Sunday, September 18, 2016

Eternity - can we be sure?

Can we be sure?

It was Queen Victoria who asked the chaplain .. “Can we be absolutely sure in this life of eternal safety?”

This question came close to home when my relative facing death began to doubt if all was well for eternity .

At a Bible study I presented the question ...”Can we be sure?” We all need to face up to this question, and rather than quoting what others say or do, find the answer for ourselves. For some, their confidence rests in the actions of priests or pastors. Some trust in reciting prayers. Others hope in having had a special experience. Yet others hope the judge of all the earth will assess with approval what they have done.

Well can we be sure?
The answer in brief is:
Yes - we can trust the promises of God. God has spoken and His word can be trusted. So He can be trusted.

For example:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that everyone who believes in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life.”    John 3:16
“ If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you  will be saved.” Romans 10.9
..... and so many more great and precious promises that enable us to be sure. 

This question becomes more significant when people are getting older and facing the reality of death. It is a challenge when I am asked to conduct a funeral – can I honestly give hope and assurance beyond the grave ?  This question goes well beyond theory when one lays to rest a close relative ( as I have). Where are they today ? Heaven or Hell?

It is natural to assess people by what they have said and done, but looking at things from God’s point of view, the results of a fallen human nature, the wanderings of self will, all leaves us disappointed and uncertain. Rather, from God’s point of view, we are guilty of sin and need someone to save us.

Many people who feel the need for forgiveness, turn to religious experiences . Some hope that baptism will secure a place in heaven. Some have had a crisis moment when a decision was made to follow Jesus.  I know two people who had the experience of ‘a presence’ . Some evangelists push people’s emotions in an endeavour to attain in people a ‘Damascus experience’. Then there are the many formulas – four spiritual laws, signing decision cards, believing Christ has died for your sins personally, repeating personalised Bible verses.................etc.

Well some of this has value, but past experience seldom gives solid assurance when passing from time into eternity. In this generation of longevity,  much of the experience of life cannot be clearly remembered, so we need more than experience.

This is why in my blogs, I regularly refer to the Bible as our compass giving direction, and our authority, giving foundation for hope. If the Bible fails, we are left floundering. Please read my other articles that verify the reliability of the Bible. God has spoken. He is trustworthy and His promises are to be taken seriously. Most of the promises have three parts. – God at work, second our response, third God’s promised outcome.

To make eternal life possible for us sinners, God sent His Son into the world to become our Saviour. By His sacrificial death on the cross, the Lord Jesus paid the debt so that we could be forgiven and then accepted into the Fathers house. Proof of this is the fact that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead and is now in heaven, able to save all who come to God by Him. –that is God at work!

Faith responds – Yes Lord I need your forgiveness. I confess you as  Lord and trust you as the living Saviour.

The promise from the Lord remains true:
“Everyone who believes in Me has eternal life”  John 6.47

A young woman facing impending death was asked ‘did she have assurance?’
This was her answer:
“My sins deserve eternal death, but Jesus died for me.”
If anyone is having doubts, feel free to email me.

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