How to be Assured of Your Salvation

Can a person know for sure if they are going to heaven? Or do we live the best we can and hope we won’t be disappointed?

I well remember sitting in my college apartment and having a young woman ask me when I’d become a Christian.

“I grew up in the church. I walk forward every time we have a revival and ask Christ into my heart,” I said.

“We only have to ask Jesus into our hearts one time” she said. “When we ask in faith, His Spirit comes to permanently dwell in us.”

We only have to ask Jesus into our hearts one time. When we ask in faith, His Spirit comes to permanently dwell in us. #assurance, #grace Share on X

That was a new and exhilarating idea to me. I thought the way you stayed committed was to keep asking Jesus into your heart. That afternoon Sharon explained how to gain assurance of my salvation. In case you or someone you love has struggled with this, let’s look at three reasons why a believer may doubt his/her salvation and some assurances the Bible offers.

3 Reasons People Doubt Their Salvation.

  1. An unclear spiritual birthday
    The Bible speaks of salvation as rebirth or being born again (Jn. 3:3). There is a point in which we move from darkness into light, from death into life, and from being God’s enemy to becoming His beloved child. But for some, especially those of us raised in faith, it may be hard to pinpoint a specific time when that occurred.
    I had many aha moments in my childhood when my heart thrilled at the reality of God. It took some reflection to zero in on the time I understood my need for a Savior. I remembered my heart being broken at a church camp when I realized Jesus had died for my sin. I believe that is when I was transferred into God’s family. I came home from that weekend bursting with joy.
    Charles Ryrie put it this way, “People are either saved or lost at any given moment. No one grows into conversion. But we all do grow in our comprehension of conversion. So, although in God’s sight and in our experience there was a point in time when we were saved, in our recollection or understanding we may not be able to specify it.”[1]
  2. Doubts over the procedure
    I’ve met some who struggle with salvation because they aren’t sure they did it just right. They focus on the process instead of the promise. If their conversion was private they worry because they didn’t publicly walk an aisle.
  1. An ongoing struggle with sin
    Those who have an ongoing struggle with sin are more likely to doubt their salvation. Because “we all stumble in many ways” (Js. 3:2) it’s vital to remember salvation is based on God’s grace not human performance. Understanding the transformation that occurred in our identity when we were born again into God’s family often breaks the yoke of sin’s power in a believer’s life (2 Cor. 5:17). (See Becoming Clean.)

3 Assurances of Salvation

  • “God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it” (Ephes. 2:8-9 GW).
  • “The person who has the Son has this life. The person who doesn’t have the Son of God doesn’t have this life. I’ve written this to those who believe in the Son of God so that they will know that they have eternal life” (1 Jn. 5:12-13 GW).
  • “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16 NIV).

Salvation is a matter of faith. We choose to believe His promises. If you aren’t sure if you belong to God, you can make sure right now. Admit your doubt and sin. Thank Him for dying for your sins. Accept Him as your Savior and Lord. Write the date in your Bible. If doubts rise again, thank God He heard your prayer the first time and recommit your desire to honor Him with your life.

God wants His children to feel secure in His love. Please settle the matter today. Receive His gift and move from doubt to thanksgiving.

Question: When did you receive assurance of your salvation? 



What Everyone Should Know About Confession

Give Yourself a Break

Free resources.

[1]Ryrie, C. C. (1999). Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth (p. 380). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.

Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

Tea &Word Tuesday, #Kelly Balarie & Friends#Recharge Wednesday, #Coffee for Your Heart, #TuneinThursaday, #HeartEncouragment #Dance with Jesus, #Grace and Truth, #FreshMarketFriday

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  1. Ann Musico

    Beautifully said Debbie and honestly this is probably the most important question each of us can settle, once and for all in our lives.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I agree, Ann. When that’s settled, it guides everything else. Thank you, my friend.

  2. Ann Johnson


    This is beautifully said and powerfully written. I know many will be encouraged by it as well as many being brought into the Kingdom of Light.

    Love and honor,
    Ann Johnson

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Ann. What a gracious Savior we have!

  3. Melissa Henderson

    Great insight Debbie! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Some people have a vivid memory of their salvation. I believe my assurance came beginning when I was a little child and my Daddy taught me Scripture John 3:16. From that moment on, my faith grew daily. I have had backslides and then, moved forward again. I am thankful God loves me and I am His.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Melissa, what a beautiful testimony! I love the picture of your daddy teaching you the most important lesson in life.

  4. Toni Wilbarger

    This sounds crazy, but I know God can use anything He wants to bring us to Himself. I was watching the movie “The Green Mile.” If you’ve seen the movie, there is a Christ-like character who was on death row for murder he didn’t commit. In fact, he was trying to save the little girls he found because he had an extraordinary gift of healing. Just before he was executed they asked if he had any last words. I’m never sure I got the line right, but I swear I heard him say, “They always kill the ones they should love.” And that was it. The revelation to me that my sin killed my Savior when I should have been loving Him. It broke me right then and there. I confessed my sin and felt a huge weight lifting off me that I didn’t even know was there. And then joy followed. I grew up in the church, but I don’t think my salvation occurred until that night when I was 37 years old, watching something that wasn’t even a Christian movie. God is good!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Wow, Toni. I have goosebumps! God was seeking you and found you. Hallelujah!

  5. Stacey Pardoe

    Thanks for addressing this important topic, Debbie. I mentor younger women, and many of them struggle with this issue. I share much of what you shared in your post. I’ve found it’s important for me to regularly remind myself of these truths so that I can remind others!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Stacey, it’s easy to assume others already know what we had to learn. But we all have to learn these truths at some time in our lives. Good for you for helping young women walk with God!

  6. Stephanie

    Love love love this! Especially the very practical and helpful suggestion “Write the date in your Bible. If doubts rise again, thank God He heard your prayer the first time and recommit your desire to honor Him with your life.” Thank you debbie!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Stephanie. I hope it encourages those who’ve unnecessarily struggled with the assurance of their salvation.

  7. Ashley Rowland | HISsparrowBlog

    Great and insightful post, Debbie. This will help a lot of people.

    I especially liked your point about the date: all my life I’ve heard preachers and others in the church talk about the exact day, month, and year they were saved, and, as a young person, I wondered if there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t remember that information.

    But thinking about what I knew of the gospel—what I understood to make that decision in the first place—has helped me to squash any of those doubts: only Christ can save me through faith, not knowing a specific date or anything else. Blessings!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ashely, that bothered me too for a while. But I know I belong to God, and that’s what matters! Blessings.

  8. Katherine Pasour

    I like your statement that “we all grow in comprehension on our conversion.” That’s really important for people to understand. Early in my Christian walk, I was confused about my salvation. You’ve shared an inspiration post that helps explain so many of the issues we sometimes face. So thankful for GRACE!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Katherine!

  9. Julie Lavender

    Thanks for this reminder, Debbie. And I am so very glad that “salvation is based on God’s grace not human performance.”

    • Debbie Wilson

      I agree Julie. That is the reason we have assurance. He never fails.

  10. peter chuks

    i would have loved you to send me daily update to my email address

    • Debbie Wilson

      Peter, you can sign up for weekly updates. Go to RefreshingFaith (dot) com. (written out as url.) Blessings.

  11. Mary beth

    Wow! You have changed my life. What a blessing your words on this page are. You don’t know what you just did for me. I will never doubt my salvation again. God Bless you.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Praise the Lord! Thank you Mary Beth. God Bless.

  12. Deborah Nidermaier

    Thank you. I believe I came across you by intervention. I believe with all my heart that Jesus died on the cross to forgive my many, many sins. O was baptized way to young. I am struggling so bad today in tears and fear. If you are truly saved as I have believed I am, why would I fear what is happening in Jerusalem and Israel today? The Bible says you won’t fear. I am in turmoil. In the bed sick over it. My belief is so strong and my faith is huge so WHY AM I FEARING

    • Debbie Wilson

      Deborah, I recommend “Victory Over the Darkness” by Neil Anderson. I believe it could help you understand and win this battle.

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