Preachers and Bible teachers may be prone to write about issues that press home to them. As a young believer, who didn’t grow up in a committed Christian home, I wrestled with the assurance of my salvation.
At the time I came to Christ, I knew next to nothing about the Bible and Christianity. Through a Billy Graham tract, I understood for the first time why Jesus died on the cross. Christ had died for me. He took all my sin upon himself, and all I needed to do was to believe in Jesus for salvation. I did that.
I assumed that as a new believer I would live at a high level of commitment and not wrestle with sin. I wrestled constantly with sin. By that I don’t mean that I was doing drugs or sleeping around. But I was very sensitive to sin and anxiety prone, so I found myself frequently doubting my salvation.
One Christian whom I shared my struggle with pointed me to a verse that showed salvation is forever. My doubt was not about God. My doubt was about me, had I legitimately believed in Jesus. I must have prayed thousands of salvation prayer. While I had been baptized before I knew Jesus, following my acceptance of Him, I was baptized three more times over the next few years. It wasn’t hard for preachers and evangelists to talk me into a response.
What broke the chain of my frequent doubts? I realized first that God does want believers to be certain of their salvation. First John 5:13 gives such a promise: “These things have I written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
And how do we have that certainty? When we believed in Christ, we have as a present possession eternal life. It doesn’t depend upon what level of Christian plane you live on, it is the simple fact that you have believed on Jesus.
The gospel of John was written for the purpose of salvation: “but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). The gospel of John gives 99 promises that the one who believes on Jesus has, as a present possession, eternal life.
You want salvation? Believe on Jesus. Simple? Yes, it is very simple. With that genuine assurance you are then at a point were you can grow as a disciple of Jesus. With the assurance of salvation you can develop the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23).
“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Ashton C. “AC” Smith