The Bible is full of the promise that if a person truly believes in Jesus Christ, he will be saved. But what does that actually mean as lived out in real life? How can a person be sure she believes to the point of salvation?
Let’s use a simple – yet profound – analogy. Assume for a few moments that you are drowning in the deep waters of the ocean. There is no one around you for as far as your desperate eyes can see. The undertow begins to pull you down, and you have never been able to swim. Your strength is waning, and your hope is dissipating. When all of the sudden, a large boat appears and a kind person aboard that craft throws to you a life preserver. You see that preserver and think about how beautiful that red and white round lifeline is to you at that moment.
Now you have a critical choice. You must decide whether or not you are going to place the weight of your body onto that life preserver. You must resolve to actually grasp the device. To simply look at the life preserver – and even adore it to some degree – will not save you. To mutter words through gasps in the ocean waves about how much you appreciate and trust that round lifeline will not deliver you. You can even shout to the people on the boat about the importance of the life preserver and how thankful you are for it. But neither will that save you. There is actually only one thing you can do in order to be rescued; you must put your body on that ring. Until the weight of yourself – not just your mind – but your whole self – rests on that device, you will still drown.
Can you see the parallel here? So many people want to talk about Jesus and say they love Him with their brains and their mouths, but do those same people place the weight of their whole lives upon Him? We can be near to Jesus and near to people who trust Him, we can adore many things about Him, and we can talk of His goodness; but one question remains … are we placing the actual stuff of our own lives onto Him?
When I place my life onto Jesus, it is a different life. I am no longer separated from Him and only talking about Him; I am now talking with Him. My life is now steered by His guidance, not my own. I go where He takes me, into whatever action He deems right. I cling to Him for my life, arms wrapped around Him. This is not “religion” anymore; this is love and life. The moments of my days and the substance of my life have a Lord, and His name is Jesus.
Will you get on the life preserver, or will you only admire it from a distance? The choice is one between life and death. And the actual difference represented here is the difference between mere mental assent and true, saving belief. Will you believe?
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)