31 • Assurance of Eternal Life
It’s impossible to think of a better gift to receive than the gift of eternal life with God! Just imagine spending eternity with a Person infinitely wise, wonderful, good, and creative. Imagine existing with an inexhaustible Treasure of intelligence, love, joy, peace, righteousness and holiness? This is what eternity will be like if you belong to God. God’s Book says in John 17:3 that eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. Eternal life and knowing God are interwoven. But how does a person know that he/she has eternal life? And can you lose it once you’ve received it? God’s Book has the final say in the matter.
John 10:27-29 says: ‘My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father Who has given them to Me is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.’ In this passage it is clear that if you belong to God, if you are one of His sheep, if God knows you, (which signifies spiritual intimacy with Him), nothing and no one will be able to separate you from Him. Not even your own will! Romans 8:31, 38, 39 states: ‘If God is for us, who can be against us … I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
God’s Book is full of similar wonderful promises. Psalm 37:28 says: ‘For the Lord loves justice and does not forsake His saints, they are preserved forever.’ Psalm 98:10 says: ‘You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints.’ Philippians 1:6 states: ’Being confident of this very thing, that He Who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ If God has begun the good work, He will finish it and secure your place in heaven. There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). The apostle John says it differently: ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us, because if they had been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out that they might be manifest, that none of them were of us.’ (1 John 2:19). John, the apostle, made it clear that if we belong to Jesus we will remain in fellowship with His church, His family, and that love towards one another and faith in God would be found amongst His sheep (1 John 5:1).
Just as a shepherd looks for lost and wounded sheep so Jesus, the Good Shepherd, (John 10:11) seeks the lost sheep that have gone astray to bring them into the fold and heals the wounded sheep who have become sick and were mistreated along the way. The Apostle Paul said that if Jesus has saved you, then you are seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). That is your privileged position. If you are born from heaven, then you are to rule with Jesus on this earth as His king and priest (Revelation 1:6). But that position is a reality only by a true faith in Jesus Christ. Eternal security for a Christian is not anchored in our faithfulness but in God who will keep us and preserve us to the end (1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 1:8, 9). God is the author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). All those who come to Jesus, will never be cast out (John 6:37). Everyone the Father has given to the Son will not be lost but will be raised on the last day and receive eternal life (John 6:38-40).
Reality to consider: The main thing is this: to have this confidence and assurance of your eternal destiny, you should receive God for Who He is, and not for Who you think He is, or merely for His wonderful gifts (Matthew 7:21-23). If you receive God for Who He is, then suffering and difficulties may come your way. But you know that you have a lasting treasure in Jesus Christ that will never fade.
Read: John 17:3; John 10:27-29; Romans 8:31,38,39; Psalm 37:28; Psalm 98:10; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:1; 1 John 2:19; 1 John 5:1; John 10:11; Ephesians 2:6; Revelation 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 1:8,9; Hebrews 12:2; John 6:37; John 6:38-40; Matthew 7:21-23.