For October 17, 2021
The word “assurance,” conjures ideas of personal and/or organizational safety and well-being. Webster’s1 offers three definitions of assurance:
- : The state of being assured: such as
a: a being certain in the mind
b: confidence of mind or manner : easy freedom from self-doubt or uncertainty also: excessive self-confidence: brashness, presumption
- : Something that inspires or tends to inspire confidence
- : The act or action of assuring someone or something: such as
a: pledge, guarantee
b: the act of conveying real property, also: the instrument by which it is conveyed
c: chiefly British: Insurance.
- : The state of being assured: such as
For our purposes here, assurance can evoke peace of mind, which increases or diminishes according to the level of confidence we have in the people and/or systems we use to provide our security.
Recent studies have shown a substantial increase in corporate and personal security in recent years. In 2020 for instance, the North America’s Security Service market size was 32 billion US dollars while the global market was 132 billion US dollars.2 To accommodate our increasing need for personal and commercial surveillance systems, smoke and temperature detection, intrusion systems, fear of terrorism, public unrest, personal security devices, cyber/data security, and theft control to protect the people and property we care about.
In addition, the projected collateral costs to operate our local, state, and federal criminal justice system to encompass custody, care, programs and services for prisoners, ex-prisoners, victims, families, children, and communities exceeds a trillion dollars.3
Much of my life has been spent working with those who have been so adjudicated to protect the public from peril or loss. Yet, I have realized that our man-made security measures will never provide ultimate assurance. Because hackers, hijackers, electronic system failures, operator error, internal staff collusion, and “acts of God” can negate or bypass the security protocols causing a breach in the most advanced systems.
Since September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers were attacked and destroyed, there has been heightened public interest to secure people, data, and property. However, each year there are telling instances of unauthorized exposure of personal information, loss of property, and the unfortunate loss of life as well. Life’s capriciousness and uncertainty render earthly assurance a fleeting illusion.
Thus, only in Jesus Christ can we find ultimate assurance. He gives us lasting security along with His faithful and enduring promises. The Lord warns about our fretting to preserve our earthly treasures in Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV):
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Essentially, there are two views on the Believer’s eternal security that have been debated for years. One point of view espouses that we who believe in Jesus Christ cannot be sure we will endure to the end, and that some will renounce their faith in Christ entirely. This view emphasizes that for many, obtaining eternal life will not happen. However, the opposing view affirms that we who are in Christ will endure to the end. According to this view, our eternal life is both certain and secure.
The fundamental difference between the two points of view is where we place our emphasis. In other words, where we put our faith and confidence determines our point of view.
The emphasis in the former view is on our capricious human will and our finite strength. Here, it is up to us to hold on to Christ the best way we can as we face life’s uncertainties—relying on our human power alone!
The emphasis of the second view is God’s infinite power and providence. Here, it is up to the Lord to hold on to us the best way He can as we face life’s uncertainties—completely dependent on His omnipotent power to sustain us!
Isaiah wrote about how God sustains us with His power in Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV):
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Our patient endurance is more about the Lord’s omnipotence and faithfulness demonstrated toward His precious children than it is about our finite and uncertain attempts to hold on to Him. Article Eleven entitled: “The Perseverance of the Saints,” of the New Hampshire Confession describes God’s power and providence,
We believe the Scriptures teach that such as are truly regenerate, being born of the Spirit, will not utterly fall away and perish, but will endure to the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.4
We endure because of Christ, the Good Shepherd’s, providence watches over us while His power keeps us forever.
There is a vast difference between those who make a verbal profession of Christ as Savior and those who believe and receive Him as Lord. God provides the ultimate assurance to all those who confess Jesus Christ with their mouths and believe in Him with their hearts,
But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:6-13 (NIV)
Those people who profess with their mouths, and do not believe with their hearts are merely going through the motions. They have not experienced the spiritual transformation Christ provides, and they do not have fellowship with God. And when the Lord returns, He will banish them from His presence forever (Matthew 7:21-23). These people will not endure because they are not of Christ, and He never knew them, as John explains:
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 1 John 2:19 (NKJV)
We who profess and believe find hope and will always experience the strength, and victory in Jesus Christ that lends itself to the “Abundant Life” He promises in John 10:10, as we progress along these mundane earthly shores towards the glorious heavenly home awaiting us. This is as Proverbs 4:18 (NKJV) teaches,
“But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”
Won’t you give the Lord your heart today, and experience His ultimate assurance?
What a Wonderful Savior!
- See: “Assurance,” Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, 2011, accessed at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assurance.
- See: Statista: “Size of the security services market worldwide from 2011 to 2020, by region” online at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/323113/distribution-of-the-security-services-market-worldwide/.
- See: Huffington Post “The Full Cost Of Incarceration In The U.S. Is Over $1 Trillion, Study Finds,” online at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mass-incarceration-cost_n_57d82d99e4b09d7a687fde21.
- See: Edward T. Hiscox, The Standard Manual for Baptist Churches (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1951) 67, and J. Newton Brown, A Baptist Church Manual, 37th ed., (Valley Forge: Judson, 1983) 15.