Throughout his ministry, Jesus urges his followers that the only way to the Father, and to salvation, is through Him. The apostle John writes that we must believe in God to inherit eternal life. Yet, Christians frequently assume they are saved under many false pretenses. In this video, David Platt unpacks eight false foundations from which Christians frequently derive their assumptions of salvation. Platt urges us to look at the very present, and analyze our own hearts and relationship with God. There are no other means of obtaining salvation or gaining eternal life outside of faith in God.
- False Foundations
- Looking to the Present
Watch Full Message of True Assurance of Eternal Life
How do You Know You are a Christian?
How do you know you’re a Christian? How do you know that you have eternal life? Here’s eight false foundations I hear all the time. I hear people one, point to their religious heritage. People say, I was born a Christian. I grew up in a Christian home. The Bible never teaches that where you were born or where you grew up is any guarantee of eternal life.
Second, others point to church involvement. I talk to a ton of people who say, yeah, I go to church every once in a while or every week even, and while gathering with the church is an essential part of following Christ, the Bible never says that going to church by itself is any basis for assurance in eternity. You can go to church every single Sunday of your life and not have eternal life.
People say, I live a moral lifestyle. I’m a good person. I’m kind, honest, generous, a lot more than a lot of people in the world. Yet the Bible clearly teaches that a moral lifestyle doesn’t assure anyone eternal life. Just ask the Pharisees, the great law keepers and their conversations with Jesus all throughout the Bible. People point to intellectual knowledge. People will say, I know that I have eternal life because I believe that Jesus died on a cross and rose from the dead. So I know I’m a Christian. When actually that merely puts you on the same plane as the devil himself. The devil believes Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. He does not have eternal life. That’s no assurance for eternal life.
Does Being Involved in a Church Mean That I am Saved?
People point to active ministry. Look at all I do in the church or for the church or for others, and this way or that way. As soon as you hear that, think Jesus’ words Matthew chapter seven, many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, do we not prophesy your name and your name perform many miracles. Do all these things. Then I will tell them, I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers. Ladies and gentlemen, it is possible to do all kinds of things in the church. Even be called a pastor and not know Christ.
People point to active ministry, a guilty conscience, another foundation. I feel bad when I sin, so I must be a Christian when the reality is all kinds of people feel bad when they do wrong. We have a whole system of pop psychology filled with man-made ways to cover over our guilt, and we’ve even created a supposedly Christian version of it when it’s nothing more than self-help wrapped in spiritual terms.
We look for assurance in positive thinking. Well, I think I’m a Christian, but think about it. If that was a foundation for assurance, then no one could ever be deceived. It’s kind of the whole point of deception. Think about millions of people in cults who claim that they’re Christians when the Bible clearly teaches they are not. We want to know what God thinks, not what we think. And here’s one more false foundation for assurance, a past decision.
Does One Moment at Church Mean That I am Saved?
So I hear what people say, I know I’m a Christian because I remember when I signed a card, prayed a prayer, said these words, went forward, I remember right where I was when I did that. Now, I want to be really, really careful here because many people can, many true Christians can remember the exact moment when they place their faith in Christ and their heart and life was changed forever. But at the same time, there are many people who signed a card, prayed a prayer, said some words, walked an aisle, joined a church, but today and for years have not been walking with God and have no desire to walk with God. They do not have eternal life.
Look at the Present
Please hear this. The Bible does not say, you won’t find one verse in first John that says, as long as you said some words or signed a card or joined a church one time, you can know you have eternal life. That’s not in the Bible. Now, again, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a point in the past when you truly begin a relationship with God through faith in Jesus, but when, follow this, when John writes this letter to help people know they have eternal life, he doesn’t say, look back to the past. He says, look to the present.