“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, …” 1 John 5:13
The purpose of the first letter of John is clearly stated as “assurance of salvation.” John wrote to give proof to the people who claim to be Christians that they actually were saved by giving life signs or vital signs. These truths would prove they are alive in God, or as we say, born again. Make sure you sit down and read the entire book!
Now, what you need to notice is that the Bible never says that you know you are going to heaven because you believe you are. It does not say you know you are going to heaven because you prayed a little prayer like, “Dear Jesus come into my heart.” Nor does it say you are assured of heaven because your priest, pastor, or grandmother said you were. Instead, John provides seven clear cut evidences of salvation. He learned to look deeper, rather than accept a simple testimony from a person who claimed to be a Christian, because Christ taught him to verify salvation by a persons fruit.
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. [Matthew 7:15-18 (NLT)]
The Lord trained his apostles well. And Christ Jesus clearly warned many, many people would unite with the church and become known to the world as Christians. But, most of these people will be fakes. They would be deceived and sincere, but still, not real. And the only way to know for sure was evidence that existed behind the surface, underneath the sheep skins. Those who broke God’s laws were fake, even if they were popular or preachers, sincere and spiritual leaders, and even miraculous and famous.
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ [Matt 7:21-23 (NLT)]