How to be Sure You are a Christian
This is part 1 of a 6 part series – How to Be Sure You Are a Christian
Millions are not sure
A prominent businessman, a leader in his church, sat across from me in my office. By every standard of human measure, this man was an outstanding success. As we talked, it became increasingly clear that in spite of his active leadership in the church, he was unsure of his eternal destiny. And he was desperately seeking assurance of his salvation.
The wife of an evangelist told me, “During the past thirty years, my husband and I have introduced thousands of people to Christ, but I have never been sure of my own salvation. Now, I’m desperate to know for sure. I need your help…”
A student who had just received Christ stood to his feet. With a puzzled and troubled look on his face, he said, “I don’t feel any different. I guess God didn’t hear my prayer. How can I be sure Christ has come into my life?”
Perhaps you, too, are uncertain about your relationship with the Lord.
From my experience of counseling many thousands of students and lay people through out the years, I have become convinced that millions of church-goers have invited Christ into their lives, many of them over and over again, but are not sure of their salvation. In fact, surveys indicate that 50 percent of the church members in the United States are not sure Christ is in their lives. These are good people. Often, they have served faithfully in their church for years. And yet, they still have no assurance of Christ’s abiding presence, no confidence that, if they died today, they would go to be with the Lord in heaven.
Why does this heartbreaking uncertainty exist among so many devoutly religious people? I am persuaded that their lack of assurance is due either to misinformation or to a lack of information regarding who God is. This includes understanding the deity of Christ, the meaning of the crucifixion and the resurrection of our Lord, and what is involved in receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Permit me to ask you this personal, so very important, question: What about you? If you were to die today, are you absolutely sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, you would go to heaven?
In the following pages, I want to share with you a message of great hope. It is a message for which the whole world hungers – and one I believe is desperately needed for the Church.
Great hunger for Christ
I have found a great and common hunger for Christ in men and women throughout the world. Let me give you just a few examples.
- A friend asked me to meet with her brother. She was concerned for him because he was not a Christian. This man was one of the financial and political leaders of our country. A meeting was arranged. After I introduced myself, we chatted briefly about the condition of the world and the need for a moral and spiritual awakening, all to which he agreed. I suggested to him that God had placed him in a unique position of leadership and he could have a real impact for helping to change the world for good. But first he would have to let God change him.I shared with him a copy of the Four Spiritual Laws and asked him if he would like to read it with me. When we had finished reading the booklet, this famous and powerful man humbly said he would like to receive Christ. We prayed together. When we finished praying, he looked up and said to me, “I want you to know I really meant that. Tell me what I am supposed to do.”
- In Korea approximately ten thousand students, lay people and pastors participating in a Campus Crusade for Christ training conference talked with more than forty-two thousand people during the period of training about how to become a Christian. More than sixteen thousand people prayed with them and received Christ. An additional thirty-eight hundred expressed a desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
- In Haiti during a similar week of training, more than one thousand people received Christ in a single day when approximately five hundred pastors and lay leaders shared the gospel through the use of the Four Spiritual Laws booklet. Vonette and I have visited the Soviet Union several times in the past few years. What we have witnessed and heard is nothing less than miraculous. The spiritual hunger of the Soviet people and their openness to the gospel are far greater than we ever imagined. Christian leaders are spreading the gospel wherever they can with overwhelming response.
- Recently Vonette spoke at a women’s meeting, which was the first of its kind held on International Women’s Day in the USSR. More than three hundred women packed out a century-old Protestant Church to hear her speak. She shared from the Word for an hour, and her talk was followed by two and one half hours of questions and answers, which further demonstrated the spiritual hunger there.
- In the past few months tens of thousands of people have received Christ as the result of viewing the “JESUS” film. Today, more than 425 million people have viewed the film with tens of millions expressing their desire to follow Christ as Savior and Lord.
- Christians have found such openness to the gospel in Siberia that they have been showing the “JESUS” film around the clock, even in the dead of winter! It’s an evangelistic schedule unheard of in the United States. Every two hours, “JESUS” is being shown in a packed room, even at 12 midnight, 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Starved for God for more than seventy years, the Soviet people willingly endure hard ship, even the frigid Siberian nights, to learn about our wonderful Savior.
- In Romania one man describes the openness for the gospel in his country. “Our people…are hungry. They are so hungry. Everyone we meet – young people, students – when we give them Christian books, they are so happy!” A Romanian pastor reports, “Every meeting we have five to six thousand people, and we have only 1,500 seats. The large majority stand three hours Sunday morning, two hours Sunday night and two hours Friday night. The street and the corridor are packed with crowds. If it is rainy or snowing or the heat of the summer, they are there. It is something that warms my heart whenever I come to church and see crowds flowing from every street to that place. I just praise God!”
- Missionaries who live in Western Europe and distribute Bibles to Eastern Europeans traveling through these countries also report great hunger for the Word of God. As these missionaries give out Christian literature on Bulgarian, Polish, Czechoslovakian, Russian and Romanian ships, buses and trains, they find hands eagerly reaching for the Bibles to satisfy deep spiritual needs.
- Even the seamen on Cuban, Ethiopian and Red Chinese vessels want to quench their spiritual thirst. One missionary reports that when he is allowed to board Chinese ships, he finds many sailors willing and anxious to accept free Bibles. On one ship, his satchel full of Bibles and New Testaments was picked clean within seconds.
These examples are only a few of the many millions of people who are hungry for God throughout the world.
I believe billions of people are unsure of their relationship with God simply because they lack information. We must help them to understand that Christianity is not just a philosophy of life, not just a code of ethics, not just a standard of performance. Christianity is a personal relationship with the living, all powerful Creator God through faith in His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Take Buddha out of Buddhism, Mohammed out of Islam, and the founders of other religions out of their religions and little would be changed. But take Jesus Christ out of Christianity and nothing more than form and facade are left. Christianity is a personal relationship with the living Christ!
But how can you be sure of your relationship with Christ? I ask this all-important question again, “If you were to die this very moment, do you know where you would spend eternity?”
Perhaps you have only recently received Christ and are still not sure that anything has really happened – you are not confident of your salvation; you lack the assurance of your relationship with God.
I want to share with you several vital principles which can give you that assurance.
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