22. HOW WILL I KNOW THAT I HAVE BEEN SAVED?
How will I know that I have been saved, that He has come into my heart? He says it in His Word. He says: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." (Rev 3:20) I will know that He has entered, because He said He would if I opened my heart. And Scripture says: "For he who promised is faithful." (Heb 10:23)
When I say I have ten cents in my hand, what do I have in my hand? Ten cents! How do you know it? Do you see it? No, but you know it, because I said so. You believe in my word. I will not lie to you.
That is how we know that God does not lie. (Cp. Tit 1:2) Scripture says: "We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater" (1 John 5:9); God's Word is the truth (John 17:17); we can trust in God. I know that God has made His dwelling in my heart because He promised to come in when I open my heart to Him. (Rev 3:20)
I also know that He has entered because He is celebrating with me. (Cp. Rev 3:20) I can also say that I know He has entered because I can feel it. Scripture says: "The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom 14:17), and peace and joy have to do with our feelings. The Lord lets us feel that we have been saved.
Why do people come to repentance, open their hearts to the Lord Jesus that He can enter and then say they feel nothing? The answer to this question is simply that we are here probably dealing with people who do not truly believe what God has promised. Because if we really believe that all our sins have been forgiven, that we have been reconciled with God, that He has given us eternal life and saved us from eternal damnation, we should be profoundly happy.
If you should unexpectedly receive a letter from an attorney informing you that you have inherited a fortune, you rejoice about it. If not, there is either something wrong with you or you do not believe the contents of the letter.
When we realize that we have become heirs to eternal life, we must realise that we have received a much larger inheritance than any earthly legacy could ever prove to be. All the gold and silver in the world could not buy us from eternal damnation. (Mark 8:36) How great should our joy not be! (Cp. Ps 34:5)
Listen then to what the word of God says: "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life." (John 3:36) Scripture does not say that you will receive eternal life, but that you already have it. Who says it? The Lord Jesus Himself says it and He is the truth. (John 14:6) Can you believe Him? Can you trust Him? If you can trust Him, then open your heart to Him so that He can enter as He has promised to do, and believe that He has entered, as He has promised to do. (Rev 3:20)
But I want to caution you not to allow the lack of a joyful feeling or emotion to condemn you. Scripture says: "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jer 17:9) John teaches us to measure the authenticity of our conversion against our love for our brothers (cp. 1 John 3:14) and our actions rather than our feelings: "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." (1 John 3:18-20) The heart feels guilty and uncertain. John continues by saying that those who do not allow their hearts to condemn them, can approach God with confidence. (1 John 3:21,22) When you grow in your relationship with Jesus, you will experience it more and more. You will also increasingly feel that you are saved.