When it comes to this important life and death issue of justification and eternal life, most religious people rely upon experiences they’ve had and emotions they have felt to convince themselves they are alright. I can write on this issue with a great deal of experience because I know what I relied on as a lost person. I made my first profession of faith at the age of 7 in response to my mother pointing at me and my friends as we laughed and acted up on the back row. I thought she pointed for me to go to the front, so I went. The preacher asked me: Are you a sinner? Do you confess all your sins? Will you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour? Obviously I wasn’t going to answer “no” to any of those questions. So after the appropriate answers, he turned me to the church and asked them to vote on whether or not to accept me into their fellowship based on my profession of religion. Immediately everyone, including me, became emotional. I was baptized a couple of weeks later and as a seven year old I had absolutely no knowledge of how God could be “a just God and a Saviour.” But I had my profession and I remembered the emotions I felt and I was “saved.” Our Lord said: “Woe (judgment) unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matt.23:15). I made two additional professions of religion and was baptized again, BUT I DID NOT KNOW GOD!
The Lord Jesus Christ, as well as the entire canon of Scripture, clearly teach that all those whom God the Father chose in Christ to save, that God the Son actually died for and redeemed at Calvary, will by God the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Gospel (Christ’s imputed righteousness as the ONLY HOPE of salvation) in time come to KNOW God – “And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest” (Heb.8:11). Christ said: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (Jn.10:14). Concerning those moral, sincere, dedicated religionists of His day Christ said: “Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also” (Jn.8:19). In His High Priestly prayer in John 17, Christ tells us plainly what eternal life is: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jn.17:3). Salvation isn’t a matter of emotionalism, mysticism, or experience. IT’S A MATTER OF FACT! And the only way the facts are revealed to God’s sheep is through the preaching of the Gospel, NOT ERROR! Read Rom.10:1-17. You can’t trust in a God you don’t KNOW, and you can’t KNOW Him unless one teaches you. May God give us a teachable spirit that bows to Him alone as the “Lord our Righteousness.”