Assurance of Salvation is a subject that gets weird quick. Everyone wants to feel that they are saved. Satan knows this too. Therefore, his desire is to make the unsaved feel saved, and the saved feel unsaved.
In order to “get assurance,” people can go several avenues. These avenues of assurance seem to fit quite nicely with denominational distinctions.
–Charismatic churches tend to emphasize a spiritual experience: speaking in tongues, healing, dreams and visions.
–Legalistic churches emphasize conformity to The Group and following the Group’s rules.
–Catholic, Lutheran and other old school churches emphasize baptism, communion, or some kind of required church approved hoop to jump through.
–The Health and Wealth Gospel churches emphasize riches.
–Easy Believism emphasizes whether you said The Prayer or not.
Interestingly enough, 1 John, a book written to give people assurance that they have eternal life, never mentions tongues, riches, baptism, group conformity, Sinner’s Prayers, or anything remotely close to these issues.
The Bible says assurance is based on Christlike character, summed up by LOVE. If sin is dying out in you and righteousness is taking over (you’re becoming like Christ), you can know you are saved.
So why do churches emphasize these other things?
Quite simply because they are easier! Most of them depend on one-time actions. If not one-time actions, then at least repeating actions. It’s all based on doing a thing. Very much like Israel’s assurance based on circumcision.
Biblical assurance is not based on doing a thing at some point, but on becoming like the person of Jesus Christ.
What’s easier: speaking in tongues or acting like Christ? Being dunked in water or knocking off sin? Becoming like a group of fallen people, or becoming like the perfect Son of God?
Satan wants you to feel assured. He wants you to base your assurance on anything other than becoming like Christ. Satan’s temptations of Christ were all about shortcuts to Christ’s end of getting the Kingdom.
Satan wants you to have a shortcut to assurance. Don’t take it. Take the long way and arrive at actual assurance, confidence, and blessed peace.
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.”