I repented of my sins and placed my faith in Jesus Christ, as my Savior and Lord, on June 7, 1988. The reason the date is so clear to me, is that the decision counselor had me write it in the front of my Bible that I was carrying that night.
The other piece of information that the decision counselor had me write in my Bible, was the Scripture reference, 1 John 5:11-13. “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
So, when someone asks me, “Can a person know for sure that they are saved?”, my response is Absolutely! People who profess to be a Christian will point to a variety of things as their assurance that they are born again and will spend eternity in heaven. The reality is that anything other than repentance of sin, and faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, is insufficient for salvation. According to 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “… Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” Romans 10:9-10 teaches us, “… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Therefore, any assurances that are not tied to repentance and faith, are insufficient sources of assurance. The assurance of a person’s salvation is in the changed life that results from a profession of faith. James 2:17-18 teaches, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’”
Salvation is not based on good works, but good works are basic as a result of one’s salvation. The apostle John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1John 5:13). What are the “things” he is referring to having written?
He is referring to everything he had written in the previous five chapters of his letter. The letter of 1 John provides us with both objective and subjective tests for assurance of salvation, that are the results of repentance and faith. True Christians enjoy the fellowship of a relationship with both God and Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3). 1. True Christians are sensitive to their sin and confess it (1John 1:6-10). 2. True Christians obey God’s commands (1 John 2:3). 3. True Christians love God and reject the world and all its philosophies (1 John 2:15). 4. True Christians long for the return of Jesus (1 John 3:2-3). 5.
True Christians have a decreasing pattern of sin in their lives (1 John 3:9). 6. True Christians love other Christians (1 John 2:10). 7. True Christians receive answers to their prayers (1 John 3:22). 8. True Christians experience the ministry of the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:13). 9. True Christians are able to discern false doctrine (1 John 4:1-3). 10. True Christians are rejected by the world but accepted by God (1 John 3:12-13).