November 29: “Are You Saved? How Do You Know?”

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Chronicles 26-27
2 Peter 1
Micah 4
Luke 13

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Luke 13:27 (CSB): “But he will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you’re from. Get away from me, all you evildoers!’”

2 Peter 1:10 (CSB): “Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

I have chosen two verses for us today. If you have already read the assigned chapters for today, you would have seen both of them.

Let’s look at the verse in 2 Peter first.

2 Peter 1:10 (CSB): “Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble.”

In these words, the Apostle Peter is calling his readers to investigate their faith to make sure that it is a saving faith. He encourages them to make certain that they have truly been called by God to salvation (“calling and election”). Yet, how they were to make sure of their salvation was by pursuing holiness and seeing if they had a genuine desire to do so and a degree of effectiveness in doing so (2 Peter 1:3-9).

Friends, this sort of pleading and instruction also shows up in a letter that Paul wrote to the Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 13:5 (CSB): “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you fail the test.”

Why did Paul and Peter call us to make absolutely sure that we are saved? Why is this so important?

Because of another passage we read today. Read through the following words of Jesus very carefully. Slow down and truly listen to what Jesus is saying.

Luke 13:22–30 (CSB): “He went through one town and village after another, teaching and making his way to Jerusalem. ‘Lord,’ someone asked him, ‘are only a few people going to be saved?’ He said to them, ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won’t be able once the homeowner gets up and shuts the door. Then you will stand outside and knock on the door, saying, “Lord, open up for us!” He will answer you, “I don’t know you or where you’re from.” Then you will say, “We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.” But he will say, “I tell you, I don’t know you or where you’re from. Get away from me, all you evildoers!” There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in that place, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown out. They will come from east and west, from north and south, to share the banquet in the kingdom of God. Note this: Some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last.’”

Let me try to briefly restate some of what we just read.

Someone asked Jesus if there were only a few people who would be saved. Jesus didn’t specifically give a “yes/no” answer. Instead, He provided a word picture to demonstrate that, relatively speaking, there would only be a few who are saved.

Jesus said that there would come a time when “the homeowner gets up and shuts the door.” This speaks of the time when a person can no longer make a choice to follow Jesus. Their eternity is sealed.

Some people think that the door of opportunity is finally closed when someone dies. I used to believe that. I no longer do. Why? Because, generally, death is the ultimate doorway but I have observed many older folks get dementia long before they die. I have observed young adults sustain a serious brain injury. They are no longer able to understand and embrace the Gospel. The time when they could have rested in the finished work of Christ has passed. Their eternity is already sealed even though they are still alive on planet earth.

Now, notice in Jesus’ words that those who are pleading with Him on the day of judgment appeal to a superficial relationship with Him that they had before stepping into eternity. They pleaded: “We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.” In today’s Christianity, these words would be slightly different. “Lord, didn’t we show up to church? Didn’t we spend a few minutes each day reading our Bible? Didn’t we spend a few minutes each day in prayer?”

These words are based on a superficial relationship. There was no substance to it at all. It was just mindless, heartless religiosity. They thought that something so empty would get them into Heaven.

But, notice that Jesus’ response demonstrates that it is a much more substantive relationship that He desires. He makes it clear that superficial religiosity is NOT a tell-tell sin of salvation. Instead, it is a growing, satisfying relationship with Him that demonstrates that we have been truly saved, a relationship where we come to know Him and are known by Him in a meaningful way. “But he will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you’re from.’”

This simply, profound truth is the reason why I believe that so many people that sit on the church pews around our world, who believe they are headed for Heaven, will hear those same words come out of Jesus’ mouth on the day of judgment.

Luke 13:27–28 (CSB): “But he will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you’re from. Get away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in that place, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown out.”

They didn’t want to go to Hell but they didn’t want to know and enjoy a relationship with Jesus, either. But, because they didn’t pursue a relationship with Jesus, they demonstrated that they were never truly saved … and will spend eternity in Hell.

So, we end up back in 2 Peter 1:10 where we are commanded to “make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble.”

Are you saved, my friend? I visited with a church member in the hospital yesterday (Friday) and after visiting with him I spent some time with the other patient in his room. I asked him whether or not he was saved and would be with the Lord in Heaven one day and then talked with Him about the Gospel. This is serious, my friend!

All you have to do in order to be saved is to:

1) acknowledge your deplorable guilt before a holy God whose commands you have broken,

2) recognize that Jesus died on the cross to pay the sin debt of anyone who will transfer their trust from themselves to Him to forgive them and make them right in God’s eyes (John 3:16),

3) willfully (right now!) turn from sin and self-rule and fully trust in Jesus.

If you will do that, you have done what is necessary in order to be forgiven and saved.

But, how do you know that it was the real thing? How do you know if you are now truly saved? It will change you! You will hate sin like you didn’t hate it before. You will want to know and enjoy Jesus more. You will desire to obey God’s Word and submit to King Jesus’ authority over your life. Sure, there will be setbacks and times when you stumble into sin. We won’t be finally and ultimately perfected until we arrive in our Heavenly home. But, the general trend of our life will be that we are enjoying a relationship with Jesus and becoming more like Him.

If you have any questions about this, please contact me. I would be more than glad to help you to understand this. Contact me at: mattellis1997@gmail.com.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, thank You so much that salvation is free for the taking. I cannot earn it or deserve it. But I also thank You that there are ways that I can investigate my “faith” to see if it is the real deal, to see if it is truly saving faith. Lord, I not only want to avoid Hell, I want to enjoy You in this life and in Heaven one day. I also want to share the Gospel and take as many people with me as I can. I pray this in Your Name. Amen.

Photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

2 thoughts on “November 29: “Are You Saved? How Do You Know?”

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