Summary: A sermon examining the fact that we can know for sure that we are saved.
HOW TO KNOW THAT YOU KNOW
When I was a child I had a Sunday School teacher who often said concerning salvation, "you have to know that you know that you know that you are saved. Ironically many years later the Holy Spirit revealed to her that she was not saved and at that point she was truly born again.
As a pastor, I have often been asked, "how can I know for sure that I am saved". This is a very important question to ask, especially considering that there are many people who have never truly been born again. Countless people have had an emotional experience, prayed a prayer, been baptized, and joined a church, without truly being saved. Furthermore, some have served in the church for years, some as teachers, deacons and even pastors without being born again. On the other hand, there are others who indeed have been born again, yet they lack assurance of their salvation. These two scenarios show us why it is so important to "know that you know that you know".
The goal today is for each and every person here to leave this place knowing where they stand spiritually. If you have not been saved, I pray that this is the day that you receive salvation thorough Jesus Christ. If you have been saved, I pray that you leave here with peace and victory because you have full assurance that you have truly been born again. As we walk through this passage, let us consider the thought "How To Know That You Know".
Doubt concerning one's salvation is nothing new. In fact, it is one of the main reasons that John wrote this letter. He said in - v13 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
You may think that doubting your salvation is a sin, it is not! Doubt is not a sin, but unbelief is. "Unbelief is the product of a rebellious heart, doubt is the product of an unsettled mind." - Dr. Herb Reavis
Jesus will not rebuke you for doubting your salvation. In fact, there are scriptural examples of Jesus seeking to provide assurance to those who experienced seasons of doubt.
The Gospels tell the story of John the Baptist. Zacharias and Elizabeth (who was barren) learned from an angel that they would have a son. The angel told Zacharias "thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God." (Luke 1:13-16)
Before he was even born, John was chosen of God to be the "forerunner" of Christ. This is the man who baptized Jesus. He is the one who saw Jesus coming and boldly proclaimed "behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." He was extremely bold in his faith, so much so that he found himself in prison facing certain death. While in this prison, John heard about the many miracles of Jesus. He was giving sight to the blind, making the deaf to hear, cleansing lepers, casting out demons and even raising the dead. Yet, John remained in prison, discouraged confused and doubtful. There came a point when John's doubt became so great that he sent two of his friends to ask Jesus "are you the One that is to come, or should we look for another".
Jesus sent those men back to John to tell him what they had seen and heard. He wanted to confirm the truth to His beloved servant. Notice that Jesus did not rebuke John's doubt, He sought to reassure his mind. You see, doubt is within the mind whereas unbelief is in the heart.
Listen to what Jesus had to say about John even after he doubted Him, v11 ... Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist...
I find encouragement in the fact that Jesus understood John's doubt and He sought to calm his fears. In the same way, Jesus wants to give you assurance concerning your relationship with Him. I am concerned when I hear people say that they have never had any doubts about their conversion. This concerns me because doubt is one of Satan's favorite weapons to use against God's children. He will use doubt to bring you to a place of discouragement. He will use doubt to steal your joy. He will use doubt to rob you of your victory.