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Question:
Are we suppose to know if we are going to heaven or hell, some people say they know where they are going, but if you live the best way you know how you may not make it to heaven… true or not?

Answer:

The Apostle John sure believed we could “know”:

  • 1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
  • 1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
  • 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
  • 1 John 3:19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
  • 1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
  • 1 John 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
  • 1 John 5:13 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, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
  • 1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

Yes, we can know. The Bible plainly states that it alone reveals the way of salvation (Acts 16.30; Acts 4.12; 1Thes 5.9), so just in the same way you would know that you are a soldier if you join the Army; or you are an American if you are a citizen; or that you belong to a certain family if you were born or adopted into it… in the same way, you can know if you are a child of God or not, bound for heaven.

However, “living the best way you know how” has NOTHING to do with getting to heaven or being saved:

  • Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. (NKJV)

  • 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 of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV)

  • 2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, (NKJV)

  • Titus 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, (NKJV)

BEFORE salvation, “living the best way you know how” may result in making you a socially decent person, but it cannot save you from the just condemnation you deserve before a Holy God. If you’ve ever told even one lie, your a liar; if you’ve ever lusted even one time, you’re an adulterer; if you ever had one lazy minute at work, or not reported one dollar of income, or taken a paper clip that didn’t belong to you, you’re a thief; if you’ve ever hated anyone for even one second, you’re a murderer; if you’ve every longed for someone else’s job, spouse or income, you’ve a coveter.

And if you’ve broke all those Laws, then you’ve broke all the Laws about loving God too, by dishonoring Him through disobedience and sin.

So you see, you can’t be “good” enough to be saved. Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ who died on the cross to pay the penalty that YOU owe God can be good enough to save you.

YES – you can know. NO – your “goodness” cannot save you. If you have committed ONE sin (which we all have, Rom 3.23), your “goodness” is insufficient to pay the penalty you owe God for your sin.

You can only know you are saved, if you know the only thing that can save you. And the only thing sufficient to save a person… is another person; and that person is Jesus Christ the Son of God who took your place and paid your penalty.

Believe that, O Sinner, and respond in faith and obedience to Him, and you will be saved. Start by reading the Gospel of John, and the Book of Acts in the Bible and God will reveal to you all you need in order to be saved.

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