The American president Benjamin Franklin famously said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Admittedly we are living in a world of rapid change and great uncertainty. Very little seems to be stable for very long. In the world of finance, markets rise and fall; in the world of computers, new programs are released almost on a daily basis. Everything appears to be in a state of flux and it seems no longer possible to be sure of anything.

However, the Bible makes it clear that, on the most important issues of our human existence, we can be sure. Its message comes with great clarity and certainty so that we are not merely victims of whim and chance; nor are we merely guessing and hoping for the best as we grope our way through the fog of uncertainty.

Take, for example, our concerns about that most basic of matters: the forgiveness of sins. To a man who had just trusted Him, the Lord Jesus said “Thy sins are forgiven thee’: Words could not be clearer. The man left the presence of Christ that day and went home in peace with the assuring words of the Saviour ringing in his ears and heart. Likewise, concerning a woman who had repented of her sins, He said most clearly, in her own hearing and in the presence of others, “Her sins, which are many are forgiven”. This same certainty re-appears in the preaching of the apostles. For example, Paul spoke of the Saviour who died on the cross for our sins and who was raised from the dead, and he assured his audience “through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins and by Him all that believe are justified from all things” (Acts 13:38). These words could not be plainer and they leave us in no doubt that only through faith in Christ alone is it possible to have forgiveness and to be sure of it.

Some might say this is mere human presumption and that we must wait until the last day before we can be sure. However, this is not the case, for the apostle John refers to those who “know that they have eternal life” and they are further described as those “who believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). It was not faith in themselves; nor was it faith in religious observances; nor was it faith in personal piety; rather it was faith in Christ and they were sure. We, by the same faith in the same person, can have, here and now, the same certainty.

The apostle Paul affirmed, speaking about the inevitability of our death, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7). That much is clear. However, he also said as he faced his own martyrdom, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (2 Timothy 1 :12). Could words be more positive and affirming? He did not face death clutching at straws or grasping at shadows. He rested in peace because He was trusting in Christ alone.

Do you have this assurance? It may be yours today. There is no need for doubt; there is no margin of uncertainty for the Lord Jesus clearly stated:

“He that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me, HATH everlasting life and SHALL NOT come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life’. (John 5:24)

May every reader of these lines accept the faithful promise of God’s Son and know without any doubt the assurance of God’s peace and pardon.

David Gilliland