Eternal Life: You Can Be Sure – Dr. Charles Stanley

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Eternal Life: You Can Be Sure – Dr. Charles Stanley

Are you sure you have eternal life? Many people are bothered by that question and respond in uncertain, doubtful, and defensive ways. But if you truly understand what Jesus did for you at Calvary, you can know without a doubt that you have eternal life.

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On InTouch, eternal light, you can be sure.
If you were to die today, Are you sure you have eternal life?
Does that question disturb you a little bit? Does it make you feel sort of restless?
Maybe a little insecure, uncertain, maybe a little doubtful, maybe a little fearful, maybe even a little defensive or just plain angry.
Why would that question bother you?
Because you see, if you’re really clear in your mind that you have the gift of eternal life, that if you were to die today that you’d go to heaven, then that question should not bother you at all.
But it just may be the fact that it bothers you is because you’re not are not sure.
You are uncertain you are a little restless about the whole idea.
Well, if you are, it just may be that you need to make sure And if you’re interested in making sure about where you’re gonna spend eternity, then I’ve got good news for you.
And that’s what I wanna talk about in this message because I wanna talk about eternal life.
The very fact that you can be sure that you have the gift of eternal life.
And I want you to turn, if you will, to 1st John chapter 5.
In this 5th chapter of first John, he has been talking about the very idea of assurance.
And, uh, John has been saying this very clearly that if you have the son of god who is Jesus, then you have eternal life.
And if you don’t have him, you don’t have the life. And he makes it very clear.
And then he ends by saying in verse 13, these things I have written to you who believe in the name of the son of god in order that you may know that you have eternal life.
Not that you may hope so, not maybe, not possibly, but that you can absolutely know that you possess the gift of eternal life, which simply means, that you and god have had a transaction, that you have had a personal experience with him whereby he has given to you this life.
Now what is this eternal life? Listen. It is an it is an endless duration. Listen.
It is a life of endless duration.
In the presence of and with fellowship with god, which begins at a moment of time in this life and lasts forever.
And once we leave this life, it means that you’re gonna spend eternity that is forever and ever and ever with god the father, god the son, god the holy spirit, all the holy angels and with every single person who has ever lived and will ever live who trust the Jesus as their savior or in the Old Testament who place their faith in god in the promise of a Messiah.
And so when you think about the very idea of having the promise and having assurance that no matter what happens to you, whether it happens to you without warning or happens to you at the end of a long period of illness, you can know, without a shadow of a doubt, You can be fearless.
You can be bold. You can be confident. Yes. I have the gift of eternal life.
Well, I want us to thank for just a moment because, you see, it is just what we said.
It is the gift of eternal life.
The wages have sinned his death, but the gift of god is eternal life through Jesus Christ, their lord.
And you cannot have the gift of eternal life apart from Christ.
It is irreversibly linked to a personal relationship with Jesus.
So the question is this, does god really and truly want us to be absolutely sure about eternal life?
Yes, he does. And you see there are some people who would believe will now, and we we probably shouldn’t be all that sure because, uh-uh, you see, not being sure.
Listen, I’ve heard this. Not being absolutely sure.
And god has left it so he wouldn’t be absolutely sure because if I’m not absolutely sure, it means I’ll try harder.
And if I’m not absolutely sure, I’ll I’ll pray more. And if I’m not absolutely sure, I’ll be more dependent.
If I’m not absolutely sure, I’ll be more humble.
I’m not absolutely sure, it’ll it’ll take care of my pride problem.
If I’m not absolutely sure, I’ll I’ll just I’ll go to church more often.
I’ll pray more, read the Bible more often. I’ll I’ll just really be more diligent about this whole idea.
I won’t go out and stand. I won’t max out if I’m not certain. None of that is the truth.
Not any of that is the truth.
Because you see, our salvation is not based upon our works, but on the finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary.
And when I place my trust in him and what he has done, I become eternally secure because, listen, The focus of eternal security is on the work of god.
My assurance of what he has done is something inside of me.
It is a confident conviction that I have.
It is a confident realization that what god has promised is now real in my life.
So we’re talking about listen. We’re talking about fact truth versus feeling.
We’re talking about truth versus what I believe about my relationship. My relationship is absolutely intact.
My relationship is absolutely sealed. It is not sealed by my conduct, not sealed by my behavior.
It is not sealed by my feelings. It is sealed by the precious work of Jesus Christ at Calvary.
When I trusted him as my savior, the spirit of god sealed me, the spirit of god seals you.
We do not seal ourselves. We are seal under the day of redemption, whether I feeling or not, whether I feel secure in or not, whether I have any assurance at all or not, when god seals you, you are sealed.
The tragedy is you will go through life, tormented with doubts and fears and anxieties now.
So with that in mind, Let’s talk about why people doubt the idea that they really and truly have eternal life.
When if you ask them now, what did you do to receive Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
Here’s what they’ll tell you. Oftentimes, they will give you the very exact truth that you and I know They have asked they have acknowledged that Jesus Christ is the son of god.
They’ve acknowledged their sinfulness and that their sin is separating them from god.
They acknowledge that, uh, if they confess their sins that Jesus will forgive them, they acknowledge that his death at the cross paid their sin debt in full, They acknowledge the fact that if they ask Jesus Christ to save them, he will do it.
Go through all of that. Are you sure of your salvation? Well, I I I’m you know what?
I’m I just, you know, hesitate and him whole rental. I’m just not absolutely sure.
So there’s some very specific reasons. Now listen carefully.
More than likely, if you doubt that you have the gift of eternal life, you doubt that you’ve been saved.
You doubt that you’re returnless secured by god more than likely you’re gonna find the reason in one of these that I’m going to mention.
Let’s begin with the first one. That’s this.
One of the reasons that people doubt their assurance, they have no assurance.
They doubt their their eternal security. They doubt their eternal life is because they don’t have it.
That’s the reason they doubt it because they’ve never been saved. Uh, they had some good feelings.
They made some decisions. They decided to change the way they were gonna live.
They walked down a church island wanna be baptized. I’m gonna join this church. I wanna be better.
I wanna do good. I wanna this, and I wanted that, and I wanted the other. And you know what?
Never trusted Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Never look to the cross for the forgiveness of their sins.
And so they go out there and, uh, their names on the roll and probably give some money.
And and, uh, try to be a good person, but they’ve never been genuinely saved by the grace of god never received Christ into their life.
Never trusted him for the forgiveness of their sins, never delivered from the domain of darkness and the domain of light.
Never listened, never rescued by Jesus Christ, from eternal death and and endowed with eternal life.
And so they’re always having these ups and downs.
Well, you know, I I I made a decision back down to somehow, but I’m I’m just not real certain.
The reason they’re not certain is, listen, because the spirit of god will not give assurance to a person that they have the gift of eternal life when they don’t have it.
That he would be a contradiction to all that he’s there for us. So he’s not gonna give that assurance.
Now on the other hand, that some people who will tell you, oh, yes.
When I die, I’m going to heaven. They’ll tell you, don’t get too personal. And you know what they’ve done?
They’ve deceived themselves. And so here’s what they’ve done.
When they say, well, yes, I know that I’m going to heaven.
I do have the gift of eternal life.
And, uh, when they don’t, the spirit of god convicts them, they just shove it down.
And the spirit of god convicts them, and they cram it down.
The spirit of god convicts them, and they squeeze it again.
The spirit of god convicts them, and they repress it, and they depress it, and they repress it finally, here’s what’s happening.
They they don’t they don’t they don’t feel like that’s a problem in words.
They’ve sort of reason themselves out of that. It has nothing to do with that. You know, there’s something else.
What happens. They will be unsure about life.
There’ll be other areas of uncertain in their life and what they won’t realize and what they won’t face up is they’ve never been saved.
They said, well, you know, everybody’s got doubts. Everybody’s got theirs.
One of the primary reasons people have no assurance of salvation is because they’ve never trusted Jesus Christ personally deliberately willfully at a moment in time with their soul, with their spirit, with their whole eternal destiny.
That’s for a primary reason. But there’s a second reason.
A second reason people do not have his assurance is because of sin in their life.
Because here’s what sin does. Sin is the violation of the law of god.
Sin short circuits, our assurance, and here’s how it happens.
When a person chooses to sin against god, what happens? They feel some sense of estrangement.
They don’t feel as close to god. They may even feel rejected.
They don’t sense, uh, god’s love for them.
Uh, they they there’s a there’s a great sense of guilt on, uh, to eat them.
So they don’t feel worthy of god loving them.
And so what happens is as a result of sin in a person’s life, that short circuits their assurance.
And so, uh, people who once were sure and they begin to disobey god and rebel against him and get into sin.
And you ask him, are you sure you say, well, I I used to be how many times have I heard people say, I used to be saved.
Well, what happened? Well, I I I dis disobeying god and got out of church and Stop reading the Bible and stop praying, and I just lost it all.
Well, you lost your assurance. You lost your assurance.
You did not li lose your return on security because listen.
God, the father has so arranged the whole his whole redemption plan that what you’ve trusted Jesus Christ is your personal savior forever a child of god, and Jesus is the living eternal advocate sitting at the father’s right hand proof to us, assurance to us, we are still the sons of god.
There is a third reason, and that is, uh, false doctrine.
When a person is taught that you can be saved and be lost, and they’re taught that from childhood, like I and many other people have been, It takes a long time to get over that.
And you know what? A person can hear the gospel, hear the gospel, hear the truth, hear the truth, and hear the truth, and hear the truth.
It is often time so ingrained in them. They want to believe what you’re saying.
They desire to believe what you’re saying, but someone that just can’t believe what you’re saying.
Now if you ask him if they believe the Bible, oh, yes. Indeed. I believe everywhere.
I believe it all including the maps. I believe it all. But you know what?
You you you you can read them a past description and say, okay.
Now now what what about, um, uh, what about this verse right here?
What what what about this verse right here? Well, what about that verse?
Uh, well, you know, Here’s the way I was taught. My granddaddy believed that.
My grandmother believed that. My parents believed that.
You’re telling me I had believed something else, but it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.
You mean to tell me you’re gonna go through life, doubting your salvation. Is good enough for them?
Good enough for you? No. It’s not good enough for you. Listen. Now watch this. Listen carefully.
Because your parents believe something, or your grandparents believe something that you have discovered was not correct, just because you change your doctrinal stand doesn’t mean that you don’t love them as much, has nothing to do with affection for your grandparents.
Or your parents has nothing to do. You’re not belittling them. Well, what in the world would they say?
Well, they’d say, you know, Faye finally had realized that you were that you were right, they’d say, praise god, I’m glad you found out.
And I took me so many years to find out they’d be grateful. Well, listen carefully.
Here’s what you have to decide. Do I want to know the truth or do I not?
Am I gonna hold on to things that are sentimental?
Am I gonna hold on to what somebody else believes because I don’t wanna hurt their feelings, or do I wanna know the truth of the living god so I can live by this truth and live successful and dictoriously and triumphantly by it.
And besides that, I want to live joyfully and confidently and assuredly that no matter what happens, I’m heaven bound.
That’s the way I wanna live.
And so that leads me to another reason that people oftentimes doubt their, uh, eternal security, that doubt their salvation, doubt they have the gift of eternal life, which is what god gives us when we’re saved.
They doubt it because of an overemphasis on emotionalism.
Now whenever the emphasis is more on emotion than truth, here’s what’s gonna happen.
You’re going to be governed by your emotions. You’re gonna listen.
Your your emotions are gonna dictate to you.
Your emotions are are going to overpower and overwhelm the truth that you know.
Now, especially is this dangerous when you when you’ve not studied the world of god.
You’ve not been in the scriptures. And so you go to some meeting.
Everybody’s are shouting a praise and god and a hallelujah and and, uh, all these things are going on, and you just love that.
I mean, you know, we can all get into we can all create listen, you can create that kind of atmosphere.
The right kind of music and the right kind of praise in the lord and the right kind of buzz words.
Next thing you know, I mean, everybody is praising god and hallelujah. Praise the lord.
And you just anything can happen.
The spirit of god’s gonna come upon us and spirit of god this and the spirit of god that and spirit, spirit, spirit, and this, that, and the other.
And, you know, what I wanna ask is this. What is the truth? What is the truth?
You see, here’s what happens.
The reason people get off base spiritually and their emotionalism takes over, and then they lose their sense of assurances because they’re go they they they are so into this emotional thing, rather than getting into the truth of the word of god, what does the Bible teach?
What does it say? Is this how we’re to praise him? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
But if you want your praise and your emotionalism, which we all enjoy, if you want it to be right and really glorifying to god, just not something, you just wanna make yourself feel good so you can feel better and better and better because you don’t wanna come down off of that.
Listen. If praise is really genuine, you should be able to come down and hit the solid rock of the living eternal, unchangeable, immutable word of god, and the absolutely confident.
That’s the way you ought to come down.
Now if if if you’re not sounding your doctrine, what’s gonna happen is emotions gonna get the best living.
So here’s what’s gonna happen. So the revival’s over, church service over, it’s it’s Friday now.
Had a hard it’s it’s been a hard week. And you’ve been feeling down all week long.
I mean, you got blessed up by your boss or whatever it might happen to your husband and your wife.
It’s just been a bad week. You know, where in the world’s god, Right?
If you love me, why am I feeling this way? And so what happens?
You start doubting Why why do I feel these things? Or you get tempted, for example.
You get real tempted about something you think. Well, you know what?
If I were really saved, I I wouldn’t I wouldn’t be feeling this temptation.
I mean, I I wouldn’t be feeling this. I wouldn’t even be thinking about these things. Not necessarily.
Did did Jesus lose anything? And, I mean, he was tempted? No. He didn’t lose anything.
You see, emotionalism is fine.
As long as listen, as long as that emotionalism is saturated with the truth of the living god.
Is that alright? Uh, I I’ve heard all that, but now what’s the real basis of my what’s the real basis now of my assurance?
Trust to Jesus Christ. And what’s what’s the real basis of that?
The the 4 basis for our absolute unwavering assurance.
That we are eternally secure in him, that we have the gift of eternal life once we trust Christ as his savior.
And the first, listen, the first basis of it is this, the powerful, unchanging promises of the of almighty god.
Want you to turn, if you will, let’s start with John 3 16.
We’ll take you through a few verses here. Uh, the powerful, awesome, unchangeable promises of god.
And here’s one of them. Number 1, john 316.
For god so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Promise number 1. Chapter number 5. And listen to this verse.
Verse 24, truly truly I say to you, he who hears my word.
This is this is the son of god.
He who hears my word and believes him, god who sent me, has presently eternal life, does not come into condemnation or judgment, but has already passed out of eternal death into eternal life.
Now listen to that. He says, if we believe, if we hear it and we believe it, We have already passed out of eternal death into eternal life.
Look at you on verse chapter 10. This is the last one. Chapter 10. Look at you on verse 28.
I give unto them eternal life, they shall never perish no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
Who can take you out of god’s hand? Nobody? Somebody says, well, I just get out on my own. No.
You can’t. No you came. You said, well, he said somebody else snatched you out. Well, listen.
Nobody didn’t take you out of god’s hand.
He says he says, no one is able to snatch them out of the father’s hand and I and the father won.
You know, when he says, you can’t lose it. So rest in it.
So basis number 1, the awesome irrevocable, unchangeable promises of god. That is the first. Basis of it.
The second basis is this, the unconditional love of god for us.
Turn back if you will to Romans chapter 5 for a moment.
Romans chapter 5, listen to what Paul says.
He says, in verse 6, But while we were still helpless at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.
Verse his own love taught us and that while we were yet sentenced, Christ died for us.
Look, if you will, in the 8th chapter. Of Romans and, uh, listen to this awesome passage that we know.
He says in verse 33, who shall bring a charge against god’s elect?
God is the one who justifies.
He says, for example, who who can charge any one of us with anything that would cause god to cast us out no one.
Then he says, who is the one who condemns?
Christ Jesus is he who died, yes, rather, who was raised and who’s at the right hand of god to make intercession for us.
Then he asked this question, who shall separate us from the love of Christ.
Show tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness of perilous soul.
You may go through all of these things.
Have all kinds of doubts and and and and tribulations and trials will that separate you from god? Mhmm.
Just as it is written, for thy name, he says, for thy sake, we’re all being put to death all day long.
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
But in all these things, all this turmoil, tribulation, heartache, we overwhelmingly conquer through Christ who loved us.
For I am convinced, persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalas, no things, present things to come, no powers, no heights, no depths, no any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of god, which is in Christ Jesus, the lord.
You know what? He said, who he said, what can separate us? Who can separate us?
Who can charge anything up to god’s elect? Nobody. Can separate us from the love of god?
Nothing can separate us from the love of god.
Then listen, if nothing can separate you from the love of god, nobody can charge you listen, charge you legitimately in the eyes of god then tell me what in the world could cause you to be unsure of a salvation purchased by god through his son, Jesus Christ, given to you as a gift, and absolutely promise that it lasts forever, give me a legitimate biblical reason for doubting your security.
Right. There is no legitimate reason.
Basis number 3 is the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Read you just a couple of verses.
Look if you will in Hebrews. Finish work of Jesus on the cross.
Well, this is the ultimate basis of it. Look at this. Here’s what he says.
In the let’s look, first of all, in the 11th verse.
Jesus has called the high priest, the one who goes in before the Father to make an atonement for us.
But when Christ appeared as the high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the great and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands.
That is to say none of this creation, not through the blood of goats and calves and all of that.
But he entered the holy place once for all having obtained eternal redemption.
Now not only has he obtained it, but listen to what he says, verse 25 of chapter 7.
Hence, also, he is able to save for how long. What’s that next word?
He’s able to say for how long.
Forever, those who draw near to god, through him, since he always lives to make in a session for us.
The finished work of Jesus on the cross, that’s that’s what gives me absolute assurance.
And then one last thing, one last basis turned to Romans chapter 8 again, that is the witness of the Holy Spirit, to our heart.
Listen to what he says in verse 16, chapter 8.
The spirit himself bears witness without spirit that we’re the children of god.
Now listen, How many times have you asked somebody when they got saved and said, well, how do you feel?
I feel fantastic. Or somebody will say, well, I don’t have a lot of feelings, but I just know I am.
Oh, how do they know they are? Witness of the Holy Spirit.
You see, you’re sitting here listening, and I will say something and some you you just you just feel something in your heart.
That’s the spirit of god witnessing to your spirit. You are hearing the truth.
So I have 4 awesome basis for believing that my salvation is secure forever.
That I have the gift of eternal life. Number 1, the awesome irrevocable, faithful promises of god.
The unconditional love of god, the finished work of of god through his son, Jesus Christ, and the cross.
And then the witness of the Holy Spirit within me that I’m a child of living god.
Now here’s the big question. Alright? How do I make sure?
I believe all this, how do I make sure?
You acknowledge That you do believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal son of god as the Bible says he is, and that he went to cross to the cross for your sins.
You acknowledge that you have sinned against him and that your sins have separated you from god.
You can fetch your sinfulness to him, asking him to forgive you of your sin.
You accept his forgiveness on the basis that he promised to forgive you.
And that’s all you need. And then you simply say to him, lord Jesus, I do receive you as my personal savior and the lord of my life.
And you know what?
Somewhere in the moments of that brief of those of those brief moments of prayer.
In a split second somewhere, you’re saying. That’s how awesome. Salvation is.
That’s how awesome the love of god is.
And yet, that’s how simple and profound and brief a brief moment can change your life.
And it is my prayer to almighty god.
That’s exactly what happened to you.

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