Many Christians secretly doubt their salvation because they do not feel like they are good enough Christians to get into heaven. But going to heaven has nothing to do with being “good enough” since none of us ever qualifies. In John 10:28 Jesus said of his followers, “I give them eternal life.” And in 1 John 5:13 we are told that “you may know that you have eternal life.” God wants you to know that you are saved. The Bible doesn’t say “that you may hope you have eternal life” or “that you may wish you have eternal life.” The Bible says you can know you are going to heaven.
I ran across this encouraging statement: “God not only keeps his promises, he also keeps his people.” That’s why my friend Jack Wyrtzen could say, “I’m as sure of heaven as if I’d already been there 10,000 years.” To the unsaved that sounds like presumption and many Christians would agree. But it’s true. If you know Jesus Christ, you are certain of going to heaven.
When you are tempted to doubt your salvation, remember God’s faithfulness. Consider his promises. Contemplate the Cross. Gaze upon the dying form of the Son of God. When you doubt, preach the gospel to yourself all over again. Are you willing to believe what God has said? If so, then rest your weary soul on the Rock of Ages.
If Jesus has saved you, he will take you all the way home to heaven.
How blessed we already are, and how easy it is to forget what God has done for us. I remember a fine-looking young couple that came to see me. I didn’t know them and didn’t know much about their problems. After some discussion the issue was out on the table. It’s a genuine problem but it’s not the end of the world. With some grace and patience it could be solved or at least circumnavigated. At one point I looked at the husband and saw his face contorted in a way that said, “I’m not happy about this.” So I said, “What do you think?” “It’s fine with me,” which meant “It’s not fine with me.” So we talked some more. Things weren’t perfect and he wasn’t happy.
Eventually it came out that he had had cancer but had been cured. At that point I did something I can’t remember ever doing before. I stood up and looked at both of them across my desk. Addressing the husband, I said, “I spend my days talking with the sick and dying. I've buried lots of good people who died of cancer. Look at you. You’ve got a lovely wife, a good marriage, wonderful children, you’ve both got good jobs and a great future ahead of you. And you’ve been cured of cancer. Half the people I know either have cancer or know someone who has it and they are praying for a loved one to be cured. You are one of the fortunate ones, you’ve beaten the odds. Now you’re unhappy because things aren’t perfect. You ought to be down on your knees every morning thanking God for all your blessings. God has been so good to you that you shouldn’t complain again, ever.”
He smiled sheepishly and agreed with me. How blessed we already are. If only we had eyes to see what God has done for us.
As I thought about the bombings in Boston, this verse came to mind: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). As we were reminded again today, we don’t just live in a fallen world. We live in an unsafe world.
I pray God’s peace and comfort to all the people of Boston, healing grace for the injured, mercy to the grieving, special blessings to all the first responders, wisdom and strength to the police, and swift justice to the perpetrators of this murderous evil. Let us all turn to the Lord who is the only safe place in this world that seems so fragile tonight.
I’ve seen the following reading floating around the Internet in various forms. My friend David Langerfeld sent it out via his Daily Encourager. Here’s my version of what David sent out:
You think God can’t use you?
You think you’re not good enough?
You think your past disqualifies you to serve God?
Look at some of the people God used in the Bible:
David’s armor didn’t fit.
John Mark was rejected by Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a murderer.
So was Moses.
Jonah ran from God.
Sarah laughed at God.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Mary was lazy.
Samson slept with a prostitute.
Noah got drunk.
Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
So did Peter, Paul - well, lots of folks did.
During a radio interview I was asked why so many Bible characters had serious flaws. My answer was simple. That’s all God has to work with. All the perfect people are in heaven. The only ones on earth are the folks with serious weaknesses. The talent pool has always been pretty thin when it comes to moral perfection. God works with sinners because that’s all he has to work with. In heaven we will all be vastly improved–perfected by God’s grace. But until then, he uses some pretty ornery people who fall short in many ways, and he does some amazing things through them.
You think God can’t use you?