Perhaps I was being a little too presumptuous. And I’ll have to admit, if my statement had been based on myself, it would have been presumptuous. But my words were based on the sole authority of God’s Word, and I refuse to retract them.
Do you want to know what I said? Here’s the statement: “I know I’m going to Heaven.”
At the time I made this statement, I had been speaking with a devout, Roman Catholic couple at a campground off Leech Lake in Minnesota. Every day, they drove to nearby Walker, Minnesota, to attend the Catholic Mass. For all of their good works, however, they were unsure if they would go to Heaven.
Only a Biblical Christian can be certain he is going to Heaven. His assurance comes from verses like 1 John 5:13, which states, 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. [Emphasis added.] The Biblical Christian’s hope of eternal life is anchored in God’s Word and unaffected by the teachings of men. It is a confident expectation, not merely presumption.
Biblical Christianity and Roman Catholicism share many things in common: Both believe in the Trinity. Both believe in the virgin birth of Christ. Both believe in Christ’s death and resurrection. Yet the two faiths are worlds apart because of a single, fundamental difference: Roman Catholicism is a works-based religion which derives its ultimate authority from the teachings of men, while Biblical Christianity relies exclusively upon the authority of Scripture and teaches salvation by grace.
You may be trying to share your faith with some Roman Catholic friends or family members. Don’t cram the gospel down their throats, but be gentle as you show them why truth based upon God’s unchanging standard carries more weight than man’s shifting standards. Pray they will see why your hope is more than presumption.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.