If You Don’t Have Assurance, You Should Have
Last week, I was watching Dave Letterman and his guest was Colin Farrell. Letterman opened the subject about Farrell’s recent stay in a rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse. During the conversation, Letterman asked Farrell, “Do you consider yourself an alcoholic?” To which Farrell responded, “I consider myself a human with deep flaws and short-comings.”
The interesting part of that was not only Farrell’s unwillingness to define himself by alcoholism, but the audience response was applause. They actually applauded a man who had confessed that he was human, flawed, and had deep problems.
Why do we do this? We do it because we know at the heart we are all human and flawed. We all carry around burdens, sins, and problems. It’s our unwillingness to confess them, confront them, to deal with them that keeps us separated from the solution, from each other, and mainly from God. One of the simple verses I learned as a kid is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life.”
If God has gone to all that trouble to come to this earth, to take on human flesh, to live a sinless life, to face death, and then resurrect from the dead after three days, to still be after 2,000 years the only legitimate, enduring rumor of hope humanity has ever had. Don’t you think that after all that trouble, God would want you to be sure and assured about your eternal destiny?
The truth if the matter is, you can be sure. You can have assurance of where you’re going to live forever. The whole Bible, the revolution of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is proof that God has a plan for your life that extends far beyond the muck and muddle of daily life. You’re created to live in eternity forever. And yet, why do so few people have the assurance of their eternal salvation?
Because it is Satan’s delight to keep us in self-doubt, self-loathing, and self-condemnation. He is the ultimate selfish person. He wants everyone to be as condemned and miserable as he is. He doesn’t fear your religious activities, your church attendance, your Bible reading. He doesn’t fear your mission trips and your promises to be better. What he fears is your freedom, your freedom from the fear of the past and your dread of the future. And that freedom only comes in the heart that is assured that it is loved as it is and not as it ought to be.
And yet religion is the one thing that haunts mankind wherever we go. You find it in churches and out of churches. You find it in politics and anarchy. You find it everywhere. People are profoundly religious. But religion, the keeping of rules and regulations set up by small men and women to control and have power over other people is the bane of society. And the quicker you understand that Jesus Christ and what He offers is not religion, but a relationship, the more free you will be.
The ABC’s of your assurance are in these three words:
Acknowledge, like Colin Farrell did on David Letterman, that you are a sinner separated from God, that you are deeply flawed and there is nothing you can do humanly to bridge that gap. Confess that to God. Get honest with Him about your past and your inability to change.
Believe that Jesus Christ is indeed who the Bible says He is, that He is the Son of God, our Savior. And not only is He real, but He is present in your life right at this moment to embrace you, to love you, to receive the sinners’ prayer and to cleanse you from all sin. He has the right, and He has the willingness.
Confess. The Bible is clear in Romans 10 when it says, “If we will believe in our heart, confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, we will be saved.”
ABC, Acknowledge that I am a sinner in need of a savior, Believe that Jesus Christ is the only savior there is, sent to bridge the gap, to forgive me and take fear out of my heart. And Confess with my mouth and tell others about the conversion that has gone on in my heart as Jesus Christ resurrects me and gives me the assurance. If you embrace Jesus Christ, you are assured for Heaven as if you are already there.
Be sure of it. Live everyday, not in self doubt and self-loathing, but in self-confidence that comes from Christ and His love for you that will never fade, never break, never go away, and never be recalled.
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