The spiritual realm is the same. Many browsers find great assurance from the fact that they want to go to heaven and are aware of the gospel. They mistake intellectual assent with saving faith which changes your life to striving.
How would you characterize your spiritual life? Agonizing or just browsing?
2. Affiliation With A Church
When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, “Lord, open to us,” then he will answer you, “I do not know where you come from.Then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.” But he will say, “I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!” (Luke 13:25-27)
Notice the assurance these people are clinging to. It’s not, “But Jesus we are your children, we know you and love you and obey you.” Their assurance is…”We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.”
I once had coffee with actor Kevin Spacey. Well, we weren’t at the same table, and he didn’t even know I was there, but I ate and drank in his presence.
This is what some churchgoers are like. “We were always around Christianity, we prayed at mealtime, we lived our lives within Christian circles, with Christian customs. Doesn’t that count for something?”
Living near Christianity does not a Christian make.
You are saved if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
3. Advantage of Upbringing
In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” (Luke 13:28-30)
Many Jews believed that everyone in the nation was saved, except the very bad people, like murderers or tax collectors. But Jesus is saying that some Jews who think they are first in line for the kingdom will discover that they are Johnny-come-latelys, while some who are considered to be the least eligible for the kingdom will be reclining at the table already.
This would have shocked Jesus’ audience. And frankly, it shocks many today to find out that our Christian upbringing gives us no special treatment on judgment day.
There are people who were brought up Hindu, Muslim, atheist, on the wrong side of the spiritual tracks, who will get into heaven because they came to know and trust Jesus, while some who had Christian parents and who grew up in Sunday School will be turned away because their faith was never real.
There is no safety in numbers. You have to believe in Jesus for yourself, to be saved.
What is a true assurance?
The Bible gives many assurances: hatred of sin, love of obedience, love of the saints, cheerful giving, desire to serve…but every true assurance of salvation is located in one place: the heart.
It is your desires, motives, and attitudes that drive your behavior, not merely external actions, that evidence a changed heart.
For more see this post by Eric Davis “Soul Diagnostic: How to know if you are a Christian.”
This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.