These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:13
One day, while Wim was in the marketplace in the Netherlands, he struck up a conversation with a woman who remarked that you can get to heaven by doing good works. His attempt to explain that it is by God’s grace that we are “saved through faith” (Eph. 2:8) brought a smile as the woman repeated confidently: “and . . . by doing good works.” Then another woman volunteered, “You can hope you’ll go to heaven, but you can’t be sure.” Wim’s assertion that he did know for sure was met with a muttered, “Nobody knows for sure.” Wim then showed the woman what 1 John 5:11-13 says. He explained: “See, it doesn’t say hope there, it says know.” Unconvinced, she said, “Like you, my pastor says that we have to have faith, but you really never know whether you’ve been good enough. You may think you have, but who can be sure?” To some, Wim’s confidence may seem incredible. But he based his words on this statement: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works” (Eph. 2:8-9). It’s true. We can’t be good enough. We can never do enough good things. But we can be sure of heaven if we simply believe on the Lord (Acts 16:31).