Summary: Assurance of salvation.
"Answers for Assurance"
1 John 5:13 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.
ILL -- The weary evangelist knocked on another door, fully expecting to have it slammed in his face. Sure enough, the older woman who answered angrily demanded that he leave once she figured out why he was there and slammed the door.
The door, however, bounced back open, and the woman shouted, "Get your foot out of my door!"
"But ma'am..." the evangelist began, when the woman again slammed the door in his face. Once again it bounced back open.
"I said get your foot out of my door!" the woman yelled again. One more time she slammed the door. One more time it bounced open again.
"But ma'am..." the evangelist said again, only to be cut off.
"Don't talk back to me!" the woman screamed in a rage. "I want you off my property!" She slammed the door a fourth time, only to see it bounce open a fourth time.
"Ma'am," the evangelist yelled as he beat a hasty retreat down the sidewalk, "you'll be able to close your door if you move your cat out of the way!"
Introduction: In 1990's Northwest Airlines offered some unusual round-trip passages aboard one of their planes. Fifty-nine dollars bought a "Mystery Fare" ticket that provided a one-day trip to an unknown American city. Buyers didn't find out where they were heading until they arrived at the airport the day of the flight. Still, the airline had plenty of takers. In Indianapolis fifteen hundred people crowded the airline counter to buy the Mystery Fare tickets that were sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Not surprisingly, when buyers learned their destination, not all were thrilled. One buyer who was hoping for New Orleans but found he had a ticket for Minneapolis walked through the airport terminal yelling, "I've got one ticket to the Mall of America. I'll trade for anything." Mystery Fare tickets may be a fun surprise for a weekend vacation, but normally the last thing you want is a ticket to a mystery destination. And one time you never want a Mystery ticket is on the day of your death. You don't want to face eternity uncertain about whether you will go to heaven or hell. "Nothing is certain but death and taxes." Benjamin Franklin wrote these words in 1789. Of course, a wise man like Franklin knew there were many other things that we can also know for certain. It is possible to know with certainty, "I know that I have eternal life & when I die I will go to heaven (CIM)." Quote from Dennis Davidson
In preparing for this message I found a quote that says:
There are five basic categories of people in the NT:
1) Those who know they aren't saved. Acts 26:28
Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
2) Those who think they are saved, but aren't. Matthew 7:21-23
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
3) Those we think are saved, but aren't. 1 John 2:18-19/Tares of Mt. 13
4) Those who are saved, but don't act like it. I Cor. 3:1-3
1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
5) Those that are saved, and live it. I Jn. 5:1-5
Over the years I have had the opportunity to help lead several people to a place of assurance in their Christian experience. This has led me to believe that a lack of assurance of salvation is much more common than any of us suspect. This lack of assurance can be very pronounced leading to feelings of doubt and disbelief or it can be a subtle as an uneasiness of spirit. What are its causes? In my experience there is more than any one thing. For instance, a lack of assurance can be attributed to what I would call doctrinal traditions. There are certain doctrinal positions that deal with the issue of sin in the life of the believer that cause a lack of assurance of salvation. For instance, there are those who teach that every time a Christian sins that they are lost again. A lack of assurance can be attributed to how you were raised or can be attributed to neglect or abuse that results in low self-worth or self-esteem. A lack of assurance can be attributed to a failure to walk in the Spirit. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. I suspect that the overwhelming majority of those with assurance problems are living a nominally Christian lifestyle and are not walking in the Spirit but are walking in the flesh. Last but not least, there are many who do not have assurance of salvation because they have never been saved! Jesus said, "...ye must be born again..." and the plain truth is they give no evidence of having experienced the new birth and therefore they cannot have assurance. So all this being said, "If I could show how to have assurance of salvation, would you like to know?" I'm going to share 5 important truths about assurance over the next few minutes that could transform your life. First, is what I want to refer to as: