I do not recall his real name and that embarrasses me. I can make an excuse that there were 2,000 people in my high school any given year and that if you count the out-going seniors incoming freshman each year from 1982-85, I went to high school with approximately 3,500 students. So forgetting or never knowing a name or two might be excusable, but I am still embarrassed, I know this former school mate as “Frog.” I don’t even know how he got that name, it is just what everyone called him.
It was just after school, when Frog approached me in the Commons and asked, “If you were to die tonight, would you know if you were going to heaven?”
“If you were to die tonight, would you know if you were going to heaven?”
I was stunned. No one at high school is supposed to ask such questions. That is a Sunday school question. One that I have never answered, and I am not sure was ever asked. I know I had never thought about it before. I was a Christian and tried to be moral, but was I sure? “I hope so, I think I will . . . . Maybe.” Was my unconvincing answer. It was unconvincing to me and to Frog, who began to go into a well rehearsed speech about going into my closest and asking the Lord into my heart.
Frog was the first peer that I recall having such confidence. I was in worship every time the doors were open, I went to Sunday School, youth devotionals, participated in Bible Bowl, and prayer meetings. I could quote the books of the Bible, the days of Creation, the twelve tribes of Israel, the Judges, the apostles (including Mathias and Paul), I had preached a sermon or two, helped lead VBS, lead singing, and public prayers. But I did not have Frog’s confidence.
Could I be sure?
Could I be sure? I had never considered eternal security. I would struggle with that idea for a few more years. I wanted confidence, but I was not sure I could be certain. Then one day I ran across this passage, “I write these things 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).
” . . . that you may know that you have eternal life.”
There it was in black and white, in the pages of the New Covenant – I can know!
- God is and will be faithful to His promise to His children. He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).
- As a child of God I put away the practice of sinning (1 John 3:4-10).
- How can I as one dead to sin, buried with Christ, and risen like Him, live in sin any longer? (Romans 5:20-6:6).
He will never leave me, but will He keep me against my will and hold me hostage? The short answer is “No.” He gives me the freedom to leave Him. We can choose to turn our backs on God and hold Him in contempt – (Hebrews 6:4-6). We can choose to return to a life of practicing sin – (Hebrews 10:26-31). Peter warns of those that escaped the wrath of God only to decide to return to their old life that their eternity will be miserable (2 Peter 2:20-22). But that is our choice.
So can we be sure?
I can know because I am a child of God (Galatians 3:26-27)
I can know my sins are washed away (Acts 22:16)
I can know I am walking by faith (2 Corintians 5:7)
I can know I have eternal life (1 John 5:13)
I may make mistakes but the blood of Christ keeps me clean (1 John 1:7-9). But there is a difference in the occasional misstep of a child and the rebellion and rejection of the Father.
There is a difference in the occasional misstep of a child and the rebellion and rejection of the Father.
Maybe you find yourself doubting your eternal security. Take a few moments to evaluate your life.
Are you struggling with sin? Are there things you know that you should not do, but find yourself drawn toward? Do you find yourself at war with yourself over this temptation. Stop and pray. Ask the Father to help you with your struggle. Find a friend who you can confide in who loves you enough to hold you accountable and hold your hand as you fight the good fight. Know that God forgives you. Now forgive yourself, tell the devil to bug off (he wants to steal your confidence) and live confidently in faith.
Have you turned your back on God, telling Him in so many words or actions that you no longer care what He thinks or says is good and right? If so, then you are rebelling. You are trampling underfoot the grace of God. I beg you please, please return home to God. Be like the prodigal that the father considered LOST and DEAD. Look up from the pig slop and return to the Father. He longs for your return. The robe, the ring, and the fatted calf are ready for your celebrated reconciliation with God. Return to Him and to confidence.