Though in its sixth season, I’ve only recently noticed advertisements for the American genealogy documentary series, Who Do You Think You Are? The show premiered in 2010 and follows a celebrity as he or she traces his or her family tree to understand where he or she came from. While dropped by NBC after three seasons, the show was picked up by TLC and has become quite popular – so much so that there is even an accompanying book bearing the same title. The book honors the exploding craze of tracing one’s ancestry and is designed to help viewers of the show research their own roots.
Genetics researcher, C.C. Moore, believes that within a few years we will see a type of universal family tree. DNA analyses have become quite popular and can be used to confirm what previously was only suspected by some. Writer, Maud Newton, suggests that we are all trying to “figure out who we are by looking at these people who are long dead,” and we are “trying to find out about ourselves.” Indeed it must be fascinating to discover one’s connections to history. Whether linked to medieval royalty like actress Valerie Bertinelli or to Oregon Trail pioneers like celebrity Kelsey Grammer, revelations about one’s roots surely have tremendous emotional impact.
Admittedly, I have my own interest in family history, especially it seems as I age and family members are dying. I’ve thought of so many questions that I wish that I had asked my grandparents and great grandparents, and I wish that I knew more about who they were and where and how they and their parents lived.
On the Mount on Olives, Jesus told the crowd before Him that He knew where He came from but also where He was going (John 8:14). While tracing ancestry and learning about where we came from is fun and exciting and can actually yield valuable information, we must not fail to give thought to where we are going.
It is not uncommon for us, as Christians, to experience doubt about our salvation. When we consider Jesus then consider ourselves including our many weaknesses, shortcomings and failures, “our heart condemns us” (1 John 3:20). God does not want us robbed of peace because of doubts. He does not want us guessing whether we will spend eternal life with Him. He wants us sure of our salvation. He wants us confident in Him and in our relationship with Him and so He assures us in His Word. John wrote, “These things I write unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life” and “that our joy may be made full” (1 John 1:3-4, 5:13; Hebrews 4:16; Romans 8:1-3).
Assurance of salvation rests on four pillars, all found in Scripture:
1. God cannot lie. In His Word God promises to save all who believe upon His Son. (Romans 10:13; Acts 2:21)
2. On the cross Jesus bore all our sin, endured God’s wrath, paid the price and canceled our sin debt. (John 19:28-30)
3. Scripture says, “We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us.” Assurance comes through the inward witness of God’s Holy Spirit, the Keeper and Helper that He sent us. (1 John 4:12-13; 3:24)
4. All who have been born again are changed and clear evidence is seen in the new life that is lived. (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 2:3)
There are other signs beyond these Scriptures even. True love for others. Spiritual fruit. Broken and contrite heart. Righteous behavior. When we are saved, our hearts and lives are changed.
We may be unsure and even wrong about our ancestry and where we came from, but we can know where we are going. Assurance of salvation is a gift from God to each of His children; He wrote it in His Word that we may be absolutely sure! (John 20:31)
THIS WEEK ask yourself if you have the assurance of your salvation. Do you KNOW where you are going? If you do not have assurance, visit the SALVATION tab at the top of this page. Pray to receive Christ as your personal Savior and to have the peace and assurance within that eternal life is yours. Study the lessons of the following Scriptures: Romans 10:13, 8:16; John 6:37, 19:30; Isaiah 1:18; 1John 3:24, 4:13, 2:3. Welcome the assurance of His indwelling Holy Spirit.