1 John 4 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
As Jesus is, so are we, right now.
We stand before God, always justified. We are bulletproof.
We are saved, simply because we've believed on Jesus. And when we did, Jesus saved us, and now He's keeping us. Nothing can change that. It's unchangeable. Even we, ourselves, can't change it.
We're at peace and rest. Our foundation is Christ alone.
I know, no matter what I do, even if I got something wrong, or were to fall into unbelief, Jesus still has me. Even if I were to forget in the future, it's still true. I know this from personal experience. My salvation isn't in my own hands. I did the one thing I had to do already, believe on the son of God.
Psalm 139 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Nothing and nobody that can pluck us out of His hands.
Romans 10 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
All who call on the name of Jesus will be saved. It's a picture of just how simple it is to believe on Jesus and be saved. Jesus wants to save as many as will believe on Him.
Mathew 19 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Who then can be saved? With men it's impossible, but with God all things are possible. Jesus offers salvation freely, for all who will believe.
Sometimes, I think people get the feeling, or implication, that if somebody's not perfectly resting in Christ fully assured of their salvation, they can't be saved. That's not it.
Acts 16 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
All of the pictures of salvation we see are simple, and not complicated or arduous, a complex mystery to understand and figure out for a special few.
With that in mind, consider the admonition to enter into the rest of God, in Hebrews 4. It is really important, but as with many passages, you can't say, if someone doesn't accomplish a certain thing they're not really saved. For example, how many of you have raised the dead or done greater works than Jesus? As the body of Christ we will do those things. That's what we're told. Not necessarily every one individually. We are one body of Christ, after all.
But there is a concern, as people we naturally ask ourselves and others, "did we really believe" or "are we really saved." If someone doesn't enter into the rest, they will also not be sure, and to others around them, they may just look like an unbeliever. This is the case with many professing Christ but trying to maintain their salvation, concerned they might lose it, thinking it depends on themselves or something they're doing. I suspect some have believed and are saved, but I can't tell. They all look like unbelievers. So the concern is twofold when we see someone who professes Christ but isn't assured and at rest. If they have believed, they are saved. But being human, the best proof we can see is somebody assured and at rest, knowing exactly why they are saved (by faith alone in Christ alone) and knowing their salvation is secure and not dependent on themselves. And second, we want to see them at peace and rest during their life, and not struggling with this faith.
Let me read part of Hebrews 4, in the amplified version.
Hebrews 4 (Amplified Version) 1 Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still remains and is freely offered today, let us fear, in case any one of you may seem to come short of reaching it or think he has come too late. 2 For indeed we have had the good news [of salvation] preached to us, just as the Israelites also [when the good news of the promised land came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not united with faith [in God] by those who heard. 3 For we who believe [that is, we who personally trust and confidently rely on God] enter that rest [so we have His inner peace now because we are confident in our salvation, and assured of His power], just as He has said,
“As I swore [an oath] in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,”
[this He said] although His works were [a]completed from the foundation of the world [waiting for all who would believe].
4 For somewhere [in Scripture] He has said this about the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this, “They shall not enter My rest.” 6 Therefore, since the promise remains for some to enter His rest, and those who formerly had the good news preached to them failed to [grasp it and did not] enter because of [their unbelief evidenced by] disobedience, 7 He again sets a definite day, [a new] “Today,” [providing another opportunity to enter that rest by] saying through David after so long a time, just as has been said before [in the words already quoted],
“Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.”
8 [This mention of a rest was not a reference to their entering into Canaan.] For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak about another day [of opportunity] after that. 9 So there remains a [full and complete] Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has once entered His rest has also rested from [the weariness and pain of] his [human] labors, just as God rested from [those labors uniquely] His own. 11 Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience [as those who died in the wilderness].
Footnote: Hebrews 4:3 God “rested” because everything that needed to be done was done—everything was complete, fully accomplished. In human terms this expression is used when a lawyer completes his presentation in a court of law; he “rests” his case—everything is in evidence, there is nothing left to present.
We often see rest as a peaceful relaxing thing, which it is, but you can also see this in the legal context. Jesus has accomplished everything to lawfully secure your salvation. The defense rests, and if you've believed, you're righteous before God always now, your salvation secure. To suggest otherwise would be unlawful.
Please, if you've believed on Jesus, how He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day, be at peace and rest. It's settled and finished. You've been declared righteous, and it's uncontestable. If anybody wants to suggest otherwise, they won't be heard. No new case can ever be filed against you. There will be no retrial. The case is closed permanently.
And for those praying, I want to encourage you to keep praying. I believe the faith and assurance and rest we have in our salvation, based on the finished work of Christ is very much the same with our prayers and faith in general.
I have prayers, the same prayers I've had for a long time. When I say I pray every day, I don't mean I'm asking God for the same thing over and over. I asked already. And it's not a big deal if you ask more than once, that's not the point. But eventually you get past the asking, and begin trusting that God heard you and it's done. Even if you don't physically see it, it will be made manifest. Each day, it is imminent. It's an insistant reminder and expectation of the thing you have faith for.
So in the same way that we're at peace and rest in Christ, having ceased from our own work, so it is with our prayer. We often remind ourselves of our salvation, but even without a reminder, there's a steadfastness. Even if we don't remind ourselves, or speak the words, or say a prayer, there's a still quiet peace and knowing in our Spirit of our righteousness before God always. There's nothing we have to do to make it effective. And in the same way, even with no words spoken or remembrance of our prayer, our Spirit is at peace. And if our mind is quiet, we can feel our Spirit praying, without words. Even when we don't know what to pray, our Spirit prays. It's always there, it's just in moments of stillness we become aware of it.
1 Corinthians 15 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?