Thursday, 31 January 2019
How Can We Tell If Somebody Is Saved?
One test is seeing genuine change in a person's life. Zacchaeus is a good example. Luke 19:8 (BBE) says, "And Zacchaeus, waiting before him, said to the Lord, 'See, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have taken anything from anyone wrongly, I give him back four times as much.'" Jesus said that salvation had come to Zacchaeus' house, showing that his desire was genuine.
Though Peter said the following to justify himself, real followers of Christ leave behind their worldly ways. Mark 10:28 (KJV) quotes this foot-in-mouth disciple as saying, "Then Peter began to say unto him, 'Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.'"
I love Jesus' reply in the next two verses. The Bible in Basic English reads, "Jesus said, 'Truly I say to you, There is no man who has given up house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or land, because of me and the good news, Who will not get a hundred times as much now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and land--though with great troubles; and, in the world to come, eternal life.'"
As a side note, Jesus made no secret that suffering would come to true believers in him. That too is another way to tell the real followers from the fakers. In John 6:67 and 68 (BBE), the crowds abandoned Jesus because of his difficult teachings of total commitment to him. "So Jesus said to the twelve, 'Have you a desire to go away?' Then Simon Peter gave this answer: 'Lord, to whom are we to go? you have the words of eternal life;'"
Another indicator of faithfulness is the resultant change in a person's actions. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 7:16 (KJV). "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"
Endurance is another indicator of true conversion. Matthew 10:22 (KJV) tells us, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
Joy in adversity is also an indicator we can watch for. James 1:2 (KJV) reads, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;"
I could write so much more on just this topic. Instead, I'll save other examples for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Far too many sincere people will end up in hell because they never gave their lives to the rule of Christ. May God use my writing to turn them from the gates of hell.
Next month, I'll deal with the question of repentance and why it's crucial for true salvation.