God’s Everlasting Love
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Maybe you are not sure whether you will ultimately make it to heaven. You hope that you will, but sometimes you wonder if your faith is strong enough or your repentance deep enough.
So it is important for us to leave the valley of conflict and climb to the next mountain where we can glimpse the ultimate victory that is promised to every believer in Jesus Christ.
One day the struggle of your Christian life will be over. You will stand in the presence of Jesus. You will see His face, and when you see Him, you will be like Him (1 John 3:2).
God’s Glory in You
God’s promise is not just that you will be brought into the glory of His presence but also that His glory will be revealed in you. Paul says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Notice, he does not say “to us” but “in us.” God’s glory will be in you!
The Holy Spirit is already creating some reflection of God’s glory in the life of every believer. We “are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
The process has begun, and one day it will be complete. Those who have been justified will be glorified (Romans 8:30). God will finish what He has started in your life, and when His work in you is complete, you will not be disappointed.
When we pass through the valleys of weakness, conflict, and suffering, we need the confidence of knowing the ultimate outcome of all that God is doing in our lives. That is the joy that sustains us. “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2 ESV).
How Can You Be Sure?
How can you be sure that you will make it to heaven? You may have started the Christian life, but how do you know that you will finish? If we do not know how to answer these questions, they will soon take away our joy.
Satan loves to remind us of the many hazards that lie in the valleys of the Christian life, and we can only rejoice in the hope of ultimate victory if we are confident that God will bring us through.
If I were to ask you how you know you will spend eternity in heaven, how would you answer?
One answer might be “Because I love Christ.” That’s great, but how deep is your love? Is it always shown in obeying His commandments? You can’t stand with confidence on your love for Christ.
Another answer might be “I have made a commitment.” That’s wonderful. But what happens if your commitment weakens? Would that mean that your chances of entering heaven would diminish too? You can’t stand with confidence on your commitment to Christ.
A third answer might be “I have faith.” Again, that’s marvelous. But how strong is your faith? Are there not times when you struggle with doubt? You can’t stand with confidence on your faith in Christ.
The common factor in these three inadequate answers is the little word I: “I love Christ”; “I am committed”; “I have faith.” And the problem with anything that begins with I is that it is never complete, never what it could be, and never what it should be.
The Blood of Jesus
That’s why we should be supremely thankful that entrance into heaven does not depend on our faith, our commitment, our works, our love, or anything in us, but on the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Since we have now been justified by his blood,” the Bible declares, “how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him” (Romans 5:9).
If my salvation depended on the strength of my faith or the depth of my love, I could never know what the outcome of my life would be. But the final outcome does not rest on these things. It rests on the blood of Jesus. This is our solid ground for humble and joyful confidence: we are “justified by his blood.”
Picture two scenes. In the first, a confident person steps out on a lake covered in ice. The ice is thin. His confidence is misplaced, and he goes down. In the second, a very nervous person moves hesitantly onto solid ice. She moves slowly because she is afraid that the ice might break. But she has nothing to fear. The ice is thick. Her safety does not depend on the strength of her faith but on the strength of the ice.
Your salvation does not depend on the strength of your faith but on the strength of your Savior.
If you want to cultivate a confident and joyful anticipation of heaven, the question to ask is not “How strong is my faith?” or “How warm is my heart?” or “How deep is my commitment?” These questions keep you looking at yourself, and that will only raise more questions!
Instead ask, “Is the blood of Jesus Christ rich enough and strong enough to wash away every sin and to cover every weakness, failure, and inadequacy in my life from now until the day I arrive in the presence of God?” The answer to that question is “Absolutely, without question or hesitation, yes!”
A View from the Third Mountain
Jesus Christ died to save you, He lives to keep you, and He will never let you go (Romans 8:32–39). That’s why you do not need to worry about what the future holds. Whatever comes, He will be with you, and He will bring you through.
What event in life could ever separate you from the love of Christ? What power in hell could stop what He is doing in your life? God gave His Son to die for you, and you can be supremely confident that nothing will stop Him from bringing you all the way to heaven.
- How would you try to help someone who said that he wanted to follow Jesus but was worried that he could not keep it up?