Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Eternal Security

We rejoin Jesus with His disciples on the Mount of Olives as He warns them of what lies ahead.   The disciples have lots to deal with.  They are well aware of and excited over the Messianic prophecies in Isaiah 11 and 35, as well as many other prophecies of the Kingdom scattered throughout the Old Testament.  

 

Though they are familiar with the Old Testament truth that the Messiah must die for the sins of the world, as prophesied in Isaiah 53  and typified by the sacrifice of animals for sin and though Jesus will be crucified within two days,  they are still struggling with this depressing truth.

 

Not only that, but Jesus has also hinted that He is about to leave them for a long time before He would return to reign,  as illustrated in a story recorded in Luke 19 11-27.  In Luke 21 He had  been telling them of the deception, tribulation and sorrows that would escalate while He was absent from them,

 

He has also warned them in this chapter of the persecution that each of them would face, as well as multiplied millions of other Christians during His absence from them.

 

They are well aware of their own frailties and are wondering to themselves whether they can possibly endure the persecution that is coming on them. Will they fail their Lord?  No doubt, we have often asked the same question of ourselves as we consider the possibility of worldwide persecution of Christians in our age. Will we fail the Lord?

 

In the midst of their fears, Jesus assures them in verses 18-19 “But not a hair of your head will perish.”  Just before that, in verse 16 and 17  He had told them that some of them would be hated and martyred by Christ haters.

 

Jesus is saying to them and to us that in spite of persecution, we do not need to fear rejecting Christ or perishing. That is, we do not need to fear facing eternal damnation in hell.   If we are saved by grace through faith in Christ’s sacrifice for us and apart from any good works of our own, then it is impossible for us to lose that eternal life by our failure to be all that we ought to be.  That’s the message of Ephesians 2:8-9  and Titus 3:5-6.   Sure  Ephesians 2:10 goes on to remind us that even though we are not saved by our good works, we are Christ’s workmanship, saved to live out the good works God has before ordained for us.  That is, according to Philippians 2:12-13, we are saved to work out the salvation that God is working in us.

 

GOD’S REPEATED PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE.

 

Jesus is promising His disciples then and us now that in spite of persecution and death, we will survive and not perish, or experience eternal loss.   So the  age old question is can one who has put His trust in Christ and been born again ever do anything to reverse and remove the eternal life that God has given us?  The answer is clearly NO!

 

Yes, we can fail the Lord and miss out on rewards in Heaven, but the repeated answer of God’s Word is that we cannot lose our salvation.  Listen to His repeated promise of eternal life.  I encourage you to open your Bible and read the following passages.  I will quote parts of the verses for emphasis.

 

In John 1 Jesus, the eternal Word of God and Creator of the universe, became flesh in the person of Jesus and went to the cross for our sins. Read the promise in verses 11-13 “But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power (authority) to become the sons of God, even to them who believe in His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of men, but of God.”

 

John 3:16-18  “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….

 

Read in John 4 Jesus’ conversation with an immoral woman of Samaria when He asked her for a drink of water.  Listen to His promise to her in verse 13-14.  “Whosoever drinks of this water (from Jacob’s well) shall thirst again. But whosoever drinks from the water (eternal life) that I shall give Him, shall never thirst, but that water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

 

John 5:24  “He that hears My Word, and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall NOT come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.”

 

John 6:35  “I am the Bread of Life; he that  comes to Me shall never hunger; and He that believes on Me shall never thirst.

 

Are you grasping this?  If your trust is in Jesus sacrifice on the cross as the full payment for your sins, and you are not trusting in your own works of self righteousness,  God has saved you and given to you eternal life which can never be taken away from you, not even by Satan himself.

 

John 6:37-40 “All that the Father gives Me, shall come to Me”  (Have you come to Christ in simple faith for salvation?  Then be assured the Father has given you to His Son.) “and Him who comes to me, I WILL IN NO WISE, (UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE) CAST OUT.  And this is the Father’s will which has sent Me, that of all which He has given Me, I SHOULD LOSE NOTHING…..”

 

John 10:27-30  “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.”  That’s double security!  We are safe in Christ’s hands and in the Father’s hands.

 

In John 17 Jesus is praying for His disciples and us, just before He is arrested and crucified. In verse 11 He prays, “Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom  Thou hast given Me, that they all may be one as We are.”

 

Yes, the Gospels are filled with promises of our security In Christ; but so are other portions of the New Testament. Let’s look at some of them.

 

CAN CARNAL CHRISTIANS BE SAVED?

 

I Corinthians is one of Paul’s Epistles written to one of the most carnal or self-centered of churches.  This church is every pastor’s nightmare, filled with problems of pride, selfishness, division and confusion.

 

Yet Paul begins His Epistle to them by reminding them of what Christ had done for them.

 

I Corinthians 1:4 “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.

 

 Verse 5 “That in everything ye are enriched by Him in all utterance and in all knowledge.’   These were not ignorant Christians.

 

Verse 7 “So that ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”   These people were gifted by the Spirit of God.

 

Verse 8 Note this wonderful promise to this carnal church. “Who shall confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

And then in verse 9 he writes to them and to us,  “GOD IS FAITHFUL, by whom ye were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  

 

WHAT IS A PREACHER’S RESPONSIBILITY?

 

But Paul, like every preacher, is called, not only to preach the Gospel; but to deal with the sin of the congregation.   The preacher who only preaches the Gospel is failing to fulfill his responsibility,  Many Christians want their preachers to just preach Christ and leave the sin problems alone. They tell us that God will take care of the sin problems if we just preach Christ.  I understand their concerns.  It’s true that if Christ is magnified, He will draw people to Him.  Some tell us that we can catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar, implying that we should just preach the Gospel and not be negative by dealing with sin.

 

Let’s examine what God’s Word says about this,  In Ephesians 4:11-13 we have the responsibilities of a pastor spelled out.  As you read the passage you will see that it is our responsibility to not only preach the Gospel, but preach the entire Word of God in such a way as to build up the saints and equip them to fulfill their ministries and help them attain  spiritual maturity, even to the fullness of Christ. 

 

In II Timothy  4:2-5 Paul teaches Pastor Timothy to preach the Word. That includes everything from Genesis through Revelation. In so doing, we are to rebuke, reprove and exhort with longsuffering, that is, patience, as we teach doctrine (the teachings of all the Bible) applying them to life.

 

Even the Old Testament prophets were to do the same thing.   Isaiah 58:1 exhorts prophets and preachers to “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show MY PEOPLE their transgressions.”

 

What happens when we deal with sin in the congregation.  II Timothy 4:3-4 tells us, ” For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts, they shall go after preachers and teachers who give them what they want to hear.  As a result, they shall turn away their ears form the Truth and follow after those who teach them fables.

 

In Jude 20, 21 and 24 we have three related truths concerning spiritual growth. 

 

Verse 20 teaches us to build ourselves up in the Word,.  We do that by reading it and exposing ourselves to sound Biblical teaching. 

 

Verse 21 warns us to keep ourselves in the love of God.  Our love for God grows as our love for His Word grows and we expose and submit ourselves to it.

 

Verse 24 reminds us that having taken our responsibilities of verses 20 and 21,  God  takes the responsibility of keeping us from falling and of presenting us “faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.”

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July 5, 2009 - Posted by | Olivet Discourse

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