Somehow you have stumbled across the internet to this post. I would not say that it is by chance either. You are looking for the answer of a very important question, and the most important question anyone can ask. How can you be certain of your salvation?
This question assumes three things. First, that you can know something for certain. Second, that you need to be saved. Third, that there is a way to know for certain that you are saved.
We all know things. There is truth in the world to be known. This is not something that can be argued, either. In fact, to say that we cannot be certain about anything is to to make truth claim in itself.
We all know that there is a God. From the tribe on a remote island all the way to the middle class suburbia family, God is plainly known. This is made evident to us by creation itself. The Bible says in Romans 1:19 that “what can be known about God is plain”, and that “God has shown it”. We can look to the mountains and know there is something greater than ourselves. We can look to the vastness of the stars and know that they were somehow created. All of creation points to the glory of God.
Not only has God revealed Himself in nature, but He has also revealed Himself through His word. It would make sense that if God would want us to know something, He would communicate it to us in some way. Marvel at the fact that He has chosen something that is written. Every single culture revolves around language, and God has provided a means of communicating this news to everyone through the written word.
The Bible makes it clear that you need to be saved, and that you can know for certain that you are saved. I have heard it said that it is presumptuous to say for certain that you are going to heaven. And I would agree… unless if the Bible says otherwise. And it does say otherwise.
The theme across the scriptures is that we are sinners in rebellion against a holy God, and because of that we are deserving of eternal punishment in hell. But God who is rich in mercy has provided a substitute in our place. That substitute is Jesus Christ — by His perfect life, death, and resurrection. And that only though repentance and belief in Him are we saved.
This is what John wanted to communicate.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)
This is what Paul wanted to communicate.
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9)
This is what Luke wanted to communicate.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:21)
So then the question remains, how can you know for certain that you are saved? I do not personally know you, or can read your heart. But what I do know is what the scriptures say. And with that I ask:
- Is your hope not based on your own performance, but rather on the finished work of Jesus Christ?
- Have you turned away from your sin, and turned to Christ for forgiveness?
- Do you love God, His commandments, and His word?
The gospel does not call for perfection, but for submission to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You will never love God perfectly on this side of eternity. You will never even love God as much as you ought to. But, you can love Jesus Himself in some measure. And love for Jesus can only come from a heart that has been made new, and from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.
If you struggle with assurance of salvation, pray that God would reveal this truth to you, and spend time in His word which contains this truth. I would encourage you to begin reading 1 John for yourself now.