Kept by God

1 Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

If you are someone who was brought up believing your salvation was only as good as your last confession, you are not alone. I was raised in a church that taught you could lose your salvation. There was a fear of Jesus returning, possibly soon after I committed a sin that left me wondering if I might be left behind if I wasn’t prayed up.

I’ve witnessed people coming forward for salvation on a weekly basis, thinking their sin has invalidated their salvation.

The doctrine of teaching that salvation can be lost is one that contains a slippery slope of salvation by works. Most Bible believing churches won’t teach that works is necessary for salvation, otherwise they would be labeled hertics and denounced.

Teaching people that they can lose their salvation is a back ended works based teaching. If grace is the only means by which mankind might be saved, then losing grace is the only way people can return to the position of the damned.

Salvation by Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

God has made it very clear that people cannot be good enough to be saved. Every false religion on earth has entrapped their followers in patterns of needing to be ‘good’ enough in their practice in hopes that God will show them favor.

Grace can be generally defined as “God’s favor toward the unworthy” or “God’s benevolence on the undeserving.” In His grace, God is willing to forgive us and bless us, despite the fact that we fall short of living righteously. 

Justin Holcomb/What is Grace

God’s ‘benevolence’ was not free.

Jesus stepped out of glory and took upon Himself the form of a man. He suffered and died for the sins of mankind and conquered death through His perfection by raising from the dead to life. This life He now gives to those who call upon His name.

Grace (unmerited favor), is imparted to those who repent of their sins and believe by following Jesus.

Losing Grace

For those who subscribe to the doctrine of losing grace, the warning to the galatians is a scripture often cited.

Galatians 5:4 “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”

The idea that someone could lose God’s grace must establish the idea that someone has repented of their sins and believed in their hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead and followed Him….then that person decided to stop following Jesus, they stopped believing that Jesus was raised from the dead and they began following a pattern of sin once again.

The joy and peace that came with following Jesus somehow became overshadowed by the supposed fulfillment of following a life of sin.

But there’s more…..

The Seal

Ephesians 1:13-14 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

When a person believes, true evidence for salvation is found when the Holy Spirit seals them through the infilling of His presence. This ‘sealing’ is a confirmation that their heart has truly turned to Christ in repentance.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

The guarantee is that nothing can or will separate you from Christ. Nothing above or below has the power or authority to break the seal. The seal of God is the very presence of God Himself.

How many people have been shown to break this seal that was placed on their life?—the answer is, not one. There is no place in God’s Word that demonstrates this seal being removed, not only that, there are several promises of how God’s power ensures salvation.

Kept by God’s Power

If someone were to relinquish their position in Christ they would have to have a complete change of heart. The security of salvation would need to be replaced by the insecurities of this world. The heart change necessary for salvation would need to be a complete heart change contrary to what they believed at first.

What could possibly lead to such a change?

  • It would take a deception by satan that completely countered the Truth of God’s love.
  • The knowledge of Truth would have to be replaced by a lie.
  • The power of God for salvation would need to be an open rejection of a personal relationship with the Creator.
  • The belief in Heaven and Hell would need to be replaced by a belief in nothing.

Do you know how improbable a scenario this is?

1 Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

The living hope of Christ would be replaced by the dead hope of instant gratification from a world that has been corrupted by sin.

John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand.”

Believers cannot be forcibly removed from Christ. They cannot be deceived by the enemy, for they know the Truth. They cannot be convinced there is another hope for they have found Eternal Life.

Isaiah 27:2-3 “In that day sing to her,
“A vineyard of red wine!
I, the Lord, keep it,
I water it every moment;
Lest any hurt it,
I keep it night and day.”

Since the Lord watches over His people day and night, how do you suppose the enemy gets in to deceive them? If the Lord waters His people by His Spirit, what could they possible seek that might fulfill them?

Jesus said concerning His disciples:

John 6:39 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day.”

Some people might argue that He was referring to the 12 disciples. Wasn’t Judas one of the twelve?

Jesus’ disciples are the whole of the church, from the time of Adam until today, all those who have believed and received Him as Lord and Savior.

The Fallen

The people Paul referred to in Galatians can be characterized by those who have heard the good news, have understood the message of the gospel with conviction, and then have grasped for something other than Christ alone.

Galatians 5:2 “Take notice: I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.”

The people who sought circumcision were the ones who made salvation an act of works. One of the greatest examples of a people who have fallen are those who came up to the Truth and refused the lifeline of the grace of God. The realization of complete abandonment to self became too much to overcome. The world meant too much to those who fell back towards the abyss of hopelessness.

At the bottom of the abyss is the fiery furnace of Hell.

Listen to those who came so close and yet denied themselves the only way to eternal hope.

Hebrews 6:4-6 “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”

Enlightened: These were given understanding by proximity since the Truth was brought to light and made evident to them. The Truth of the gospel is the means by which this occurs.

Tasted: These people experienced the Truth in part (as opposed to fully knowing the Truth.)

Shared: These people shared in the work of the church or what some may say, they associated with the work of God. There are many people in the church today who only partake in the things of God but do not know Him personally.

Powers: These people have partaken of the marvelous works of God by physical association, not spiritual association.

Falling Away: Indicates moving from close proximity to being distanced from the Lord. They have abandoned any association because they never received the power of God for salvation. This defection concludes any future affiliation since the decision to renounce Christ cannot lead to further understanding of Truth.

When God’s people are brought into true fellowship with the Spirit, they are encouraged in their walk to hold fast because God’s original purpose does not change.

Hebrews 6:17-18 “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.”

Christ be Glorified

The Father draws people to Christ because Jesus is worthy to be honored. For those who reject the Father’s act of perfect love, the magnitude of this denial will resonate forever in Sheol.

John 6:65 “And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Do you think that the Father would draw someone into worship and fellowship with the Son, only to know they would put Him to open shame by their rejection?

The Father is guardian over those He calls because of His love for the Son. This idea of the Father’s love and guardianship of those who will be called is quite possibly the greatest reason for denying the doctrine of losing salvation. Jesus means too much to the Father to subject Him to such disappointment.

John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

For those who are in Christ, on that last day we will truly see who were His and those who were not.

Are you a true believer or have you been associating with christians because they are nice people to be around? Eventually, something will happen that will make your association less desirable—Covid-19 became one of those reasons. The drop off in church attendance is directly associated with the lack of true believers that attended the church.

The time of Christ’s return draws near, He will receive His bride and they will rejoice in Him. They knew His goodness on earth and they will know it in full when that day comes.

Even so…come quickly Lord Jesus!

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