How To Be Sure That You Are Saved By George Stroh November 1, 2010
" By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother." (1 John 3:10)
One of the most ominous and frightening verses in the Bible is found in Matthew, chapter 7 in what is known as Jesus' sermon on the mount; "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'"
I can't even imagine the shock and fear of impending eternal judgment of those who will hear "I never knew you, depart from Me!" Many of these people thought that they were Christians who would spend eternity in heaven... not hell. But they were self-deceived, believing that their religion, baptisms, confirmation, church attendance, giving, and other "good works" would satisfy God's requirements. They did their best to please God. However, God's requirement for salvation is not just doing your best. His requirement is that we be as holy as He is holy. In other words, to be saved we must be perfect! Perfect in positional righteousness.
You see God hates sin and He will justly punish every sin that has ever been committed. The penalty for sin is death- eternal suffering and separation from God in hell. Only true Christians will be saved from God's wrath, because their sins have been paid for by their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Everyone else is on that proverbial broad road that leads to hell; "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:13-14).
So how can I know for sure that I'm on that narrow road and that I am indeed saved? The Apostle John writes that it is obvious; those who "practice righteousness" are God's children. But again we must understand that before "practical righteousness", a Christian obtains "positional righteousness" through faith alone in the finished work of Christ, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who truly belong to Him, will demonstrate that reality by "practicing righteousness and loving others (brothers and sisters in the Lord). Yes, Christians still sin. But sin is not their "practice"; My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins..."
(1 John 2:1-2).
I encourage everyone to examine themselves to confirm that you have both "positional" and "practical" righteousness. Read through The First Letter of John to be sure that you are saved; "These things I have written to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:13). Maranatha!