BE "SECURITY" SURE!
Once saved, always saved?
John 3:16... For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
This is our initial step to salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ.
Let us examine the word of God and see what it is that He requires of us, so we may receive His promises.
Ezekiel 18:21... But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
Ezekiel 18: 24 + 26... But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.
verse 26... When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
These scriptures also apply for today, with the only difference that we obtain righteousness through Jesus Christ.
John 15:4... Abide in Me, and I in you... Verse 6... If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Abide in Me... is a command... not a statement. We can easily understand from Jesus' words, that salvation is not the end, but the beginning of our walk with the Lord and the means to grow in grace and transformation into His likeness.
Growing in God and following in His footsteps is ACTIVE. It is MOTION in God's direction. It is participation with God.
He that endures till the end. He that walks in God's will and in obedience to the scriptures will have Eternal Security.
Matthew 10:22b... But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Matthew 7:21...Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the will of My Father in heaven.
Read further verses 22 and 23. Jesus is saying here, that they knew the Lord, and they even prophesied.
Even if you are saved, singing in the choir, but do not do the will of the Father, Jesus will also say: I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.
Jesus did not point at any particular group or people and NOT excluding anyone either. It is in general and includes ANYONE who does not do the will of the Father.
Doing the will of the Father includes more than accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Matthew 10:38... And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Matthew 12:50... For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, sister and mother.
Matthew 5:13... Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out , and to be trodden under foot of men.
Jesus clearly states that it is possible for believers to fall away from grace; losing his salvation; becoming good for nothing; to be cast out.
John 10:27,28... 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.
Did you notice : "THEY FOLLOW ME", with other words, the ones that follow Him.
Please, read also the Parables of Jesus; The Rich Fool and The Ten Virgins.
Why do you think the apostel Paul, Peter , John and others gave warnings to the believers? Because they knew that if the believers did not walk in God's will but obeyed the flesh, they would walk in darkness and would risk losing their salvation. Read Ephesians 5: 1-17
1John 2:17... And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Romans 8: 12-13...Therefore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die (spiritual death); but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live (Eternal Life; Heaven)
1John 3:15....Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
These are just a few scriptures which show clearly that if we do not heed to the scriptures and do not walk in His ways, we will perish just as the ungodly. The Lord will never send us away, but it are our sins which separate us from Him. Nothing and nobody can take us out of His Hand, but we can walk out of His Hand if we want to. And many do, because they do not want to obey, they rather follow their own desires.
Warnings to the believers and brethren:
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
verse 8... For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
This verse makes a comparison: the flesh reaps corruption... the Spirit reaps everlasting life. Corruption clearly means here eternal death.
James 1:14-15... But everyman is tempted, when he is drawn of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Full-grown sin speaks of sin not confessed, of living in sin, which will bring forth eternal death. The wages of sin is death, which means eternal death?
Hebrews 4:11... Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
1Peter 2:11... Dearly beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which wars against the soul.
2Peter 3:17...You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.
And where do you think the wicked is going to be..... lost forever.... in hell!
The error of the wicked... is followed by eternal death, that is were the apostle warned for.
Philippians 2:12... Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Although salvation is NOT by works, once saved we have to abide in Him, fight the good fight, run the race, take up the armor, carry our cross, crucify the old nature, surrender our will to the Father, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us.
This is our reasonable service (duty) to God, our Father, as a saved person. We can accomplish these requirements by the power of the Holy Spirit. NOT to make us a better person, but to glorify the name of Jesus Christ in/through our lives.
Although we don't receive anything from our "good" works, we still have to abide in Him and walk in His ways. I don't call that "good" works. The "good" works THAT we do, such as feeding the hungry and visiting the lonely etc., we do because we love Him and He lives in us. We do this not as to gain anything, but out of love, because He loved us first.
As believers, we have obligations to God.
James 1: 22... "BUT BE DOERS OF THE WORD, AND NOT HEARERS ONLY, DECEIVING YOURSELVES."
This is a command. Being a "doer" involves also personal decision making. Once we ARE doers, the Holy Spirit will complete His work in us.
It is a working together with Him, see 1 Corinthians 3:9.
He WILL give us the strength, the power, and all that is needed to feed the hungry, visit the widows, etc. The Lord wants to do this through us. If we withhold, He'll be using someone else! Right?
The Bible gives many examples of this.
We are not as powerless as you may think, that is why the Father needs our surrendered will. I don't mean to be boastful.
He desires for us to be victorious in our personal life, displaying the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, living a life well-pleasing unto Him. He wants to use us to reach the unsaved and perform miracles as we willingly bring His word, fired on by the Holy Spirit.
If we are obedient in water baptism by immersion, and received the Holy Spirit, according to Luke 11 :13, Mark 16:17, Acts 10:44, Acts 19:6... and as we abide in Him, we know that we have Eternal Security.
Revelation 2:26...He who overcomes and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power the nations.
God keeps His promises and "Guarantee", but we have to stay in the place to receive it.
Colossians 2:6... As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, SO WALK IN HIM,(a command) rooted and build up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
The Old Testament is an example for us that God could not fulfill His promises to a stubborn and disobedient people, as Israel. He even was going to cut them off, but Moses pleaded for God's people.
They wandered around for some 40 years, the old generation never received God's promises, because of disobedience and for not walking in His ways.
It was NOT until after the Israelites did obey the Lord, He finally could start to fulfill His Promises. Read this in Hebrews chapter 3.
We see that it is NOT God Who failed to keep His Promises but Israel who failed, due to disobedience. The same counts for the believers of this day and age.
Hebrews 3:12...Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;...
verse 14...For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.
All throughout the New Testament it is evident that God will keep His promises, He'll never take them back, but we are urged to do our part or else these promises cannot be fulfilled in our lives. We can do our part through the Holy Spirit, and we have to make daily, hourly decisions, WHOM WE WANT TO SERVE.
Ephesians 4:1 Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called..
Ephesians 5:1,2 Therefore, be immitators of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us .....
1 Corinthians 9:27...But I (Paul) discipline my body and bring it unto subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Although it is the Holy Spirit (if we have indeed received Him) Who works in/through us, we are still accountable for HOW MUCH AND HOW FAR we have allowed Him to work through us and for our daily walk with Him.
We still keep our identity, our personality, but we have to keep that surrendered to His will. That is something we have to do ourselves. Don't you make your own decisions to go to work in the morning ?, or to allow or not to allow bad feelings towards your co-workers? or to scold or not to scold your children? To read or not to read your Bible? for example.
God says, Come now, let us reason together..Isaiah 1:18a...
Doesn't this show that He wants to co-operate, rather than pulling some strings.
Before we will examine Hebrews 6:4-6... I want to give an introduction.
One must have a good understanding about the Christian walk when we are talking about sin.
Sinners = man walking and living in sin, wilfully, in rebellion against God, knowingly or unknowingly, not accepting Jesus' Sacrifice for sin, not having received forgiveness.
Believers in Jesus Christ = man who accepts His Sacrifice, crucifies the old flesh, lives in the Newness of life, walks in obedience to His Word, is baptized in water and the Holy Spirit, doesn't walk or live in sin, is righteous in God's eyes through Jesus Christ, abides in Him.
Now, here it comes... is the believer now perfect... NO, not in his own eyes, but in God's eyes he is, because He sees the believer through His Son Jesus Christ. If we have stumbled we admit and confess it to Him, 1 John 2:1
See, followers of Christ do NOT walk/live in sin, but from time to time our old flesh comes up as we have not been careful enough to keep it buried.
You know yourself, how that hurts and grieves the Holy Spirit and ourselves. We then, right away recognize our misstep and repent immediately, we have NOT lost our relationship with God at this point, because we bring it as a prisoner before God.
Many Christians do not realize this, they think they stay sinners until death, or they think they live in sin, while they only have stumbled. In the above scenario, we don't have to repent as a sinner repents, because Jesus is already our Saviour, we have to cleanse ourselves. Other believers think they will stay saved no matter what. How UNTRUE !
Now, finally Hebrews 6:4-6...
My own words: To them, the believers, who have received ALL what God had to offer, who have participated through the Holy Spirit in God's plan, who have experienced the Kingdom of God in their personal life in such a way, that they have seen the power thereof, if they fall away, (this means living/walking/acting in sin as a sinner again, even denying God's work) then there is no opportunity again for salvation, for the such.
This again, is also a proof that eternal security is for them that abide in Him.
Hebrews 10:26... For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.Verse 29... Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, a holy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (KJV) Paul is speaking here to the believers in Jesus Christ.
Nowhere will God give a warning for something which cannot happen. This is VERY illogical. Are you warning your child to stay away from a pile of branches, and say it is HOT, while you never will light a match to it? So will God NOT scare His children for something which is impossible to happen.
Therefore, He warns, because it can happen.. and He says : Be watchful, Be careful, Abide in Me, Obey My voice, Put on your armor, etc. If we were to be puppets, He wouldn't have to say that to us, He would just pull, but He doesn't.
HE WARNS, SO WE CAN RESPOND.
Even Paul mentioned that some of his workers did fall by the wayside and left him. But this does not have to bring us fear of losing our eternal life. Perfect LOVE drives out fear.
Ephesians 5:15,16...See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
verse 16..therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
The Sacrifice Jesus made for our sin and that of the whole world was more than enough. That does not make us less responsible or less accountable.
Believe me, the Lord will keep you accountable for all you did and have spoken, wether you believe this or not. For ALL you have done in His name, through the power of the Holy Spirit, all you have done with your life, good or bad, even when you're saved.
Romans 14:12... So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Hebrew 4: 13... And there is no creature hidded from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to WHOM WE MUST GIVE ACCOUNT.
1 Cor 7:24... Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.
As you can read "ACCOUNTABILITY" TO GOD.
Hebrews 12:1... Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Scriptures show that our "walk" is not effortless, but that does not mean we have to fear.
Mark 5:36b... "DO NOT BE AFRAID; ONLY BELIEVE"
2Timothy 1:7...For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Now Beloved, after all said and done, being obedient children, our life committed unto Him, we are able to receive that which He has promised.
Romans 8:38,39... 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, or creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Tim 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.
TO KEEP WHAT? that which I have committed. "COMMITTED" being the Key-word.