The Bible says that “ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13) and are in fellowship with God. To have these assurances though you need to know four things according to the Scriptures:
1. KNOW THAT YOU ARE A SINNER - THIS IS THE BAD NEWS!
God’s standard is “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), but you have have fallen miserably short of His holy standard, right? Well, here is what the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12). If you agree with the Scriptures, it is right to say, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5), and I possess a “heart [that] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Thus, your corrupt nature makes you “as an unclean thing, and all [your] righteousnesses [good actions] are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). If you argue with God's standard, the Bible, about your spirtual condition and still believe in your heart that you are a "good person" then know this also: It only takes one sin to keep you out of God’s presence forever: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in onepoint, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10)! But who among us can claim to have only broken one of the commandments of God? None of us! In fact, the truth is you have committed numberless sins, every one of your sins is written down and will stand as evidence against you in judgment accordng to Revelation 20:11-15. Beyond these things think of this: The Lord Jesus Christ said that unjust anger is murder (Matthew 5:21-22), and a lustful thought is adultery (Matthew 5:27-28). Again, who would clam to have never been unjustly angry or had an immoral thought? So according to Jesus Christ, you are a murderer and an adulterer. Would you agree that you have lied (Proverbs 6:16), been proud (Proverbs 6:16-19), bitter (Romans 3:14), unthankful (2 Timothy 3:2), covetous (2 Timothy 3:2), or hypocritical (Isaiah 33:14) at some point? Can you say that you have kept at all times the greatest commandment of all, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37)? Of course not! Indeed, until you are born again, the Bible is clear that you “cannot please God” (Romans 8:8) in any way, but are “defiled and unbelieving” with “nothing pure; but even [your] mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15). This very moment, “the wrath of God abideth” on you (John 3:36). You are “condemned already” (John 3:18). You “have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
Because all of the above is true (according to God's Word)...
2. YOU DESERVE A PENALTY FOR SIN
God’s law says, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10). You have not continuously and perfectly obeyed, so you are cursed. Since “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), you are subject to both physical death, the separation of the spirit from the body (Hebrews 9:27), and to spiritual death, the separation of your soul from God. You are currently “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), your “damnation is just” (Romans 3:8), and you are consequently headed for the second death, which is eternal separation from God in the lake of fire: “This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14-15). In the lake of fire you “shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and [you] shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of [your] torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and [you] have no rest day nor night” (Revelation 14:10-11). We hope that by now the question arises in your mind: “How can [I] escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33).
3. JESUS DIED FOR YOU - THE GOOD NEWS!
Jesus Christ is “God manifest [revealed] in the flesh [became a man]” (1 Timothy 3:16). The Son of God, who existed from eternity past with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the three eternal Persons of the one and only true God (1 John 5:7), took to Himself a human nature, so that, although He was still 100% God, He became 100% Man as well. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross, where His Father “made him to be sinfor us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). He then rose bodily from the grave and ascended to heaven, from whence He will one day return to judge the world. On the cross God laid your transgressions upon His Son, who suffered to pay your sin debt. The law of God demands perfect righteousness for entry into heaven, but Christ died as your Substitute so that His death and shed blood could pay for your sin, and you could have His righteousness put to your account and be counted righteous in God’s sight! You can be saved, not through your own works, but through His work; not by your attempts to obey the law, but His perfect obedience to it and death to satisfy it. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh [His literal death], but [made alive or ressurected] by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). Since by “one offering [His offering of Himself on the cross] he hath perfected for ever” those that are washed in His blood (Hebrews 10:14), there is nothing that you can do to save yourself, or to keep yourself saved. “Salvation is of the LORD” (John 2:9).
4. YOU MUST BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST
To have the Lord Jesus’ blood wash away your sins, you must place your faith in Him. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). So, what is saving faith in Jesus Christ? It involves two things:
a.) Repentance. Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Later the Scripture says, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). In repentance, you agree with God that you are as sinful as the Bible says you are, that you are headed to hell and deserve hell for your sins, but now you turn from your sins to submit unconditionally to God as your Lord. Jesus Christ said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life [wants to live his own way and will not turn to God’s way] shall lose it [in hell]; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:34-36).
b.) Trust in the Lord Jesus alone to save. You do not believe on Jesus Christ for salvation if you think that any good deed you have done, are doing, or will do helps save you, or if you believe that any religious ritual, such as baptism or communion, has a particle to do with the forgiveness of your sins. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace [undeserved favor] are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” If salvation is “by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it [salvation] be of works, then is it no more grace...” (Romans 11:6). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5). Saving faith is also not just mental assent to facts, and nobody can say that he has always believed in Christ. You must come to a specific point in your life where you see yourself as a lost, helpless sinner, you turn from your sins, as you trust solely in the Lord Jesus for eternal life. You must forsake all confidence in your supposed goodness and your religious rituals and place your confidence in the Savior’s blood and righteousness alone. If you will come to Jesus Christ for salvation, He will keep you saved; no one who has ever truly believed in Him can perish (Romans 8:28-39). Once you are saved, you are always saved, both from sin’s penalty, eternal damnation, and from sin’s power: “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:21). If you will repent and believe in Him, He promises you everlasting life with Him in heaven upon His return or your death, and a holy life on earth now, freed from the bondage of sin. You need to receive Jesus Christ immediately to save you from your sin. He promises, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Turn to Him today - tomorrow it may be too late. “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 55:6-7).