I listened to a pastor describing one of his congregants having a crisis of faith on his deathbed and was invited by the man’s wife to speak with him. He assured the tormented man, ‘all is well! Just continue to believe! This is your assurance!’ He was telling this at this man’s memorial, which I attended, and while most were encouraged by this story, I was deeply troubled by it.
I thought to myself, here, this man was possibly expressing conviction the Holy Spirit wrought in him, that something was not right and that he needed to get his spiritual house in order. From what I knew of this man, he had lived his entire life believing in Jesus – so how much more could he believe?
Contrary to popular (false) Christian opinion, our assurance does not come – because we say we believe in Jesus Christ.
How do we know we are ready for death?
We who have obtained from the Lord a new (spiritual) heart – have indwelling witness inside us – by the presence of the Holy Spirit. We are assured of our eternal destiny by this witness and what this verse describes:
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Romans 8:16.
New birth is the ONLY way; John 3.
The evidence we are His will be we will desire to worship God, not in religious ceremony, traditions, or doctrines of men but by God’s Spirit and truth; John 4:24. Why? Because the Spirit of God inside us will desire this!
If this is not the case, we will remain dead in our sins no matter how much we believe in Jesus Christ! Whom Jesus warned He would these words when it is too late to do anything about: ‘I never knew you!’ Matt 7:21-23.
This is the sad truth of most believers in Christ today. See also: The Gospel is Beyond Belief
We sang Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby; full of wisdom, counsel and great reason to take joy:
1. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
This is my story; this is my song:
praising my Saviour all the day long;
this is my story; this is my song:
praising my Saviour all the day long.
2. Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
3. Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Saviour am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.