I want to be SURE about a number of things – That my wife knows how much I love her; That my children and grandchildren know that I would do anything for them; That I am filling out my 2016 Income Taxes honestly; for example. BEING SURE is important to each one of us in various aspects of our lives.
However the apostle Peter discusses a much more important area in which we need to BE SURE. After writing about fruitful growth in the faith, Peter makes this statement: “For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent TO MAKE YOUR CALL AND ELECTION SURE, for if you do these things you will never stumble”. (I Pet 1:9-10). There are four areas in which I am working hard every day to BE SURE of – to MAKE SURE of my calling and election. I believe we all understand the necessity of these concepts.
- I want to BE SURE that I am serving the God of the Bible; the only true and living God. The first verse of the Bible states who God is. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. (Gen 1:1). He is the creator of everything we can see and all that we cannot see. When God called Moses to deliver His people from Egypt, Moses did not think the Israelites would believe that he was supposed to be their leader. He asked God a question. “‘When I come to the children of Israel and say to them,’ The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them’? And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’. And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent Me to you”. (Ex 3:13-14). Jehovah was explaining to Moses that He had no beginning and will have no end. HE IS GOD and needed no further introduction.Paul taught the Athenians about the true and living God after he saw an altar with the inscription, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD”. Therefore, the one whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you; GOD, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He worshipped with man’s hands, as if He needed anything…”.
- I want to BE SURE that my Savior is the crucified, buried, and God-resurrected Jesus Christ. O.T. prophecies concerning Jesus the Messiah and their fulfillment hundreds of years later in the N.T. ought to be enough proof for any truth seeker: Jesus virgin birth (Is 7:14). His rejection by His own (Is 53:1-8). Mocked, spat upon, and struck by accusers (Is 53).Death as sacrifice for sin (Is 53:10-12). Raised from dead (Ps 16:10).Now at God’s right hand (Ps 110:1) are just a few of dozens of examples. The fact is that a risen and glorified Christ was seen by hundreds of eye witnesses who would testify and die to prove it true. (Matt 26, Luke 24, John 20, I Cor 15:3-8).Jesus of Nazareth was apostle certified as the Savior of the world by all 12 in the sermon of Acts 2, and individually by Peter, John. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul in several other passages. Our Savior is that man, Jesus, and that Deity, The Lamb of God.
- I want to BE SURE that I am being led daily by the Holy Spirit directed, revealed and inspired Word of God. Jesus Himself promised the Holy Spirit to the apostles before it was time for Him to return to heaven. “And when He (H.S.) has come, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…However, when He, the Spirit of Truth comes; He will guide you into ALL truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak…”. (Jn 16:8, 13). By the words and the message the Holy Spirit gave to the apostles, the world would be convicted of sin and judgment, and would understand righteous living. We have the Word of God today because the H. S. revealed it and has preserved it. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”. (Ps 119:105). The laws, statutes, and commandments of the Lord are: Perfect, Sure, Right, Pure, Clean, True, and Righteous Altogether. (Ps 19:7-9). Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them, there is great reward”. (Ps 19:11). Let’s BE SURE of that promised reward.
- I want to BE SURE that I am a member of the New Testament church – The church that Jesus purchased with His own blood.There are certainly hundreds of churches/ denominations in the U.S. to choose from, and most all of them would readily accept me as a member. However, the Holy Scriptures mention only ONE CHURCH. All N.T. writers talk about a singular Body or Church with different congregations in different locations. All these groups taught and practiced the same thing – exactly what the Holy Spirit led apostles had preached. Jesus Himself emphatically stated “I will build MY CHURCH”. (Matt 16:18). As Paul was giving instructions to the elders of the church at one of these locations in Acts 20 (Ephesus); he commented on this singular Church. “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the CHURCH OF GOD, which HE (JESUS CHRIST) purchased with His own blood”. (Acts 20:28).There are more than 70 references in N.T. Scripture that use the term “THE Church”, again indicating the singular nature. One final proof from Paul’s letter to Timothy. “But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is THE church of THE living God, THE pillar and ground of THE truth”. (I TIM 3:15).Through prayer, and much devotion to Scripture, let us all BE SURE, and MAKE SURE: That we serve the God of the Bible; That our Savior is the crucified and risen Lord; That we are being led only by the revealed and inspired Word of God; and that we are members of the N.T. church, the one that Jesus purchased with His own blood.