The BIBLE VIEW #860 — Gratefulness

In This Issue:
Be Grateful
Be Thankful
Count Your Blessings
Be Thankful for…

Volume: 860     May 30, 2022
Theme: Gratefulness  

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Be Grateful
Bill Brinkworth

Christians too often get so encumbered with the cares of this world that they forget who they are and what they have.  They have the promise of Heaven, a caring heavenly Father, His guidance and protection, hope, blessings none of us deserve, and we know God’s truths (or should).  With all we have, we still forget we are on the winning side and how good God is to us.

The well-known Psalm 95:1 is an encouraging eraser for the “woe is me” or “everything is so terrible in my life” attitudes. That verse suggests that instead of complaining, we should “sing” to the Lord.
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1

“Sing,” besides singing a song, means to shout aloud for joy, cry out, be joyful, rejoice, and triumph.  The negative poor-mouthing we often utter spurns defeat quickly and robs one of hope. However, if we find something to be joyful about and exclaim the victories we have gotten, our attitude will change. 

Even singing a hymn will help one return to being grateful and appreciative. The rest of the scripture verse also removes the excuse for not “singing” because they believe they have an unworthy voice. Verse 1 says to make a joyful noise if that’s all you can muster.  It’s not the quality of the “song,” it’s the exuberant, thankful heart that glorifies a great God and not the stumbling blocks we dote over.

There was a time when I found myself in the dumps. All I could see were the obstacles and defeats that I encountered. To flip the doldrums around, I sat down and made a list. In the blank leaf in the back of my Bible, I made a list of victories and things I had. It included salvation, a good wife, a home, a church family, and on and on went my inventory of blessings. After reading what I had written several times, I forgot about all I did not have and was most grateful for God’s goodness in my life. To this day, whenever I find myself being ungrateful, I reread that list. It is my “song” that helps me remember how good God is to me.

Be Thankful
Bill Brinkworth

Many of the Psalms reminds believers to be thankful for a mighty God and all He has done for His people.  Psalm 135 is no different.  The chapter starts with “Praise ye the Lord,” and it ends with the same reminder.

Old Testament and New Testament believers should have one grateful emotion in common. We both have so much to be thankful. There are so many reasons we should praise the Lord. 

Some of which we should appreciate the Lord include:

  • His controlling of the weather (Psalm 135:7).
  • God’s deliverance of Egpyt’s bondage of Israel (Psalm 135:8). Today’s believers also need to be thankful for safety in this life and liberation from sin.
  • The miracles God allowed to happen in lives (Psalm 135:9).
  • Deliverance from enemies (Psalm 135:10-11).
  • The land God gave Israel (Psalm 135:12)!  We also need to be grateful for the freedoms and opportunities we still have.
  • His enduring faithfulness to His people (Psalm 135:13).
  • His future judgments (Psalm 135:14). Many believe they have gotten away with their sin or wrong-doing. They have not. Judgment day has not yet come for them, but it will one day!

All have so much for which to praise the Lord. Unfortunately, the majority are blind to His working in their lives.

“The praise that comes of love does not make us vain, but humble rather.”  
— Barrie

Count Your Blessings
Hymn by Johnson Oatman (1897)

1 When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

2 Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.  [Refrain]

3 When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in Heaven, nor your home on high.  [Refrain]

4 So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.  [Refrain]

“Count your blessings, not your troubles, and it will make you grateful rather than discouraged!” — Bill Brinkworth

Be Thankful for…
Bill Brinkworth

Much of the good in our lives comes from the benevolent hands of God. However, He gets so little credit for what He has done. Psalm 107, along with many other hymns found in the Psalms, reminds the singer to proclaim to the unrealizing world what we are thankful for.

This chapter alone starts eight of its 43 verses with “O give thanks.” Five times “praise” is used, and five times God’s “goodness” is mentioned in Psalm 107. There is a great focus on counting our blessings and being thankful for what He has done in our life.

Among a plethora of what we should be grateful for, this chapter reminds us to be thankful for God’s:

  • Goodness (Psalm 107:1, 8-9, 21, 31).
  • Mercy (Psalm 107:1). The previous chapter also reminded believers of God’s generous, undeserved mercy.
    “Praise ye the LORD.  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 106:1
  • Redemption and deliverance (Psalm 107:2, 6, 8, 10, 13-14, 16, 19-20, 28). Our salvation is redeemed by the blood of Jesus, and many times our situation is bought by the work of our mighty, protecting God.
  • Guidance, as He led, provided, and directed Israel (Psalm 107:3-5, 7, 9).
  • Changing situations (Psalm 10:24-27, 29-30, 33-38, 41) that hinder His people.

Israel’s worship songs often were reminders of what they should be appreciative. Although America has a holiday dedicated to being thankful (Thanksgiving Day), ALL people, especially Christians, should be grateful every minute of every day. Just think where we would be if He withdrew His goodness to us. We certainly would be most miserable.

Give thanks to the Almighty that has done so much for you.  Write on a piece of paper or a blank page at the back of your Bible things for which you are thankful. When times are more challenging, just a glance at those reminders of His goodness to you will help a grateful attitude return to an encouraged spirit.  Some even keep a journal of all the wonderful things God has done in their lives. We should never forget the mighty help of our God in our lives.

Thank you, Lord!

“The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful and cheerful heart.”Plutarch

The BIBLE VIEW #859 — Religion

In This Issue:
Be of Christ, Not of Man
Don’t Follow the Religious.  Be the Righteous!
Real “Religion”
Avoid It Not
The Real Thing
When to Go

Volume: 859     May 16, 2022
Theme: “Religion”  

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Be of Christ, Not of Man
Bill Brinkworth

In the early church at Corinth, they had a problem that occurs even today within a church family.  The new church had some declare allegiance to the one who baptized them (I Corinthians 1:12).

Today, one hears of similar allegiances.  Instead of those claiming to follow the teachings of early church leaders and biblical principles, we hear of some claiming to be “Ruckmannites,” “Calvinists,” “Jimmy Swaggart”s, or another popular preacher they model their religious doctrines after.  Even a denominational name is used to make it sound like their association with them shows they are as correct as they think their leadership is.

A spiritual leader may be close to God and even faithful to biblical teachings, but following any man closely does not guarantee anyone else will be biblically correct.  A church label may indicate generally believed doctrines, but each congregation and member may have different beliefs.

I attend a Baptist church.  I believe that historically Baptist beliefs have been one of the closest to what the Bible teaches.  However, many Baptist congregations are as dead as a doorknob.  Some of them have had “Ichabod” spiritually engraved as their epitaph.  God has long ago departed from them.  Most “religious” labels mean very little.

What labels often do, however, is create divisions among the brethren (I Corinthians 1:11).  The contentions these divisions create often make a ministry have a poor testimony to those around it.  Ultimately, disputes among Christians give the Lord a bad testimony. 

Can you imagine what the unsaved must think of a church that cannot get along with each other?  “They’re Christians, and they can’t get along with each other.  I certainly don’t want to be a Christian if I end up like that!”

Paul reminded those fighting among themselves that Christ was not divided.  If we are born again, we are on the same side.  Above all, our testimony that the world should see should be only one label.  That label should be “Christian” — or “Christ-like.”

Men will argue about their religion; write about it; fight for it; die for it; anything, but live for it.”  — C. Colton

Don’t Follow the Religious.  Be the Righteous!
Bill Brinkworth

Pharisees were a powerful, controlling Jewish group that boasted about and led “spiritual” activities in Jesus’ time.  They were known for their separation from the scripturally “unclean” practices of the worldly Gentiles.  Their understanding came from the intellectual scribes that had much to do with explaining and preserving the Scriptures.  At the time, if anyone were considered to be “godly” people, certainly it would have been the Pharisees. 

However, Jesus had much to say against that sect.  They were some of the “religious” people that opposed Jesus and tried to stop His preaching.  That group taught contrary to what the Word of God taught.  It was the Pharisees that led people in the wrong direction about spiritual matters.

John 8 tells much of what Jesus knew about this religious, but unrighteous, group including:

  • Their judgments and discernments of what they saw and heard were often determined by their weak flesh and not by God’s influence (John 8:15).
  • They did not know God (John 8:19).  Although this group was known for their wisdom of the Scriptures, Jesus knew that they were not of God.  They did not even know the true God, and He was not their Father (John 8:44).
  • Their garb and practices led people to believe they were religious, but Jesus knew that they were not of God, but of the devil (John 8:23, 44).
  • Their man-made “religion” would not save them.  Unless they believed and trusted in Jesus alone, they would die and face judgment for their sins (John 8:24).
  • They did not realize that they were held captive by their sins.  They were not spiritually free (John 8:31-37).
  • The truth of God did not direct their lives (John 8:37).  They were not obedient to the Word of God they had claimed to follow (John 8:37-39).

Today, the Pharisees may not control us, but we still have “religious” among us that are not righteous.  Even if they are faithful in going to church, doing “spiritual” things, or even talk the “Christian talk,” they may be as spiritually dead as were the Pharisees. 

The Bible reveals that the errors of today’s unrighteous “religious” are much the same as the Pharisees that Jesus rebuked.  “Religion” does not save or change anyone!  Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and trusting and obeying God’s Word will change a person — from the inside out!

“The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, Heaven without Hell.”
— General William Booth, Founder of the Salvation Army

Real “Religion”
J. Newton

The “religion” of some people is forced, something they feel obligated to do, not necessarily wanting to do.  Those people are like those that cause themselves to take a cold shower.  They take it not for pleasure but for necessity and health.  Reluctantly, they go into the frigid waters and are glad when they get out. 

Real “religion” to a true believer is like water to a fish.  It is his element.  He lives in it, and he could not be happy without it.

“Real ‘religion’ is a personal relationship with the resurrected Redeemer, not man-made, ritualistic routines under the guise of pleasing God.”
— Author Unknown

Avoid It Not
John Bate

Man does not refuse to cross the ocean because of its storms, travel by air because of accidents, or fight on the battlefield because of weaponry and deaths.  Nor does he fail to study science and philosophy because of their mysteries.  Likewise, man should not refuse to learn and practice God-ordered Christianity because of the various difficulties connected with it and by obeying His commandments.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”  John 3:30

The Real Thing
John Bate

  • One real dollar bill is worth a thousand counterfeits, however dim, wrinkled, and worn the genuine is.
  • One good, fruitful tree in an orchard is far more valuable than scores of trees, which may have beauty, but no fruit.
  • One genuine Christian, to God and the world, is worth a thousand hypocrites.
  • One acceptable prayer to God does more than the million that He rejects, even if the righteous’ prayer is simple, broken, and unpolished.

“I don’t like to use the label ‘religious’, as it usually brings up connotations of something man-made, not necessarily God-ordained.  I prefer the term “biblical.” — Bill Brinkworth

When to Go
John Bate

When considering being saved, some people imagine they should bring themselves into a condition of moral excellence before they seek salvation.  That is like:

  • A sick person waiting until he is well before he sees the physician;
  • Or an invalid waiting until he fully recovers before he seeks a change of air and place;
  • Or a hungry man waiting until his appetite is satisfied before he sits down to eat;
  • Or a person shivering with cold, waiting until he is warm before he lights a fire.

You go to the physician because you are sick, to the fresh air to improve your health, to the food because you are hungry, and to the fire because you are cold.  In the same way, you should seek the Saviour as you are because you have a great need.

“All that the Father giveth me [Jesus] shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37

The BIBLE VIEW #858 — Drifting Away

In This Issue:
Keep from Backsliding — Again!
Hymn Writer Loses Joy of Salvation
Go to the Devil

Volume: 858    May 9, 2022
Theme: Drifting Away  

Printable versions (bulletin insert, large print, and e-mail versions) of this Bible View and many others can be found at

Keep From Backsliding – Again!
Bill Brinkworth

If there is a point when a Christian says, “I used to do” some spiritual feat that they are not doing any longer, chances are they are backslidden.  They may be “slidden” away from the spiritual height they once were. 

Some of the common “I used to do’s” include: I used to attend church, read my Bible, have a prayer life, go on visitation, teach a Sunday school class, fast, have a closer relationship with the Lord than I do now, and on the list can go.  If they are honest, every Christian will omit that they have been in a backslidden condition more than once.

Sometimes, not only can an individual be farther away from God than they were in the past, but also a nation or people can.   Such was the case with the people of Israel, as can be read in the book of Nehemiah.

The main center of Israel’s worship, Jerusalem, was deserted and in disarray in Nehemiah’s day.  No longer did its temple host sacrifices and the worshipping of God.  The place of worship was destroyed, as were the city’s walls and gates.  Streets were cluttered with debris.  No longer was the city used for worship because the people were backslidden away from their Creator.

God raised up a man, Nehemiah, who had the burden and fortitude to rebuild the center for worship.  It was difficult rebuilding the city.  Individuals opposed him.  The government tried to stop him.

As hopeless as the situation first appeared, others quickly joined him in the battle to return the city to what it should have been.  The people came out and joined him in the reconstruction. 

When the enemies increased, the rebuilding became more difficult.  There were times they built with one arm and wielded a weapon in the other to protect themselves.  However, the task got completed.  The place for worship was repaired and ready to be used.

As in any “backslidden” condition, it is hard to return to where one once was.  Reconstruction can be more difficult than the original “construction” in an individual’s life.  When people decide to return to where they once were with God, it is difficult to do, as Nehemiah realized.  The only way out of the backslidden condition is to do hard work, as did Nehemiah and the other Israelites.

After one has returned to the level he had once been, there is still a danger of backsliding again.  Nehemiah knew this, and after the city was rebuilt, he took several steps to make it difficult for the same disarray to happen to his people’s lives and worship. Those measures included:

  • Returning to proper worship.  Nehemiah’s situation differed from ours, as in his day they were under the law.  Still, he made sure that all who served in the temple were qualified by their lineage to be in the priesthood and were willing to worship correcrtly.

To return from a backslidden condition, we must make sure we worship properly in a good, Bible-obeying church.  Many get far from God, and when they want to get closer to Him, they pick the same worship (or lack thereof) that may have helped them get into the far-from God condition initially.  The spiritually wrong leaders or way of worship may lead them in the same wrong direction.  

When attempting to return to the Lord, make sure worship or the place you attend, has godly guidance.  Many have wanted to turn back to God, but the liberal, watered-down preaching they heard never included enough of the Word of God to guide them away from their backslidden condition.

  • Making changes.  Nehemiah’s charges had to stop their sin and get back to obedience to God.

No one can have two masters.  We cannot serve ourselves and God.  It must only be God that we serve, or we can end up far from Him.  The same selfish decisions that got us in the spiritual condition before will get us there again if we do not make the right choices!
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  Matthew 6:24

  • Scripture.  Today, reading the Word of God is one of the most important measures one can take to prevent spiritual decline.

The source God has left behind for us to know His will and way is in the preserved King James Bible (for English-speaking people).  It has been kept so we would know what God desires of us. 

The Word of God cannot be replaced by opinions, Christian radio or television, or other media.  Although those sources can be a spiritually positive influence, we must read God’s Word ourselves.  Without doing so, we will not know God’s will and way. Too many have gotten far from God because they trusted another to feed them spiritually.  Because the spiritual “food” was tainted and not feeding one spiritually, they were not strong enough to make the right decisions.

  • Obeying God’s Word.  There is no way to return to God unless we follow, by faith, what God speaks to our hearts about and shows us in His Word.  Obedience is the difference between the “used to be”s and the ones sitting in the front row pew and serving God in a ministry.  The only way to get closer to God is to obey Him!
  • Remembering the spiritual errors they made in the past so they would not be repeated.

Ex-backsliders must know what they did to get themselves in the far-from-God position.  It will seldom be “he made me do it”, or “it wasn’t my fault”.  Usually, it is personal decisions that got us into a not-obeying-God-state.  We could have always said “no” to temptations.

Some paid a tremendous price to say “no” to disobedience.  They may have lost their job, friends, social standing, or even their lives, but they chose to obey.  To prevent backsliding, one must take responsibility for what was done wrong against God and avoid it in the future.  Seldom, if ever, are we “victims” in not obeying God.

As a Christian, we can follow and obey God every single day of our lives, but we will always have a weakness that we will have to battle the entirety of our lives.  That weakness is our sinful nature.  We may be forgiven, but we can quickly follow that nature and not God. 

When we obey God, we please Him.  Disobedience will cause us to backslide from a close fellowship with God.  There is always hope for a return to a close relationship with Him.  One should leave the self-life and return to the spirit-led life.  Do all you can to avoid backsliding again!

Christian, are you backslidden?  Come on home!

Hymn Writer Loses Joy of Salvation
H. Bosch

Robert Robinson, author of the hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” lost the happy communion with the Saviour he had once enjoyed. In his declining years, he wandered into the byways of sin.  As a result, Mr. Robinson became deeply troubled in his spirit.  Hoping to relieve his mind, he traveled.

In his journeys, he talked with a young woman about spiritual matters.  She asked him what he thought of a hymn she had just been reading.  To his astonishment, it was none other than his own composition.  He tried to evade her questions, but she continued to press him for a response.

Suddenly, he wept.   With tears streaming down his cheeks, he said, “I am the man who wrote that hymn many years ago.  I’d give anything to experience again the joy I knew then.” 

Although greatly surprised, she reassured him that the “streams of mercy” mentioned in his song still flowed.  Mr. Robinson was deeply touched.  Turning his “wandering heart” to the Lord, he was restored to full fellowship.

Come, Thou Fount
Hymn writer Robert Robinson

(1) Come, Thou Fount of ev’ry blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.  Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above; Praise the mount — I’m fixed upon it — Mount of Thy redeeming love.

(3) O to grace how great a debtor, Daily I’m constrained to be!  Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee: Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it; Seal it for Thy courts above.

“Inbred corruption is the worst corruption.  ‘Lord,’ said Augustine, ‘deliver me from my worst enemy, that wicked man — myself.’”— Spurgeon

Go to the Devil
Author Unknown

Before the turn of the last century, an ardent and dedicated Christian wrote a tract entitled “Come to Jesus.” It became famous and influenced many for Christ.

Later, he became engaged in a theological dispute.  In reply to a publication against his tract by an opponent, he wrote an article bristling with sharp and cutting words.  Looking for a title, he asked his friend.  His friend wisely suggested: “Call it ‘Go to the Devil’ by the Author of ‘Come to Jesus.’”  The writer destroyed the article.

“When a man, who professes to be converted, says that he goes into the world and sin for pleasure, it is as if an angel went to Hell for enjoyment.”  
— Spurgeon

The BIBLE VIEW #857 — Being Sure

In This Issue:
I’m Sure
How to Know If You Are Saved
The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago

Volume: 857    May 1, 2022
Theme: Being Sure

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I’m Sure
Bill Brinkworth

One hears many “I think I am saved” and “I hope I am”s.  However, a long time ago, I settled on “I am sure I am saved and bound for Heaven.”  Countless others also have been able to make that same claim.

The assertion of one’s salvation must be centered on one’s being convinced that the Bible is the Word of God and that He preserved it so we could know His will and way.  If God’s source of truth is not settled, then there is nowhere else to gain the peace in knowing one’s eternal destiny.  

One must be convinced that what the Bible says is straight from God’s lips to those who recorded it for Him.  Once the authority and validity of what God dictated are established and that it has been preserved for us, obedience to it is the next step.

Security of an eternity in Heaven cannot be relied on by what a person or religion says.  Unless it aligns with God’s Word, what a religion claims, no matter how many followers it has, can be false and dishonest

I first read and acknowledged that I was a sinner.  There was no question about it.  I knew my past and heart that it was wicked and did what it thought was right or pleasurable.  I was reminded and convicted of my transgressions against God as I read.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Rom.  3:23

Soon, I discovered that there was a terrible price to pay for my wickedness and sinning against a mighty and Holy Creator.  I did not want to pay for it, so I continued searching the Scriptures to find if there was a way to avoid the punishment due to me.  There was.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 6:23

I found it!  God’s “way” had nothing to do with what I could do.  I could not take back my transgressions against a holy God.  Neither was there any way I could pay for my sin.  No amount of good deeds could save me or anyone!
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” II Timothy 1:9

As I studied, I found that there was a way to have all my sins — past, present, and future — forgotten and forgiven by God.  That way was to realize Jesus had already paid for my sins.  All I had to do was believe by faith that God’s only Son was the only one worthy enough to pay for my great sin-debt.  The Word of God said it, so I believed it and then asked and trusted Christ as my Saviour from an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

After that great step of faith, total assurance came.  A change in my life occurred.

Prayers got answered.  I had prayed most of my life and did not recall an answered petition.  I thought that was how it was to be.  We asked but seldom got answers to requests.  However, after being saved, that changed. 

God had done the impossible countless times.  When there was no hope to get necessary solutions to troubles I faced, I could depend that He would do what was best.  HE NEVER let me down.  Believing His answers to be coincidences soon were seen as foolish explanations.  He was real, and my prayers reached His throne room, where He thought me worthy enough to help and answer my requests.

More assurance that the Word of God was preserved, reliable, and trustworthy came as He helped me through the many challenges I faced.  As I relied on His promises, any doubts that God’s Word was the only tangible source of truth vanished. 

After obeying what God commanded in the Bible, more changes occurred in my life.  Behavior that did not bother me in the past was recognized as unfruitful and often sin.  Those past actions were no longer desired and often purposedly avoided and halted.

As I yielded to God’s commandments,  I could see how he used me to do things that I would never have done in a thousand years.  Conversations with others about the Saviour and God’s goodness yielded fruit I never expected or imagined.  Without knowing the person’s situation, I often said exactly what they needed to encourage them to turn to the Saviour.  I knew that it was not me that helped, but the Lord was working through me to minister to others.

More opportunities of service to the Lord were made available.  I accepted the challenges to do what God led me to do.   Priorities shifted from selfishness to the importance of others and their needs.  After a while, I noticed I did not have to worry about my own needs as He would meet them. 

There have been struggles and challenges, but now I see that they were necessary to help me grow.  Through it all, I must claim that God has changed my life.  I am a new creature, although I still stumble and fall, and let the Lord down so many times.   
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 Also Mark.  14:38.

I have heard similar testimonies from Christians from all over the world.  Being born again by God’s grace changes a believer.   We are certainly not perfect, but the changes prove He is real and still working in our lives.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17

Although your journey through this life is most likely different than mine, can you still claim that you are convinced you are a child of God and on the way to Heaven?  Have you been saved?

“So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and Hell, tell him this,  ‘I admit that I deserve death and Hell, what of it?  For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf.  His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is, there I shall be also.”
— Martin Luther

How to Know If You Are Saved
Bill Brinkworth

After one is born again (John 3:3), it is often questioned, “Am I really saved?  How can I know for sure?” I John 3 helps answer some of those questions and doubts.

  • The first proof is “Whosoever abideth in him [Jesus] sinneth not …” (I John 3:6).  A typical reaction after reading that verse would be one of panic, “Oh no, I have sinned since I have been saved; therefore, I must not be saved.” 
    “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” I John 3:6

    That is not what is being addressed there.  Throughout the New Testament, it has been established that we can still sin even after we’re saved (Romans 3:10, 23). In I John 2:1, Christians are commanded not to sin, but if they do, they have an advocate (a person who defends one’s case in a court of law) in Christ. Why would we need an advocate if we did not sin?
    “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” I John  2:1

    There also is a long list of righteous men that sinned, including Moses, Lot, David, and Peter. The soul may be saved, but the flesh they were born with will still sin if the spirit is not allowed to control it.

    In I John 3:6, “sinneth” refers to a continuance in sin. It implies a continuing practice of transgressing God’s commandments. When people are saved, they may sin, but they do not want to. If they do, they feel miserable until they get it right. The Holy Spirit in their spiritual hearts does not want to commit iniquity.  Sometimes the flesh lets that Spirit down, but a saved person will not want to sin!
  • Another proof is that a child of God will love the new family he is adopted into; he will love his Christian brothers and sisters.
    “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.  He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” I John 3:14
  • A compassionate heart (I John 3:17-19, 23) is also evidence of one’s salvation.  The indwelling Spirit of God attempts to take our minds off of ourselves and put them on the needs and concerns of others. He gives us the desire to help others.
    “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” I John 3:23
  • A child of God can ask the Lord for help, and he will receive it; an unsaved person does not have that opportunity.
    “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” I John 3:22
  • Those that think one can be saved and do whatever one wants most likely have never experienced the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  One that is saved will want to keep God’s commandments. It will trouble him if he does not.
    “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.  And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” I John 3:24

Salvation is not an “I think I am” or “I hope so” experience.  According to the scriptures, it is a know-so conviction in one’s heart (I John 3:19, 24, I John 5:13).
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13

The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago
Hymn by Frank Graham

There was a time, I know,
When in the book of Heaven,
An old account was standing
For sins yet unforgiven;
My name was at the top
And many things below,
I went unto the Keeper,
And settled long ago.

Long ago, long ago,
Yes, the old account was settled long ago;
And the record’s clear today,
For He washed my sins away,
When the old account was settled long ago.