Can you know if you have eternal life? Well, John tells us that the whole purpose of his writing was so that
“that you may know that you have eternal life.”
You can know for sure. It doesn’t do anybody any good for youto be in doubt…not you and not God.If it’s true that you can know for certain that you have eternal life… does it make a difference? D. L. Moodysaid: 'I have never known a Christian who was any good in the work of Christ who did not have the assuranceof salvation'. I remember reading years ago about the building of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco,some of you have probably been over it. When they started building there were no safety precautions anddevices used, and because of that 23 men fell tragically to their death. However, during the construction of thelast part of the bridge a safety net was constructed at a cost of $100,000 - which in those days was exorbitant -but it was worth it, because it saved the lives of 10 men. But the interesting thing about that story was thatwhen they completed the bridge they discovered, through a very exhaustive study, that 25% more work wasaccomplished in the same period of time when the men were completely sure of their personal safety. Theycould get on with the work! They had that security that they longed for, to put those questions and doubts outof their mind and throw all their energies into the work! Do you have that? Do you have the certainty of eternallife?
II. The Certainty of Answered Prayer (14-17)
Prayer is one area of the Christian life that is completely vital yet so often misunderstood and neglected. All toooften, what we say about prayer is far from what we do. It’s something that should bring us comfort andstrength but often a discussion about prayer only stirs up feelings of guilt and disappointment for the typicalChristian. Now, I think prayer is the foundation of this church more than any other church I’ve been a part of.But, I think we all could use encouragement in this area.John tells us:
“And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.”
A. He Hears
First of all - He HEARS our prayers. Sometimes you may feel like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, butwe can be assured that He’s listening. It’s more than just acknowledging that we’ve prayed. Hearing assumesthat He’s intimately involved. He’s listening to our requests; when we pour out our hearts to Him. When I waslittle and skin my knee, I’d always run to my mom, never my dad. Why? Because Dad would say “aww youain’t bleeding to death. You’ll be alright.” But, you know moms. She’d act all concerned, run for band aids andlisten to my wailing. Moms are like that. They’re just modeling their Creator. God listens to our prayers and isconcerned with our problems. He there waiting to run for the band aids.
B. He Answers
John says not only does He hear, but “
then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.”
that is… whenever we ask anything according to his will. That’s powerful language… that’s confidence!When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, he made it simple.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.”
That’sthe essence of prayer. I think that often our prayers seem to go unanswered because we spend too much timetrying to get God on our side. But, the real purpose for prayer is to get us on God’s side. James says that
“You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions. “