My apologies to those who thought this might be a political article.
There is a great deal of confusion in the world of professing Christendom about how one receives eternal life.
The Bible says that we are saved by grace, through faith in Christ. The Bible also says that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. For those of us who have understood and believed the gospel,it is incumbent upon us to defend it.
One of the keys to defending the gospel message is to make sure that our Christian testimonies are based on our hope of heaven, which is the finished work of Christ.
Just as our assurance of eternal life should be based on God’s promises alone, our Christian testimonies should not point anyone to the change in our lives, or the combination of our hope and change.
The founder of this ministry, the late Jack Weaver, wrote a great article entitled “What is Bible Hope?” That article, which is far and away the most popular one of all time for this website, is linked below:
What is Bible Hope?
Hope, in it’s New Testament usages, means “to expect or anticipate with pleasure.” For Christians, the hope of heaven is based solely on God’s immutable promise.
Titus 3:7: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
God promises eternal life to anyone who will believe that Jesus (God in the flesh) paid the full price for his sin (past, present, and future), and that He was raised from the dead to prove His payment was accepted.
Our Christian testimony should be based squarely on Christ as the sole basis for our hope of heaven.
While eternal life is promised to all who believe in Christ as Savior, having positive, beneficial changes in our lives is conditioned on learning God’s word and applying it to our lives.
 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Please note that only those who have believed on Him can continue in His word. Those who haven’t believed on Him are not even in His word. The freedom that Jesus is speaking of here is not eternal life (the people who have believed on Him already have that) – it is the life-changing power of His word, applied to our lives.
Please note, again, that the transformation in this life is not automatic.
Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
One does not have to believe that Jesus will “change his life”, or even desire to have Jesus change his life in order to be saved.
More from Ron Shea:
When the “changed life” becomes the focus of a “conversion” testimony, it is not only a practice unknown to Scripture, it is in fact, counter productive in pointing men and women to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. It implies that salvation is allowing Jesus to change one’s life, with the consequence of observing a change. Ultimately, such “testimonies” teach, by implication, the doctrines of Lordship salvation and justification by works, wherein justification is a process by which our lives are transformed. This is, by definition, the doctrine of Justification by works.
In addition to implying that justification is by works (or grace and works), Christian testimonies that are focused on changed lives are very difficult to distinguish from other sources of changed lives.
By necessity, the zealous adherent to any religious or secular pursuit undergoes change in his life.
The Bible makes it clear that religious zeal cannot bring eternal life. Many religious people spend lots of time proselytizing.
Matthew 23:15: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Likewise, unregenerate people who believe that they can save themselves may go to church every time the doors are open, do mission trips, work the soup kitchens, donate money to charity, and know every jot and tittle of scripture.
 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Similarly, lots of people change bad behaviors, but that doesn’t result in eternal life. J.O. Hosler put it this way:
A lost person can change his mind about sin and reform from some forms of wickedness, but he will be neither saved nor eternally rewarded for this. He may, however, reap some earthly benefits from living a prudent life.
So, if our testimony is about the change in our lives, how is the hearer to separate our message from all of the others? HE CAN’T!
Last, if the focus of our testimonies is our changed lives, what if our lives change for the worse? Does that mean that Christ didn’t die for our sins, or that He was not raised from the dead? Does this mean that we were never saved in the first place? Of course not!
That is why the focus of our testimonies should not be on our changed lives.
More from Clear Gospel:
The gospel is not about how great we are. It is about our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. And our testimony is not how God became “yummy in our tummy.” Without question, the quest for meaning and purpose are powerful. But not everyone achieves a sense of purpose simply because they come to faith in Christ. Some go to their grave clinically depressed and emotionally unfulfilled in this lifetime. But no one who has ever come to the cross has walked away dead in their sins. They walk away alive in Christ. The gospel is that Christ died for our sins, and rose again from the dead. May this truly be “our testimony.”