At one point or another every Christian has doubts about their salvation, and, as many have experienced, such fears can become quite alarming. Some Christians simply hope that they will somehow make it in the end, while even those who believe their salvation is secure may find themselves assailed by doubts. In either case such insecurity is something the devil will use to the fullest. But don’t give him the pleasure.
Who would ever want to be uncertain, even a little, on such a critical issue—even for a single moment? Popular pastor and best-selling author Dr. Erwin Lutzer was unquestionably correct when he observed the following: “What I long for, and what I think every person longs for, is the knowledge that my relationship with God is secure—permanently secure—not just for today, but for tomorrow and for all of eternity.”1 Indeed, this is what we all yearn for—absolute assurance once and for all, now and forever.
Given the truth that every person on earth will die, and then face the reality of an unalterable eternal Heaven or an eternal Hell (Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 25:46), it would seem that there is no subject on earth more important than knowing with absolute certainty that we really are going to Heaven. Think about it—could anything be more vital? I’m not talking about a general hope, or a sincere expectation. I’m talking about the absolute, complete, and total assurance that we can personally know at this very instant, that we presently possess eternal life (John 6:47; 1 John 5:13). Because it is eternal, it can never be lost, under any circumstance, no matter what happens to us, no matter what we do (John 10:27-30;Romans 8:28-39). Of course, that’s hardly a license to sin (Galatians 6:7), but it certainly is biblical grace. It is true that people in the Church have disagreed on this subject, but that does not2mean the Bible is unclear on the matter. Biblically, there can be only one possible option: either our salvation is eternally secure from the point of genuine salvation or it isn’t. Thankfully, God’s mind is not only made up about this; He wants everyone of His precious children to have a personal, settled conviction concerning it. As the apostle John wrote emphatically, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” (1 John5:13) Or, as Jesus promised those who believe in Him, “I can guarantee this truth: Every believer has eternal life” (John 6:47, God’s Word). Another translation which expresses the force of the original Greek better than others is the ISV that renders this verse, “Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, the one who believes in me has eternal life.” This is exactly why Jesus also promised every believer that they “will never perish…” (John 10:28).
Could anything be clearer? Observed fairly and logically, the biblical proof is both undeniable and compelling—at least, I believe, for those who are open to the evidence. Of course, we all bring assumptions to Scripture, but the issue is the soundness of our assumptions. The regrettable thing is that most Christians have not been exposed to this evidence. It explains why that if asked, the majority of Christians apparently do not express 100% assurance they will go to Heaven when they die.
That’s why Dr. Ankerberg and I recently published our new book, How to Know with Absolute Certainty That You're Going to Heaven. It gives readers the biblical proof in a commonsense, persuasive manner, with short chapters in an easy-to-read format, to resolve any uncertainty once and for all. This book is available from our ministry (JAshow.org or 1-800-805-3030), or as an e-book through JAshow.org or other e-book stores.
We hope this will be one of the most encouraging, pleasurable, and gratifying books you will ever read. We trust that the Spirit of God will minister to you the infinite Treasure and Wonder of Jesus Christ and all He has accomplished for you on the cross of Calvary, once and for all—forever.
We hope that when that final page is read you will have a new outlook on life, one where you can experience joy regardless of your circumstances. We want you to personally experience a new, powerful, and lasting freedom, both spiritually and3emotionally. Because of trusting in the absolute truth of God’s nature and promises we are confident you will experience a fresh delight and happiness rising within you, compelling a greater love for Jesus. As a result of knowing unquestionably that Heaven is absolutely yours now and forever, you will “rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1: 8, ISV).May His salvation truly take your breath away.Notes1 Cited in Irwin Lutzer, How You Can Be Sure That You Will Spend Eternity with God, 1996
Dr. Platt, Dr. Gallaty, and Hull describe what Jesus defines as a disciple and how this differs from what is often seen in the church. If Jesus’ last words include making disciples of all nations, we must understand what a disciple is in order to be one and make them.