence of that in my life. I had strayed from the Lord, sin was reigning inside of me, and I was living after my flesh. Because of my lifestyle, I was not sure I was going to heaven, and so I was not sure how to answer the question. My classmates were busy writing their responses, but I was conflicted as I sat there. I finally went up to my teacher's desk and told him I was not sure what to write as I was not sure of my salvation. I will never forget his face as he looked at me and was at a loss for words.
He told me to come to his office the following day and he would go over some Bible verses with me. I am sure glad I did not pass away in that 24-hour period, but I survived the day and went to his office. He opened the Bible and went through the plan of salvation with me. I was familiar with these verses, but I was not living as I should. As we went through the “Romans Road”, I knew I had accepted Jesus Christ when I was young, even though I sure did not feel like it then. I had allowed my sins to bring about doubt, and I was reassured of my salvation. I prayed in my teacher's office, and I asked God to forgive me for my sinful ways. I restored my relationship with God, and I thanked God for restoring back to me the joy of my salvation. I thought back to the day when I knelt beside my mom's bed and put my sole trust and faith in Jesus Christ. I had forgotten about this because of the sin in my life, and I was basing my salvation on my poor efforts instead of basing it on the finished work of Jesus Christ.
The Bible instructs us to examine ourselves before God to make sure we are “in the faith” and Christ dwells in us. 2 Corinthians 13:5 states, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove (test) your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates (disqualified)?" Sin always brings about doubt in the Christian's life, but it is important to remember that our salvation is based on Christ’s finished work and not on our feelings. I am grateful for the confidence this brings. We can know that we have eternal life if we have believed on the name of the Son of God. This is the eternal guarantee that only God can give.
Where are you today friend? Have you examined your own life to see if you are truly “in the faith”? Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ? Does your life reflect your profession? Do you have doubts due to the sin in your life? Do you base your salvation on your feelings or on the finished work of Jesus Christ? If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, today is the day. Do not wait for tomorrow. What about you Christian? If you have doubts due to your sin, you can come back to Him today and the joy of your salvation will be restored unto you. Psalm 51:12 states, "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit." There is no greater joy than walking with Him.
Stay in the fight!