Conquering Fear Concerning Our Eternal Destiny

by T.H.

I have met numerous people who are fearful of the future. Their lives seem to be full of turmoil, uncertainty and sadness. When talking about their beliefs and feelings, some have said, "We have no peace." Others will speak of the baraka for which they have longed and how Allah has withheld it from them. These responses trouble me because Isa Al-Masih has said,

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (Injil, John 14:27).

Fear is a terrible thing. It often does more than control life, it destroys life. Isa Al-Masih also said,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (Injil, John 10:10).

Before looking deeper into the solution (or prescription) for our fears, let us look at what is most feared by individuals.

How would you respond to the question "What is your greatest fear?" Many have responded with the word, "Death." However, I really do not believe it is death itself that they fear, but what happens after death. Their minds are full of questions such as, What will happen to me? Where will I go? Did I do what was needed when I was still alive? Will I face the judgment of Allah? Is Allah really merciful? Is there life after death? Is there a heaven and a hell? These are all valid questions that can be answered and need to be.

The agony of not knowing what the future contains often cripples the soul in its search for truth. If that is your condition, please know that Isa Al-Masih wants to help you walk with Him so that you can have assurance about the future. Listen to what Isa Al-Masih said,

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Injil, Matthew 11:28-30).

Isa Al-Masih wants to carry all of our burdens. That includes the burden of what your future will be.

In the Injil, John 5:24 we read,

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

How does a follower of Isa receive assurance from Allah about his future? I use the word "receive" purposefully, because many who do not have assurance are attempting to attain it by their own effort or works.

So let’s look at some sources from which you can obtain assurance.

Sources for Obtaining Assurance

1. Word of Life

The first source of assurance is found in the Injil:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us (Injil, 1 John 1:1-4).

A little further we read, "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" (Injil, 1 John 5:13). What wonderful assurance can come to us when we believe the Word of God.

Another encouraging verse in the Injil is, "For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (Injil, John 6:40).

It is not the will of Allah for people to journey through life without knowing their eternal destiny. Allah has given us His Word to be a "lamp for our feet and a light for our path." Allah’s Word is truly a source of guidance for the pilgrim who seeks assurance from Allah.

2. Isa Al-Masih

The next source of assurance is Isa Al-Masih himself. We know He has the power to grant eternal life for the Holy Scriptures say:

After Jesus [Isa] said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ [Isa Al-Masih], whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began" (Injil, John 17:1-5).

Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand" (Injil, John 10:25-28).

Why is Isa able to do this? Simply stated, Isa Al-Masih did everything that needed to be done to provide humankind eternal salvation. He was our substitute. He offered himself as the target for Allah’s wrath poured out against sinful man. Isa’s blood that was shed on the Cross was sufficient payment for the penalty of humankind’s sinfulness. Many refuse to acknowledge that Al-Masih needed to die, but the Word of Allah says, "it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life" (Tawrat, Leviticus 17:11).

For Christ [Isa Al-Masih] died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit…(Injil, 1 Peter 3:18).

All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name (Injil, Acts 10:43).

Those who have accepted Isa Al-Masih’s sacrifice on their behalf don’t need to fear the judgment that will come on those who have rejected the only means of eternal salvation:

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him (Injil, John 3:36).

3. We Receive This Assurance by Faith

How do we receive this assurance? The answer to this question is also found in the Injil:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God (Injil, Romans 5:1-2).

The reason so many struggle in their search for assurance is that they refuse to accept what Isa Al-Masih has done for them by faith. People tend to want something tangible to put their trust in. Many are so busy trying to earn assurance or accumulate enough good deeds to supposedly merit salvation that they fail to see the truth that provision is in Isa Al-Masih alone.

I am reminded of a famous and intellectual chemist who was asked on his dying bed, "What are your theories regarding your future?" "Theories? I have none." Yet the chemist could say, "I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day" (Injil, 2 Timothy 1:12).

We need to remember the Word of Allah:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast (Injil, Ephesians 2:8-9).

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (Injil, Titus 3:5-7).

In closing, let us ask ourselves two remaining questions: Where have we placed our faith regarding our eternal destiny? Have we trusted our works to provide the assurance that only can come through faith in Isa Al-Masih? Friends, these are questions that when answered honestly will determine our eternal destiny.

How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him (Injil, Hebrews 2:3).

Let us not participate with those who ignore or have neglected the offer of eternal salvation. But, let us be included among those who rest in assurance of faith in Isa Al-Masih’s work accomplished on our behalf.

Additional information