From “How to become a Christian”: Chapter 21 – Assurance of salvation
If we do honour Him, hold fast and persevere, and if we do bear fruit in our lives, then not only will we have assurance of salvation, but we will also be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ. See how Paul spoke as he looked back at his life, just before his death, as he waited to be executed. He knew he was saved and would go to Heaven. He also knew, by this stage, that he would be rewarded:
7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NASB)
Anxiety about whether you are saved – some further clarification
We have emphasised the need to take seriously both the assurance passages and the warning passages. Let us look now at some of the specific problems and worries that some of us experience:
Those who have made a weak or hasty decision to believe in Jesus, or who have not been properly taught about the meaning of repentance or discipleship, begin the Christian life semi-crippled. They can be plagued with doubt as to whether they have really been saved. Even if they have been saved, they often cannot feel any assurance about it. Does that apply to you?
Alternatively, if you lack assurance, it could be that the reason you don’t feel any assurance of salvation is precisely because you aren’t saved. If so, you need to put that right. On the other hand, if you are saved, but just can’t ever feel sure of it, then you still need to put it right. Either way, you need to make sure, right now, that you really are a Christian.
It is perfectly valid, if for any reason you feel unsure of your salvation, to pray something like this:
“Lord, I don’t know if I am already a Christian, but please help to make sure of it right now by repenting, believing and putting my trust entirely in you”.
Then go carefully through all the steps set out in Chapter 20, including baptism in water and receiving the Holy Spirit. Do everything the Bible commands us to do.