A few months back there was some guy who seemed incensed at my suggestion that people could “know” if they are “saved;” that they could know that they are already citizens of heaven. Well, I’ll say it again. While Muslims or Roman Catholics or any other follower of a man-made religion may not know if they’ve worked hard enough to be saved, if what Jesus taught is correct, then those in a right relationship with Him can and do, in fact, know.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through works, then Christ died for nothing.” Galatians 2:20,21.
The apostle John says, “THIS is how we CAN KNOW that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest . . .” and then he fills three letters with ways of knowing that one has salvation.
The fact is:
You know if your motives for living have changed.
You know if God is the most important thing in your life.
You know if you are sorry for sin.
You know if you are a changed person, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” You know if that is true or not.
It is ONLY those who have been taught that they must work their way into heaven who would even think of justifying their supposed salvation by saying to Jesus:
But I cast out demons in Your name.
But I healed people in Your name.
But I did penance.
But I was a Pastor for thirty years.
But I prayed to Mary.
But I was as good a person as I could possibly be.
But I took the bread and the wine at Mass on a regular basis.
But I read the Bible - lots!
But I went to confession on a regular basis.
But I gave away a tenth of all my income.
But I ended my prayers with, “In Jesus Name - Amen.”
But I said the rosary several times a day.
But I was baptised.
But I did this and I did that and I did and did and did and did,” and Jesus will say, “Get away from Me. I never knew you.”
. You know if you have “no other will, no other wisdom, than to follow the Lord wherever He leads.”
. You know if you stand at a distance and say, “Oh Lord be merciful to me a sinner.”
. You know if you have a single-minded and joyous devotion to God and to His will, to what God wants for you and a love for others, because you have freely received His forgiveness.
. You know if the fruit of the Spirit is consistently growing in you.
. You know if your character is in fact becoming more and more like that of Jesus.
“This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence.” 1st John 3:18-20
You can know!