Do You Know For Sure That You Have Eternal Life?
The Bible says that “ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 Jn 5:13) and are in fellowship with God. You need to know four things:
1.) YOU ARE A SINNER
God’s standard is “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Mt 5:48), but you have fallen miserably short of His holy glory. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). “There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom 3:10-12). You can say, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps 51:5), since you sinned in the first man, Adam (Rom 5:12-19), and possess a “heart [that] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9). Your corrupt nature makes you “as an unclean thing, and all [your] righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Is 64:6). It only takes one sin to keep you out of God’s presence: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (Jam 2:10), but you have committed numberless sins, every one of which is written down in God’s books (Rev 20:11-15). The Lord Jesus Christ said that unjust anger is murder (Mt 5:21-22), and a lustful thought is adultery (Mt 5:27-28), so you are a murderer and an adulterer. You have lied (Prov 6:16), been proud (Pr 6:16-19), bitter (Ro 3:14), unthankful (2 Tim 3:2), covetous (2 Tim 3:2), and hypocritical (Is 33:14). You have broken the greatest commandment of all, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Mt 22:37). Indeed, until you are born again, you “cannot please God” (Rom 8:8) in any way, but are “defiled and unbelieving” with “nothing pure; but even [your] mind and conscience is defiled” (Tit 1:15). You “have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23).
2.) YOU DESERVE A PENALTY FOR SIN
God’s law says, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Gal 3:10). You have not continuously and perfectly obeyed, so you are cursed. Since “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23), you are subject to both physical death, the separation of the soul and spirit from the body (Heb 9:27), and to spiritual death, the separation of man from God. You are currently “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1), your “damnation is just” (Rom 3:8), and you are consequently headed for the second death, eternal separation from God in the lake of fire: “This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:14-15). In the lake of fire you “shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and [you] shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of [your] torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and [you] have no rest day nor night” (Rev 14:10-11).
The question arises: “How can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Mt 23:33).
3. JESUS DIED FOR YOU
Jesus Christ is “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim 3:16). The Son of God, who existed from eternity past with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the three Persons of the one and only true God (1 Jn 5:7), took to Himself a human nature, so that, although He was still 100% God, He became 100% Man as well. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross, where His Father “made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor 5:21). He then rose bodily from the grave and ascended to heaven, from whence He will soon return to judge the world. On the cross, God laid your transgressions on His Son, who suffered to pay your sin debt. The law demands perfect righteousness for entry into heaven, but Christ died as your Substitute so that His death and shed blood could pay for your sin, and you could have His righteousness put to your account and be counted righteous in God’s sight for the Savior’s sake. You can be saved, not through your own works, but through His work; not by your attempts to obey the law, but His perfect obedience to it and death to satisfy it. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Gal 3:13). “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but [made alive] by the Spirit” (1 Pet 3:18). Since by “one offering he hath perfected for ever” those that are washed in His blood (Heb 10:14), there is nothing that you can do to save yourself, or to keep yourself saved. “Salvation is of the LORD” (Jon 2:9).
4. YOU MUST BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST
Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved from your sins. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (Jn 3:36). Saving faith in Jesus Christ involves:
a.) Repentance. “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lu 13:3). “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Ac 3:19). In repentance, you agree with God that you are as bad as the Bible says you are, that you are headed to hell and deserve it for your sins, and you turn from your sins to submit unconditionally to God as your Lord. Jesus Christ said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life [wants to live his own way and will not turn to God’s way] shall lose it [in hell]; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:34-36).
b.) Trust in the Lord Jesus alone to save. You do not believe on Jesus Christ for salvation if you think that any good deed you have done, are doing, or will do, or any religious ritual, such as baptism or communion, has a particle to do with the forgiveness of your sins. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace [undeserved favor] are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” The Bible states, “to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth [declares righteous based on Christ’s work on the cross] the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. . . . God [credits] righteousness without works . . . a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom 4:5-6; 3:28). If salvation is “by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Rom 11:6). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Tit 3:5). You must forsake all confidence in your supposed goodness and place your confidence in the Savior’s blood and righteousness alone.
If you will come to Jesus Christ for salvation, He will keep you saved; no one who has ever truly believed in Him can perish (Rom 8:28-39). Once you are saved, you are always saved, both from sin’s penalty, eternal damnation, and from sin’s power: “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor 5:21). If you will repent and believe in Him, he promises you everlasting life with Him in heaven upon His return or your death, and a holy life on earth now, freed from the bondage of sin.
You need to receive Jesus Christ immediately to save you from your sin. First, admit you are a sinner. Second, admit that you deserve hell for your sins. Third, turn to the Savior, who died to redeem you, in repentant faith. The Lord Jesus Christ is God (Jn 1:1), is Lord (Jn 20:28), and is Savior (Mt 1:21). “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is 1:18). The Lord Jesus promises, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn 6:37). Turn to Him immediately—tomorrow it may be too late. “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Is 55:6-7).