I’m sure we’ve all seen labels or commercials for different products that “guarantee” that it will work 99.999% of the time. I always get a kick out of that. Some cleaning products confirm that 99.999% of germs will be killed. Producers use this as a way to leave room for the small possibility of something not working completely. A cleaning product cannot claim to kill 100% of germs because there’s a chance that some germs may be left. So it’s only guaranteed to work so much. An air of “doubt” lingers. Now, 99.999% is a really good percentage! But it means that something falls short of total success. So we live in a world where many things cannot be 100% guaranteed.
Unfortunately, Christians see this same label/guarantee on their salvation. It’s like Heaven has an ad that reads “Come! You have a 99.999% guarantee that you’ll be able to enter!” But there is a 0.001% chance that you might not make it. This leaves a percentage of doubt. It says that there is no such thing as a 100% guarantee that you will go to Heaven. We see this when and if we say things like: “No one really knows what will happen” or “I hope that I will go to Heaven” or the big IF in “Lord, grant us Heaven IF in the end we have been found faithful.” Some even go so far as to think that “we sin every day,” some even say “we sin every minute of every day.” Neither of these is true. At least, they shouldn’t be. We sometimes can find ourselves in constant fear or worry that we might-have-possibly-could’ve-maybe-sometime sinned. With this line of thinking, we never feel like we are completely without sin. There’s always got to be something that we must’ve done wrong. But again, that’s just not true. That’s not how God’s grace and forgiveness works. The 99.999% guarantee is not the guarantee that God has given us.
So how do we answer that? Is there a 100% guarantee of salvation? Can we have perfect assurance, hope, and confidence that we will go to Heaven? Thank God that He has given us the answers. Our assurance is found in the Bible. Paul tells us how our faith will become stronger: “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). We need to look at what God has told us about our place in Heaven.
The promises of God have always had a perfect fulfillment rate. God promised Noah that He would never again destroy the world with a flood of water (Genesis 9). God promised Abraham land and an innumerable lineage. God promised Abraham a son to be his heir. All these things God did for Abraham (Genesis 12-22). We are enjoying the blessings of those promises today. God made promises to Jacob. To the nation of Israel. Promises of blessings as well as promises of punishment. God promised a Messiah to save His people. God promised an eternal kingdom. Any and all of God’s promises were fulfilled. We cannot find a single promise of God that has never come true. Today we have God’s promise of the return of Jesus, the destruction of the world with fire, and our eternal home in Heaven. If God carried out every other promise that He has ever made, why would we think that He would fall short in fulfilling ones to come? “It is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). We live in a world that has a lot of untrustworthiness. But we have to learn the full assurance of trusting God who does not lie.
God has promised to forgive us of our sins. The good news of Jesus is that God sent Him to die for us to pay the price for our sins. If we believe that, then God says we can repent, confess our faith, and be baptized to wash our sins away. God says that’s what He does by His power when we obey the gospel; forgives our sins. Then His promise is that if we will follow Him in faithful obedience, then we will be with Him eternally in Heaven. John wrote in 1 John 1:9 that God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Do we believe that? We should because God is a “faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19).
We can believe that God forgives us of our sins because He has promised to do so! “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). What has God promised us? John said that “this is the promise that He made to us – eternal life” (1 John 2:25). Peter said that God has “granted to us His precious and very great promises” and that “according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 1:4, 3:13).
If we know God like we need to, then we know that His guarantee is 100%. With God, there is no doubt. There is no maybe. There is no luck. There is no worry. There is no hesitation. God says what He means and means what He says. His grace is truly amazing. We know that we do not deserve His mercy. And sometimes we let that guilt weigh us down. But God has taken that guilt away and doesn’t want us to carry it around anymore. Pay attention to what Paul said in Ephesians 3:14-19 – “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Paul said we need to know and understand the love that God has for us.
If we ever doubt God’s love for us and are not fully convinced that we will go to Heaven, then we need to look again and again at passages like John 3:16. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us. God shows us how much He loves us in the death of Jesus (Romans 5:6-8). Why would God do all of that for us if He wasn’t going to fully guarantee us salvation? In his first letter, John wrote to the brethren about the good news of Jesus Christ. Reminding them of what it meant. In 1 John 5:13, John explained what the purpose was for everything he had written. He said, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.” When we are asked whether or not we are going to Heaven, we should be able to humbly yet confidently say without a shadow of doubt that we are indeed going to Heaven. What a day that will be!