I have previously written about why some people will not make it to heaven. For some, that begs the question, “Can I be sure that I will go to heaven?” One thing is certain: God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pet.3:9) You can know that you are going to heaven if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, calling upon Him to save you. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Period. No baptism mentioned with reference be becoming a believer. No church membership. No amount of good works: “Not by works of righteousness we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Tit.3:5)
Yet, it is true that some fear they will not make it to heaven. They have with their heart believed and with their mouth confessed Christ, but their doubts remain. They lack the assurance of salvation. No one can lack the eternal security of being saved, for that is a matter that is totally in God’s control. We are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation….” (1 Pet. 1:5) Our security does not depend upon our being assured; God keeps us secure in Himself, based upon our believing and receiving His Son Jesus Christ as Savior, and all who have done that are eternally secure in Christ. Jesus said that we are in His Father’s hands; He has given us eternal life and we shall never perish. (John 10:28,29) A believer could not possibly be more secure, being “in Christ” and held by God’s power unto the day of realizing our eternal salvation.
But, having said that, it is possible because of lack of understanding, training or the presence of unconfessed sin for some whose security is sealed in Christ to lack assurance. Assurance is not to be equated with security. So, in this post I want to speak to the subject of “Blessed Assurance.” Those words introduce a song often sung, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine….” Every child of God possesses eternal security and every believer can and should realize the assurance of salvation.
John Newton, author of the Amazing Grace hymn, once said when asked about the certainties of life, “When I was young, I was sure of many things; there are only two things of which I am sure now: one is, that I am a miserable sinner; and the other, that Jesus Christ is an all-sufficient Savior.”
Spurgeon, the legendary 19th century London pastor, has been quoted as saying that he was “so sure of his salvation that he could grab onto a corn stalk and swing out over the fires of Hell, look into the face of the devil and sing “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine.”
You can’t be sure of your salvation by trusting your feelings, for “Feelings come and feelings go and feelings are deceiving; My warrant is the Word of God—Naught else is worth believing.”
And, if you have not already learned to cling to that classic verse upon being sure that you are saved, please read and reread I John 5:12,13: “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 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.”
S.D. Gordon told of a Christian lady whose age began to tell on her memory. She had been a great Bible student, but eventually all that she had memorized of God’s Word had left her but one verse: “…I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2 Tim.1:12) As the lady’s last days continued to approach, all she could remember of this verse was, “That which I have committed unto Him.” And Gordon said that on her death bed all she could recall was “Him” and she kept saying this to herself—”Him, Him, Him.” “She had lost the whole Bible but one word, but she had the whole Bible in that one word.” (copied)
So, you are certain for heaven because of the security you have in God through Christ. That is absolute certainty which yields irrefutable security, because of the finished work of Christ and the fact that our salvation depends upon what He did (at Calvary) not what we do. But, you may, while being totally secure in Him, not have the assurance of which Paul spake in 2 Tim 1:12. You can be sure; God wants you to possess assurance and it is a matter of believing that what God says is true: “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” It’s just a matter of believing and receiving the gift of God which is eternal life. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:12)