TL-4 - Are You Sure That You're Saved?
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Are you sure that you're saved? I'm not asking did somebody tell you
that you were saved, or do you ‘feel’ like you're saved.
Are you sure that you're saved? Do you know beyond a shadow of a
doubt that you are right with God and that if your life comes to an end,
you'll spend eternity in heaven with the father?
The good news is we can know that we are saved and that we are
right with God. That's the whole reason God gave us this book, the Bible. In
1 John 5:13 John writes, “These things we've written to you, who believe in
the name the son of God, that you may know you have eternal life.” The
Scriptures teach that a person can be sure about his salvation and sure
that his life is right with God. John 20:30-31 as John gives us that theme
statement to the gospel of John, he says “And many other signs Jesus did
in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these
are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the son the living
God and believing you may have life in His name.”
When Jesus spoke about truth, one of the things He wanted His
hearers to know is that they could understand and know the truth and
receive the benefits of it. Notice what Jesus said in John 8:32. Jesus said
“And you shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.” If I can
know the truth and that truth makes me free, then I can know that I'm free
from sin and right with God. Paul said “I know whom I have believed and
am persuaded. He's able to keep that which I've committed to Him until that
day,” 2 Timothy 1:12.
So we ask you again, are you sure that if it all came to an end right
now, you'd go to heaven and that you'd live with God? Friend let's be sure.
Life is very brief. James 4:14 James says, “What is your life? It's but a
vapor. It appears for a little while and then it vanishes away.” It's like a
shadow, Psalm 144:4. The psalmist said our life is very brief. Psalm 89:47.
I love the words of 2 Samuel 14:14 listen to the illustration David gives
about what life is like. David says “For we will all surely die,” and notice this
illustration “and become like water spilled on the ground which cannot be
gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life. He devises men so
that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.” What's life like? David
said ‘It is like a glass of water. You take that water and you slowly pour it
out, and the ground consumes it. You can’t put it back in the glass again.’
We've got one chance. We've got one life. This is our opportunity and
our one chance to get right with God and to go to heaven.
We’re going to ask several questions today that we hope you'll think
Are you sure, first of all, that you obeyed God's plan of salvation?
There are only two ways to go. Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said “There is a
wide and there is a broad way and many are going down that path and then
there is a narrow or a restricted and difficult way,” and Jesus said “few
there are you find it there's a broad way that leads to hell, and there is a
narrow or restricted way that leads to heaven.” There are only two choices.
Many people are going to say to you that you can choose from any of the
various religions and groups around today, because they all lead to
Heaven. The Bible just doesn't teach that. The Bible teaches, ‘Jesus is the
way, one way, the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father
except by Me.’
One of the greatest questions ever asked was found in Acts
16:30-31. The Philippian jailer cried out, “Sir what must I do to be saved?”
Have you obeyed God's plan of salvation, as the Philippian jailer did? We
learn that to be saved you have to hear the word of God. Romans 10:17
says “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Without
that faith it's impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6. I have to hear the
word of God, because hearing produces faith- which is the second step in
God's plan of salvation.
Once I've heard this word, then I've got to believe Jesus is the only
way. Jesus said “Unless you believe that I am He, you will surely die in
your sins,” John 8:24. Having accepted the fact that Jesus is the only way
the Savior of the world, you then must be willing to repent. Jesus Himself
said in Luke 13:3 “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Have you
turned from sin to live your life for God?
Have you made that good confession? Matthew 10:32-33 Jesus said
“If you won't confess me before men neither will I confess you before My
father who is in heaven. If you will confess me before men, I'll also confess
you before the Father who is in heaven.” Have you made that confession
that the Ethiopian eunuch made? “I believe Jesus is the Christ the son the
living God,” Acts 8:36-37.
Then, have you followed all that up by being immersed in water for
the forgiveness of your sins? Jesus taught in Mark 16:16 “He that believes
and is baptized will be saved.” Jesus taught both belief and baptism were
essential to salvation. Did you obey that plan of salvation? Are you sure
that you've obeyed it-God's way?
Then we might ask this question, are you sure if you did do all those
things, are you sure you are baptized properly?
Here's what we mean by that- in the Christian world, and we use that
term very loosely, in the Christian world there is three modes people will
say are sometimes acceptable as baptism. Some people say ‘Well as a
babe you can be sprinkled or have a little water poured on you, or be
immersed.’ Which one does God approve of?
As you think about the act of baptism found in the New Testament,
only one of those is seen as approved by God. You will not find sprinkling
as an approved Act of baptism. You won't find pouring. Here's what you do
find. There are four passages which clearly teach baptism must be done by
full body immersion, Mark 1:9-11. People often ask the question: What
would Jesus do? Let's ask that concerning the mode of baptism. At Jesus’
baptism what mode did He use?
The Bible tells us of the baptism of Jesus “And coming up out of the
water, the spirit descended upon Him like a dove.” What mode did Jesus
use? Let's ask this, what do you have to do to come up out of water? Well
naturally you have to go down into water. Jesus was immersed. Acts
8:37-39, both Philip and the eunuch both got out of the chariot and went
down into the water. He baptized him and they came up out of water. Again
if sprinkling were necessary, why did they both have to get out, go down
into, and come up out of the water? There's another clear picture of
baptism being immersion.
There are two other passages I would ask you to think about. I want
you to notice the words of John 3:23. Here's a very important passage as it
relates to baptism being immersion. The Bible says in John 3:23 “Now John
also was baptizing in Aenon near Celine,” watch this “because there was
much water there, and they came and were baptized.” Why does the Bible
tell us John was baptizing where there was much water? One has to ask
that question. It doesn't take much water for sprinkling, and it doesn't take
much water for pouring. If God's approved method of baptism is immersion,
for a grown adult that are requires much water.
Now think about another passage Romans 6:1-4 is one of the
clearest pictures of baptism being immersion. The Bible says “What shall
we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly
not. How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know
that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into
His death?” Now notice this, “therefore we were buried with Him through
baptism into death that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory
the father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Did you notice
that reference Paul uses there for baptism? Baptism is a burial. During a
burial you don’t sprinkle a little dirt on them- you completely cover them in
dirt. If baptism is a burial friend, baptism must be by immersion. We ask
you, are you sure you are baptized the right way?
Then let’s ask this question, are you sure you were baptized for the
right reason or purpose? There are a host of people in the religious world
today who teach that baptism is nothing more than an outward sign that
you're already saved. They teach it is something good to do and something
Jesus did- but not essential for salvation. They teach you can do it maybe
two weeks after you're saved to show others you’re now a follower of
Christ. You just don't find that in the Bible.
What are the purposes of baptism in the Bible? In Acts 2:38 we notice
this purpose for baptism. The Bible says “Then Peter said to them ‘repent
and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” What
was the purpose when Peter preached that first gospel sermon? What was
the purpose of baptism? It wasn’t an outward sign of inward grace. It wasn't
something to show others they were being identified with Christ. It was “for”
meaning ‘looking toward the goal’ the purpose of the remission of sins.
Now someone may say, ‘Are you saying baptism is the point at which
sins are washed away?’ Did you know that's exactly what we learn in Acts
22:16? You remember that persecutor of the church by the name of Saul?
Saul is confronted by Jesus in Acts 9. He's told to go into the city and it will
be told you what you must do. Ananias now comes to Saul of Tarsus in
Acts 22:16 and he says ‘Saul, Saul why are you waiting? Arise and be
baptized,’ and listen ‘and wash away your sins calling on the name of the
Lord.’ Baptism is for the forgiveness of one's past sins. It is essential,
because it is the point at which sin is removed. Baptism is for salvation.
Some people may say ‘well the Bible never says baptism saves.’
Friend that's not true. In fact the Bible explicitly says Baptism saves. Notice
the words of 1 Peter 3:21. The Scripture says “There is also an anti-type,”
don't miss this, “which now saves us, baptism. Not the removal of the filth
of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
We ask you today, does the Bible say baptism now saves us? And
friend it clearly does. That’s what Jesus was teaching. Mark 16:16 when
Jesus said “He that believes and is baptized will be saved.” Jesus clearly
taught baptism was essential to salvation.
Some may say that they don't have to be baptized to go to heaven.
Did you know the Bible explicitly says you do? Look in your Bible in John
3:3-5. The Scripture says “Jesus answered to Nicodemus ‘Most assuredly I
say to you unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”
Nicodemus is confused. He said to Jesus ‘How can a man be born when
he's old? How can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be
born?’ Jesus answered “Most assuredly I say to you unless one is born of
water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” That kingdom of
God, which is the heaven on earth, which one day will be those in heaven
is essential to me being a part of God's family. If I want to go to heaven, I
have got to be a part of God's kingdom now.
How do I get in that? I am born by water. The act of baptism is the
action that puts me into the family the kingdom of God which will spend
eternity in heaven.
Let's think about another purpose of baptism. Did you know baptism
is also essential to get into Christ?
Now to understand the importance of that we look in Ephesians 1:3.
The Bible says “All spiritual blessings are in Christ Jesus.” If all spiritual
blessings are in Christ, and if according to 2 Timothy 2:11-12 salvation is in
Christ, the next question one would want to ask would be: How do I get into
Christ? How do I access all spiritual blessings? How can I access salvation
which is in Christ?
Notice the words of Galatians 3:27 the Bible clearly says “For as
many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with
Christ.” The only way in Scripture that a person gets into Christ is through
baptism. Did you know baptism is what puts us into the church of the Lord
In Acts 2 they were told ‘Repent and be baptized for the remission of
your sins. Those who gladly received His word and were baptized,’ that text
tells us ‘the Lord added those who were being saved to the church,’ Acts
2:47. In fact it's 1 Corinthians 12:13 that teaches us ‘By one spirit are all
baptized into one body.’ How I get into the one body? Through baptism,
and thus it is how we obey God's plan of salvation.
Someone may say, ‘Doesn't the Bible say that all you got to do to be
saved is called the name the Lord?’ There's no doubt there are passages
that teach we must call on the name the Lord. Acts 2:21 Peter, as he
proclaims that first gospel sermon, quotes from the Old Testament
prophets and says “Whoever calls on the name the Lord will be saved.”
How do you call on the name the Lord? I want you to notice again the
conversion of Saul. It clearly tells us how to call on the name of the Lord.
The Bible says in Acts 22:16 “Ananias says to Saul ‘And now why are you
waiting?’” Watch this, “Arise, be baptized, wash away your sins.” here it is,
“calling on the name the Lord.” You know if we let the Bible be its own best
commentary, we learn how to call me Lord. Baptism is essential to
Are you sure you are baptized for the right reason? Friend your soul
is way too important and way too precious to trust on men's words and
Are you sure you repented of sin? Even if a person has obeyed the
gospel, that doesn't secure his salvation eternally. He must continue to live
faithfully to God which includes from time to time as he recognize the sin in
his own life being willing to repent of it. Jesus clearly taught the importance
of repentance. Luke 13:1-5 there are certain people who came to Jesus. It
looks like they want to condemn others. ‘What about these people who had
their blood mingled with their sacrifice? What about these 18 people are
walking down the road and a tower falls on them and kills them?’ They are
in essence asking Jesus, ‘Wasn't that a vengeance of God on those
people?’ Jesus said in verse 3-5 “Unless you repent, you will all likewise
perish.” Jesus in essence said to those pious Jews ‘Stopped looking
around at others. Stop nitpicking in other people's lives. If you're going to
be saved, you've got to repent. You've got to change.’ What is repentance?
Repentance is really a two part process. It's very simple. It is a
changed will that leads to a changed way. Matthew 21:28-30 Jesus
illustrates this. A father had two sons. ‘He said to the first son ‘Son go work
in my field today.’ The son said he would. He never did. Then the father
said to the second son, ‘Son go work in my field today.’ The second son
said ‘No I will not.’ He changed his way of thinking, and then he went
worked in the father’s vineyard. Jesus said ‘Which of those who did the will
of the father?’ They said, ‘The latter.’ Why? He changed his will, and then
he changed his way. That's what repentance is. I changed my will. I change
my way of thinking to God's way of thinking. Then a change my way of
acting the way God wants me to act.
I want you to notice the words of Peter as he preaches the gospel in
Solomon's portico in Jerusalem in Acts 3:19. Notice what he says. Peter
preached “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted
out so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
‘Repent and be converted,’ or some versions say ‘turn again.’ Luke 3:6 we
know that repentance is also a changed way of life. John the Immerser, as
he saw some of the Jewish elite coming out be baptized just because
everybody else was doing it, here's what he said “You brood of vipers! Who
warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Then he said this “Bring forth
fruits worthy of repentance.”
Can I identify repentance in a person's life? Absolutely! How so? You
can look at their life. They may no longer talk the way they used to talk, act
the way they used act, or be involved in things that maybe they were once
involved. Their whole life has changed by their allegiance unto Jesus
Then we might ask you this, are you sure you're a member of the
Lord's church? There are a host of religious groups started by men and
alive today, but are you sure you're a part of the church Jesus built?
In Matthew 16 Jesus asked His disciples “Who do men say that I the
Son of Man am?” They gave a great complement to Jeremiah, or others of
the prophets that these great men. And Jesus said ‘Who do you say that I
am?” Peter spoke up and said ‘You are the Christ, the son the living God.’
Jesus said “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father
who is in heaven.” He says to Peter based on that statement, ‘based on
this rock, I will build my church.’ Notice what Jesus said about that church
in Matthew 16:18. The Bible says “I say to you,” Jesus speaking, “that you
are Peter on this rock the fact that I am the Christ the son the living God, I
will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
Whose church did Jesus build? Jesus said “I will build my church.”
How many churches did Jesus build? Jesus said “I will build my church.”
Who does the church belong to? Jesus said ‘It's mine. I'm going to build it.’
If Jesus builds His church and the church is singular, and the rock the fact
that Jesus is the Christ is the foundation-singular also- there is only one
church. God never, it was and never in the mind of God and is not pleasing
to God than a host of denominations exist today.
Ephesians 1:22:23 the Bible says “He is the head of the church which
is His body.” Jesus is the head of the church. I want you to notice the
church is also called the body. What did we learn about that body? In
Ephesians 4:4 we’re taught this “There is one Lord, one faith, and there's
also one body.” Think about this, if Jesus is the head of the church, which
is His body and there's only one body, how many churches are there? Just
one-that's all God ever intended to build. Are you sure you're a part of the
church Jesus built, that He died for? Acts 20:28 the Bible says “Jesus
purchased the church with His own blood.” Are you a part of that purchased
group? Friend be sure. Denominationalism was never the will of God and is
contrary to everything Jesus trying to do.
Jesus, as He knows He's about to go to the cross, prays in John
17:20-21. “I pray father that they all may be one as you father are in me
and I in you that they all may be one in us, that the world may believe you
sent me.” If Jesus prayed for oneness, does denominationalism look like
we’re trying to achieve that? Psalm 33:1the Bible says “Behold how good
and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
Then if all those things you say to yourself you’ve done- are you sure
you're putting God first in your life?
It's going be a sad day on the Day of Judgment when members of the
Lord's body didn't fully given themselves to God’s cause. Matthew 6:33
Jesus said “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and
all these things shall be added unto you.”
Are you sure that you’re seeking that first? Is that your main priority?
Does it come first on your list of things to do? Is it at the top of everything?
Is your energy, your time, your money, and effort on God's kingdom? Is it
the most important thing in your life? I know it was to Paul. Paul said in
Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Paul had
already crucified the old self. ‘I've been crucified with Christ,’ he said. ‘No
longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life which I now live in the
flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave Himself for
Are you really putting first things first? I want you to think about the
question Jesus asked in Mark 8:36-37. Jesus asked “What will it profit a
man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what shall a
man give in exchange for his soul?”
My soul and your precious soul is way too important to let it slip by
without asking these questions. We ask you to think seriously again are
you sure, based on the truth of God's word, that you're saved and that
you’re living the way you want to?
Remember Jesus said “You shall know the truth and the truth will
make you free.” You can be sure.
What a joyous feeling it is to know if all fails today, if the world comes
to an end, if the Lord comes back, if I die in this life, I am sure I go to
heaven right now.
If you don’t have that knowledge, then friend we invite you to obey
the gospel of Christ before it's eternally too late.
Study Questions for Topical Lesson 4:
“Are You Sure That You’re Saved?”
1. According to 1 John 5:13, why were these things written? And to whom?
2. According to John 20:30-31, why were the things written?
3. What will set us free according to John 8:32?
4. Why was Paul believing and persuaded in 2 Timothy 1:12?
5. What does James 4:14 compare our life to?
6. What does David compare life to in 2 Samuel 14:14?
7. What does Jesus say about the 2 paths of life in Matthew 7:13-14?
8. According to Romans 10:17, how does faith come?
9. What does Jesus say in John 8:24?
10. What does Jesus tell us we must do in Mark 16:16?