Having confidence in salvation can be good—or bad. Paul, in a final inspired statement, declared:
“I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing,” 2 Timothy 4:6-8.
Just how sure are you that you are in the right way, on the way to heaven? Could you say what Paul said? Is it possible for anyone to “know” they are saved? Or must we live always in doubt, never able to have the assurance of the forgiveness of God? Men in history have declared their doubts, their fears on this subject. Criminal attorney Clarence Darrow wrote: “Life is like a ship on the sea, tossed by every wave and every wind; a ship headed for no port, having no harbor, with no rudder, no compass, no pilot, simply floating for a time, then lost in the waves.” What a sad perspective, with no hope. Bertrand Russell, a renowned skeptic, had a similar view: “The life of man is a long march in the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, toward a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long.” Where do you fit into this issue? Are you with Paul—or with Darrow and Russell? What assurance do you have? And, is that assurance based on the Bible, God’s Word? Or is it just a “feeling”? Some have a false assurance Claiming assurance is not the same as having real assurance. The same Apostle Paul quoted previously later told King Agrippa he had been mistaken:
“Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth,” Acts 26:9.
Paul just “knew” that killing Christians was pleasing to God. But he was dead wrong, and he made it right by becoming Jesus’ disciple.
Carl Garner, Dripping Springs church of Christ