By Stephen Leonard
“ And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life, whoever does not have the Son does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12
There are those who are greatly comforted with the assurance of the moment they die, they will be in heaven with Jesus; others want to have such assurance, but they really worry about knowing without any doubt where they will be when they take their last breath. And yet many, many others do not even seem to think about it. They have no concern one way or the other.
Assurance for some can be grasping at straws; it can waver; it can also be taken for granted; some may just feel if there is a heaven, they will be there, with only their personal opinion to buttress them; some may be like the older male neighbor I attempted to witness to who said very confidently to me, “When I take my last breath there will just be nothing!”; others really think about it with struggles; while even others are the opposite, totally unconcerned, like those described in the Scriptures, all those people who lived in the days of Noah.
“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” You can say that the “coming of the Son of Man” can be equated not only to Jesus’ Second Coming, but also to the time of your death. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage [or simply moving in together], until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (or your death).”
Assurance of salvation and of heaven is a very comforting knowledge to have. It is also a personal understanding for which to seek earnestly. Some think this can be elusive. But, believe me, the Bible says it can be certain. But it may be something you think little about. The question is, “What real assurance do you really have?”
Assurance is something everyone wants, whether or not they know it. It is at the core for which all truly yearn in the depth of their being. But some may settle for poor substitutes. The “assurance” of other “things” like money, status, popularity, health; are all poor substitutes for the assurance only Jesus gives. All those other things are but a lost blink in space in the comparison of this life with the certainty of eternal life.
Read all of 1 John chapter 5 to gain some perspective on assurance. You can truly have the Son by believing who He is as described by His own Word and then trusting your life fully to Him. In so doing, you place Him as preeminent in your life. No other person or thing precedes Him. Hence you know you are keeping your eyes on Him. If you have Jesus in this way, the Word says you have life!
You must believe in who Jesus says He is. You confirm such belief when you confess who Jesus is, that is, your Savior and Lord. If this is what He is to you, does it show in the importance with which you call out to Him, study Him in the Word, come to know Him, enjoy His fellowship, talk about Him to others, and are eager for His coming back.
All these confirmations, as you continually pursue Him, confirm you really do trust Him for your salvation. Your assurance is thus made clear to your heart, mind, and conscience. You will have comfort in resting there, because you know you have Him, and He has you.
“Loved with everlasting love, drawn by grace that love to know, Spirit sent from Christ above, thou dost witness it is so, O this full and precious peace from His presence all divine; in a love that cannot cease, I am his and He is mine.”
(1st verse of George Robinson’s hymn, “Loved With Everlasting Love,” 1890)