How Can I Know?
Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. — 1 John 2:4-6
I remember as a very young Christian that every once in a while an evangelist would come in the area. They would preach Bible verses that the regular ministers stayed away from for the most part. They would absolutely scare me to death. I don’t care how many times I had gotten “saved”, I got saved again . . . Just to be sure!
Recently, I heard another one of those messages. I sat there and listened, but this time there was no fear. I didn’t feel the desperate urge to call upon The Lord once more to be saved. What was the difference?
When I first heard the gospel, I viewed the “prayer of salvation” as an insurance policy. Because I had “done” Romans 10:9, God was now obligated to “save” me. It didn’t matter that I had never read the next verse. Verse 10 says “for with the heart one believes unto righteousness.” I never wanted to actually become righteous. I just wanted to be saved so I could go to Heaven. I loved the part about getting to go to Heaven, just not the part about actually obeying His commands. I wanted Him as Savior, in fact, I loved Him as Savior. I just didn’t really like Him as Lord of my life.
I guess here is the question that everyone wants to know: Does a prayer that I said years ago get me into Heaven regardless of the fact that I live like I don’t know Him?
Read at the top what John says again. A person who says “I’m a Christian,” but does not keep God’s commands is a liar. If there is absolutely no attempt to obey God’s Word, there is absolutely no assurance of salvation.
Looking back, assurance is what I lacked. Why else would I have gotten saved, again and again? Without obedience, there is no assurance.
Do you have assurance of your salvation? Do you know without a doubt that you are ready to stand before a Holy God right now? If the answer is “yes,” how do you know for sure? Let’s examine a few questions:
Do I say I know Him, yet have no problem hopping in bed with someone who is not my husband or wife?
Do I say I know Him, yet have no problem whatsoever looking at pornography?
Do I say I know Him, yet have no problem taking stuff that doesn’t belong to me? (Let’s even include test answers you didn‘t come up with, copying homework you didn‘t do, and music you put on your phone that you didn’t pay for)
Do I say I know Him, yet add cuss words to my vocabulary when I’m around a certain crowd?
Do I say I know Him, yet never get alone with Him and pray?
Do I say I know Him, yet have no desire to read and learn His Word?
Do I say I know Him, yet have no desire to deny myself, take up my cross, and walk as Jesus walked?
I have done all of these at some point in my life while claiming to be a Christian, and I wondered why I had no confidence in my salvation? The truth is, I was a liar and I did not love Him. John says it best: Love for God will only be made complete in us when we obey His commands. We must at least obey the stuff we know He wants us to do!
Examine your life for the rest of the day, pay attention to what you do, what you say, and what you think. Are you even trying to walk as Jesus walked? I realize that I will fail in that attempt every single time. But, I hope to God that I am showing the world that I am making the attempt with every fiber of my being.
Just to be clear, I am NOT saying that if you do any of this stuff that you are necessarily going to Hell. However, I am saying this: If you can flat out sin and not be bothered by it, then you just don’t know for sure. There is no confidence in your Salvation. The good news is that you can know for sure! Today, you can repent. You can actually turn and walk away from the sin in your life that you know about. As a young college kid, it was the hardest thing I think I have ever done. But, to this day, it is the best thing I have ever done. I know He lives in me.
Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.