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How To Have the Assurance of Salvation

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Thomas S. Myers

HOW TO HAVE THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

            Did you know that you can know beyond the shadow of any doubt that your sins are forgiven?  You can know for certain that your are a child of God and that your going to heaven? 

            Some people say that you can't know for sure you're going to heaven.  My mother used to say, "Never say can't."  I know that I am going to heaven.  You may be thinking, "Pastor, you sure have a lot of confidence in yourself."  No, I don't have confidence in myself, but I have confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Look at:

 

1 JOHN 5:13

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (NIV)

            Notice the word  "KNOW" in 1 John 5:13.  Do you know what John is saying.  John is saying that you can know for certain that you have eternal life.  Not hope so, not guess so, not maybe so, but "KNOW."  You see, the Bible says you can know you have eternal life, and if you don't know, your living beneath your privileges.  You see, I don't have confidence in me.  My confidence is in the Word of God. 

            Let me ask you a question.  Can a person have eternal life and not know for sure they have eternal life?  Sure they can.  But I want to tell you something, as a believer you ought not to be a question mark, you ought to be an exclamation mark! 

I want to give you 5 sure ways you can have the blessed assurance that you're going to go to heaven.

FIRST -- THE PROMISE OF _______________.

            The Bible promises eternal life.  Look at the most memorized and quoted Bible verse JOHN 3:16.

16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)

            Take a close look at John 3:16 and notice the word "BELIEVE."  John says you can believe in Jesus and receive eternal life.  Do you know what the word "believe" means?  It means to entrust.  A man might believe that an airplane can fly, but the belief is worthless until he entrusts himself to it.  Here is the point, if you can not entrust your life to Jesus Christ, you're going to have doubts.  You see, even the devil believes in Jesus Christ, but he does not entrust himself to Jesus.  Do you want to have the assurance that your going to heaven?  Then entrust your life to Jesus Christ and believe what Jesus said:  JOHN 3:16

            Someone might say, "I understand that we need to entrust ourselves to Jesus Christ, but the thing that brothers me is, I don't know whether my faith is good enough?  Has the devil ever attacked you with that?  You agree that salvation is not of works, that it is of grace, and that you need to have faith in Jesus, but the devil keeps saying, "Your faith is not strong enough."  Has the

devil ever whispered that to you?  Do you know what the devil is trying to get you to do?  He is trying to get you to put your faith in faith or to put your faith in your feelings.  You don't put your faith in faith or your feelings, you put your faith in Jesus Christ.   

             In April 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was a skydiver.  He had jumped from a plane along with numerous other skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their parachutes.  On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver opened his chute, the picture went berserk.  The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without his parachute.  It wasn't until he reached for the absent ripcord that he realized he was freefalling without a parachute.  Until that point, the jump probably seemed exciting and fun.  But tragically, he had acted with thoughtless haste and deadly foolishness.  He though he felt the parachute was on his back. but never checked to see if it was there.  Nothing could save him, for his faith was in a feeling.  Belief in anything but an all-sufficient Savior can be just as tragic spiritually.  Only with faith in Jesus Christ dare we step into the dangerous excitement of life.  It is not your feelings that give you eternal life.  It is the Savior that gives eternal life. 

TWO -- THE PERSEVERANCE OF _________. 

PHILIPPIANS 1:6

6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV)

            Ladies, have you ever bought some material and but you didn't finish it?  That material and the pattern has been set aside someplace.  That is not the way it is with God.  Anything that God starts, He finishes.   He is not going to abandon us. 

            A little girl was traveling by train with her family on one of the long sleeper cars.  The sleepers generally had a narrow aisle with even narrower beds two high on either side.  They were made private by curtains.  That night the little girl was put in an upper bunk and was told that Mommy and Daddy were right below her and she was not to be scared because God would look after her.  As everyone began to doze off, the little girl became a little frightened and called out, "Mommy?  Have you left me?"  "No dear, I will never leave you." replied Mommy.  A few minutes later she called out again, "Daddy, have you left me?" And Daddy said, "No dear, "I'm here, too.  I'm not going to leave you."  Things got quiet for a few minutes and then the little girl started again.  "Mommy?  Are you there?"  And this time she asked if her brother and sister were there.  After everybody answered, "Yes!"  it quieted down.  Only to be repeated again a few minutes later.  And then a few minutes after that, until at last another passenger completely lost his patience, and in a deep voice said:  "We're ALL here!  Your father, your mother, your brothers

and sisters.  NOW GO TO SLEEP!"  Silence ruled for about five minutes.  Then the little girl was heard to whisper, "Mommy, was that God?"

            God is not going to leave you.  God has begun a new work in you and He is going to finish it.  That is the perseverance of God.  Have you come to know Jesus Christ as your Savior?  Have discovered that there are still some ruff areas in your life?  And now do you doubt that you're going to heaven?  Take your eyes off yourself, and put them on Jesus Christ, and quote

 

PHILIPPIANS 1:6

6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV)

            Jesus Christ isn't done with you yet.  Look at ROMANS 8:29

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (NIV)

                Do you know what Romans 8:29 is saying?  It is saying that God has settled it long ago that you would look like His Son.  I may not look like too much right now, but I want to tell you something, it's already settled in the mind of God, I'm gonna look like Jesus.  Now you can't be more sure than predestined.  If it is predestined by God, nothing can stop it.  

THREE -- THE POSITION OF THE _________. 

 

2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV)

            The only way you can lose your salvation is if Jesus gets lost.  You see I'm in Christ.  Folks, if I lose my salvation, the Lord Jesus has to get lost.  What ever happens to Jesus happens to me.  Listen to what Jesus said. 

 

JOHN 10:27-28

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. (NIV)

 

            It is not a matter of us holding on to Jesus, it is a matter of Jesus holding on to us.  Do you remember when God told Noah to build the ark?  Did God tell Noah to put 3 foot long pegs on the outside of the boat?  And did He say, "Noah, when it starts to rain, you and your family grab hold of the peg and hold on?  Did God say that?  No way, God gave Noah the instructions to build the ark and when the time came for Noah to get into the ark, God told Noah to get in and God shut the door.  What's so important about God shutting the door?  Well it's this:  I'm sure there were times when Noah stumbled and fell in the ark, but he never fell out of the ark, because God shut the door.  It is the same way with salvation.  God called you into the family of God.  You may stumble and fall, but God is the one who has shut the door by predestining  you to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. 

FOUR -- THE PRESENCE TENSE OF SALVATION.  

            Do you know what some believers believe about salvation.  They believe that one day, they will step into heaven, the gates of heaven will open, they will step into heaven, the gates will shut behind them and they will say, "Glory to God I made in heaven.

Now I'm secure." 

            Down here on earth they're thinking, "I sure hope that I don't lose my salvation.  I hope I make it."  They think that when they step into heaven, they'll be secure.  What is wrong with that thinking?  It is this, your security is not in a place called heaven.  Your security is in the person called the Lord Jesus Christ.  Do you think that heaven is your place of security?  Your security is not in a place.  Did you know that angels fell from heaven?  You don't get eternal life when you get to heaven, you get eternal life the moment you believe in Jesus.  Look at John 5:24 and notice that eternal life starts when you believe in Jesus, not when you die.

John 5:24

24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (NIV)

            When does eternal life start?  It starts the very moment you entrust your life to Jesus Christ.  It starts the very moment you entrust your life that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and that He was raised from the dead.  Eternal life is present tense, not future tense.  

John 5:24

24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life...

FIVE -- THE PRAYER OF THE _____________.

            Look at the prayer of Jesus and notice what He prays for:

 

John 17:9

9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. (NIV)

            Notice that Jesus is praying only for believers.  In this prayer Jesus is not praying for the entire world.  Now look at what Jesus is praying for:

John 17:15

15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. (NIV)

            Here Jesus is praying that the devil will not have the final victory in the life of the believer.  Is Jesus just praying just for His disciples?  No, not at all.  He is praying for you and me.  Look at: 

John 17:19-20

19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. 20 "My prayer is not for them alone.  I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, (NIV)

            Jesus is praying for those who will be Christians who are not even born yet.  He is praying for all believers all the way down through the ages.  Lets look at how the prayer of Jesus worked out. 

Jesus looked at the apostle Peter and said,

Luke 22:31-32

31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (NIV)

            Do you know what Jesus is saying?  He is saying that Simon Peter was going to make some terrible blunders.  In just a short time Simon Peter was going to curse and swear and deny Jesus.  Jesus knew Peter's failures. Jesus knew that Peter was arrogant and careless, but Jesus also knew Peter's faith.  Wouldn't you like to have Jesus pray for you like He prayed for Simon Peter? 

He has John 17:15

15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. (NIV)

            Now let me give you some verse that some people use against eternal security.  Look at: 

2 Peter 2:21-22

It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud." (NIV)

 

            They will say, "See, that's what happens to some Christians, they go back and deny the faith.  Not really, why did the dog go back?  Because it's still a dog.  Why did the pig go back?  Because it's still a pig.  What happens when you clean up a pig?  It goes right back to the pig pen. 

      Another Scripture that is used is:  Hebrews 6:4-6

4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. (NIV)

            Now if you use this verse to say a person can be saved and then lost, then you're in real trouble, because then you would have to say, "He will never be saved again."  So if you don't believe in eternal security, you would have to say, "Once lost, always lost."  There are all kinds of ways we can die.  A piece of junk from space can fall and hit us.   A new disease has been discovered that lives in swimming pools. It is a single-cell organism that attacks the brain, It enters a swimmer's body through his nose and cause a disease which destroys the brain. The microscopic organism has claimed 55 lives in the United States.  Then the killer bees are coming.  That just reminds us there are lots of ways to die, some of them awfully unexpected.  It certainly makes one glad to know that "the Lord is my light and my salvation -- whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life -- of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1).   

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