That's a pretty tough statement about what God expects of us, isn't it? It also tells us that many people really won't end up where they think they are going. I like the following little story that I think applies well here.
At our local crematorium families are given the chance to chose the music CD they would like to enter the service to. One family asked to enter the service to "Love me Tender."
Well, the day of the funeral arrived and the music was ready to start for the family to walk in to the service. Unfortunately, the wrong track number was entered into the CD player, and the family found themselves walking in to "Return to Sender, address unknown, no such number, no such zone."
Unfortunately, many people may find themselves in the same situation, going someplace other than where they thought, because they have the wrong address on them.
It's interesting that most of the time when we ask someone if they are going to heaven the answer is, "I hope I am." John says, "I'm writing these things for one purpose, so that you may KNOW you have eternal life," (Russ' paraphrase) It's also interesting that the word for "know" used in the original language means to have an inner knowledge or understanding based upon facts revealed to us — "to have seen or perceived, hence to know." (Strong's Dictionary of N.T. Words)
So, do you know you are going to heaven or do you only hope you are? Our understanding makes a pretty big difference in how we live our daily lives, doesn't it? Are you walking in hope or are you walking in doubt? Spend a little time with 1 John and let it help you know for sure.