Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Access denied...?

Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.   Hebrews 7:25

We have been in an extended study of our eternally secure relationship with God. I am endeavoring to cover all areas of this important and vital subject. It is vital to know and understand that you can never lose your salvation. One's relationship can never grow or be strong when there is a chance that the relationship can be severed.

Loving it, leaving it or losing it.

The title of our series explains it all. We love the Lord and rejoice knowing our salvation is secure. The two objections to eternal security is that we can leave our salvation or we can lose it by our deeds. As we began last time I am addressing the false idea we can leave or walk away from God. So let's look at two more passages that some believe promote the idea we can leave our salvation.

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. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23
I must admit when I was a babe in Christ this passage terrified me. Why? Because taken at face value and out of context it left me wondering who then can be saved? Who then can have assurance of their salvation? I thank God I found the truth when studying the Word in context and in the original Greek.
The Objection to eternal security goes something like this; these people Jesus is talking to worked miracles in  His name. This must mean they were once born again and now lost. Is this correct? If one only read this passage in context and define the words properly you know this argument is erroneous.

In context Jesus began addressing false prophets and false teachers. Of course, under the influence of demonic activity some appear to be working miracles. It isn't the genuine power of God. So that is the first clue this isn't talking about believers. 

Secondly, Jesus stated clearly that He never knew them. Never means what? Never! Jesus did not say I once knew you but now I don't. He stated clearly, I never knew you. The literal Greek gives even more clear a definition of this word. Never means never, not at all and not at any time. If He never knew these folk, then they could not have been once saved and now lost. This is a very weak objection to our eternally secure salvation.

Now the strongest objection of leaving one's salvation is this next passage.

        This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.  2 
Timothy 2:11-13

This passage at face value seems to indicate if we walk away we are eternally lost. If we deny Him, He will deny us. This means if we harden our hearts we can give back the gift of salvation correct?

Let's take this passage as it was intended. It seems to be a stanza that Paul is reminding Timothy of. I believe we can discover the truth if we break it down verse by verse.

Eternal life

11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
This passage reveals our eternal life in Christ. When we get saved our old life is dead and we walk in newness of life in Christ. This is good news not bad.

Eternal rewards

12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

This is the controversial portion of this stanza. Notice what How I labeled this. I truly believe this passage isn't referring to our salvation or our eternal destination. After much study I am convinced this is talking about eternal rewards for following God. 
In context Paul was admonishing Timothy to be a good soldier for Christ. He was encouraging the saints in Christ to be strong and not to quit under adversity. It is not about quitting your salvation but about not continuing in faith.
Now allow me to say the doctrine of eternal rewards is a Biblical principle. Now our salvation and growth is all by grace. It is not by one being better than the other. It is though, one who has chosen to allow the grace to grow inwardly and empower spiritual growth. This grace growth produces fruitful living. It produces the fruit of obedience and acts of service. No one can boast in Heaven.
James the first chapter refers to a crown of life for endurance. If we get mad and throw a spiritual "tantrum" whenever things don't work out the way we think they should, are we enduring or are we "quitting"? If people don't recognize our "labor" or "works" of service do we get mad and walk away or quit? Under persecution it is easy to give up. Paul was admonishing don't give up. I am convinced this is not talking about quitting your salvation.

Eternal security 

13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Can you see the progression in this stanza? Our eternal life begins at salvation, our eternal rewards throughout our Christian life and the assurance and security of this great salvation. 
Now how does this portion even remotely agree with the idea that you can give your salvation back? It obviously doesn't. In context then how can we then interpret these three verses as referencing one who has walked away from their salvation? 
Even if one could "give it back"who says He would accept it? If we believe not He is faithful. He cannot deny Himself. Why does Paul use this phrase? Because once we accept the free gift of grace and receive the Lord we are adopted and the Lord lives within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. So how can God tell Himself I quit you? How can the new creation heart, with the agape love of God shed abroad within it, where the Spirit of God abides "harden" to the point of quitting and returning the gift of eternal life? It is an impossible equation. This verse proves this! Even if you say you quit He remains faithful. He is forever faithful. 
This is proven truth because the very faith we have to believe in Him and accept His free gift is His faith to begin with. Faith comes by hearing His Word. His Word like seed is planted in our hearts and harvests faith that we then respond with and receive the Lord Jesus in our life and heart. Again, how can His faith deny Him the author of our faith?  How can the Author and Finisher of our faith lead us to a place where we reject Him? He authored our faith and He will finish it to completion presenting us faultless before the throne. 

The more we simply study the Word of God it becomes abundantly clear this salvation is completely secure in Him. We can't leave it or lose it. He is forever faithful. I trust this lesson has blessed you. May His grace grow big in you! 


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