I had a person the other day try to tell me that he, me, you, the apostle Paul or any other “saint” couldn’t be sure about the eternal destination of the soul and that God’s people of the past never presumed to know where they were heading to after death.
My answer to anyone who makes a claim like that is what part of 1 John 5:13 don’t you understand?
The apostle of Jesus Christ whom we know personally claimed to be teaching the truth concerning our sins, Jesus’ death and the complete forgiveness that we can enjoy because of it plainly said:
- “I have put these things in writing for you who have faith in the name of the Son of God, so that you may be certain that you have eternal life.” (BBE)
- “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (NET)
- “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (NASB)
- “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (KJV)
On and on the translations go. The Greek is so plain and so closed to any type of “personal interpretation” that virtually any translation worth the smallest amount of salt at all will practically say the same thing!
So now, can a person be sure they are saved? Absolutely they can. According to John himself that was the whole point of writing what he wrote. And to say otherwise due to some supposed oral tradition, written tradition or personal tradition is to break away from the clearly revealed “tradition” passed down from God’s apostle!
Have faith! Read the rest of John’s letter for in it we can find the assurance that we need when it comes to our sins, Jesus’ death and the complete forgiveness that we can enjoy because of it. Be faithful! John’s letter reveals that the standard of faithfulness is not left up to the whims of culture or manmade leaderships, and his letter reveals that faithfulness comes with the promise of reward – a reward that we can be sure of just as the apostle Paul also taught (2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Corinthians 13:5).
There is a difference between the doctrine of “once saved, always saved” and the doctrine of the blessed assurance that Jesus came to deliver through a covenant sealed with blood strong enough to completely blot out my sin no matter how I or anyone else feels about it!
When we walk upon the sure foundations revealed by the word of God we won’t have to walk on eggshells, glass or pins and needles when it comes to salvation, for when we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus is always ready and capable of cleansing us from every sin; and therein is the difference between religion and relationship!
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:6-9 – NKJV)