How can one be assured of his or her salvation? This question has worried many Christians for centuries. Yet, the answer provided by the teachings of the New Testament is that every Christian can be certain that eternity will be spent with Christ and the Heavenly Hosts. Modern evangelical doctrine typically states that once a person recites the “sinner’s prayer” and accepts Jesus, there is nothing he or she can do to be eternally lost. Unfortunately, that idea is not supported by what one reads in the New Testament. Although Jesus said concerning His disciples “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand,” he also warned “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” Thus, the idea presented is that as long as one chooses to remain in Christ no force will be able to separate him or her from God’s grace. However, one does retain the freedom to walk away from Jesus and walk into being separated from His grace. Jesus effectively summarized His expectations in His message to the church at Smyrna: “Be faithful until death.”
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A second question concerning salvation is “What does it mean to be faithful?” In the New Testament, John answers this question saying that a Christian needs to “walk in the light,” meaning that we live our lives within the light of Christ by following Him, maturing in Him and keeping His commandments. As we “walk in the light” several things happen to us to pull us away from being carnal beings. We are transformed by the renewing or our minds. We develop a Christian personality, which is not centered on self. We learn to worship and serve our Creator. We find peace and contentment that surpasses human understanding. In totality, we discover the best way to live the few years we have been given upon the earth.