Summary: Many "hope" they will be saved, but don’t have the assurance God wants them to have because they don’t have the right attitudes.
Let’s start today’s message by talking about confidence. When I was in the Navy, I was a flight weather forecaster, and I gave weather briefings to pilots all the time. If you have ever been around a bunch of military pilots before, you are very aware of what ultra-confident folks they are. I suppose they have to be, really, to be able to do the job they do.
Part of my training was going to school to learn physics and meteorology. Part of my training was to recognize different weather patterns by sight alone. Part of that training consisted of the memorization of many codes, all consisting of numbers and every number meaning something else, depending on where it was placed in the sequence.
That sounds like a lot of technical stuff, doesn’t it? It was. But after we had passed all that, we were given one more bit of training. It was a short and intense course in self-confidence. The chief who was our instructor said that no matter how accurate we were, if we could not convince the pilots at the briefing, we would be reassigned to a lesser duty. So, they gave us this course in self-confidence.
The chief wrote his definition of ‘confidence’ on the blackboard. It said, “To know you are right on.” That’s all it said. But the more I read it, the more it said to me. It was like a light switch that someone came along and turned on. It finally made perfect sense.
To know you are right on. I wonder how many Christians know if they are truly right on or not. I wonder if very many of us have that kind of self-confidence. How can we tell if we do or not? Is there some kind of gauge we can use?
The next time you are in an airport waiting for a flight, look at the people around you. There will be two types of people. There will be those whose tickets have already been confirmed, and there will be those flying stand-by. The ones who have confirmed tickets have absolute knowledge that they will be able to get a seat on that plane. These people will be reading newspapers; talking to loved ones on the phone; or spending their time in some other relaxed way. These people have assurance, and therefore, they have the confidence level of that assurance.
Those flying stand-by will not know if they can board that plane until the actual minute of boarding. These people cannot relax. If they don’t get on this plane, they will be late getting to where they are going; or they will have to wait for hours for another plane. They will be pacing back and forth. They will be agitated for the most part. These people do not have any assurance, all they have is a ‘maybe’.
MATTHEW 7:21 says,
‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who in heaven.’
When we think about whether or not we will be going to heaven, how do we act? Do we act with the confidence of having a confirmed ticket, or do we act like we have a stand-by ticket and might not get in?
Today, I want to talk about how we can have the assurance we sing about; the confidant air of a true Christian. Let me ask you a question. If you knew that in 15 minutes, you were going to be standing before the judgment seat of God, are you confident that you will be invited in, or will He quote …
MATTHEW 7:22 to you …
‘I never knew you – away from Me, you evildoers!’
I wonder if you are sitting here this morning with any doubt at all in your mind as to what God would say to you. In your mind, are you the relaxed ticket-holder who is confirmed, or in your mind are you pacing back and forth nervously like the ticket-holder that is flying stand-by? I cannot help but think how surprised we would all be to know just how many of us might be nervously pacing, awaiting a judgment that we are not sure of.
Many Christians doubt because people always keep telling them how wrong they are, or how many mistakes they keep making and they accept it. We all make mistakes and none of us are right – but as wrong as we are and as many mistakes as we make, there is one thing that overcomes it all; God’s loving forgiveness.
I know I speak a lot on having a humbled heart, and some of you might be tired of it by now, but here is the bottom line. If you have truly humbled your heart to God Almighty, through Jesus Christ as your Savior, you will be saved. It will not matter how many mistakes you made, because your heart will compel you to keep relying on God to get you past them – and He will!