1. In the June 25th issue of the "Midtown Church of Christ Bulletin", Fort Worth, TX, we read of a survey that was made of the Ladies' Class.
A. Here is a quotation from the bulletin:
1) "There were about 40 ladies present in the class room. The subject for the day was "Blessed Assurance". The class began with a survey. the single question on the survey was, "If you died today, do you think you would go to Heaven?" The results were surprising, baffling and disappointing. "About 60% of the ladies answered that they did NOT think they would go to heaven should they die that day! About 20% said they would! And the remaining 20% said they could not be sure."
2. I am afraid, that whether we like to admit it or not, this survey reflects the thinking of a good portion of those who call themselves Christians here today.
3. We are hesitant to affirm, with confidence, that we ARE saved.
4. Sometimes, we even portray to others a definite uncertainty about our salvation.
A. So, we lack that "Blessed Assurance" of knowing that should Jesus come today or should we die this night that we would definitely be saved.
5. Some of our brethren have latched on to this uncertainty problem among us and have brought forth a false confidence based upon the false doctrine of the imputation of the perfect obedience of Christ to the believer's life.
A. According to this theory, the Lord clothes the believer in the robes of the perfect obedience of Christ.
1) So, that rather than the child of God being viewed as one who is constantly going in and out of a right relationship with God because of the sins which he commits, the Lord sees only the perfect obedience of Christ.
B. The perfect obedience of Christ, according to this theory, is imputed to the believer to cover his sins of ignorance and the weakness of the flesh.
1) This is indeed a comforting idea, but it is not a Biblical one.
a. There are no passages of scripture which teach that the perfect obedience of Christ is imputed to anybody!
6. Yet, we must agree that those who have put forth this theory of the imputed righteousness of Christ, have really zeroed in on a definite problem among us.
A. That problem is the uncertainty of many of us concerning our salvation.
7. But, we should not be dismayed, the Bible has much to say about HOW we are saved, and HOW we can KNOW that we are saved.
8. Christians should never breathe a doubt regarding their salvation and their spiritual relationship to God.
A. If any person has confidence that he is saved, it should be the Christian.
1) So, in our study, let us consider how a man can know that he is saved and have the blessed assurance of salvation when he dies:
I. ASSURANCE RESTS UPON GOD'S PROMISES.
A. God has promised to save those who believe in His Son. Jno. 3:16.
1. God is not slack concerning His promises. 2 Pet. 3:9.
2. And God cannot lie. Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18.
B, Man is robbed of any genuine assurance of salvation whenever he relies on any other source other than the promises of God.
1. We sing many songs stating the certainty and sureness of the promises of God.
C. Our "Blessed Assurance" does not rest upon human experiences, but upon the promises of God.
1. But all the promises of God are based upon conditions being met by man. Acts 10:34,35.
II. A BIBLE EXAMPLE OF CERTAINTY AND UNCERTAINTY.
A. The parable of the talents, found in Matt. 25:14-30, furnishes us an example of both the certainty and uncertainty tht we are talking about.
1. Let us consider this as a means of determining how we can have the assurance that we are pleasing to God at any moment in time.
a. The instructions to those who received the talents, whether they received one or many, were to increase them during the absence of their master.
1) Whenever the master returned, those that had used the talents, increasing them as instructed, met their lord with confidence, Matt. 25:20-23.
a) And, of course, the lord pronounced blessings upon them as promised.
2) The one-talent man is our example of a man uncertain about his condition before his lord, Matt. 25:24,25.
a) Notice the mental anguish of this man: he said, "I was afraid".
b) Here is a man who is unsure about his spiritual relationship to God.
c) In Luke's account of this, the lord said: "Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee." Lk. 19:22.
d) This indicates that the Lord was not the kind of master that the servant said that he was.
B. The conclusion of this matter is apparent.
1. A man can have blessed assurance that he is saved, only so long as he is busy obeying the commandments of God.
a. Only so long as I have met the conditions of God, can I rest assured that I shall receive God's grace--namely, salvation.
1) Yes, my assurance of salvation exists because God has promised salvation to those who meet His conditions, and He cannot lie.
a) Therefore, having met the conditions, I know I am saved.
C. Sin, from which man must abstain, in order to be saved, is clearly spelled out in the word of God.
1. Why, therefore, should a man be uncertain about his salvation?
a. Is he uncertain because he does not and cannot know what to do?
b. Is he uncertain because he does not know what sin is?
c. Is he uncertain because he is worried about God not knowing His grace toward him?
1) None of these questions can truthfully be answered in the affirmative.
2. A man is uncertain about his salvation because he is not busy obeying the commandments of God.
3. The man that is studying God's word, praying regularly, worshiping properly, and manifesting the fruits of the Spirit in his life, is not worried about his salvation.
What about you, my friend? Are you enjoying the "Blessed Assurance" promised you of God? You can be, it is all left up to you.
By Jim Sasser
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