You may be wondering if I had dropped off the face of the earth. Sorry it has taken me awhile to get back online. We have had to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with my sister-in-law. I praise God she was a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ and had the certain hope of heaven. Her memorial service was a blessing and an encouragement.
Certainty of heaven is not based upon how we feel or what we do, but rather in the immutable unchangeable God who has gone before us and has done all the heavy lifting of our sin on the cross of Calvary. When we place our faith in Jesus, there is no need to fear for God has already walked through the shadow of the valley of death before us and rose again from the dead on the third day.
When I was stationed in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, my staff sergeant invited me to the Hook Christian Coffee House. At one of the Bible studies, a girl in the US Navy named Kim gave public testimony of how she knew for sure she was going to heaven when she died. I did not yet know Christ at this time. I knew of Him but did not know Him personally. I felt she was a presumptuous little girl. How could she, or anybody for that matter, know they were going to heaven? But I also had this thought: If a person could know for sure, it would be the greatest thing in the whole universe to know! Gene H., my first mentor in the Scriptures, said: “If you are new to the Bible, read the gospel (good news) of John. It is all about Jesus and what He has done for us.”
On February 22nd, 1981 about 9 p.m. in the eve, after hearing Kim’s testimony, I went back to my barracks room and pulled out my Gideon NT and prayed God would help me to understand as I read the Bible. As I came to John 3:16, I noticed not only did Jesus answer Nicodemus’ question on how to be born again, but he answered mine. Salvation is not about religion, denomination, or ceremony, it is about a person, Jesus the Christ the Son of God. It is not about what I do, it is all about what He has done for me and you. When I simply received Christ by faith in what He has done for me based upon the record of His Word, the monkey of sin fell off my soul and I had His assurance of salvation based upon Him and not upon myself. None of us will ever measure up to a perfect sinless God. To try and make ourselves acceptable in His sight by our works is futile.
Linda went home to be with the Lord. She did not make it to His bosom because she was a perfect Christian. But rather because her hope is in a perfect Savior. Many people are tormented because they feel or wonder if they will ever be good enough to make it to heaven. The simple answer to this dilemma is a resounding “no”. None of us will ever be good enough to get to heaven. But, praise God, if we have put our faith in Jesus, His goodness stands in our stead before a Holy God.
1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
My faith is not based upon how I feel but rather upon what God has said in His Word -the Holy Bible. Paul said:
Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
And the purpose of the Scriptures is to give to us a certainty based upon His truth, not the fickleness of our works or our feelings.
1 John 5:13 “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, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Have you personally received the forgiveness of God by faith? Do you know your sins are forgiven and you are ready if today should be the last day on earth? If not, why don’t you have a little talk with Jesus and get it settled in your heart today.
Romans 10:9-13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek for the same Lord is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
2 Corinthians 6:2 “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.”
Only Because of Christ,
Pastor John Schofield