by Rick Warren — March 7, 2017
In Luke 23:42, one of the criminals hanging next to Jesus on the cross prayed, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (NIV).
Notice that he didn’t ask Jesus to stop his pain, although he would have been in excruciating pain on the cross. By that time, Jesus was famous for doing miracles, but the man didn’t ask Jesus to save him from death, either.
He said, “Jesus, remember me.” Why? Because he knew that his deepest need was salvation from sin — not just salvation to get into Heaven. He believed in Jesus.
The Bible says in Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”
So how do you know for sure that you’re saved? How do you know you’re going to Heaven when you die? How can you be certain? How can you eliminate your doubt?
Your assurance of salvation is not by your works, because you can’t earn your salvation. Your assurance of salvation is not by your feelings, because feelings come and go.
What is your assurance of salvation? The promise of God’s Word. If God says it, that settles it, because God cannot lie. You can trust the promise of God’s Word. You can rest in it.
Jesus replied to the criminal hanging on the cross, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43b NLT, second edition). Your assurance of salvation is the same: God’s promise that you will be in Heaven with him one day if you believe in faith.