Final Exam: 7 Questions to See Where We Stand

February 17, 2013

Categories: Billy Graham

I want each of us to check up on ourselves. Let’s see if we can pass the examination God gives in the First Letter of John.

The Gospel of John speaks of eternal life, as manifested in the Son of God: “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus in the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31)

The Gospel of John was written in order that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ. The First Epistle of John was written to people who believe that Jesus is the Christ but who have never come into full assurance of their present position or of the possession of eternal life.

Everywhere I go people come to me and ask me how they may know. They have believed; they have accepted; they have done the best they know how; but somehow they are lacking in assurance.

Let us examine ourselves. Let us check and see how we stand in the light of God’s Word. Are you ready?

What is your attitude toward sin?
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

Do you hate sin as God hates it? Do you detest it? Is it loathsome, filthy, ugly, to you? When you stumble and fall, do you immediately confess?

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Are you an obedient servant?
“And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3)

Do we say that we are Christians? Then we must prove it by our lives. Under Christ the man who lives by faith will do his commandments. John uses the strongest language. He says, in effect, “If you don’t like to do the will of God, if you don’t like to obey his commandments, that is a good sign that you are not a Christian.”

It was a cool spring afternoon when Johnnie Streator introduced me to a beautiful young campus queen. The “love bug” had bitten me. The slightest little indication that [Ruth]was returning my love thrilled me from head to toe. Is that the kind of love, affection and obedience you have for Christ?

Are you separated from the world?
God calls us to be a separated people. The moment you came to Christ you were adopted into the family of God. The old things you used to love you know hate. Things you used to hate you now love.

The world, as we read in 1 John 2:16 consists of (1) Lust of the flesh. This means a strange urge to gratify your own desires. (2) Lust of the eyes. This is a fierce passion to see and enjoy that which the flesh desires. (3) Vainglory. This means show, pomp , and is evident when you strut before your peers or class, when you show off or display a cocky attitude. All this is worldly.

Here are six questions you should always ask yourself as a test:

  1. Does it violate any particular part of Scripture?
  2. Does it take the keenness off my spirituality?
  3. Can I ask God’s blessing on it?
  4. Will it be a stumbling block?
  5. Would I like to be doing that thing when Christ comes?
  6. Is it expedient?

Have you been indulging in worldliness? John says “If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15)

Are you anticipating the coming of Christ?
This is the blessed hope of every person who knows Christ. Are you ready for that day? This hope should be constantly, moment by moment, in the heart of every Christian.

Do you love the brethren?
“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does note love remains in death” (1 John 3:14).

The greatest need among professing Christians today is love. The great command that is laid upon us by Jesus Christ is that we love one another; not that we should love one another as a husband loves his wife or as a mother loves her child; oh, no, far deeper than that. Our love for each other should be comparable to God’s love for us.

Do you practice sin?
“We know that any one born of God does not sin, but he who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18). The verse should be translated, “Any one born of God does not practice sin.” In other words, if I see a man going on in sin after he has professed conversion, I have a right to doubt that man’s salvation.

We have given you seven questions. What is your score? I trust you made a hundred and are 100 percent out and out for God.


If you have doubts about your relationship with God, or you have never made the decision to follow Christ, click here to learn more, or visit us at The Billy Graham Library. We would love to talk with you further and share what it means to have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

*Excerpted from “Final Exam,” Decision magazine, May 1971, which was abridged from Mr. Graham’s book Calling Youth to Christ, Zondervan 1947. Used by permission.

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