Someone once said to me, “Nobody can really know for sure they are saved.” Well I beg to differ. The Bible has much to say affirming by ‘evidence’ that we indeed have been born again and will go to heaven when we die. I will give you Five Evidences so you can Know you have eternal life. There are others, but I believe these are the most significant ones by which we can check ourselves. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove (put to the test) your own selves.” If any of these evidences are non-existent you may want to ask yourself if you truly are saved. After all, this is the most important decision any of us will ever make. I write these things not to cause unnecessary doubt, but contrary wise to give you ‘Encouragement’. These points are all taken from 1 John - a grand book.
1 John 5:13 says: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may Know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
See, John says that we CAN know we have eternal life.
The first evidence is: “You are found to have Faith in Jesus” 1 John 5:4: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” Many people in churches are not living with victory over the world, or the hold of sin in their lives. Faith in Jesus makes us aware that we are ‘more than conquerors’ through Him that loved us. Your faith in Jesus will cause you to want to live for Him and be victorious over sin and the world’s temptations.
Second, "You are found to be Faithful to Jesus and His calling." 1 John 2:3: “And hereby we do Know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” Law is not implied here, actually the opposite. We have been born again to Freely give ourselves to Jesus and all that He asks of us. Serving our Lord is not a ‘chore’ but the highest and most joyous purpose that God can give to any of His children. As a pastor I have seen those who are more faithful to someone in an abusive relationship than Believers faithful to God, and these have been saved by the grace of God. Isn’t it strange that one can say, “I love Jesus” and then not seek to serve Him? So, one of ways we Know we are saved is we desire to be faithful to Him. This is our ‘reasonable service’, so says Romans 12:1.
Third evidence that one has eternal life: “You are found to be Filled with the Holy Spirit.” 1 John 4:13: “Hereby Know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.” When we are saved, God gives us the blessed Holy Spirit to dwell (take up residence) in us. Believe me when I say, there is no doubt that you would not know this. The Holy Spirit leads, guides, teaches, encourages, fills us with joy, gives us gifts to serve, and convicts when we are not walking in the way He chose for us. If someone can live each day giving only an occasional thought to the things of God, and have no desire for fellowship with the Lord or His people in a place of worship, they are probably not saved. Paul says: Romans 8:14: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Also in 8:16: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God.” Again: 8:9 “…Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Lastly: Ephesians 5:18: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.” See, we can’t get away from it. If one does not have the Holy Spirit, one can’t be saved and go to heaven.
Fourth, “You are found to have cast off your Former life.” 1 John 2:5-6: “But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby KNOW we that we are in Him. He that says he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” Simply put, no change in our life, probably no chance of salvation. We love the hymn, “Just as I am”. When the Lord speaks to our hearts we indeed come to the altar ‘just as we are’, but we leave entirely different. Beloved, God is in the constant state of changing us literally moment by moment so that we grow into the perfect likeness of His Son Jesus. In fact when we are saved we receive a new, holy conscience. Paul says, “We have the mind of Christ”. Is there a desire in your life to want to be like Jesus? If the answer is no, then it is safe to say one is either lost, or severely backslidden, because the Father desires to change us ‘from glory to glory’. Amen!
Lastly, “You are found to possess the Fruit of Righteousness.” 1 John 3:1: “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knowth us not, because it knew Him not." Verse 10: “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” I know that ‘fruit’ bearing can be rather subjective. Not all of us bear the same type of fruit, nor the same amount of fruit at the same time, that’s true, but we Will bear fruit. Galatians 5:22 lists but a few that will be evident to some degree in a believer’s life: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience with others), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control).” Do you recognize this fruit from the Holy Spirit in your life on a daily basis? To some degree you should because remember, the Lord is ‘perfecting’ us to be like Jesus.
Undoubtedly the greatest evidence that one is saved is simply this, “Lord change me to live and love like Jesus.” If that is your deepest desire, then rest assured you probably have met the Savior. The Bible says that no one can call Jesus their Lord unless they have met Him.
Be faithful, keep in prayer, tell someone about Jesus, and serve the Lord with gladness! Be encouraged; Jesus is coming soon!