Q. Thanks for your wonderful site. My wife and I have been ‘saved’ and filled with the Holy Spirit for the past 23 years. Recently she has become concerned about what God ‘thinks’ of her and whether she is measuring up to his standards. We both live reasonably conservative lives, pray regularly, read the bible, help others, etc. However while we know that we’re not saved by works, she is concerned that God will be upset with her for not achieving much in her life and perhaps she may therefore not ‘make it into heaven’. What would you say to someone who thinks this?
A. First of all, there’s no way for us to tell what God thinks of what we’ve done with our life as a Christian. I’m of the opinion that some of the things we’re most proud of will be burned up, while there may be things we don’t even remember doing that are of great value to the Lord.
Second, there’s not a single verse in the Bible that makes entry into heaven conditional upon things we’ve done to earn it. But there are lots of verses that tell us if we believe Jesus died for our sins and rose again we are saved. In three different places Paul said this belief guarantees our inheritance (2 Cor. 1:21-22, 2 cor. 5:5, Ephesians 1:13-14) which is eternal life. Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:4-7 specifically exclude any of our works from the salvation equation.
Paul also that even those whose earthly works are all burned up in the test of fire will still be saved (1 Cor. 3:10-15).
Think about this. How could salvation be called our Blessed Assurance if we’re worried about whether we’ve done enough to deserve it, and won’t know for sure if we’ve made it until it’s too late to do anything about it? It doesn’t make sense.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24)