Three Tests Of Eternal Life

The worst possible surprise that anyone could have is to realize on judgment day that they aren’t going to heaven, but to hell. Pollster George Barna tells us that only 0.5% of American adults think they will go to hell, most think they are going to heaven. Most people think they are Christians and have eternal life. Jesus tells us that there are going to be a lot of surprised people on judgment day. Matthew 7:22-23 (NIV) Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Actually the claims of the people around us won’t be nearly as impressive as those Jesus talks about. People today will say, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not attend church on Christmas and Easter, were we not basically good people, weren’t we baptized in church?” and they will get the same answer from Jesus.

How can a person avoid being deceived about whether they have eternal life or not? John wrote the book of 1 John for the following purpose. 1 John 5:13 (NIV) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. The book of 1 John gives three tests that anyone can use to test themselves to see if they are going to heaven. You must pass all three tests to know whether you have eternal life.

Test one can be summarized with the question, “Do you believe right?” 1 John 4:15 (NIV) If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. To believe right is to believe what the Bible tells us about Jesus and to trust your life to Him. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the divine, perfect Son of God who became human to save humanity. Jesus took our sins upon Himself on the cross to pay the penalty of eternal death so that believers might have eternal life. However, 41% of American adults believe that Jesus sinned when He lived on the earth. They don’t believe right and don’t have eternal life. 1 John 2:22 (NIV) Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist–he denies the Father and the Son.

Test two is the question, “Do you live right?” The reason the next two tests are important is that a lot of people have fooled themselves into thinking they believe in Jesus. If you truly have believed in Jesus, then you will pass the second and third tests. If you are fooling yourself, you will not pass these tests. 1 John 2:3-4 (NIV) We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. In other words, John is saying that those who have eternal life consistently obey God’s commands and do not continue to live in sin. If someone does not obey God’s commands and continues to sin, they do not have eternal life. Now, John does not say that a believer is perfect and never sins. However, a believer does not engage in habitual sin.

The third test is the question, “Do you love right?” 1 John 3:14 (NIV) We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. In today’s world, a lot of people have dropped out of church. They think they can live a faith-filled life on their own without the so-called hypocrites in the church. John is telling us here that if you don’t love other believers enough to be part of a church family, you aren’t a believer, you’re fooling yourself.

Three tough tests. How did you do? If you failed a test today, you can still do something about it. If you fail on judgment day, it’s all over for eternity for you. If you failed any test, you need to go back to test one and make sure that you truly believe. To believe in a biblical sense is to commit your whole life to Jesus Christ. To believe is to not only trust Jesus to forgive your sins, but to trust Him enough to obey everything He tells you to do. When you believe like that, when you acknowledge Jesus as Lord, then you will pass the second and third test easily.

Tags:  ,


  1. Hi Pastor Dan.

    I just wanted to take a moment and let you know that your blog is and has been a blessing to me. I appreciate that you take the time to do this as it seems to be the best grip I have on getting closer to God.

    Thank you.

  2. I just read you will be hosting a multi-denominational service at the Netroots Nation convention this July, so I came over to see what your story is. I was depressed by the “three tests” article on your front page. See, this is exactly what puts people off from Christianity, this rigid, dogmatic insistance that the only way to “live right” and “think right” is if you accept and believe that Jesus is/was the Lord/Son of the Lord. Nonsense. I much prefer other religions which teach a more simple lesson – do good to others, don’t do evil to others, and you will receive god’s love.

    It’s as simple as that.

    And BTW, this is what Jesus himself believed.

    It is the cult of personality which you call Christianity that sprang up after his death (some hundred years after his death) which introduced this NEW message – ie. ONLY through belief in Jesus-as-Lord can you receive god’s love.

    WWJD? He would puke his guts out in shame that you people have diefied him and completely confused the MAIN MESSAGE with this other crap – ONLY through loving your fellow man can you receive God’s Love.


  3. Jordan, Christianity is based on a historical person named Jesus about whom we have authentic historical documents collated in a book called the Bible. The book of 1 John, from which my post on “The Three Tests of Eternal Life” comes, was written by the apostle John, one of the closest disciples of Jesus. So, I think any rational person would believe what John wrote about Jesus and eternal life, rather than the opinion of a 21st century person named Jordan, who asserts to know what “Jesus himself believed” in contradiction to what the historical records actually show.

    Now, applying the first test to you, Jordan, you fail the test, as you do not believe that Jesus is Lord or the Son of God. Therefore, you do not have eternal life. The first test is really the test that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. A relationship with God is only possible through Jesus, not through doing good, as all other religions teach.

    I would encourage you to actually read through the entire New Testament with an open mind and ask God to reveal Himself to you. God wants to give you the gift of eternal life, but the only way to receive it is through Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life.

Leave a Reply

About the Author

Pastor Dan Walker Name: Pastor Dan Walker Church: Life Church St. Louis Address: 15036 Clayton Rd
Chesterfield, MO 63017

I believe that God's truth is powerful enough to change lives, families and cities and I trust that this blog will give you a glimpse of the truth about what's important in life.


Universal Analytics