Assurance of Salvation?
Church growth records show that eighty to ninety percent of the people who make a decision for Christ fall away from the faith within one year. The Bible teaches that those who fall away are not saved, and are not fit for the Kingdom of God. Luke 9:62
We make the situation worse by offering assurance of salvation to these new converts based on scriptures that are taken out of context. Because of this, people with no Biblical reason to believe that they are Christians are led into a false sense of security. Because they believe they have security, their ears are closed to further attempts to teach and witness.
The verse that is often given to new believers as assurance is 1 John 5:13 "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." This is commonly used as a verse to lead into the Gospel.
A well-meaning but misled witness may open a witnessing opportunity by asking, "Would you like to know for sure that you will go to Heaven when you die? The Bible says you can know for sure..." and then they point to this verse. In doing so, they are not only taking the verse out of context, but they give the non-believer a false sense of security right off the bat.
They also give him a false reason for turning to Christ, thereby ensuring that the non-believers "conversion" will be superficial. The sinner who hears such a message believes that they deserve Heaven anyway, and after being given a weak presentation, are told that to be saved, they simply need to repeat a prayer to ensure their salvation. There is no Godly sorrow, and thus, no repentance, without which you cannot be saved.
Such a "convert" has never seen the nature of his sin, and thus does not appreciate the terrible cost that our Lord and Savior had to pay to cover our sins.
Some of the false converts do not fall away from the Church. They are welcomed into a new Church, become involved with the Christian social club, and stay because they enjoy the new scene. They are made to feel good about themselves, and are given further assurance of salvation when they bear none of the fruits that come with salvation.
Such people think nothing of continuing in their sin, confident that the blood of Christ has been applied ot their sins. They have "trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing."
The modern gospel tells us never to question our salvation. The Bible teaches exactly the opposite. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." Jesus Himself warned, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus said, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." Are you one of the lukewarm? Can you have assurance of salvation? The good news is that you can have assurance of your salvation, but that assurance is based on evidence.
The following is a Bible study on the evidences of salvation. If you do not have a Bible to study with, you can download an HTML help version of the Bible here. You will need Winzip to extract the file.
Otherwise, you may feel free to read the Bible online by clicking here