If you asked me, “What is your biggest fear as a pastor?” The answer would be easy.
I fear for people in our flock who think they are Christians when they are not. I fear for those who have false assurance about their salvation.
Stating it baldly, some believe they are headed for heaven and the reality is that they are destined for hell.
That some have false assurance is a fact. The Bible teaches that there are a group of people who think they are Christians, when in fact they are not. Their faith is dead (James 2:17); their calling and election is not sure (2 Peter 1:10). On the last day, Jesus will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you (Matthew 7:21-23).
When some, who think they are Christians, find out that they are not, and that it is too late – – this will be the most terrible moment ever faced in human history.
As a pastor, and as a writer, as a servant of the Gospel, I am so motivated to make sure that people have the proper basis for assurance of salvation. In fact, one of my major prayers for my forthcoming book, Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds, is that it will be used in the lives of some who have false assurance . . .
But, then my book won’t be out until the Fall of this year – – and, assurance of salvation, while a concern, is not the central focus. . . Another great resource is available.
If you have questions about whether or not you really know God, then I would point you to the recent book by Tullian Tchividjian, Do I Know God?: Finding Certainty in Life’s Most Important Relationship
Or, consider giving it to someone else – – the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10) – -and it is appropriate to fear the possibility that some may have false assurance.