As a pastor/minister I have talked with many who question and/or doubt they are saved. I myself have ventured off into that realm myself at times. So I ask today… Is there indisputable proof of salvation? The answer will be something you will have to determine from the Scripture and leadership of the Holy Spirit. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5…
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
So what is “The test” Paul referred to? We will answer that question momentarily. For now, keep in mind it IS possible for a person to think they’re saved but not be. This comes from the following Scripture…
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me (Jesus), ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.
God is clear in the Scripture, not everyone who thinks they are saved ARE saved. A case in point (Excluding Simon of Acts 8) is Judas. He followed Jesus for three years, was the keeper of the money for the Apostles, Preached the Gospel about Jesus, performed miracles in Jesus’ name… yet he was not saved. Yet Jesus said about him in Matthew 26:23-25 it would have been better if he’d never been born.
Christ in you (Colossians 1:27, 1 Jn 4:13). The foundation of salvation is “Christ in you.” This is also known as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is the result of repenting of what we are (Sinners) and believing Christ paid the penalty for our sin (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-11).
Fruit of The Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24). When a person is saved, the Holy Spirit works in them character traits that WILL be manifest in the person’s life.
Spiritual Growth (2 Peter 1:3-10). When a person is saved, they WILL… over time… become more and more like Jesus. This includes the Fruit of the Spirit as described in 2 Peter.
Love (1 John 2:5-6, 15-17, 3:10, 14-18, 4:7-8, 12, 20-21, 5:2-3). Since the Holy Spirit is in the believer… AND since the gifts OF the Holy Spirit are increasing in the believer… LOVE will be a tremendously important attitude and character trait of the believer.
Persecution (Mark 10:29-31, 1 Peter 4:12-17, 2 Timothy 3:12). Every genuine believer in Christ WILL suffer as a result of being a Christian. This suffering is specific. Not all suffering/hardship/difficulty rises to the kind in this point (Read text links). In short, when a believer suffers BECAUSE OF being a Christian, then there is good cause to affirm salvation.
God’s Discipline (Hebrews 12:5-7). God’s discipline is suffering, but not all suffering in God’s discipline (See previous point). God has chosen to conform every believer to the image of Christ by an act of His will (Romans 8:29, Ephesians 1:11).
Continuing In The Faith (Colossians 1:21-23). Those who are genuinely saved WILL follow Christ from their salvation to the day they die. They will not “fall away” or deny Christ. The point here is that praying a prayer, getting wet (baptism), and being a member of a congregation DOES NOT insure salvation.
Paul writes it is possible to KNOW salvation is real. He writes that it is worth the time to examine if salvation is real or not. IF being saved is important enough to an individual, they will take the time to reflect… pray… and read the Scripture because eternity hangs in the balance…