What You Don’t Know Will Steal Your Joy

By Dr. Scott Rodin    

Nothing is More Important Than You Know This

“If you died today, are you confident you would go to heaven?”

The question seems so self-evident, even presumptuous that we likely seldom ask it. Certainly not in our Christian circles. After all, doesn’t everybody have that confidence?

Well, apparently not. Last week I was made aware that the lack of assurance of faith may lie within the heart of more of our fellow believers than we may know. I talked with a colleague who had been doing an experiment. He started asking that question to people in his church; young and old, long-time members and newbies. What he heard shocked him. It went like this:

  • Baptized? Yes.
  • Saved? Yes.
  • Following Jesus? Trying.
  • Certain you will go to heaven when you die?  Well, no, not really.

What’s happening here? Why would people who sit in church Sunday after Sunday lack the core certainty that defines our faith? I believe one indicator of the problem is related to our last two blogs on why we must be washed in the blood of Jesus. Let me explain.

There is a direct correlation between our experience of the lavishness of the grace of God and the certainty of the salvation that flows from it. And the magnitude of grace’s power to save is inexorably linked to the depth of our knowledge of our lostness without it. Simply put, the more we understand our sin, the more we cling to God’s grace. And the miracle of unmerited grace becomes the wellspring of our assurance.

This bring us back to our need for the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus. Remember 1 John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

And therein lies the problem. Too many of us just don’t like to talk about sin. Our churches are filled with people who know about God, believe in what Jesus did 2,000 years ago and try to live a good life. Call them ‘God and country’ believers, cultural Christians or occasional churchgoers, they live comfortably in the Christian community but remain on the periphery of the life of a disciple of Christ.

Without a spirit that is broken and crushed by the weight of our sinfulness, we will not rush to the cleansing flood of God’s grace. And our lack of acknowledgement of our sin will ‘throw us back upon ourselves’ to find our salvation through some other source. It may be our good works, our faith which we want to control, our church attendance, our baptism, even our Bible reading and occasional prayer.

But only at the foot of the cross will we fully experience both our sin and our salvation in a way that produces the blessed assurance that God’s grace is enough. The cross assures us of God’s love despite our sin, the empty tomb certifies that love with triumphant power. And because He lives, we will live also. Guaranteed, unquestionable, unchangeable, for eternity.

What about you? Do you have absolute certainty that if you died today you would enter into an eternity of joy and praise in the presence of God? Your assurance is anchored in the grace of God, covered by His blood and announced for all eternity through His resurrection.

I pray everyone reading this blog can sing with absolute conviction the wonderful refrain from the modern version of ‘I Know My Redeemer Lives’. Let it be your source of assurance every moment of your life.

I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
I know that, I know that, I know that, I know that, I know
I know my Redeemer lives
He lives, I know, I know, I know.
He lives

Dr. Scott Rodin    

Dr. Rodin is the Founder and Content Expert of the Center for Steward Leader Studies. He also serves as President of Kingdom Life Publishing and Rodin Consulting Inc.

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