Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Folks like to fuss, and Christians unfortunately, are no different. We like to fuss over eschatology (end time prophesy); is the Rapture (1st Thes. 4:13-18, and 1st Cor. 15:52 and following) before, during or after the Great Tribulation? Is there soul sleep? Are we Predestinated to salvation? or do we play a greater part in it?
Can I lose my salvation (if I have it at all)? Did Jesus pay for my pre-salvation sins, but now that I am saved, do I have to maintain it in my own strength? Is this possible? If I am saved, how many sins am I allowed before I lose it? 1? 10? 100? Is there a such thing as Security of the Believer --- or is this wishful thinking? The proponents say you cannot lose your salvation, while the opponents say we are using it as a license to sin. After all, if I cannot lose my salvation, then why not party on?
In the interest of full disclosure, I am of the Eternal Security ilk, because It is not about me. I neither earn nor maintain my salvation. The world and many false religions say "you have to do in order to be" while the Bible teaches you have to be, in order to do. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (according to) his good pleasure." Phil. 2:13 In Rev. 7, John is asked by the angel "Who are these whose number is too great to count?" (paraphrase) John answers - "I don't know, you tell me". The angel responds: "These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple." You see, Salvation qualifies you for service - not the other way around.
So Is salvation the ultimate insurance policy? If I made some profession of faith, walked the isle, knelt at an alter, got baptized, went on a mission trip, got my name on some church roll, Is God bound to let me in no matter how I live now? Paul answers this rhetorical question in Romans 6. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. (never even think it.) How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" In 2nd Cor. 5:17 he says: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new." In Elk City vernacular: "if God hasn't changed you, He hasn't saved you."
So is eternal security just wishful thinking? What about all the so-called Christian leaders who have fallen hard. What about them? What about people I've known who were nothing if not hypocrites, bragging about the life they've found while clinging to the life they left? The book of Christian Tests (1st John) puts it like this: "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." 2:19
Today, we have asked more questions than given answers, but next time, we will see what God, speaking through the Apostle Paul, has to say about it. Ponder these things, and we'll glean them out together. God Bless.