How Can I Be Sure I Am Saved?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Have you ever doubted your own salvation? Has doubt crept into your mind about your being saved? Here’s how you can have confidence in salvation and be sure you are saved.

Saved From What?

Have you ever doubted your own salvation? Has doubt ever crept into your mind? If so, you’re not alone, so here’s how you can have confidence in salvation and be sure you are saved. Now, what does it mean to be saved? What are we saved from? We are actually saved from God! Yes, saved from God but more specifically, we are saved from “the wrath of God [which] is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Rom 1:18). Every believer must recognize that even while “we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Rom 5:10), so we are not simply saved to go to heaven; we are saved from the wrath of God which was poured out on Christ for our sake (Rom 5:1).

Can We Fall Away?

I do not like the term “once saved, always saved” because that seems presumptuous of God’s mercy. It’s more than the “perseverance of the saints.” It’s God preserving the saints. Sadly, far too many believe they can lose your salvation. What a dreadful way to live; one day they think they’re saved, but the next, they feel they’re still lost. The Apostle Paul (Rom 8) was confident in his salvation, as were the apostles, but even so, some passages still trouble us, like Hebrews 6:4-6 which says “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”  

Sure of Better Things

What does it mean to fall away? Cant that happen to us?  It’s very important to note that the author says they have “shared in the Holy Spirit,” or some translations say, they have “tasted,” but this is not the same thing as having received the Holy Spirit. That is a one way process (2 Cor 5:17). It doesn’t appear the writer is addressing believers specifically because some were turning back to the Old Testament laws, and Christians know better than this. The Book of Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience and not every one of them was saved any more than everyone in church today is saved. There have always been tares (false converts) growing up alongside the wheat (Christians). The author seems confident to those truly saved, saying, “we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation” (Heb 6:9). This writer says that “in your case,” which is different than those who have only “shared in the Holy Spirit.” He says he feels “sure of better things – things that belong to salvation.” It is sad that Hebrews 6:4-6 has needlessly tortured so many souls over the years, when the author’s intent was to give them confidence in their salvation, but that’s what happens when we take a few texts out of context and get a pretext…and usually a false one.

Scriptures on Security

If you read these verses, I believe you’ll have a hard time reconciling the belief that a person can receive eternal life and then lose it again. If it’s eternal life that we received, it’s eternal! If we lose it, it was not eternal life in the first place. Here are a few examples:

John 6:37 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”

John 6:39 “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.”

John 10:28-29 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

Romans 8:29-30 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

These verses sound like He will complete what He started, as does Philippians 1:6 which says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” 

No Separation Possible

Romans 8:38-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

These verses are very convincing. Who or what can separate us from God? Not death, angels (fallen ones), things present (today), things to come (in the future), not height (falling), depth (by accident or drowning), powers (heavenly or earthly)…and to make sure this means everything and everyone Paul adds “nor anything else in all creation.” God has never had an aborted child! Every, single one of them have been born from above (John 3:3-7).

More Assurance for the Saints

First Peter 1:3-5 says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept (held in store or reserved) in heaven (not by you on earth) for you, who by God’s power are being guarded [literally kept!] through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Reserved in Heaven

Do Christians Go To Heaven At The Moment of DeathJude wrote “To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for (literally “kept by”) Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:1). Paul said “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard (to keep protected) until (or “up until”) that Day (of His return) what has been entrusted (Greek, “deposited”) to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit (means like a down payment or promissory note) entrusted to you” (2 Tim 1:12-14). We are saved…we are being saved…and we will ultimately be saved at His return or after death.

Conclusion

Our hearts can deceive us. Many think they are saved, but are not (Matt 7:2123), so my question to you is, “Is your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life?” God warns us that “if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:15). God is angry at the sinner (or the unsaved) every single day, and since “God is a righteous judge, a God who feels indignation every day” (Psalm 7:11), we need to repent of our sins and confess them to God and then put our trust in the Savior. Only then will anyone be soundly saved (Rom 10:9-13, Acts 4:12).

Here is some related reading for you: Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation? A Biblical Analysis

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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