My pastor recently said that if you really want to know if someone is saved, you need to ask them two questions. The first is, “If you died right now, would you go to Heaven?” And the second question is, “How do you know?”
Many people may believe that they are saved, but when you ask them how they know, their responses may be something like, “I grew up in a religious family” or “I went to Sunday School every week when I was a child”. Some may tell you that they were baptized as a baby, received a blessing from their church leader, or that they are a longstanding member of a church. Unfortunately, none of these things saves anyone. It is only our belief in the shed blood of our Savior Jesus Christ that gives us salvation because it is a gift of God through His great mercy.
Some Christians may say that they are not certain of their eternal destination, but it is through a lack of confidence rather than placing their trust in the wrong person or thing, as the previous examples. We can all have times where we wonder if we are truly where we need to be with God; however, this should never shake our confidence in God’s promises concerning our eternal life.
Although most of us have memorized these verses, they are important to know and understand when witnessing to others about salvation. John 3:16-17 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Jesus, who was perfect in every way, took our sin upon Himself and suffered the punishment and death we deserved. God accepted this substitution and credited us with the righteousness of His perfectly sinless Son. This unmerited and undeserved gift cannot be earned nor bought; it can only be accepted by believing in faith that this is exactly what our Heavenly Father and our Savior have done for us. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
In 1 John 2:15-17, we are told, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” And in 1 John 5:1a, we read, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” John continues in verses 4-5, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
As if that were not enough, John was inspired by the Holy Spirit to continue writing so that we would have no doubt as to the message. In 1 John 5:9-13 (NKJV), John writes, “If we received the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written unto you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
There are many scriptures that encourage us to continue holding fast to our belief in the Word of God. In Galatians 6:7-9, we are told, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” And in 1 Timothy 6:12, we read, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
Remember that our ultimate gift is eternal life, as it says in Romans 6:22, “But now made free from sin, and become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” Paul tells us in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” And if that were not enough, Jesus reassures us with His promises in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
There is no reason to be uncertain of where we will spend eternity. If we have accepted Christ as our personal Savior, we are promised everlasting life. And if, in our witness to others, we encounter someone who is uncertain, it is the perfect time to share with them God’s precious promises of salvation and eternal life, so that they too may know with confidence that Heaven is their destination.
Grace and blessings on your path,