FIRST-PERSON: Confidence in Christ
EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) -- Our days are fleeting; they may end before the next sunrise. Yet God's children are never insecure.
The Bible says of us, "We are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.... We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).
We cannot be confident in everyday life if we aren't confident of eternal life.
To be self-confident, we must be Christ confident, and that means being certain of His love for us both today and tomorrow. God has placed eternity in our hearts, and that's why secularism can't erase heaven and hell from people's minds. Most Americans still believe in heaven and hell. According to findings published by LifeWay Research, 60 percent of Americans believe there is a heaven, while 54 percent believe hell is a real place where certain people will be punished forever.(1)
The Barna Group, drawing from its surveys, stated, "Many adults believe, however, that they will go to heaven as a result of their good works. Broadly speaking, this is the most common perception among Americans who have never made a commitment to Jesus -- and it is also quite common among self-identified Christians."(2)
It's frightening to stake our eternal destination on whether we're good enough to get to heaven on our own.
How could we ever earn enough merits to stand in the presence of the glorious, holy God? The Bible says, "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10). Only Christ can take us there. We have to be Christ confident in His purpose, passion and practice. We have to say, "He has me!"
The purpose of Christ: Redeemer
The Bible frequently uses the word redemption to describe what Jesus did for us. The idea behind redemption is that we are delivered from the bondage of sin by the offering of Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as a sacrifice in our place. Titus 2:14 says, "[He] gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people...." (NKJV).
The passion of Christ: Savior
In order to redeem us, Jesus had to offer Himself in our place and suffer the excruciation of the cross. The angels gave Him the title "Savior" as they announced His birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem (see Luke 2:11). He came to save us from sin, death, hell, the devil, the world, the flesh and the kingdom of darkness. He came to save us eternally. Jesus said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand" (John 10:28).
The practice of Christ: Intercessor
Having redeemed and saved us, Jesus ascended to heaven to await the consummation of the ages. But He's not inactive in heaven. He is interceding for us all the time -- when we're tempted, when we're tired, when we sin, whenever we falter and fail. The apostle John said, "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1). He later added, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13).
Until we know the Savior, understand His Word to us and believe in the security of His work, we'll not experience a confident Christian life. If you don't have confidence in the Savior, you cannot have confidence in your salvation. If you aren't sure about your eternal destination, you'll worry every step of the way.
It's my deeply held conviction that you can know you have eternal life. You can be confident of Christ and His ability to keep you and to keep that which you've entrusted to His care. He isn't a temporary Savior, and His children don't possess a "hope so" or "maybe" or "wait and see" salvation. He is our Redeemer, our Savior and our Intercessor. His Word will never fail and His work will never cease.
Christ gladly died to give us eternal life. Let's claim it, enjoy it and live with Christ confidence in our hearts. Live with boldness. He has you -- both today and forever.
(1) http://lifewayresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Ligonier-State-of-American-Theology-2016-Final-Report.pdf and https://lifewayresearch.com/2018/10/26/what-do-americans-believe-about-god.