By The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis
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Is Eternal Security, or better stated eternal salvation, a solid Biblical truth or a misrepresentation of the scripture? Many call it “One saves, always saved” but is it true? I believe it is true and I’m going to tell you why.
God says in Proverbs 8:13, “I hate pride and arrogance…” One of the worst forms of arrogance known to mankind is for us to think that God needs our help to save us! The bloody cross was not enough. The beating and the butchering of Jesus was not enough. We need, by our good deeds and abstinences, to fill in the gaps.
This line of thinking is especially messed-up when you consider what Isaiah 64:6 says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
The Hebrew word translated “filthy rags” literally means a used sanitary napkin. The best we have to offer Holy God in the way of personal righteousness is repugnant in His sight. Jesus said in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” I don’t know about you but I can’t measure up to God’s perfection. Can you? No one can, but some actually claim that they live above sin. 1John 1:10, “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him [God] out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
Jesus said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The word “believes” means to put your whole faith and confidence in someone or something. When you got into your car today you believed it would get you to where you wanted to go. When you set down in a chair you’re putting your faith and confidence in that chair believing it would hold you up.
The original Greek word translated “eternal” holds the same definition as does the English word, “That which by its very nature is unending.” When Jesus said in John 10:28-29, “I give them eternal life [I’m giving them a life that does not end, ever!], and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
1 John 5:13 “These things I have written to you who believe [put their whole faith and confidence] in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” Life, which by its very nature is unending.
1 John 5:10-13
10Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13I write these things to you who believe [put their whole faith and confidence] in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have [present tense] eternal life.” [Life which by its very nature is unending.]
Now, consider this:
Jesus said in John 10:14-15, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
Question? Is Jesus a liar or just forgetful? For he said in Matthew 11:21-23,“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
“I never knew you”? Did Jesus just forget that they were once his sheep before they messed-up and lost their salvation? Or maybe Jesus was just lying when he said, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
It key to know that every born again follower of Jesus is God’s possession.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Can you but yourself back from God?
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit [Greek literally is “down-payment”], guaranteeing what is to come.”
In the ancient world a seal was used for two things when shipping a package. It denoted who it belong to and where the package was going. We belong to Christ and our destination is Heaven!
Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed [put your whole faith and confidence in Christ], you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit [down-payment] guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 say, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” In the ancient Greek language there are several words in the New Testament that’s translated “new’. Those most often used are neos which means something new but of the same kind. It’s like a buying a new car. It’s new but it’s still a car. The word “new” in this passage is kainos which means something unprecedented. Nothing like it has ever existed before. Every born again follower of Christ is a new species of being that never existed before.
The butterfly is an ideal picture of the new birth in Christ. Here is a creature that starts their life as a caterpillar, but then a metamorphous takes place that transforms him into a thing of rare beauty and grace. Notice that the new butterfly is the same creature it was before it spun its cocoon. It wasn’t replaced with another insect. The same creature that enclosed itself within the cocoon is the same one that came out of the cocoon.
The change it experienced was radical. What was once a caterpillar has a new outward appearance. The caterpillar underwent a total transformation. It no longer crawls on the ground beneath the heels of most every other creature; it now flies! It’s the same living creature it was before yet entirely different.
In much the same way, that’s what happens to a person who surrenders their life to Jesus. The Holy Spirit begins to transform them into something that’s totally different and beautiful. The new believer’s value system and goals begin to change. They begin to lose their taste for the garbage that this world’s system offers. The days of crawling on their spiritual bellies begins to give way to lofty dreams, powerful living and a positive outlook on life. They are the same person they were before but changed. Now they’re “a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2Corinthians 5:17)
Hebrews 10:26-27 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” The Greek word translated “knowledge” is epignosis which is a “precise and correct knowledge” i.e. to make something ever clear. If one ignores the message of the cross after it is clearly presented to them there is no other way toward salvation only judgment waits.
This passage is not talking about losing you salvation as some have wrongfully claimed. It’s not saying that at all. It’s talking about people hearing the Gospel and then rejecting its message. There’s no other sacrifice for sins except for Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He said in John 10:9, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.”
Question: How does one become unborn? You can’t go back. You’re here. You can’t return to your mother’s womb. The same hold true about the spiritual rebirth. Then how does one become un-born again? And if one can lose their salvation how do they regain it? Do you have to be re-reborn again? And wouldn’t you have to receive eternal life again—that which by its very nature is unending? Can you put an end to something that’s eternal? No!
Question: What can you offer Holy God in the way of personal righteousness when you consider the words of Isaiah? “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
Titus 3:3-8 says this,
3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
My friend, when we came to Christ we were as lost as a ball in high weeds. We were without hope drowning a pit of sin and deceit. We couldn’t be good enough to be accepted by God. But God knew this and that’s why he sent Jesus to rescue us. That’s why we need a savior!