Assurance

“Assurance is not of the essence of a Christian. It is required to the bene esse (the well-being), to the comfortable and joyful being of a Christian; but it is not requried to the esse, to the being of a Christian.”

Thomas Brooks, Heaven On Earth, p.15

Most evangelical Christians race to get a “new convert” convinced of the assurance of his or her salvation.

“You admit that you’re a sinner?”
“Yes, I do.”
“And you believe that Christ died for your sins?”
“Yes, yes, I believe.”
“So you want to pray this little prayer? I’ll lead you and your just repeat the words after me… okay?”
“Okay.”
After the prayer…
“Now you’re a Christian.”
“I guess, but I don’t feel any different.”
“But you prayed that prayer, right?”
“Right.”
“Then you’re a Christian and you can now have the assurance of your salvation.”
“What’s that?”
“It’s the confidence that no matter what happens from this point on, you’re a Christian and will always be a Christian and that you’ll go to heaven.”
“No matter what?”
“That’s right, no matter what; no matter how you live or whether you go to church or whether you love & cherish Christ’s glory here on earth or…………”

Well, now you’re starting to see my point, aren’t you. There are forms of evangelical Christianity that want to get as many saved as possible and get them their assurance, but are they offering an empty gift box? Is there anything of substance to what they offer? And is this assurance something they can offer in the first place.

All this is not to say that we can’t have assurance here on earth, prior to heaven, of our salvation and our future hope in glory. We can. Much of the purpose of Scripture is to help us obtain this assurance. The example of thousands of believers would tell us this is so. Even God has promised us assurance: John 14.21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. We, as Christians, are exhorted to “make our calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1.10). So, obviously, we can have assurance in this life.

But, as Brooks so wonderfully points out, there are many who fail to achieve it in this lifetime and for good reason. There are hindrances and barriers that keep so many from it. There are times when God Himself withholds the comforting joy of assurance from His people. Perhaps He’s testing the true motive of the heart: “Do I want the assurance of my salvation so I won’t ever have to ‘work at it’ again?” Or, “Do I want assurance because I’ve spent myself zeroing in on Christ and His words, yet I just don’t seem to have the sense that all is as it should be?”

May the knowledge of God’s truth, accompanied with faith, evidenced through repentance and obedience, saturated with love, bathed in prayer and lived out in perseverance guide you to, as Brooks calls it, “heaven on earth.”

Pastor Kevin

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One Response

  1. Kevin,

    Thanks for visiting my site. It looks as though you’ve gotten a couple of SPAM comments on previous posts. Blogger has an anti-spam feature that you may want to turn on.

    This was a good post. I look forward to returning to your site.

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