These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31)
During pastoral counselling sessions, I often hear this response from those with whom I am speaking about the certainty of their salvation: “I may not be sure, but I sure am hopeful.” Then I go on to tell them how they can know for sure where they will be when they take their last breath on this side of glory.
It has been said that when Michael Faraday, the brilliant scientist who discovered magnetism, was lying on his death bed, he was asked: “What speculations do you have about life after death?” Astonished, Faraday replied, “Speculations! Why, I have no speculations! I’m resting on certainties! ‘I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day!’”
Now, that is being certain of salvation. The reason Michael Faraday was so certain was because of what he was trusting in . . . and I can assure you it was not himself. Faraday was not trusting in his good works; he was not trusting in his generous giving; he was not trusting in his membership in a particular church. Michael Faraday was trusting in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, for the glory of God alone!
The apostle John testified that the reason he wrote his gospel was that those who read it would believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah and Savior of the world. Everything written in the Bible has this same purpose. The entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is about Jesus Christ, all of it written that we might trust in Him alone for our salvation. When you place your trust in Jesus—and nothing smaller than Jesus—you can be certain, just as Michael Faraday was, that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Shortly after Jesus rose from the grave, He entered the upper room where His disciples were hiding; His first words to them were, “Peace be with you!” Let me make this perfectly clear: There would be no peace if you did not have the assurance of your salvation. Peace would be as far as the east is from the west if you were still working your way to heaven. When would you know that you had done enough good works to get in? And what sin might you yet commit that would cancel out your good deeds and leave you once again in a state of damnation?
Your place at the marriage supper of the Lamb is not secured by your faithfulness to Jesus; rather, it is secured by His faithfulness to you. Remember, He who began this good work in you will bring it to completion on the day when you are ushered into your eternal rest (Philippians 1:6). Like Michael Faraday, you can rest on certainties . . . simply by resting on your Redeemer.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!