Tuesday, January 13, 2015

True Faith Is Not Complicated, Pt 2


Queen for a Day was a game show that aired on the radio from 1945-1957 and on
television from 1956-1964. The television series was hosted by Jack Baily and became very popular, so popular that television commercials eventually aired for $4,000 per minute. The younger crowd probably isn’t familiar with it, but those in my age group should remember it well.

When I hear people react negatively to once saved, always saved (OSAS), I think about this game show. They act as if “everlasting life” is something God passes out temporarily and confiscates when we mess up. However, “everlasting life” means just what it says. It is everlasting. It has no end. It lasts forever. It is eternal.

For a true Christian, everlasting life is just that. It will never end. While on this earth it is everlasting, and when we leave this earth it is everlasting in Heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It never ends.

God has always been everlasting (eternal). He has no beginning and He has no end. With those who are true Christians, we do have a beginning, but we have no end, because Jesus has provided for us everlasting (eternal) life. God has gifted those of us with the same everlasting life of Jesus because He lives within each of us.

So, if Jesus saves us, are we saved for a day, as the game show was played? Are we just saved until we mess up, or is it everlasting (eternal)? When coming to Christ as an unbeliever, is it really all that important to believe that He will save us permanently (everlastingly, eternally) and not just temporarily? If we can only believe in a temporary salvation, what kind of belief is that?

Eternal Security (Saved & Lost)

Two issues keep coming up concerning this whole thing of OSAS. First of all, should OSAS even be considered when coming to Christ to be saved? Secondly, many Christians and non-Christians think we can lose our salvation once we get it.

Should OSAS even be considered when coming to Christ to be saved? I will say up front, “Yes.” Why? I believe it is a natural part of the “belief” or “faith” process when we put our faith in Jesus to save us.

Many will quote Acts 16:31. “And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” I have quoted it many times myself. The problem arises when something to the effect of, “just believe,” or “all you have to do is believe” is stated with no thought of what that involves. Both are true, but what does “believing” actually involve?

James said, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” The book of James is all about, “what is true belief?” So the question is, “what do we mean by “believe?” I know what God means by “believe,” but what do we mean by it?

I can’t imagine going through life and constantly worrying about someone or something taking my gift of salvation away from me that Jesus bled and died for.
The Apostle Paul tells us, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31-39)

To say “eternal security” (OSAS) is unscriptural or not important, is absolutely not true. I’m sorry, but there’s just no other way to describe it, and I haven’t even touched the host of other passages in God’s Word that address this.

So, is OSAS really that important? It is very important to understand and accept when becoming a Christian and living out our lives as a Christian. When saying “I believe” in Jesus to save me I recognize several factors in that one, small, two-word statement: I am a sinner. He will forgive me all my sins (past, present and future). He is not only my Savior, but also my Lord. I will always be His forever and ever (OSAS) because He bought me with His own precious blood. There is nothing I can do to save myself or keep myself, but as my Redeemer He saves me and keeps me. All of that, in an instant, is included in those two words; “I believe.”

Eternal Security Is A Gift

The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-10 the following:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Notice carefully that our salvation is a “gift” from God when we put our trust in Jesus. It is without works on our part. Jesus supplied the works. Faith is the vehicle, and salvation is the reward. Also notice further what Paul says in Romans 11:29 about gifts: “for God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” By God’s own promise, once the gift of salvation has been given to us by God through the works of Jesus Christ, they are IRREVOCABLE.  

When I put my trust in Jesus to save me, I knew it was a gift and I trusted Him to never take it away from me. As one who has been a Christian for sixty years, I still have that gift. I have never deserved it, but I am so thankful to Jesus that I can have it and keep it forever and ever without end. I am also thankful that my salvation is sealed (guaranteed, 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30) by the Holy Spirit and stored securely in Heaven.

I can’t imagine witnessing to someone and telling them that the gift of salvation Jesus offers is not permanent and that there are many factors that determine whether or not they get to keep it.

Come As A Child

How many, on Christmas day or a birthday, will hand out gifts with the condition that the recipient must forfeit the gift(s) if they don’t live up to certain standards? I have never given a gift under those conditions. I have never received a gift under those conditions.

When a child is small his/her parents are almost like a god to them. (We parents know that attitude changes when they become teenagers.) They have absolute trust in their parents. This is where Jesus was coming from when He said, “…Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14) He is emphasizing absolute trust in Him.

A child’s belief in their parents includes everything written in this article and more. They don’t just believe and ignore the fact that they are a permanent part of that family. Regardless of what happens in their lives, they will always be a part of that family and that fact is IRREVOCABLE.

To The Rescue

The life guard may not like me, but if I am drowning and call for help he will rescue me. Will he decide later, for whatever reason, to throw me back in to be shark food? Of course not!

If a fireman rescues me from a burning building, will he toss me back into the burning building if I fail to live up to some preconceived standard? No, that will not happen.

Jesus knows we will never live up to His standards. We will constantly fall on our face. Jesus did not come to call the righteous (because there aren’t any), but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). We believe (trust). He saves. He keeps that which has been entrusted to Him.

Part 3 will conclude with “repentance and works.”

Grant Phillips
Pre-Rapture Commentary: