Friday: Further Thought – Salvation and the End Time

Further Thought: We can have assurance of salvation, but we must not be presumptuous about it. Is there such a thing as a false assurance of salvation? Of course. And Jesus warned about it, too, saying: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt. 7:21-23, NKJV).

Spectacles on Bible

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

These people made two fatal mistakes. First, despite whatever great things they had done in the Lord’s name, they weren’t doing the Lord’s will, which was to obey His law. Jesus didn’t say, “Depart from me” you who were “not sinless” or you who were not “without fault” or who were “not perfect”. Instead, He described them as “lawless” — a translation of anomian , or “without law”. Second, notice their emphasis on themselves and on what they had accomplished: Didn’t we do this in your name? Or Didn’t we do that in your name? Or Didn’t we do this other thing, and all in your name too? Please! How far removed from Christ must they have been to point to their own works in an attempt to justify themselves before God? The only works that will save us are Christ’s, credited to us by faith. Here is where our assurance exists — not in ourselves or in our works but only in what Christ has done for us. You want assurance? Obey God’s law and rest only in the merits of Christ’s righteousness, and you will have all the assurance you need.These people made two fatal mistakes. First, despite whatever great things they had done in the Lord’s name, they weren’t doing the Lord’s will, which was to obey His law. Jesus didn’t say, “Depart from me” you who were “not sinless” or you who were not “without fault” or who were “not perfect”. Instead, He described them as “lawless” — a translation of anomian , or “without law”. Second, notice their emphasis on themselves and on what they had accomplished: Didn’t we do this in your name? Or Didn’t we do that in your name? Or Didn’t we do this other thing, and all in your name too? Please! How far removed from Christ must they have been to point to their own works in an attempt to justify themselves before God? The only works that will save us are Christ’s, credited to us by faith. Here is where our assurance exists — not in ourselves or in our works but only in what Christ has done for us. You want assurance? Obey God’s law and rest only in the merits of Christ’s righteousness, and you will have all the assurance you need.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Martin Luther reportedly said: “When I look to myself, I don’t know how I can be saved. When I look to Jesus, I don’t know how I can be lost”. What great wisdom is found in these words? Why is it a good idea to keep this sentiment ever before us?
  2. Dwell more on this idea that we have been chosen for salvation even before the foundation of the world. Why does this not mean that everyone will be saved? If people are not saved, will it be because God didn’t choose them or because of the choices they made? Discuss this question in class.
  3. How does the reality of the great-controversy scenario help us better deal with the reality of evil even in a world that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit love?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons