Summary: What keeps you from knowing for sure? Three hangups for the Christian and non Christian.
Do You KNOW that You have Eternal Life? Rev Curtis Emerson
Has anyone ever been asked this question, if you were to die tonight would you go to heaven? I know that I have asked that question to numerous people and have received various responses.
The answer that I received the most is usually; I hope so, I think so. Every once in awhile I might hear a truly honest person who tells me I don’t know.
If I get a response, that usually triggers the next question which is; if you were to die tonight, and you would go to the gates of heaven, Jesus meets you there and asks you this question; why should I let you into my heaven; what would you say? At this point I will get various responses usually having to do with some sort of work, or behavior or attitude that they have had in this life that should allow them to get into heaven. Most of the answers that I have received to this question are incorrect according to the Scripture.
There are all a lot of people today who do not know if they possess eternal life. I had an elderly gentleman in the last parish that prayed with me to receive Christ and later prayed with one of our elders to receive Christ, and yet when you would ask him, do you know that you have eternal life, he would say “I hope so”. He could not say that he had the assurance of salvation.
Do you know that you have eternal life?
And this is the record that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5. 11-13
How can a sinner know that He belongs to Jesus Christ and that he is saved for eternity? Doesn’t our God want us to know for sure? Of course He does. Clearly, God’s purpose is for those who genuinely believe on the Son to have real biblical assurance of salvation.
John states plainly, “He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.” (1 John 5. 12). How much more direct and simple could he possibly be? There is no in between. Either a person is saved or lost. You are not “partly saved” or “partly lost”. You are either one or the other. The only issue is whether or not you “have the Son.” But how can a person know, for sure, that he “has the Son?”
What are some of the thoughts that keep you from knowing for sure that you have eternal life?
There is a devastating conspiracy to keep you from knowing the truth of God’s Word and to keep you from being assured that you belong to God. That devastating conspiracy is again found in the wickedness of the world, the flesh, and the Devil. If any one of these can keep you from gaining the assurance of faith the Devil rejoices.
Most of the time that people fail to gain God’s assurance of faith is because of these three little things;
1. Condemning themselves
Some condemn themselves because of their own personal weakness. For some odd reason they think that they cannot help but fall into sin. They are weak, incapable of ever living up to what God has said in his word.
At this point a person might feel because of their genetics, or being prone to some weakness or sin, they can never feel fully forgiven. They may confess their sin but never enjoy the sense of being fully forgiven. They have come to a conclusion that they are just so bad that God will not forgive.
Listen to the word of the Lord; 1 John 3:19-20, we will know by this that we are all of the truth, and will a sure our hearts before him in what ever our heart condemns us for God is greater than our heart and know all things.
Our heart or our mind will constantly try to condemn us for the things that we have done. God is telling us in this verse that he is greater than our heart and he knows all things. If God doesn’t condemn us, then why should we condemn ourselves?
2. Personal responsibility for sin
Many times we feel a personal responsibility for our sin: meaning that it was us who sinned and it must be us who pays the penalty for our sin. It is hard for us to believe that all we have to do is "confess our sins, and he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins".