“But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.” (I John 2:5 NLT)
Someone recently asked me a question–“How can I be one of the many (who make it to heaven)?”
The question was in response to a post I had made regarding the “numbers” John saw as he related them in Revelation–144,000 and the number none could count. The reference to the 144,000 is for the remnant of the Chosen nation who obey God and the rest of us.
How do we know–we are included in that number? We know we are included in the number by our obedience to Him.
In the first part of this letter, John reminds us that Jesus became the atonement for our sins and if we say we love Him, we must obey His Word. We cannot claim to love God if we do not know Him. We get to know Him by reading His Word and understanding the work on the cross. If we do not know The Word or understand or reject the work on the cross–we deny and reject Him!
Knowing The Word, understanding and accepting the work on the cross and obeying Him is how we know we are living in Him and if we are living in Him and for Him to His glory, we know–we make we are one of the number of many.
If we claim to love our spouses or our children or even family–and yet haven’t gotten to know them–how can that statement be true? Some might say we love our children and family simply because–they are. But let’s go back to the “dating” event that led to marriage. Most people take their time to get the know the person they are dating and contemplating marriage. When people get married and have not truly gotten to know who it is they are marrying, the marriage eventually falls apart, unless some serious work is done to save the marriage.
How do we know? It’s not enough to just say, “I love you” and then move to the next level without knowing what it is you love about the person. In counseling couples before they marry, I caution people to look at the situation from a futuristic perspective–at least twenty years ahead. I encourage their commitment to the relationship rather than just the person because we won’t always “like” the person or what they do, but if we are committed to the relationship--we’ll work to save the relationship. If a person is willing “to work” to save a relationship, then they know–they love.
Are we willing to work on our relationship with God through obedience to Him? If we are, then we know we’ll be in that number!