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When You Can Know that You Know

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."1

Gen. Douglas MacArthur was a cadet at West Point. A brilliant student, MacArthur was struggling with a class in which he was studying the time-space relationship later formulated by Einstein as his Theory of Relativity. The text was complex and, being unable to comprehend it, MacArthur committed the pages to memory. When he was called upon to answer a question about this time-space relationship, he solemnly reeled off almost word for word what the book said.

When he was finished, the instructor, Colonel Fieberger, looked at him somewhat quizzically and asked, "Do you understand this theory?"

"It was a bad moment for me," says MacArthur, "but I did not hesitate in replying, ’No, sir.'"

You could have heard a pin drop, MacArthur reports. He braced himself and waited. And then came the slow, measured words of the professor: "Neither do I, Mr. MacArthur. Section dismissed."2

MacArthur was relieved that he wasn't expected to know the answer to that complex question.

There are numerous questions about life that you and I can't answer either. And yet there are some who feel compelled to answer every question asked of them whether they know the answer or not.

For instance, evolutionists claim emphatically that man descended from apes in spite of the fact that a missing link between man and monkeys has never been found. It's much easier to believe that man, nature, and the universe all happened by chance because if we believe in a Divine Creator, then we are responsible to Him for our life and manner of living.

Then for would-be theologians some of us like to think we have a corner on the truth, but too often we major on the non-essentials instead of majoring on the essentials that are very clear in the Bible. For example, when it comes to Christ's return, the major issue is not so much the when of Christ's return, but that we are ready for it because God alone knows the day and hour of that day.

Then there are questions about life that we simply cannot fully answer. For example, we don't understand why some good people suffer, or why some bad people prosper. We can't understand why some people from a certain kind of background become criminals, while other people growing up under the same set of circumstances become sterling citizens.

However, there is one thing in life that we can know that we know that we know—and that is the answer to life's most important issue—our eternal well-being. God's Word, the Bible, assures us that all who put their trust in Jesus as their personal Savior can know without a shadow of a doubt that they have the gift of eternal life. As God said through the Apostle John: "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God [Jesus] so that you may know that you have eternal life."3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for giving all the information we need to know about the eternal destiny of our souls—especially that all who have accepted Jesus as their Savior have the knowledge and assurance that our sins are forgiven, and that we have Your promise of eternal life to be with You in Heaven forever. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer; gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

NOTE: If you are not sure of your eternal welfare, be sure to read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian … without having to be religious," at:

1. 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV).
2. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, "Reminiscences," in Discover, July 1996, p.16.
3. 1 John 5:13 (NIV).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.