If we believe the Bible teaches some type of universal salvation I’m afraid this sense of reasoning will only lead us to a false promise. Just as believing salvation can be secured by our own good works, this type of thinking leads us to believe we somehow possess good works, this thought process will also lead to a false sense of salvation.
For us to have a solid guarantee, we must believe, trust, and perhaps on some level understand that our salvation rests on the merit of Jesus Christ alone. Our salvation is a gift bestowed upon us when we embrace Him by genuine faith.
What is genuine faith and how can I know I have it?
There are two things we must understand:
The first is doctrinal – Genuine faith does not exist in a vacuum. Genuine faith will yield fruit through works of willful obedience. Where there is no fruit there will be no faith and we have misunderstood or even confused saving faith with dead faith, and dead faith has no power to save anyone. As James 2:26 clearly states – “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” Faith without works is dead faith because the lack of works reveals an unchanged life or a spiritually dead heart. Your works are not the reason for your salvation; your works are the evidence of your salvation. Anyone claiming to be a Christian but continues to live in willful disobedience to Christ with a life that displays no works, bearing no fruit has a false or dead faith and is not saved. This is also one reason why the “sinners’ prayer” alone can be dangerous and deceptive. Often those who advocate this view of salvation say that once a person has prayed the sinners’ prayer or made a profession of faith they are saved regardless of how they live afterwards. However, true saving faith is always manifested by good works and a life that desires to live in obedience to God. Ephesians 2:8-10 makes it very clear that works do not save us but that we are saved “for good works which God prepared beforehand that we would walk in them.”
The second is an analysis of our own lives– We must examine ourselves to see whether the fruit of regeneration is obvious in our lives. When we are truly born again we will have hearts that are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit where God’s law is written so that we might walk in His statutes and judgments. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Do we have a real affection for the biblical Christ? Only the regenerate person possesses real love for the real Jesus.