Perhaps some of us are full of false confidence, having convinced ourselves that we are ready to meet the Lord. Jeremiah the prophet told Judah:
“The way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps,” Jeremiah 10:23.
By God’s inspiration, Solomon wrote:
“There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” Proverbs 16:25.
We have all been “certain” of some things, only to find later that we were mistaken. We can’t afford to be mistaken about our eternal destiny! There must be a standard, a means by which we can have the kind of assurance the apostle Paul had—and there is, the Bible, God’s divinely inspired Word! See John 12:48. We cannot know we will stay true to God, nor can we know how we will deal with future temptations. However, we can take God’s Word—the Bible—and compare our life, our “conversion” with what God has commanded therein. There we will discover how we stand in our relationship with God. John wrote:
“Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him,” 1 John 2:3-5.
Compare your life with the Bible’s instructions, lest you have a false assurance. See if your “conversion” is in harmony with New Testament conversions in the book of Acts. Don’t depend on feelings and emotion. How did Paul gain such assurance? Paul was assured of his eternal destiny at the end of his life because he had finished his course. He had “kept the faith.” There had been many trials, many temptations to go back to his old way of life. Instead, he “fought a good fight,” beating back each of Satan’s assaults. He ran the entire race. He resisted Satan, and he won the victory. You and I can do the same, but we must let God’s Word be the judge, not our own feelings. Isn’t it about time man learned what God’s Word says about becoming a Christian? A crown of life awaits those who seek the truth and obey it, John 8:32, 17:17. Will you seek that way of truth? Will you live by it? That is the only way we can have God’s “Blessed Assurance.”
Carl B. Garner
Dripping Springs church of Christ