Everyone sins. No matter you are a local pastor or the neighborhood thug. Even the Rev. Billy Graham was aware of his shortcomings: “The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’ “
So though I am a Christian, I understand certainty of constant sin is inevitable. Yet it is through my Christianity that the blood of Jesus Christ offers me eternal salvation. What a wonderful thing, and I thank God for giving me certainty in salvation.
I do not fear death. I may fear a bit about how the process will take place, but not death itself. Why? Because I believe the moment that my spirit leaves my body, I will be in the presence of the Lord.
We know this because of what the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:
2 Timothy 4:6-8 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Paul states, “. . . crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” Paul is telling us that on the very same day he departs the earth, he will receive his crown of righteousness in heaven. And not only him but all those who one day die as believers in Jesus.
Knowing we believers will be in the presence of Jesus immediately upon death is very comforting. But there seems to be one thought that often invades that comfort. And that thought reverts back to the knowledge that we all do sin and we can’t help ourselves.
We sin in thought, word, and deed—constantly!
That fact plants ideas of doubt about true eternal salvation in many folk’s minds. How can we be assured our salvation is secured once we know Christ as our true savior when we are still sinning through life? The answer is—a changed heart. God is now centered within us. God told us He will transform us into something new, and He does.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
God, in the beginning, knew we would sin. That is why He had a plan in place. He did it by changing our hearts to desire what is good and faithful, to be obedient to He who holds the world in His hands. With new hearts and the presence of the Spirit we now know, understand and acknowledge our sin to the LORD. As believers we now humbly confess of that sin and ask for forgiveness with a humble heart.
Yes, we are all going to sin from time to time. That’s what humans do. But because of Jesus we have a loving future to look forward to upon our death. We are assured through God’s word that once we become His children, no one will ever separate us from Him.
Through Jesus we have assurance of salvation.
John 10:28-30 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will 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. I and the Father are one.”
Billy Graham loved Jesus, and shared the assurance of salvation to all who had ears to hear.
“The Bible says there will be only one question on that day – what did you do with Jesus? You don’t go to hell for drinking liquor, you don’t go to hell for using profanity – you go to hell for rejecting Christ!”—Rev. Bill Graham