Some people live in eternal insecurity. They can never be sure, no matter what they do or don’t do, that they will go to heaven when they die. It’s enough to make a nervous wreck out of anybody—and I once read about a man that it did just that to.

He had received Jesus as his Savior and tried his best to live according to Jesus’ teachings, but found he couldn’t live up to other people’s standards, what they said was necessary to merit salvation. According to them, every time he made a mistake or had an unholy thought, he lost his salvation and was right back where he had started, a lost sinner.

Finally he wound up a nervous wreck and was hospitalized. While recuperating in the hospital, he spent much of his time reading the Bible. One day he read Ephesians 2:8–9: “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”—and he finally got the point. Salvation wasn’t dependent on anything that he had done or could do beyond believing that Jesus had died for sinners like himself. He got so excited about this simple truth that he felt better immediately and started sharing his discovery with everybody around him: “Do you know that all you have to do to be saved is believe, that’s all? Just believe! God’s grace plus your faith plus nothing!”

And he was so right! We’re saved by grace through faith—not by good works, or by being perfect, or doing penance, or keeping an endless list of dos and don’ts. Jesus has already done it all! And just like you are saved by grace, you are kept by grace. You don’t need to worry about losing your salvation, because you can’t! Once saved, always saved!