Some people say that they are saved and they know it. They are absolutely certain that God has saved them and given them eternal life because they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
Can we be sure that we are saved while we are still in this world? We certainly can. The apostle John wrote that we know we have crossed over from death to life, 1 John 3:14. Paul told the Thessalonian Christians that he had brought them the Gospel with complete conviction that it is true, 1 Thessalonians 1:5. He knew that people can surely be saved if they believe this Gospel message. "Assurance" means to know for sure that you are saved.
Only those who have believed in Christ. These people have been born again by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God and have become members of God's family, John 1:12,13. Some people trust in other things to save them rather than trusting in Christ, but they will find out later that these things cannot save them. Only the sheep of the Lord Jesus Christ can be sure that they have eternal life and rejoice in that fact, John 10:27,28.
First let us think of how we do NOT get assurance.
1. Not by our feelings. Our feelings can deceive us. A person may feel well, even though he is seriously ill. The five foolish girls in Matthew 25:1-13 felt that they were ready to join in the wedding feast, but they were left outside. This will also be true of the people we read about in Matthew 7:22,23 and Luke 13:25-27. It is possible for a person to feel that he is saved when he is really trusting in his religion and not in Christ. Millions of people have been deceived in this way. Feelings can never make a person certain that he has eternal life, but when a person is sure he is saved he will probably feel happy.
Here is the right order:
2. Not by belonging to some church or obeying the rules of our own religion. Neither of these things can save us or make us sure that we have eternal life. At the end of a Gospel service, the preacher might ask people to put up their hand or stand up to show that they want to believe in Christ, but doing this will not give anyone assurance that he is saved. Perhaps he will feel saved for a while, but when difficulties come he will soon begin to doubt that he was saved at all. Let us not allow Satan to make us think that we are safe, when we are not really trusting in Christ.
Now let us think of how we CAN have assurance:
1. The witness of the Word of God. The apostle John wrote verses 9 to 12 of 1 John 5 so that we may believe on the name of the Son of God and be certain that we are saved, 1 John 5:13. Be sure to read these verses. Every day, we believe the witness that men give, when we believe the things they say. We should certainly believe what God says will happen when we believe in His Son. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. How do we know? Because God says so!
Abraham was certain that God would give him a son even though he and his wife were too old to have children. What made him so sure? He believed what God had told him, Romans 4:20,21. Noah built an ark in which he and his family were saved. What made him think that there would be a flood? He believed what God had said, Hebrews 11:7.
Rahab asked the spies to swear that they would not destroy her father's family and to give her something to prove that they would keep their promise, Joshua 2:12. What did they give her? Their promise. They promised that she and her house would not be destroyed with the rest of the city. Rahab believed their words and they did what they had promised, Joshua 6:22,23.
The angel of the Lord went through all the land of Egypt to destroy the oldest son in every home. God told the angel not to enter any house where the father had put blood over the door on the outside. The first-born sons knew they were safe because God had said so, Exodus 12:13. The blood made them safe; God's Word made them sure.
Here's a question for you: What does true understanding bring?
(see Colossians 2:2) _________________________________
2. The witness of the Holy Spirit. We read about the witness of the Holy Spirit in three different ways in the New Testament: