Chapter 27, Continued from Chapter 26
“Words taught by the Spirit” (1Cor.2:13)
An Email Ministry for the Glory of God
A series of Bible studies on
SALVATION IN CHRIST
THE ISSUE OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
EPILOGUE – CONCLUSIONS
- The conditions set by Jesus Christ…
Before I close this series on “THE SALVATION IN CHRIST AND THE ISSUE OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER”, I just wanted to repeat what I wrote at the beginning of this series: I really do not understand why there is no agreement among believers upon the theme of the security of the believer and people take opposite positions, since they both are right; this is something that depends on the choices of the believer and on the quality of believer… Personally, I never found out such a problem during the long years that I have been studying the Word of God. I strongly believe that both sides are right because they both use good and relevant verses in their proper context, but they both do not tell us under which conditions and what kind of believers they speak about!
We have examined this controversial subject in three parts:
a) How man is saved;
b) Which believer risks losing his salvation; and
c) Which believer does not risk losing his salvation!
So, my purpose was and is to explain with this series the reasons why I believe that both positions are correct under certain conditions. God’s love is unconditional but everything concerning us is under conditions! An example: “… He that believes on me has everlasting life” (John 6:47)! You do not believe, you are not going to be saved…
I strongly believe that the Bible speaks both on the security and the insecurity of the believer, provided the believer fulfills CERTAIN CONDITIONS PUT BY JESUS HIMSELF. Everything depends on our heart’s choices, decisions and walk! Everything depends on the kind of believer we are talking about. The Bible says: “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways” (Prov.23:26). What does it mean? It means, give me your “will”. God wants you! God accepts our will IF we give it to Him SINCERELY and DEFINITIVELY!
No-one is excluded right from the beginning! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Nobody is predestinated to be lost. On the contrary, God’s love wants that “… all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1Tim.2:4). Many other verses prove it. HE also wants that all those who walk disorderly be revived. In addition, man can do the right and definite choice at any time.
The case of Esau was not different! He could not redeem what he had already sold because his decision, the choice of his heart, had made his ‘transaction’ final. He had despised the privilege of his first born birth right! He was sorry because of the privilege he had already sold and lost definitely. He was not, however, sorry for his act of profanity, but for the privilege he had lost! (This is unfortunately what many people do! They are sorry for their failures but not for their lack of piety! They do not repent). We see that he was looking, at the beginning, for revenge… To kill his brother who had cheated him! (Heb.12:16-17). All are not like Esau!
There are people who have the possibility to change radically their situation and be revived because they simply halt between two opinions (1Kings 18:21). James spoke in the same spirit when he said: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded” (GR: δίψυχοι=of double soul) (Jas.4:8). If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel to honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared to every good work” (2Tim.2:21).
Where does the issue lie? In our narrow-mindedness and in our attachments to our denominational stereotypes! I say that once again: The security of the believer depends upon his sincere repentance and sincere faith! If he loves his Savior Jesus Christ WITH ALL HIS HEART. There are believers who have presented their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, and do not conform to this world, but are transformed by the renewing of their mind and prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom.12:1-2). There are others who “… profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16).
Those who do not repent have no place in Christ’s family. “… If I wash you not, you have no part with me » (John 13:8). What man will comply with the requirements of Christ and Christ will not keep His “promise” to keep him until the end? This man has the testimony within him regarding the security of his salvation! If his heart (his will) is faithful to God, God will make a covenant with him: to bless and protect him: “One who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifies me; and to him that ordereth his way aright will I show the salvation of God” (Ps.50:23 – NET).
There is a very important word which was said by the Lord Jesus Christ: “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say to you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24). In Christian churches there are many who truly believe in the sacrifice and the resurrection of Christ for their sins, but who have never trusted their lives in Christ and who have not accepted Him as the LORD of their life! Because of such people, carnality prevails and the Gospel of our Lord and Savior is blasphemed! “Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity [………] (2Tim.2:19-21). Are there, in accordance with the Bible, “almost” Christians? The apostle Paul wrote to the “believers” of the church at Corinth: “No, you do wrong, and defraud, and that your brothers. Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived […]” (1Cor.6:8-9).
Let us pay attention to the following word of the Bible: “[…] I beseech you, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keeps covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments” (Neh.1:5; Dan.9:4; Ex.20:6). Does HE keep His covenant for those who do not love Him and do not observe His commandments? What does that mean? If, on the contrary, one’s heart (one’s will) is not faithful before God, HE wants, but cannot bless and protect!
2. If the tree is good, then its fruit will be good
This basic principle gives us the right to draw the following conclusion: If the man is good then his fruit will be good! If the heart is pure, then its fruit will be pure! Does a pure heart make impure choices? Here is how our Lord Jesus Christ expressed the ‘axiom’ concerning the heart of man: For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:43-45, also Mat.12:33-35 and Mark.7:21).
The apostle John 3:9 says: “Whoever is born of God (then, he is a good tree or a man with a pure heart) does not commit sin (does not bring forth bad fruit or makes wicked choices); for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, (cannot remain and tolerate sin) because he is born of God.” The answer can be found in the ‘words’ “for his seed remains in him” (1John 3:9)! To God be the Glory!
Let me make myself clearer:
- Ι always believed and believe that those who are REALLY SAVED ARE ALWAYS SAVED, because they have given all their heart, that is to say all their will to God – right from the beginning or at another moment of their life – by loving the Lord their God with all their heart, and with all their soul, and with all their mind, and with all their strength and their neighbor as themselves (Prov.23:26; Mark 12:30-31). This is why they have accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of their life.
- I believe that there are many church people who TRULY BELIEVE that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16), BUT who have not given all their heart (all their will) to God! They attach themselves to church activities, in works of charity, to an improvement of their behavior, etc., but they do not return to the Lord! God said to the prophet Jeremiah: “If you will return, O Israel, said the LORD, return to ME…” (Jer.4:1) Such people believe that they are saved, because they have believed, but they are not yet “secure”! They can, however, be “on the safe side” if, someday they obey wholeheartedly to the first and the second greatest commandments of God (Mark 12:30-31) and accept Jesus Christ as the Lord of their life.
A heart that is given wholly to God walks in God’s ways! “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways” (Ps.119:2-3). What counts before God is to believe with all your heart and give Him all your heart! Uprightness and purity of heart exist or do not exist! Consequently, the man who is really born of God has a pure heart and will be used by God! Do you put fresh water to drink in a dirty vessel even if it is of gold or of silver that glitters? God says: “My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he, who walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me” (Ps.101:6). When the Bible says, “he who walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me” it does not mean “sinless perfection” but faithful walk in obedience, in sincere repentance and faith and trust in God. It means purity, humility, brokenness. In other words, perfect love for the truth, for spiritual transparency and for justice! God, in return, shows him His salvation, accomplishes all His promises and blessings, yes, to all those who put their ways in order (Ps.50:23), as well as to all those who repent and separate the precious from the vile! Then, He makes them as His mouth (Jer.15:19). The secret, therefore, is PURITY of heart and life! “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Mat.5:8). Paul declared, “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience…” (2Tim.1:3). However, he worshipped Him in error! It is therefore possible to worship God with a pure conscience and be at the same time in “error” as Paul was before his conversion to Christ! This is the reason why he received God’s mercy and grace…
- The beginning of wisdom…
IF man knows all these things and has not yet put them into practice, this is due to the fact that the fear of God is not in his heart. He does not tremble at God’s Word! (Isa.66:5). He does not fear God and does not let the Word affect him strongly in the depth of his heart. He does not live with the fear that he is going to lose what God had offered him! He is not afraid of the consequences of indifference, of sin and of rebellion! Only the fear of God can make people depart from evil. “In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil” (Pr.16:6). Have you ever known someone that does not depart from his sin? The fear of God is not in his heart! He has never taken seriously into consideration the moment when he will be called to give an account to God. Let him pray so that the LORD of hosts be hallowed in his conscience and… be his fear and let Him be his dread (Isa.8:12-13). Let the fear of God become the source of his wisdom. Only in this way will he be able to keep His commandment, for this is man’s all, for God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil (Ec.12:13-14). Then, when he will appear before God, he will be full with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Php.1:11). That man will not be discouraged because of God’s spiritual requirements. He knows that He Who calls him to a holy life will do it! So, let all of us tell Him with all our heart: Let your will be done in our life! Amen!
Closing with this chapter this series of studies, I would like to draw again the attention of all of us to the following truths: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Pet.3:9). God “… desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1Tim.2:4). God is full of compassion and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in mercy and truth” (Ps.86:15). Our Lord’s patience is intended for our salvation (2Pet.3:15). What love, what patience, what kindness! God does not want that anyone should perish! However, many will perish! The light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19). If, on the contrary, they had made that proper act of justice in their heart, with sadness, according to God, admitting who they are and what they have done and what they do, God’s grace could then reign on them and thus enrich their life. Then, all the promises of protection and of blessing would be on the “agenda”… God’s grace is not for perfect men or women, but for those that humbly admit their spiritual condition! Repentance and faith are the means to avoid perdition. They are wrong all those who believe that God’s grace is a «master key». No! God’s grace can reign only under one condition, and this condition is justice… (Rom.5:21). Repentance is the basic act or ingredient of justice between man and God! There is no salvation without repentance and without faith working through love.
I wish with all my heart that the recipients of this series of spiritual studies have been edified as I was edified. I wish the same thing for all believers because this controversial issue is one of several that have divided the church of Christ! May the Lord use the work of love to result in the correct dispensing of the truth, to the unity of the Church and especially in the spiritual development of believers.
I pray that many souls come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved, and all those who call on the name of the Lord take the whole armor that God has put at our disposal:
- To love the truth with all their heart;
- To put on the breastplate of righteousness;
- To have their heart inflamed with the zeal to share the gospel of the peace at any given opportunity;
- To use efficiently the shield of faith and the precious promises of God under all tests and temptations that we pass through;
- To take the helmet of salvation offered by grace;
- To be armed with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, but be also able to use it successfully according to the cases and circumstances; and
- Above all, to pray without ceasing and wait with perseverance and with thanksgivings for all the blessings that God has in store for all those who love Him. Amen.
My prayer is also that the Lord Jesus Christ use His words for the edification of all of us!
“Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.” (Eph.6:24)
And to God be the Glory