"I hope so." When questioned if they are going to heaven, people frequently answer, "I hope so." They base their salvation on a works standard and believe God places a lifetime of deeds on an invisible set of scales in the heavens. If their good actions outweigh bad, they will enter heaven. Some may even close the subject with a wistful expression and another short statement, "Knock on wood!"
The subject of eternal security of the believer was near and dear to the heart of Apostle Paul. He encouraged converts to express confidence based on the works of Jesus, not their own; they could have true hope through his sacrificial death and victory over the grave. "I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13 NCV)."
Hope is not works based, but based on the completed work of Christ. John joined with Paul through writings to encourage those who needed to grow in their assurance of a prepared heavenly home. "I write this letter to you who believe in the Son of God. I write so that you will know that you have eternal life now (1 John 5:13 NCV)." Assurance replaces doubt; "I hope so" is superseded with the triumphant "I know so!"
With God all things are possible! Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Secret Place, Daily Devotionals for the Deaf, Light from the Word Daily Devotional. Available now in book store: FORGET-ME-NOT DAILY DEVOTIONAL http:/ebooks.faithwriters.com/ebook-details.php?id=520