Summary: John ends his first letter with words of assurance for those who believe in Jesus. John points to five things we can know for certain.
A. In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote this famous statement, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
1. This past week we have witnessed the certainty of both.
2. Our taxes were due – and some of us even got a needed extension because of the weather.
3. And tragically, we all witnessed the results of the massacre at Virginia Tech. Death can come when we expect it, and when we don’t.
4. Our hearts and prayers to go out to the families of all the victims of this tragedy. May God comfort and strengthen them.
5. We, human beings, have a deep desire for certainty, don’t we?
6. But we live in a world of disbelief.
7. Postmodern prophets seem to say that uncertainty is the only thing we can be sure about.
B. Let me give you this example of the uncertainty that bombards us every day – Those of us who are interested in living and eating in healthy ways regularly hear conflicting and contradictory information.
1. We are left completely confused about what’s good and bad for us.
2. One day we hear how bad sugary soft drinks are for us, but then next day we hear that artificial sweeteners are unhealthy so we are better off drinking the sugared ones.
3. Some days we hear that being overweight is bad for us, but then the next day a new study shows that being overweight is good for us.
4. We hear chocolate is bad for us, then we hear that chocolate is good for us. (That’s my idea of a great diet – chocolate!)
5. We hear that alcohol is bad, then we hear that alcohol is good.
6. We hear that vitamin supplements are necessary, then we hear that a different study shows that they make no difference at all.
7. We hear coffee is good, then coffee is bad.
8. One day the experts are singing the praises of low fat, high fiber, then the next day it is high fat, low carb.
9. So, many Americans just give up and eat their “Whopper and Fries” and just don’t worry about it.
C. So, in this world of confusion and false information, when scientists are constantly changing their theories and politicians change their stances, John assures us that there are some things we can know for certain.
1. As we finish up our sermon series on John’s first letter, we see that his last section is brimming with confidence and assurance.
2. In these short, 8 verses, John uses the word “know”, no less than 7 times.
3. He wants us to know that there are several very important things that we can know.
4. John points us to some truths that cannot be denied and will never change.
4. These are things we can be confident of; things of which we can be sure.
5. There is a boldness that goes along with our faith as we take God at His Word.
6. Are you interested in knowing what these certainties are?
I. Certainty #1: We can have Confidence in Eternal Life.
A. John wrote, “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.” (vs. 13)
1. This is our promise and possession from God – we can know that we have eternal life.
2. So many people over the centuries have been told just the opposite.
3. They have been left with the impression that having eternal life was the one thing that a person can never know for sure.
4. But I tell you today, God does not want us living with that kind of insecurity.
5. God wants us to know that we have eternal life.
6. Those of us who believe in Jesus and have been washed in the blood of the Lamb have been added to the church, and therefore know that we have eternal life.
B. Listen to a few other verses in Scripture that tell us that we can count on this promise.
1. John 3:15, “that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
2. John 3:16, “that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
3. John 3:36, “Whoever puts his faith in the Son has eternal life…”
4. John 5:24, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
5. Let me give you one more for good measure: Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
C. Eternal life is a gift. It is not something we earn or achieve.