Saved or To Be Saved,That is the Question
By Tom Weaver
Shortly after a person becomes a Christian, they have a visitor. Every one of you that is saved has had a visit from this individual. He said to me, "Are you sure you are saved? Maybe you didn't mean what you said when you asked the Lord to save you. Not only did you not mean it, you have committed some sins since then." By now you know who the visitor was. It was old Slue Foot himself, Lucifer.
Often a believer will, at some point in time, began to wrestle with this idea of one losing their salvation. Not only was the devil there, but I had plenty of help from some who claim the name of Christ. They were there to persuade and convince me that I could lose the most precious gift that was ever given.
I had to have some answers to this question. I prayed, and asked God to show me the truth of this subject. I want to tell you that He did answer that prayer. I began to study and read my Bible, looking for the answers. It seemed as if everywhere I turned in the Scriptures, the Lord was showing me new verses that dealt with the subject of eternal security. Untold numbers of Christians struggle with this problem. I am here today to testify that you can have victory over this problem, and you can have the security from God.
First, It is important to understand whom we are dealing with here. Who made the promise of salvation? God has some attributes about himself that we do not have. God cannot lie! Look in Titus 1:2.
The Bible says, In hope of eternal life, which GOD, THAT CANNOT LIE, promised before the world began. Another passage reads in Hebrews 6:18, "That by two immutable things, in which IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD TO LIE..."
The Word of God establishes this very crucial point; GOD CANNOT LIE!
The second thing in Malachi 3:6, the Bible says, "For I am the LORD, I CHANGE NOT..."
That is certainly an attribute that none of us can claim. We humans change with every change of the wind. But God does not change. You say, That's in the Old Testament! As if it makes any difference, so look in Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ THE SAME yesterday, and to day, and for ever." You see, God cannot lie, and He does not change.
Another interesting passage that I came across is found in John 10:27-29.
Read with me, "My sheep hear my voice, and I KNOW THEM, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."
1. Emphasize the phrase "I know them." We will come back to this later, so I want you to remember this key phrase. Jesus said that He knows us His sheep, the ones that are saved. He says that He is the giver. He says that it is eternal life that He is giving. He also gives a promise that His sheep shall never perish. Remember that God that cannot lie or does not change.
I will drill this in over and over, because it is very important that a believer establish these two facts in his mind, especially when dealing with this subject.
I. God Made A PROPOSAL - ETERNAL LIFE.
God made a proposal, and that proposal was ETERNAL LIFE. Before mankind was even created, God made this proposal. Look with at II Timothy 1:9, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN."
Eternal life is not plan B or plan C because man made a mistake. God has another attribute that we do not have and that is His omniscience. That's a fancy theological term that simply means, He knows everything. God would not be much of a God if He did not know everything. Before God ever created man He knew that man would sin. He established His plan well before we came into existence. You ask me to explain that. I can not explain it because He is God!
II. God Made A PROMISE.
Our God that cannot lie made us promises throughout the Word of God concerning this matter.
In John 3:14-16, He says, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him SHOULD NOT PERISH, but have ETERNAL LIFE. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him SHOULD NOT PERISH, but have EVERLASTING LIFE."
God is promising just what He proposed, that is eternal life. It might be that we are at a good place to ask this question? How long is eternal ? Looking at another verse that we brought out earlier, but looking at another point of that verse.
Titus 1:1-2 says, "Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of ETERNAL LIFE, which God, that cannot lie, PROMISED BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN."
This is so clear that even a child could understand this, and many children do. One last verse to look at on this point is I John 2:25. It states, "And THIS IS THE PROMISE that he hath promised us, even ETERNAL LIFE." There you have it. It is clear. God proposed eternal life, and He promised eternal life!
III. God GAVE and is NOW GIVING What He Proposed.
There is an interesting word that is used in the King James Bible that gives clearer meaning. This is one of those many instances where our modern language does not make things more clear. I will just stay with the King James Bible. I do not endorse the use of modern translations, but that is another sermon. The interesting word that I am talking about is the word hath.
Look in you Bible at John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son HATH everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
Also in John 5:24 Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
Again Jesus makes that same proclamation in John 6:47, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me HATH everlasting life."
We can see this word being used three times here. Hath is a present tense word. It does not mean will have or might have, it literally means NOW HAVING. The believer in Christ Jesus is NOW POSSESSING eternal life. You say, Wait a minute. Christians die every day. We are not talking about the physical life that comes to an end. I am talking about the spiritual life that never ends. Do you realize that everyone is an eternal being. There is just the question whether one possesses eternal life or eternal damnation.
God is very definite about what He gives, and He makes it clear. In I John 5:13 the Bible says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
God did not say that one might know, or that some could know and some could not. I have heard so many that claim to know Christ tell me that one cannot know for sure if they are saved. Well, God says that you can know for sure. Who are you going to believe, God or those that make such claims that you cannot know? God says that it is ETERNAL LIFE. He did not say that it is a life for a day.
God goes even further to make it doubly sure. Remember in John 10:27-28, He said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them ETERNAL LIFE; and THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
Look at the promise in John 5:24 that we read earlier, "SHALL NOT COME INTO CONDEMNATION." This is the promise that is coming from a God that cannot lie and does not change.
IV. Believers Are Not Under The Law.
This brings up the next question that I am asked much of the time. Well, what about the law? One of the things that will trip up a young Christian or new believer quicker that anything else is not understanding this most fundamen tal truth for the New Testament believer.
The Christian is not under the Mosaic Law. The Children of Israel were under it and could not live according to the law. God chose these people because they were the least, not because the were great. He gave them special care and instructions. He provided for them in a special way. He made special covenants with them. The law was given to them for one purpose, and that was to bring them to God. It was to show them how sinful they really were and that they did indeed need a savior. That is what the Mosaic Law does for us today. Even though we are not under the law we can clearly see that we could not abide by it. We need a savior because we cannot save ourselves.
Romans 6:14 says, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW, but under grace."
This always raises this next question. Does living under grace give me license to sin? This is what we Baptists get accused of when we tell someone, Once saved. Always saved. They will say, What you are saying then is one can be saved and then go out and live like the devil and commit all kinds of sin. This is certainly not what living under grace is all about. I will talk a little more about this later. Paul answered this question best of all in Romans 6:15 in the very next verse, What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? GOD FORBID. God forbid that we should have a desire to do as we please once we are saved.
V. The Author of Salvation and the Finisher of Salvation.
The next thing I would like you to notice is who the Author of Salvation is. There are many that try to give God a hand in salvation. We need to realize that it is God who does the saving and not we ourselves. We also need to realize that God will finish what He started, and He is fully capable of doing it without our help.
Philippians 1:6 states, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you WILL PERFORM IT UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST."
What was the promise here? That God will perform His work in you until Jesus returns. God is going to finish what He started. When He planted the seed of the Holy Spirit in you, He will see it to the end. Hebrews 12:2 says this about Jesus, "Looking unto Jesus the AUTHOR AND FINISHER of our faith..."
He is the author and finisher! Hebrews 5:9 says that, "...he became the author of eternal salvation. " The Word of God is filled with His promises and assurance. One just has to open it up and study it. Another verse I would like to bring to your attention can be found in I Corinthians 1:8. It says this about Jesus, that He, "...shall also confirm you UNTO THE END, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Ephesians 2:8 proclaims the authorship of Jesus Christ. Look at it with me, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD.
Here is the thing that I want you to get from these passages, (1) Salvation is of God, (2) He is the Author and Finisher of Salvation. Let me pose this question to you. Would God start something and not finish it as if He did not even know His mind? Would God play with man's salvation as if man were some little toy that He turns on and off? God begins and finishes what He begins. If a man were drowning and you threw him a life ring, would you untie the rope from the pier and tell him to swim in? No, I don't think so. At least I hope that you would not do that, but that is the view that many have of God and the way that He saves.
VI. Christians Don't Keep Themselves Saved.
Christians do not keep themselves saved. It is our nature to want to be in control of our lives.
ILLUS: A pastor I know told of that when he was a child of 10 or 11 years old; he was riding next to his step father in the cab of a pickup truck when we were going down a steep hill. He began to pass someone, and suddenly there was another vehicle that topped the hill on the other side. The pastor said he reached for the steering wheel. He wanted to help. He slapped my hands back. His father did not need my help. That is our nature.
When my wife is driving I would rather be behind the wheel. I know a lot of men who can appreciate that desire. Actually, my wife is a very careful driver, but it is still my nature to want to be in control.
Men have the same attitude when it comes to salvation. Let's revisit John 10:27-29 again. It says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of MY HAND. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of MY FATHER'S HAND." We do not hold ourselves any more than we can pull ourselves out of the ocean when drowning. We are in the hands of God.
Invariably, when I raise this point someone will always come up with this statement, Well, sure. You don't keep yourself, but can't God cast you out of his hand? That sounds like a pretty slick argument, but the problem is, it not only violates God's nature of honesty and trustworthiness, but it also contradicts clear biblical teaching.
Take your Bible and turn with me to John 6:37. The Bible says, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT."
I just love the promises of a God that cannot lie or change. If salvation were up to me to keep, I would have lost it a long time ago, and so would you. It is not up to us. Look in I Peter 1:5, WHO ARE KEPT by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. It is by the power of God that we are kept until end. Paul was so sure of the power of God to keep us saved that he penned these word to Timothy in II Timothy 1:12, "...for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that HE IS ABLE TO KEEP that which I have committed unto him against that day."
One of the strongest professions Paul made about this assurance can be found in Romans 8:35-39, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
I am reminded of the protection that God gives His children when I think of the story of Job. When Satan came to God and desired to destroy Job and have His way with Him, God allowed Satan to bring about many trials in Jobs life that ultimately brought glory to God. Many would say that was cruel of God. You must remember that God is omniscient, and knew that Job would not curse or turn against God even under such adverse circumstances. Satan gave us a clue as to the protection God places around His children.
When Satan wanted to touch Job's material possession, his family, his body and soul, Satan said in Job 1:9-10, "...Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him."
Satan understood and knew that God has place a protection upon His children. That is why he works so hard to destroy a believer's faith and assurance of salvation. He knows that he can never get the soul of one who has trusted Christ, but he can cause them to live a defeated Christian life.
VII. Jesus Prays for His People.
We have one that is greater than Satan. We have one that prays for us and pleads our case before God the Father. Examine the following verses in John 11:41-42, "...Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that THOU HEAREST ME ALWAYS:"
It is one thing when we ask a brother or sister to pray for us, but to know that Jesus prays for us is quite another. Let's see what Jesus is praying on our behalf for.
Look at John 17:11, "...Holy Father, KEEP through thine own name THOSE WHOM THOU HAST GIVEN ME, that they may be one, as we are."
It is not only those of us that are now saved that He prays for. Mama, He is praying for that little baby that will one day grow up and trust the Lord. He already knows who will trust Him and who will not. Look at Verse 20, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also WHICH SHALL BELIEVE ON ME through their word."
Some try to accuse God of selecting some to be saved and some not to be saved, due to their own misunderstand ing or inability to understand God's omniscience. He is God! He knows it all. He still gives everyone that freedom to choose, please don't limit God.
Satan had a desire to destroy Peter but the Lord told Peter, "...Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: BUT I HAVE PRAYED FOR THEE, that thy faith fail not." God is not a respecter of persons.
What He did for Peter He will do for you. As long as Christ lives then we can be assured that we will live. Hebrews 7:25, says that Jesus, "...ever liveth to make intercession for them."
VIII. The Sealing of the Holy Spirit.
As much as Satan would like to have the believer's soul he knows that he cannot. One of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to seal the believer from this danger.
Ephesians 4:30, points out this fact, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby YE ARE SEALED UNTO THE DAY OF REDEMPTION."
How long did God say that a believer was sealed? You may sin after salvation, but you will not lose your salva tion. You will only bring grief to the Holy Spirit, but He will continue to keep you sealed.
One may ask when this sealing takes place. I do not think you will find much argument to the fact that the Holy Spirit only indwells those that are saved. You will, however, find many arguments as to what brings about salvation. For those that believe that salvation comes by water baptism, you will have a hard time getting around this next passage. Look at Ephesians 1:13-14, "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, YE WERE SEALED WITH THAT HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE, Which is the earnest of our inheritance UNTIL THE REDEMPTION OF THE PURCHASED POSSES SION, unto the praise of his glory."
The Bible clearly states that one is sealed with the Holy Spirit after they believe, not after they believe and are baptized, or not after they believe and do many good deeds, but after they believed.
It goes on to give us a promise of that sealing and tells us how long it will last. It is clear as day my friend.
IX. Believers Are Heirs and Joint Heirs With Jesus.
The child of God has more than just the sealing of the Holy Spirit. He has more than just the promise of being kept. We are also given an inheritance. God has given us more promises. Look at Romans 8:16-17.
The Bible says, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ..."
My friend, God has a lot in store for the believer. There is a lot more to being saved than just escaping Hell. God has prepared some wonderful things for us.
Look at Galatians 4:6-7, "...because ye ARE sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, THEN AN HEIR OF GOD through Christ." I like the present tense of this verse. God says ye ARE sons. He did not say if you hold out until the end you will be a son, but that ye ARE sons, and that we are HEIRS through Jesus.
Jesus came for the specific purpose of saving sinners. Matthew 1:21, says that, "...he shall SAVE his people from their sins. My friend, if you have something that you can lose then you do not have salvation. That poor drowning man is not saved until you pull him in and secure him. God says that we are secure in Him.
X. Will Jesus Lie At The Great White Throne Judgment?
At the very beginning of this message I asked you to remember a very important statement that was made from a God that cannot lie and does not change.
That phrase was in John 10:27. Let's look at it again, "My sheep hear my voice, and I KNOW THEM..." The key phrase is, I know them.
Remember who is speaking here. It is Jesus Christ. He said if you are saved He knows you. II Timothy 2:19says, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord KNOWETH THEM THAT ARE HIS."
My friend, if you have trusted the Lord for your salvation, then He knows you. Now, I would like to switch scenes here. Let us now go to the Great White Throne Judgment. Now, anybody that knows anything about Bible prophecy at all knows that the Great White Throne Judgment is where all of those resurrected wicked dead and those wicked alive in the time of judgment will be judged and cast into the lake of fire.
This is not a judgment to see whether one will be saved or not, but it is to pass judgment as to the degree of Hell that a person will suffer for an eternity. Turn in your Bible to Matthew 7:21-23. Jesus is describing the scene that will be played out at the Great White Throne Judgment. He says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Let's dissect this passage for a minute. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Do you mean to tell me that there will be those that go about claiming to be Christians who will not enter Heaven? Not everyone who professes to be of Christ is saved. ***** Turn on your TV set and you can see the world is full of Robert Tilton's. You say, You are judging someone. No, I am just examining their fruit. Some things are very obvious. Some are not. I will let the Lord do the separating though. One thing is for certain. He does know. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? I can hear it now, Lord, did you not see me preaching in your name. I had a big TV show. Didn't you see it? And in thy name have cast out devils?
How about this one, Lord didn't you see my great healing lines. Didn't you see all of those folks that were slain in the spirit? I am not making fun of this. I do believe in miracle healing. God cured me of cancer, so I know what He can do and does. I have one question. It is an interesting observation. If all of those faith healers out there are real, why don't they go up to the local hospital or the local mental ward and heal those folks? The beds are full of them. I will tell you why, M O N E Y! These are not faith healers, they are FAKE healers.
Enough of chasing that rabbit. Look at the next phrase, and in thy name done many wonderful works? Many people are going to go to Hell because they tried to impress God with their works. Lord, I gave to charity. I gave of my time to feed the hungry of Africa. I was a Sunday School Teacher. Many good people will be placing their trust in the wrong things. Look at the final words of Jesus, "And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. "
These are the saddest words anyone will ever hear from Jesus. Wait a minute! What did He say? "I NEVER KNEW YOU?" In John 10:27, He says that He knows those that are saved, but here he tells all of those that are lost that, "I NEVER KNEW YOU." For one to say that they have been saved and lost their salvation raises a very serious question. How can Jesus know you and then not know you? There are only two possible answers. Number one; Jesus lied when He told the lost soul that used to be saved that He never knew them, or number two; those that Jesus told that He never new were never saved to begin with. Reason number two is the only possible answer, because God cannot lie. Any two bit lawyer can make this case. Either Jesus is a liar, in which case, we would all have no hope, or He keeps His word. Which do you believe?
XI. Dispelling Common Arguments.
For the sinner to believe that he could lose his salvation would really make the sinner's condition better in some respects as compared to those that were already saved. If that sounds confusing, just hang on. I will develop this though a little further. We are taught in the Word of God that salvation comes by the grace of God. Look at Ephe sians 2:8, "For BY GRACE are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Those that hold to the idea that one can lose their salvation have added an element to grace. They add the condition of holding out to grace. If this were true, then would it not be better for the poor sinner to just put off salvation to the very end? Why would one want to risk stepping over the proverbial edge and going too far to be saved again? You say, That sounds silly. It is, but that is exactly the case for those that hold to the losing your salvation philosophy.
I have a few questions for those that hold to this view. How many sins must you commit before you lose your salvation, and where can you show me in the Bible where it says so? What kind of sin must you commit before you lose your salvation, and please give the Bible reference? How do you know if you have gone too far and cannot be saved again? Bible references please. You cannot give Bible references because they are not there.
This view that one could fall from salvation would also raise some inconsistencies in the Bible. Let me paint the picture for you. A soul winner goes by and visits a sinner. He shares the Gospel with him. The sinner begins to come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. He is just about to open his heart and receive Jesus Christ as his savior. According to the Bible all of Heaven is cheering this man on. They are about to shout and praise God. Look at Luke
15:10, "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."
He is about to repent. Even Jesus said that He has prepared a place for the believer. Look in John 14:2-3,
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Do you have the picture? This sinner is about to be saved. Jesus, our omniscient (all knowing) savior, is preparing a place for him. Wait a minute! Put the brakes on! Why is there joy in Heaven for this poor sinner, and why is there being a place prepared for him, if he is going to lose his salvation in the end? To hold to this view would be saying that God does not even know His own mind nor the future.
The other argument that often comes up which I said I would touch on this: many tell me, You people that believe once saved always saved are saying that you have a license to sin.
This is the most ridiculous argument ever. You can go down to the pig pen and take a sow from her environment. You can bathe her. Get her all cleaned up. Spray on a little perfume. That sow will run back to the mud hole every time. On the other hand, you can clean the sheep up and she may fall into a mud whole, but her nature is to get out of the mud. She would not be happy there. The same is true for a Christian. Christians fall into sin, but they have a new nature inside that will not let them enjoy sin. When Noah sent the raven out from the ark it did not return because there was plenty of carrion to feast upon. It is the raven's nature to eat rotting flesh. He is a scavenger.
However, the dove has a different nature. He does not eat flesh, and returned to the ark. The Bible says in
I John 2:15, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
Sin should be repulsive to the Christian. As I grew up, it was always my desire to gain my daddy's approval.. I tried to please him. I wanted him to be proud of me. I did not always do as I should have done, nor did I always make him proud of me, but the desire was there to please him. When I failed him, I did not cease being his son. When daddy did things for me, it did not cause me to want to run as close to the devil as I could. If you are one that believes that you have a license to sin or you hold to the philosophy that it is easier to get forgiveness than to obey, then I would say that you probably need to take a close spiritual examination. You need to make sure you are in the family of God.
XII. The Incentive Program.
Some will say, Isn't it true that some fall away or have fallen from grace? I John 2:19, is often used as proof for this argument. Lets examine it for a moment, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
The Bible clearly said in this verse that they were not of the flock. This verse is used in conjunction with the next couple of passages in hopes to establish the doctrine of holding out to the end . Look at Hebrews 3:14, "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end."
Now look at Hebrews 10:38, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." They will usually emphasis how the Bible says God will draw back if you don't hold out until the end. A closer examination and a little further reading would reveal some very important information. Context is the whole key here. Look at the very next verse in Hebrews 10:39, "BUT WE ARE NOT OF THEM WHO DRAW BACK unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."
The writer of Hebrews, I believe to be Paul, certainly did not believe in the universal brotherhood of man. He said, WE , meaning those of us that are saved. Those that do not continue, and draw back were never saved to begin with.
It amazes me why men will isolate such passages and lift them above what I have already shown to be over whelming evidence in defense of eternal security. They will take passages totally out of context.
Here is another one that they use. Revelation 2:10, ...be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
The Bible makes clear distinction between everlasting life and the crown of life. The Bible also teaches that believers will receive rewards for our earthly ministry, those things that we do after we become saved. This passage is speaking of rewards. It clearly said crown of life not everlasting life. Turn to I Corinthians 3:11-15, and we will examine this last point that deals with rewards.
The Bible says, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, HE SHALL RECEIVE A REWARD. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire. We, as Christians, will one day stand before the Lord and be judged."
It will not be the Great White Throne Judgment, rather it will be at the Christ Seat Judgment. This judgment will not be to see whether we are saved, but it will be to determine what rewards we will receive for our service to the Lord after salvation. Sadly to say, many Christians are going to be SAVED SO AS BY FIRE Christians . They will not receive the rewards that they could have. They will face the Lord with great shame. Notice in this verse that it was the man's reward that was burned up and not the man himself.
Now turn in your Bibles to II Peter 1:4-11 and let's examine the second passage in closing, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But HE THAT LACKETH THESE THINGS IS BLIND, AND CANNOT SEE AFAR OFF, AND HATH FORGOTTEN THAT HE WAS PURGED FROM HIS OLD SINS. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an ENTRANCE shall be ministered unto you ABUNDANTLY into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
The first passage in the previous paragraph teaches that a Christian can be saved or can be a SAVED SO AS BY FIRE Christian or he can be like the second passage teaches. He can be an ABUNDANT LIFE Christian. We can have and abundance of riches in Heaven. God is the one in invented the incentive program. Which do you want?
One last verse that I want to leave you with is in II Peter 3:17-18, "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." Take this message and grow in the knowledge of the Lord. Believe God and take Him at His word.
This material may be reproduce and distributed in any fashion to the glory of God as long as it is not altered in any way, and this copyright notice is included.
Copyright 1996 Robert T. Weaver
Additional comments by Cooper Abrams, pastor of Castle Country Baptist Church.
One situation that most people who have not understood the Doctrine of Eternal Security always bring up is the example of the person who made a profession of faith and for a time were outwardly very faithful to the Lord and then they turned from the Lord and went back into the world. Speaking of those who professed Christ but did not live for the Lord and went back into the world John says, "They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were of all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things" (1 John 2:19). John refers to these people as "anti-christs" meaning that they outwardly for a time appeared to be Christians, but they were not believers and in spirt were against the Lord. Because these people were not saved....they in time left.
Sadly, others who are false professing Christians remain in the churches. In Matthew 13:24-30, in the parable of the seeds, Jesus explained that there would be tares sowed in with the wheat. These tares are hard to distinguish them from the wheat. It is well to note also the Jesus said that at the harvest they would be separated. The Sunday morning after the Rapture many professing, yet lost church members, will attend church and be shocked to find that God has taken away all His true children.
Another passage that many miss that addresses this matter is Heb. 6:1-20. First read verses 17-19, "Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; "
This tells us the context of Chapter Six is speaking of the eternal security or hope of the believers. Verse 19, is strong language and says, "our hope has an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into the vail." In referring to entering the vail, it is speaking of the Holy of Holiest in the Temple. Nothing impure went beyond the vail into the very presence of God. Yet, here the verse says we can go in. Why? Because we are washed in the blood of the lamb and our sins are forgiven and we are pure. There is nothing in this passage to lead someone to assume salvation is a subjective matter depending on our keeping ourselves saved by our faithfulness. God here is assuring the believer that his hope in eternal life is sure.
Now look at verse 4, " For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." There we find another doctrine clearly stated, "If a person could be saved and then lost they would always be lost!" All the denominations that teach that one can lose their salvation teach also that the lost person can be restored to redemption. Clearly this passage exposes the error of their teaching. The verse is not teaching one can lost their salvation, but is showing that this is impossible because of God's offer of grace to all who believe, if someone was saved and then lost, the only way they could be saved again is that Jesus would have to be crucified again! God then in verses 7-8, uses the illustration of fruit bearing. That which yields thorns and briers is rejected and burned up (See John 15:1-6). In verse 9, the writer of Hebrews says he is "persuaded better things of you and the things that accompany salvation, though we speak." He them assures them that God will not forget them and (verse 11-12) " desires. . .that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end. That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. " The problem here w as that like so many have done, these people were doubting their salvation and living in fear of losing it. How tragic for saved people to live in doubt. In verses 13-15, God tells them of the sure promises He made to Abraham and that God has given a oath or promise to save those that believe.
Doctrinally another thing becomes very clear that if a person can be saved and then lost, salvation is made a matter of works. In essence this false teaching that one can lost their salvation is saying that Christ made the down payment on our salvation, but we must by faithfulness and good works keep it ourselves. This contradicts the whole of the Bible's teaching that salvation is the free gift of God and not of works (Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 4:5). Further it denies 1 Peter 1:5, that says "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." It ignores Hebrews 12:2: "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." The Bible says it is the Lord that saved us by giving us the free gift of salvation, and that He keeps us saved and is the not only the author of our salvation, but the finisher of it. How can anyone think themselves able to keep themselves saved by good works if they could not saved themselves by their works in the first place. 1 John 1:8,10 states the truth that all believers will sin, as verse 9 explains we can be cleansed from repeating sin by confessing it honestly to the Lord. The verse says God not only forgives by cleanses us from it.
Thank God for His great and wonderful love and grace to us who are sinners! Truly how great is our salvation! We can have absolute assurance that if a person truly believes and trusts Christ as their Savior, God changes them and makes them a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). It is God who changes us, not our selves! Once we are changed we have eternal life and become God children and nothing can change that.
Hebrews 12:6-11, reveals how God deals with believers, His children, who are disobedient and refuse to turn from sin. He strongly chasten them to bring them to repentance. 1 Corinthians 11:27-32, tells us that God will bring sickness and even death to the believer who "does not discern" the Lord's body. To not discern the Lord's body simply means to blatantly sin which makes little of Christ's suffering on the cross. Every sin we commit Christ had to suffer for and how uncaring and disrespectful is a believer who knows this and sins anyway without regard for Christ's suffering and pain. God will, when the believer refuses to turn from his sin, take that Christians life and stop their disobedience way. Even this is an act of God's mercy. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, teaches us that some who are saved will have no reward in heaven. The passages says, yes they will be saved, but they will suffer loss because they did not live for the Lord.
" This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness" (Lam. 3:21-23