can you be absolutely sure

Can You Be Absolutely Sure?

Romans 8:28-31

Have you ever seen a child in a department store try to run up the down escalator? He tries with all his might, but it’s going down faster than he can go up. That’s what it’s like to try to be saved by your own effort. The downward pull of sin is so much greater. You’ll never make it. You can never be sure. None of us can, apart from God’s grace.

Our faith rests upon five foundational facts—five great stones of faith you need to know. They’re expressed in five words that are the bedrock of our salvation and the basis of our assurance.

  • Foreknow
  • Predestinate
  • Called
  • Justified
  • Glorified


  1. God foreknew your salvation. (1 Peter 1:2)

 Before you ever got saved, God knew you would be because, you see, God doesn’t “learn” anything. When God foreknows something, He isn’t making an educated guess. He knows beyond any shadow of doubt. 

We view life like a person viewing a parade through a knothole in a fence. We only see small segments, one by one, passing by. 

But if you look at it from ten stories up, you see it all. This is God’s view. He inhabits eternity. God sees the whole picture, everything at once.

God saw you getting saved before you accepted Christ. God foreknew it. First Peter 1:2 says we are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.”

Jesus said in John 6: 37: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” 

Election is both “the Sovereignty of God” and the free will of man. God has never forced anyone to be saved. He grants us free will.

Your election is based upon God’s foreknowledge. To “foreknow” doesn’t mean to cause it but to know, because He is God, everything that’s going to happen. And upon that knowledge, He knows who “the elect” are. 


  1. You’re predestined to be like Jesus. (Romans 8:29)

God predestines everyone who is born again to be like Jesus. When in His omniscience He saw you receiving the Lord Jesus Christ, He said, “I’m going to make you just like Jesus.” 

Don’t get the idea God predestined some for Heaven and some for Hell. God doesn’t pick and choose who’ll be saved. He wants everyone to be saved. If you disagree, don’t argue with me—argue with Scripture (1 Timothy 2:3-4, 2 Peter 3:9). Second Corinthians 5:13-15 repeatedly says, “He died for all.” But you also have free will to reject Him (Matthew 23:37). 

Predestination means that when you receive Jesus, God predestines you to be just like the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 3:2). Predestination is the act of an omnipotent God who says, “It will be done. I have settled it.” 

  1. You’re called to salvation. (Romans 8:30)

Does God just call some people to salvation and not others? No. Wherever the Gospel is preached, God is calling people to salvation through the teaching of the Word (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). 

No one can bring you under conviction or call you to Jesus Christ but by the Holy Spirit. When you hear the Gospel, it’s God calling you. Who does He call? “Whosoever” (Revelation 22:17).

If you want to be saved, God will save you today. “The elect” are the “whoever wills.” 

But you’re free to reject God’s offer of salvation and trample underfoot the precious blood of Christ. As you drop into Hell, you’ll hear a brokenhearted God say: “I wasn’t willing that you perish.”

  1. You can be sure of your justification. (Romans 8:33)

When you’ve received Jesus Christ, you’re justified—God declares you righteous (Romans 3:24, 4:5, 5:1, 5:9). You didn’t earn or deserve it. It’s God’s gift to you through the precious blood of Christ because of your faith in Him. If you could be saved any other way, Jesus would never have died on bloody Calvary. Your sin will be pardoned in Christ or punished in Hell, but never apart from the blood of Christ. 

  1. You can be sure of your eternal glorification. (Romans 8:30)

You’ve already been glorified. In eternity, God looked ahead and saw you receiving Christ. You’re sanctified. He already sees you in Heaven. In His mind, you’re already there! This is why we’re eternally secure. What’s been settled in Heaven can’t be annulled or undone on Earth. 

Have you answered His call, repented of your sins, and given your heart to Jesus Christ? If you’ll put your faith where God has put your sins, on the Lord Jesus Christ, you can be absolutely, totally sure. What a marvelous future is yours.

If you want to be sure today, pray something like this:

Dear God, I know You love me and You’re calling me to be saved. God, I need to be saved and want to be saved. Jesus, You died to save me, and You promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You. I put my faith in You right now. I receive You right now as my Lord and Savior. I believe You’re the Son of God. I believe You paid my sin debt with Your blood to justify me. I believe God raised You from the dead. And right now, like a child, I trust You to save me. And give me the courage to make it public. In your name, Amen.”

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Known for his evangelistic zeal and uncompromising commitment to the Word of God, Adrian Rogers was one of the greatest preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian...

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