Summary: There are many scriptural reasons why we can KNOW for SURE that we are saved. This message points out four of them.
Series: What is Christianity #4
How Can I Know for Sure?
INTRODUCTION: Saul of Tarsus had a dramatic conversion experience changing from a person who was extremely intent on persecuting anyone who followed the Lord to becoming one of them himself and preaching the gospel. Many people do not have such a dramatic turnaround in their lives and have continual nagging doubts about their salvation. They wonder, “Am I really saved?” “How can I know for sure that my sins are really forgiven?” “Will God hold my past against me?” “How can I know for sure?”
You might have some of the same nagging doubts about your salvation and at times wonder if God even cares about you or knows that you exist.
“How can I know for sure?” is the question I want to explore today. There is much we could come up with on this subject, but I want to limit it to four main ways that we can know for sure. I want to give you some specific scriptures to reinforce your faith when doubt tries to creep in.
1. We Are Meant to Know: God does not intend for us to wonder and fret about our salvation. Scripture helps us to answer this question so that we can be sure of life’s most important question concerning our eternal destiny. Scripture tells us that we are MEANT to know for sure whether or not we have salvation. We don’t have to just “hope so” or “wonder if” we will get to heaven some day.
Some people say, “I hope the scales will tip in my favor. If I can do enough good deeds, be nice to my neighbor, do enough good in my lifetime, be a good person, pay my bills and be good to my family…then maybe I will make it to heaven.”
I John 5:13 says, “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.”
Even after receiving Jesus into their lives, many people still live under a great weight of condemnation feeling that God will still punish them for their sins even after they have been forgiven. What does scripture say about this?
Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”
Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
John 5:24, “He that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death into life.”
God wants us to know this. We don’t have to live with a vague question about our salvation thinking that we won’t know for sure until we get there.
2. Access By Faith: We worship God in Spirit and in truth and access things spiritually by faith. John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth.” This may be difficult to understand when we are used to using tangible means to access things--money to buy things, credit cards to charge things, keys to unlock doors. We have to learn a new way from how we are used to operating. We receive our salvation, our healing, our answers to prayer by faith which is a SUBSTANCE that brings us into contact with the Lord. Scripture says that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Scripture says that it is important that we have faith because “without faith it is impossible to please God for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
We must learn how to use our faith not only to initially believe for salvation but to also continue to believe that “he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day” (II Tim. 1:12). We not only access our salvation by faith but we will begin to have a new experience of answered prayer.
I John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask we know that we have the petition we desired of him.”
Much of our problem stems from not believing that the Lord hears us--maybe we think we are not worthy, or that because we don’t “feel” anything or “see” some tangible sign taking place when we pray that God is not hearing that prayer.