Summary: Probably one of the most common questions which is asked of any minister is the question of assurance.
Probably one of the most common questions which is asked of any minister is the question of assurance.
Can I know I’m saved? or some variation of that question has been asked by countless people; and it is a question which I know I am quite accustomed to.
It stands to reason, because there really is nothing in this world more important than our eternal destiny.
It is not something we want to leave to chance.
It is not something we want to “wait and see” about when our life ends.
NOTE: This question has quite a bit of history.
For centuries, it has been debated among Christians scholars as to whether or not a person can know for certain if they are one of the elect.
Some even go as far as to say that it is impossible to have assurance, and those who believe that they are certain are committing the sin of assumption.
This is most obviously a concern in the realm of those whose theology teaches that a person can “lose” his salvation.
The question that we should ask regarding assurance is not, “Can we lose our salvation?” because the answer is “no”.
The Bible is clear that we CAN and SHOULD live with the peace of assurance in regard to our salvation.
We don’t just “hope” that we have salvation, but we can “know” it.
For our text this morning, I have gone to the writings of the Apostle Peter.
In his second epistle, he provides for us a call to confidence and a methodology which can help us rest assured of our salvation.
Obviously, this passage is very important in regard to Reformed Theology because it uses very naturally the language of “calling” and “election”.
In RT, we believe that salvation is an act of God whereby He both chooses (elects) us and calls us to salvation with an effectual, internal calling which results in our responding with faith and repentance.
So, our goal in assurance is seeking to determine whether or not we have truly received that call in our hearts, and if we have genuinely yielded to it.
We are to “be diligent” to confirm these things.
Now, I want to look at this passage in its context, but before I do that, I want to address something about “confirming our salvation” which we need to realize.
There are false ways which people use to “confirm” their salvation, and they end up having false assurance.
The Universalist approach - The universalist says that he is saved simply because he exists. He is assured of his salvation because no one is going to be judged. Ultimately, he is justified by death.
The Legalistic approach - the legalist says that he can know that he is saved because he is in some way obedient to God and his obedience "earns" Gods favor. This is the "good person" confirmation.