Perhaps you would like to have that confidence, but you just don’t feel that it is possible to know for a fact that you have a home in Heaven. In I John 5:13, there is an incredibly encouraging statement. Apostle John says, “These things have I written unto you … that ye may know that ye have eternal life.”
John made it abundantly clear that it is possible to “know” that you possess eternal life. His writings were specifically written to make that point. There are 27 uses of the word “know” in I John alone. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (read II Peter 1:21), John penned words of great confidence, hope, and assurance.
So what did John write (“these things have I written”) that could offer such a guarantee? He simply pointed mankind to the record of events given personally by God.
I John 5:9-10 says, “This is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”
In other words, God has testified regarding the means of salvation. Each person must determine whether to believe that testimony or reject it as a lie.
What is the record of God’s testimony? What did he say regarding Jesus Christ? I John 5:11 continues the narrative by saying,“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
This life-giving truth is repeated numerous times in Scripture. For example, Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” God clearly has provided eternal life through the death, burial, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ.
These thoughts return the conversation to the original question. Do you know for certain that your eternal destination is Heaven? I John 5:12 continues the record of God’s testimony and says, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” It is sad that religion has made the issue of eternal life so complicated, confusing, and discouraging.
God made it simple and clear. If you have believed in his witness of his Son and received Jesus Christ, you have eternal life. If you do not have the Son of God, you do not have life.
This is why John could write with certainty, “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.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to place your trust in Jesus Christ and “know” that you have a home in Heaven? You have God’s word on it!
The Rev. Timothy Benefield is pastor of Golden Valley Baptist Church. Sermon notes is a column by local religious leaders.