If you go to the Burlington Mall and randomly ask people if they are going to heaven or hell, you’d most likely hear many of them say, “I hope I will go to heaven” or something similar to that. I sincerely expect that’s not your answer (even though I have heard my professing Christians give this answer). Your eternal destiny is far too important to be hanging on the “not sure but hope to” statements. God wants us to be certain about our salvation.
John 3:16 is as clear as it gets, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. So, if you and I believe Jesus died to pay for our sins and rose again from the dead and we trust in him alone for our salvation then we have assurance of eternal life! Assurance means freedom from doubt, you are taking God’s word to heart.
The problem with us is sometimes we seek assurance of our salvation in the things we are doing for the Lord, in our spiritual growth, in the good works and obedience to God’s word and in what you think God is doing in your life. Now these things can be evidence of our salvation, but they are not things we base our assurance of salvation on. Our assurance of salvation is based on the promises of God revealed by His word and not based on our subjective experiences. Jesus Himself assures those who believe in Him: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
Our assurance of salvation is based on the complete and perfect work done by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in Him our answer is not “I hope I will go to heaven” but “I will be in heaven with Him.” In fact, he is already with me now and will usher me into His heavenly presence when my time comes. This is the assurance of everyone who is saved!