Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(r), Copyright (c) 1960, 1962,
1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(r), Copyright (c) 1960, 1962,
Physical and spiritual health.
More than ever before, Americans are concerned about the health of their physical bodies. This is evident from the increasing number of fitness centers, vitamin stores, and diet programs, not to mention the multiplicity of periodicals and television programs that deal with health issues. Whether we all look like it or not, Americans are health-conscious.
One thing many health-conscious people do is they get a complete physical checkup every two or three years--maybe even once a year. Perhaps many of you do this.
But how many of you actually enjoy your physical examination--you enjoy being prodded, poked, and stuck. Ladies, do you enjoy your mammogram? Men, do you look forward to the prostate test?
So why do you endure all this? Why do you go through the discomfort of a health checkup? I would suggest that you do it for at least a couple of reasons.
- You want to be reassured that your body is healthy.
- You want to catch any threats to your health as early as possible.
Underlying this is the awareness that just because you feel good does not necessarily mean you are healthy.
- Your cholesterol levels could be out the roof.
- You could be in the early stages of heart problems.
- You could have signs of diabetes.
In fact, there are many things that could be wrong that would be unknown to you, were you to rely merely on your apparent good health. For you, the notion of "I feel good" is not enough. You want to be sure.
Now, if it is important to examine the health of your bodies--bodies that will someday go back to dust--is it not even more important to examine the health of your soul, that part of you that will live somewhere forever? How many of you have taken time to carefully examine the health of your soul?
Some might say, "Why should I do that? I feel good. I feel good about God and me." You might even quote that verse, "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Romans 8:16) Some would take that verse out of context to mean, "I have good feelings about God and me."
Would you entrust the basis for your heavenly hope to mere feelings? You would not trust mere feelings for assurance of physical health. No, certainly not. Then why should you rely on mere feelings in determining the health of your soul?
Wouldn't you rather trust that great physician, Jesus Christ? Let Him, through the Holy Spirit, test the health of your soul by the Word of God.
However, I must warn you, you are going to be poked and prodded and stuck in ways that might be uncomfortable. But the result will be well worth the trouble. You might be comforted with the assurance that you truly are born again. On the other hand, you might find overwhelming evidence that you are lost. Even then, the great physician not only has the wisdom to diagnose the state of your soul, but He has the ability to heal you and to give you eternal life.
Let us pray.
Lord, I am not going to tell sentimental stories this morning. Nor am not going to try to manipulate people's emotions. Iím just going to present, in a very simple fashion, your Word. We plead with You: please make it stick, prod, and poke. We pray that those who are truly born again will be encouraged. And we pray that the lost will know it, will be alarmed, and will seek Your face. In Jesusí name, Amen.
The biblical basis for assurance.
The primary topic for this study is the biblical basis for assurance of salvation. What is the biblical basis for the assurance that we are born again and on our way to heaven?
Please turn to the book of I John chapter 2.
We will start by examining some common assumptions about assurance, and we will look closely to see whether these common assumptions are consistent with what the scriptures teach. After that, we will survey the book of First John. There we will find a test that God has given us for determining whether or not we are born again.
Our text is found in 1 John 2:19 where we read, "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us."
First of all, who is the "they" in this passage?
This church had been invaded by a heresy called Gnosticism. This was a cult that taught that all matter is evil and that salvation is achieved through special knowledge, rather than through Christ, although they still acknowledged Christ to be a great teacher. They believed that the God of the Old Testament was evil, and they denied that Jesus was both God and man. These Gnostics started out in the church and then left it.
However, there is a more general application of this verse. For there are many, today, who appear to be part of the body of Christ for a while, but eventually they leave, too. Not only do they leave a particular group of believers, but they leave the practice of Christianity, just like the Gnostics did. They stop living the Christian life. It is regarding these that John says the following:
- "They were not really of us." In this, John is saying that they were never truly born again.
- "If they had been of us, they would have remained with us." Here John is bringing out one of the primary articles of evidence for whether one is truly born again--true believers continue in their faith. They may be tried and shaken. They may leave for a while. They may even get angry with God. But eventually they return.
- "They went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us." In this, John brings out the point that when one leaves the church, when one leaves the fellowship of believers and never comes back, it is evidence of a possibly unregenerated heart. Unregenerated means not born again.
This story about the Gnostics happened a long time ago. But even today, a community of believers is often surprised by one who started out well, who initially embraced Christianity with great enthusiasm, but who eventually left the faith.
What about the rest of us? How do we know that we are in the faith? How do we know that our Christianity won't someday go crashing down to the earth like a flaming jet plane that is out of control, all hopes of heaven exploding in the reality that we were never truly born again?
Certainly we want to be careful when we consider the basis for our assurance of salvation.
Assurance by Profession.
For assurance, some rely exclusively on the fact that in the past they made a profession of faith. They take comfort in the sincerity, the passion, the feelings, and perhaps even the tears that were shed during that experience. This is a problem when only the past is considered, while the present is ignored. Here is an example from a conversation I overheard a couple of years ago. Two ladies were talking while waiting in a doctor's office."
"I was so sorry to hear that Jake died."
"Yes, we were sorry to see him go. And I guess you know that Jake had not been to church for over twenty years. Nor did he show any evidence of being a Christian."
"Oh, I know that, but I still have hope that Jake is in heaven. You see, I remember the time that Jake walked down the aisle and became a Christian."
"Oh, I didn't know about that. Well perhaps Jake's soul is safe after all."
What is the belief that these ladies were expressing? The underlying belief was that because Jake had made a profession of faith, he was born again. They were not concerned about whether there had been any evidence of him being a Christian in the way he lived his life, and they were not concerned about whether his profession had come out of a temporary emotional experience or out of a permanently changed heart.
Assurance by Mystical Experience.
Some look for assurance in mystical experiences. They look for spiritual revelation outside the bounds of scripture. A person has a dream or some other kind of experience that leaves him with such a peaceful feeling, that he is confident that all is now right between him and God. Some will even testify of angelic beings speaking words of comfort to them. While I would never deny the kind and occasionally visible activities of angels in this world, those who would base their assurance on mystical experiences should carefully consider this verse from II Corinthians 11:14, "Ö for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." So it is well within the capabilities of Satan and those who work for him to give you a false assurance. This is very dangerous.
Assurance by Works.
Some rely on their moral character for assurance. They are hoping to earn their salvation by doing good. While they all know that there remains some sin in their lives, they are so confident of the quality of their own moral character, that they are convinced that God will surely let them into heaven. They either believe that they are saved by their good works, or they believe that they are saved by some combination of faith and works.
Of course, we know the verses that clearly indicate that we are not saved by works. One example is Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." Another example is Romans 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness."
Here is what I think sometimes happens. Sometimes people fail to distinguish between works as evidence of salvation and works as means of salvation. When works are mentioned in connection with being born again, works are mentioned as evidence. Works are never mentioned as the cause or means of our salvation.
No, we are saved by nothing more and nothing less than faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a faith, not of our own making, but that faith which springs forth from the regenerated, born again heart. Faith is also vitally joined to repentance. In fact, we often say that a person must both repent and believe. However, repentance is simply the other side of faith. It is the change of attitude, action, and direction that results from a change of mind. If the object of our faith has changed, then we will certainly turn away from our old direction and embark on a new direction that is consistent with what we now believe. That is why some will say that faith and repentance are simply two sides of the same coin.
So to allay all confusion, let me summarize with these four points:
- Works are not the means of salvation.
- We are saved by faith alone.
- True faith is always accompanied by repentance.
- Works are the evidence of true faith.
Assurance by Affiliation.
Some rely on their church affiliation for assurance. If you ask them how they know they are on their way to heaven, they might respond, "I go to that little church on the corner." What they are basically saying is, "I am a Christian because I go to church and do Christian things." One might ask whether a horse might become a car were you to move it from the barn to the garage. If I move wheat from the wheat bucket to the sugar tin, will it become sugar? Certainly not. No, Christianity is not where you are but what you are, what you are on the inside. Christianity involves a God-initiated change of heart, not a change of location.
Assurance by Fire Insurance.
Some are confident that all they need is the fire insurance--salvation from hell. They believe that there can be saving faith without evidence of saving faith. They believe this, even though James 2:26 clearly says that "... faith without works is dead." They hold to the notion that there are two options for Christians: carnal and spiritual. They would say that the spiritual Christians are the serious Christians. They are diligent in their obedience to God. The carnal Christians are the ones who only want to be saved from hell, but don't really want to submit to God in the way they live their lives. Because all they want is the fire insurance, they place limits on their submission to God.
In doing this, the so-called carnal Christians have created a kind of Jesus-light, to go with their light beer, their light margarine, and their light mayonnaise. It is a Jesus of their own making--all the benefits of heaven but 99% free of any limits on their pursuit of sin and pleasure. But worst of all, it is a Jesus that does not exist.
Do you want to know why the study of theology is important? It is because theology is the study of God and what He requires of man. It is an organized, disciplined study of the Bible in order to know God and His will. And if people are not careful in their study of God, and when people get to the point where they say that theology does not matter, this leads to grievous and deadly misunderstandings like the idea that a Christian can choose to be either carnal or spiritual. They run the risk of replacing the living God with a God of their own making.
Nevertheless, there really is such a thing as a carnal Christian. Paul especially points this out in First Corinthians. There, the carnal Christian is a Christian who is immature. And at any point in time, we are all going to be strong in some aspects of our faith and weak in others. But there is a big, big difference between disobedience that results from immaturity and disobedience that results from refusing to submit to God. Those who refuse to submit to God are in rebellion, and if they do not repent, they will suffer eternal consequences. Carnality is not a lifestyle option for true believers.
Assurance by Praying the Right Prayer.
Another thing that people sometimes rely upon for assurance is the way they prayed the sinner's prayer. They are assured because their prayer was orthodox; it was right; it contained all the right phrases. The sinner's prayer that I am referring to is the pre-written prayer that is often found at the back of a gospel brochure.
One night I stopped at a restaurant on the way home from work. As I sat down, I noticed a yellow brochure on my table, so I picked it up and examined it. In bold letters it asked whether I wanted to be 100% sure that I had eternal life. The first part of the brochure covered basic truths that most of us would affirm:
- God is holy.
- You are a sinner.
- God hates sin and will judge all sin.
- You deserve God's punishment.
- You can never be good enough to go to heaven through anything that you might do.
- God has provided a way of salvation through His Son.
- Jesus died to take away your sins.
- You can receive this salvation as a free gift through faith in Jesus Christ.
Then it provided a prayer for you to pray--asking God to forgive and save you. Certainly, the way we approach God is through prayer, so I had no objection to the reader being encouraged to pray to God. However, at the end of the brochure it said that if you prayed this prayer, you could now be 100% sure that you were saved and on your way to heaven.
I stared at that brochure, amazed at the willingness of the author and others to tell people that they could base their assurance of eternal life on the mere praying of a prayer from the back of an evangelistic pamphlet
Nevertheless, I actually have nothing against the sinner's prayer. The unsaved should pray for salvation. The unsaved should aggressively and diligently seek the mercy of God, crying out to Him. The unsaved should not passively sit around waiting on God to do something.
No, let all sinners seek the mercy of God, but let them do it with their own words. It is the pre-written sinner's prayer that concerns me. For there are inherent problems with the pre-written sinner's prayer.
- One problem is the person might see the pre-written sinner's prayer as a kind of magic formula. They might naively believe that they can turn God on and off, just like a light switch, merely by saying the right words.
- Another problem with the pre-written sinner's prayer is that it might not truly reflect the sinner's heart. How often do people repeat creeds and sing hymns without thinking about the words? People might pray a pre-written sinner's prayer in the same mindless manner.
I have to ask why it is necessary to prescribe a prayer for the person to pray. Are we afraid that the prayer might not be orthodox? Why not let them pray in their own words? Is God not more interested in what is going on in the person's heart than in the precision of that person's prayer? How precise was the prayer of the thief on cross: "Ö Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom." (Luke 23:42) The thief missed most of the orthodox doctrinal statements of the pre-written sinner's prayer. Yet, it was a prayer that Jesus accepted, for it was a prayer that flowed from a regenerated heart.
Assurance by Refusing to Doubt.
Another approach to assurance is to disallow any doubt regarding whether or not you are born again. Those who practice this believe that all doubts regarding whether one is born again--especially after that person has prayed the sinner's prayer--come from Satan. The counselor might say, "You know, Satan does not want you to believe that you got saved just now. In fact, he will do everything he can to put doubts in your mind. Don't you believe him."
There are some problems in suggesting that all doubts about assurance come from Satan. By telling the person that all doubts come from Satan, no possibility is acknowledged that the person's own conscience might be convicting him for lack of sincerity. Nor is allowance made for the possibility that the Holy Spirit might be leading the person into a deeper and more thorough repentance.
Furthermore, did you know that the scriptures tell us to test ourselves in order to make sure that we are really born again? Consider II Corinthians 13:5, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?"
From this verse we see that there should be evidence that Christ is at work inside of us, and we need to look for that evidence.
Consider another passage, II Peter 1:10, "Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble."
What are they practicing? This refers to those aspects of growth in godliness and character that are laid out in the prior verses. The person is instructed to look for this kind of growth in order to be certain that he has been called and chosen, that is to say, born again.
However, often when people look at this verse they respond with, "What good does that do? Hey, I'm either born again or I am not. So what good does it do to make sure that I am one or the other? After all, I can't do anything about it."
Well, hypothetically, what if you do determine that you have not been born again? I have some good news. You are still breathing. You still have time to repent. And, hopefully, now you realize that you have no duty more urgent than to cry out to God, to seek Him with all your heart, and to be reconciled with Him.
You reply, "How is that? I can't elect myself can I?"
But if you say this, you misunderstand. Your duty as an unbeliever is to repent and believe the gospel, not to figure out the secret will of God. Until the judgement day comes, election will continue to be a mystery for the unbelieving. But for those who are able to know that they are born again, election is not only a certainty, but a reason to praise and glorify God.
On the other hand, what if you come away more certain that you are truly on your way to heaven. Ah, there are several benefits:
- Your confidence will produce boldness and persistence in prayer. After all, this God is also your heavenly father.
- Your confidence will increase your motivation to diligently perform your spiritual duties.
- Your confidence will increase your gratitude and magnify your praise for God.
- Your confidence will give you peace during difficult times. Even in the worst of times you will be able to say, "It is well with my soul."
So there are many good reasons for making certain that you have truly been born again.
So far, we have examined several approaches to assurance of salvation, approaches that are practiced by many who claim to be Christians, but approaches which, if taken by themselves, are not reliable. They include:
- Assurance by profession
- Assurance by mystical experience
- Assurance by works
- Assurance by affiliation
- Assurance by fire insurance
- Assurance by praying the right prayer
- Assurance by refusing to doubt
We will now examine the basis for assurance that is presented in the book of First John. We will start with 1 John 5:13 where we read, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life."
This is a very important verse for this study, for it tells us that the book of First John was written in order to show how we could be sure that we had eternal life. It makes it clear that assurance is possible. The book examines assurance with regard to these six issues:
- What we believe.
- What we practice
- What we reflect.
- Who we love.
- How we stand.
- How we persevere.
What we believe.
The first issue is what we believe. This first article of evidence is found in 1 John 5:1, "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him."
There are many who say that they have faith, but they refuse to believe what is written in the scriptures about Jesus Christ. They refuse to believe that He was born of Mary while she was still a virgin. They refuse to believe that He lived a sinless life. They refuse to believe that He was with the Father in the beginning and was the agent for creating the world. Many would honor Jesus as a great teacher and as a great moral example, yet they would deny that He is Messiah, the only one who can save their souls from hell. But those who are truly born again recognize Jesus as the sinless Son of God and as the only hope that they have for eternal life.
Not only do they recognize Him as the Son of God, but they love Him. And how is it that we love Jesus? The scriptures tell us how. In John 14:21 we read, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."
What we practice.
The second issue is what we practice. This second article of evidence is found in 1 John 3:9, "No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
Wait a minute, who translated this? Cannot sin? What could they mean by that? The answer is found in the word practice. There is certainly a difference between the person who responds with regret, remorse, and repentance when he sins and the person who sins continuously, without concern over having offended God. Such a person is said to practice sin. Truly saved people do not do that. Though they will sin, they fight against it. People who have truly been born again take sin very seriously, and when they sin, they are very much grieved by it. They cry out to God in repentance, and they try to stop it.
What we reflect.
The third issue is what we reflect. This third article of evidence is found in 1 John 2:29, "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him."
The idea is that since Christ is righteous, you would expect to see the righteous character of Christ reflected in those who are born of him. Those who are truly born again reflect the character of Christ by practicing righteousness. Granted, the believer continues to struggle with the flesh, but he no longer has to give in to it. No, now there is a greater principle within, a new heart that reflects the character of Christ.
Wait a minute. Don't we know unsaved people who do good things? Do we not know of unbelieving people who have sacrificed greatly for the benefit of others? Furthermore, is it not true that Christian people sometimes fall into terrible sin?
To answer this we must consider what it means to practice righteousness. You practice righteousness when you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and when you love your neighbor as yourself.
Those who are truly born again love God over all. They long for secret time alone with God. When life gets so busy that they have trouble finding time to be alone with God, it is a matter of great frustration for them.
For those who are truly born again, their secret thoughts matter. It is not enough for them that they control their tempers in the presence of men. It is not enough for them that they commit no visible crimes. No it grieves their spirits when their minds dwell on revenge or lust. They seek to be right with God, not only in their outward actions, but in their hearts and minds.
As for those exceptionally kind people who do not know God, surely these things exceed what we would expect from them. Rather, while they might be content with visible morality, they have no trouble retaining sin in their hearts.
Who we love.
The fourth issue is who we love. This fourth article of evidence is found in 1 John 3:14, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren."
It is easy for all people to love those who are like them. They gravitate towards people who are similar in race, education, and background. They are drawn to people who have had similar life experiences.
While the believer is not immune to desiring the fellowship of those he admires, the true believer especially longs for the fellowship of other believers, to join with them in the worship of God, and to build up and encourage his fellow believers in the faith.
How we stand.
The fifth issue is how we stand. This fifth article of evidence is found in 1 John 5:4, "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith."
There is a worldview that wars against the standards of Christianity. It exalts man as the center of the universe. It ignores God except when there is a crisis. It pursues pleasure with reckless abandon. It exalts assertiveness and punishes humility. It glorifies the pursuit of wealth, power, and possessions. It glorifies the human body and encourages people to dress in ways that entice and produce lustful thoughts. It teaches people to live for the present and to ignore the issues of eternity.
Against this worldview stand those who are born again. They are willing to stand alone for the glory of God. They refuse to bow to the god of popularity. They are consistent in character. They live by principle rather than by feeling. They demonstrate their love for God by their obedience. And, if need be, they are willing to die for their faith, rather than deny Him.
How we persevere.
The sixth issue is how we persevere. This sixth article of evidence is found in 1 John 5:18, "We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him."
The one that is truly born again is kept by Christ. Though he will sin, Christ will not leave him in his sins. He will discipline him and do whatever it takes to bring Him to repentance. He will deal with him as a father deals with a wayward child. He will not be left alone to fight against Satan's devices. He will persevere in his faith. Those that leave the faith, yet are truly born again, will return. Those who never return will demonstrate that they were false from the very beginning.
Call to reflection.
No doubt, some that have heard this sermon have noticed several areas where they are deficient in their faith. We should certainly note that believers vary in their maturity. Yet the true believer will always be moving towards greater conformity to the demands of Christ. He will not limit the demands of Christ on his life like the so-called carnal Christian. He will not cease to struggle against the power of remaining sin in his life. And let us note that just because he struggles does not mean he is lost. No, the fact that he struggles indicates that he is still alive. There is still life there, though it be weak. It is the dead that cease to struggle.
Have you ceased to struggle against sin? Does your long absence from church no longer grieve you? Do you no longer seek time to be alone with God? When is the last time you repented of anything before God?
It is a fact that with many who at one time professed faith, there is no longer any evidence of spiritual life. Yet others have persevered. What is the difference between the two? Why have some continued in their faith while others have fallen away? What were the characteristics of those who persevered?
- Were they smarter, making it easier for them to grasp theological concepts?
- Did they have certain cultural advantages?
- Were they better educated?
- Were they better off financially?
- Were they more determined to be real Christians?
No, the real issue is how they got started. It is the instrument that led to their apparent conversion. Was their apparent conversion the result of the work of man or the work of God? Man can easily simulate a real conversion. A skilled evangelist can make you cry. He can make you feel sorrow for your sins. He can make you afraid of hell. And he can make you long to feel good about your relationship with God. That is why preachers, teachers, evangelists, and even laymen, as they go about their jobs, must humbly plead with God to bless their efforts as they share the gospel. For if it is only the work of man, it will not last. That is also why it is so important to look for present evidence of spiritual life, yes, present evidence, rather than past evidence of sincerity at the time of conversion.
But what a wonderful difference we have when the conversion springs from God's work! God secretly touches the heart of the unbelieving man. This activity is described in Ephesians 2:5 where God, "even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)." Before this, the sinner was completely helpless, as it is written in Ephesians 2:1, "Ö you were dead in your trespasses and sins."
The most helpless people in the world are dead people. The dead man at the bottom of a river does not signal for help. He does not pull out his waterproof cell phone and telephone for help. But when God touches the man who is dead in his sins, new spiritual life is infused into his heart, and out of the fruit of a new heart there springs forth the true and genuine exercises of repentance and faith.
Yes the sinner repents and yes he believes. He does do something. But he would never have done these things had God not changed his heart. So it is that God is the author, from start to finish, of the salvation of all who are truly born again. He has saved their souls, and he will make sure that they persevere in their faith. They will not fall away forever. Though they might fall away for a little while, under the loving but stern hand of God's discipline, they will rise again to repent before God and man.
Let us summarize what we have studied so far. We have covered several kinds of assurance that are not very reliable. They include:
- Assurance based only on the profession of faith.
- Assurance based on a dream or a mystical experience.
- Assurance based on confidence in one's moral character.
- Assurance based on church affiliation.
- Assurance based on the idea that the carnal Christian is a lifestyle option for the believer--that you don't have to be serious about obeying God.
- Assurance based on praying the right prayer.
- Assurance based on the refusal to doubt or examine whether or not you are truly born again.
We have also looked at the book of First John to examine the biblical basis for assurance. The biblical basis for assurance includes the following six things:
- What we believe about Jesus Christ--are we trusting in Him alone for our salvation. Are we growing in our love for Christ? Do we enjoy spending time with Him?
- What we practice--do we practice a lifestyle in which we are submissive to Christ, or do we live any way we want?
- What we reflect-are we becoming more and more conformed to the character of Christ?
- Who we love-do we love other believers. Do we delight to join them in worship?
- How we stand-are we willing to stand against the world, or do we cave in and conform to it?
- How we persevere-are we continuing in our faith, or do we deny this faith by the way we live our lives?
Some of you may be thinking, "I am persevering now, but what about the future. I am weak. But for the grace of God, surely I will be among those who will leave the faith."
I have some good news. If you are truly born again, Jesus is committed to making sure that you persevere to the very end. Sometimes we refer to this as the preservation of the Saints through the perseverance of Jesus Christ. Jesus knows those who are His, and none of them will be lost. In fact, we read about this in Jude 24-25, and this will be our benediction:Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.