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Thanks for visiting Hearts of Love Ministries. This is a non-profit ministry, dedicated to helping people any way possible, but especially through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His saving grace and love. We recognize that we all struggle in many ways, but in reality, most of our struggles are the same. The cause is sin in the world, which started with Adam and Eve, and continues to this day in every one of us, some just more noticeably than others. Some sins destroy now, while with others, the destruction is not seen for many years or even generations, but the wages of sin is death, while the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Look through our site, read the articles and please feel free to comment on anything you see or read.

Notice over on the right, the link to KPDQ radio. We are on radio live for three hours, each Sunday night from 10:00 PM until 1:00 AM, PST. Give us a listen this Sunday and please call in… we would love to meet you and spend some time talking.

Tom and Debbie Tillman

Prophecy Class 9: God’s Eternal Salvation

Monday, March 2, 2015
posted by tomtillman

Prophecy Class 2-9 God’s Eternal Salvation      ©2013 Thomas Tillman

Deut 28… here’s the prophecy and the promise…  “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country… and many more curses indeed…

The Bible tells us… if you do not obey completely… every command in the law… you are cursed… you will die and you will go to hell… pretty simple… pretty straight forward… We’ve all sinned and we all should go to hell…

Gal 3:10… “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.  vs 13… But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for God said, “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” or else!

If we sin… we are cursed… everyone has sinned… all are under the curse… except…  the Children of God…

Paul wrote, ‘Christ has redeemed us… from the curse of the law, having become a curse… for us… (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”

If Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law… how is it that so many believe that…. we can then become… recursed… and back under the curse of the law… needing to be re-redeemed… over and over and over… again…

Jesus Christ became a curse for us… when He hung on the cross… and then He said… it is finished… how can He go back up on the cross to pay for our sins again… and again… and again…

Last week we learned the reality of God’s own choice and election of His children… and I must repeat… one is not a child of God because they might say. ‘I’m a Christian… or, I’m a follower of Jesus or, I’m a Christ-follower…’  or because they may preach or cast out demons or do miracles in Jesus’ Name…

Jesus said… In that day… 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.   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  Led worship in Your name, taught Sunday School in your name… And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice iniquity!’

No… One is only a child of God if they have truly placed their full trust in Jesus Christ alone and His finished work on the Cross in full payment for their own sin… all their sin… past… present… and future sin… but there-in lies Satan’s great deception of many believers… that they think they have placed their full faith in Jesus Christ alone when they have done nothing of the sort… but they do, rather, place their faith in themselves…  and in their own ability and effort…

Don’t believe it?  Finish this sentence in your own mind… and when I say finish it… I mean, take it to its conclusion…

When I die, (or when Jesus Christ comes in the Rapture)… I know that I will go to Heaven immediately… because…

Now I know that most everyone here would say, ‘Because Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins…     very good… as far as that goes… but how many… could actually put a period or an exclamation point… at the end of that phrase…   here’s what I mean… many would, at the end of that phrase, add… either consciously or unconsciously without even thinking about it… When I die I’ll go to Heaven because Jesus died for me… and, of course… because I’m a good Christian… I read my Bible, I pray, I don’t smoke, I don’t swear… I try to be a good Christian, I try to read my Bible, I try to pray, I try not to smoke, too much… I want to be a good Christian…  I want to pray…  I want to quit smoking… I really do want to go to Heaven…

You see, if we add one word to the end of that phrase… because Jesus died for me… it is because we are trusting in our own good works…  it all boils down to … When I die, I’ll go to Heaven… because God sees that I’m good enough to go to Heaven or… with God’s help, I’m good enough…

Let that sink in… that is the way the entire world and every false religion  thinks… if I’m good enough… if my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds… if I do enough good to make up for my bad… I’ll go to Heaven.

Is true Christianity… true faith in Jesus Christ alone meant to be just like Catholicism…just like Mormonism… Just like Hinduism… just like Paganism… is that what Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was really about… to somehow be a helping hand in getting us across the finish line into Heaven… is it?

Or is True faith in Jesus Christ… completely different… than all those demonic deceptions… those false religions

Jesus, on the cross said, ‘It is finished!’

Take a Catholic, for example… if I sin, I must confess to my priest and he will give me something to do to make up for my sin… maybe I’ll need to repeat 10 ‘Hail Mary prayers’ or walk on my knees from the back of the cathedral to the front… or something like that… and then my sin will have been mostly paid for… my good deed will cancel out my bad deed.  Or, if the prosperity gospel is my thing… I’m told that if I give enough money to the televangelist… God will wink at my lifestyle and bless me anyway… all it takes is money… money talks…

But, you say… I accepted Christ… I asked Jesus into my heart…

Isn’t that what it means to be saved?

You know, there’s nothing in the Bible about accepting Christ or asking Jesus to come into your heart…

But… it says as many as received Him…

It does… but you have to see what it’s really saying… it is in fact, just reinforcing what we studied last week…

Lets read it… 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  who were born of the will of God.

It says… just because someone says… I received Christ as my personal Savior… usually, what they mean is… someone told me that all it takes to be saved is, that I repeat a prayer with them and so, ‘receive Christ’.

 

Prophecy Class 9: God’s Eternal Salvation      ©2013 Thomas Tillman

Last week we learned that everyone who comes to God in Salvation, comes only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross… and, everyone who comes, comes only before God called and drew that one to Himself… and God decided to save that one only because God decided to and chose that one for His own reasons and purposes… not because of any merit on the part of the one saved.

This is important background… because what we study today goes hand in hand with what we studied last week… which was, God’s election of us, His children.

Today what we will learn about is the absolute security… in Jesus Christ… that is promised to His children… the security of the believer or… what some disparagingly call… ‘once saved, always saved’… which is true, but that term is usually meant derogatorily…

what detractors claim is that… belief in the reality… of the believer’s eternal security in Christ… is a license to sin…

well… in a sense, it could be interpreted that way…but the very fact that someone thinks like that is more an indication of the hidden things in their own heart… you see… that very heart of judgment and condemnation  is not an indication of the Holy Spirit’s working in a heart…

Not long ago we had a radio caller… he was upset and angry that many around him, non-believers…  have nice cars and things… and he doesn’t …. he actually said… ‘They get to go out and sin, and I don’t.

You hear what he was saying?  I want to sin.  But I’m afraid to because I’ll lose my salvation.

Here is what happens… everyone knows someone who appears to have been saved, and then seems to have quit being saved…right?

What does John say about such a one…

1 John 2:19…  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.  20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things 21 

Also… 1 John 3:9  No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s  seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.

Let’s see what God tells us in His Word about our security as His children…

John 10:27-29 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

John 6:37  37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

John 10:28 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

John 5:24  Life and Judgment Are Through the Son 24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

1 John 5:13  These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God…  are irrevocable… are not taken back.

Eph 2:4-10  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Philippians 1:6   And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Romans 11:6  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

John 6:40   For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Ephesians 1:13   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,

To seal: sfra-GE zo:  to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal

  1. for security: from Satan
  2. since things sealed up are concealed (as the contents of a letter), to hide, keep in silence, keep secret

Isa 49:  The Lord has called Me from the womb; From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name. (And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, And made Me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me.”  “And He said  to me, ‘You are My servant, O Israel, In whom I will be glorified.’)

Romans 8:38-39   For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23   For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What did Paul just say…  the free gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE… eternal life… he never calls it temporary eternal life with a probationary period to see how things work out… because… you’re just a pledge till the Rapture, and if you measure up… then you get your wings…

Ecclesiastes 3:14  I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever.  Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it.  God does it, that men should fear before Him.

The Bible is filled with the complete assurance and reassurance to His children of their eternal possession of His eternal life…

Let’s take a look at what is said by those who deny God’s promise of eternal life by His grace alone…

You see, when one preaches the eternal security of God’s children… what is his motivation… I can tell you from experience,

I want those who belong to Jesus Christ to rejoice in His love and His free gift of eternal life…  I seek your joy in the Holy Spirit.

What is the motivation and heart of those who deny God’s promises of eternal life… well, let’s see… let’s listen to one and see if they he speaks in love, or in judgment and condemnation…

This internet guy says… The doctrine of OSAS is one of the most impending threats within Christianity today…

What would cause a person to think and say something like that… because… that’s what’s really going on in that heart … he is saying … if OSAS was really true, then there would be nothing keeping ME from going off into sin… therefore, I think the same thing of everyone else…

that’s why Paul said, Rom 2:1…  Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

This same internet guy says… …if I murder, I’ve lost my salvation…If I commit adultery, I’m no longer saved… 

What is he saying… if I sin, I’m no longer saved…

do you hear what he is not saying…

‘If I fib to my boss as to why I was off work yesterday… I’ve lost my salvation… if I drive 3 miles over the speed limit… I’m no longer saved…’ if he believes the one… then he must believe the other…  for all sin is sin!

Oh Tom… don’t be silly… these are small things… he’s talking about big sins… oh really… James wrote… For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

Therefore… if you believe that if you sin 20 times in a row, you’ll lose your salvation… you Must believe that if you sin one time, you will lose your salvation… if you believe that if you murder you will lose your salvation… you MUST believe that if you take a pack of gum without paying, you’ve lost your salvation…

But… what this guy is really saying is…  you will lose your salvation if you sin doing the things that I don’t do… if you only do the things that I do… you’ll be OK.   That’s what this guy is saying…

He goes on to say… ‘no matter what you do, how you do it, how bad you become, how much you sin, how many people you kill, or how many poor people  you steal from… …NOTHING…absolutely NOTHING will prevent you from going straight into heaven    he says… This doctrine is ludicrous
He says… I have debated OSASers for years and it would be one thing if people had a stable belief about it, and exemplified a Christian lifestyle, (like me) but so far, most people who believe in OSAS simply languish around in a la-z-boy recliner gospel, and are far from walking like Jesus–as we are all commanded to be like.

they are lazy… not like me… I am busy working hard to keep my salvation… I am being good enough… Tell me, God… am I right or what??      I am saved because I am good enough to be saved and stay saved… they aren’t…

You see…. this guy…  just like every other person who believes that ‘they… those others… can, or at least should… lose their salvation… believe that they’re saved because they’re good enough, and they stay saved, because they stay good enough… or, if they do sin, they have been smart enough to get re-saved again… and again… and again… as many times as necessary…

Who does this guy sound like…  Luke 18…   “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’    … but the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’  Jesus said, ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; rather than the religious guy… for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

We are not commanded to walk like Jesus and be like Him… to be saved… we are commanded to believe on Him and what He did… on the cross…  and then, as God’s children… to allow the Holy Spirit… to form us day by day, more and more, into the image of Christ…

Who are the most adamant deniers of the security of the believer … Catholics, Mormons, JW’s, all cults, Church of Christ, Church of God…  and every religion of man… all of these have long lists of laws and rules to be kept if one is to have any hope of salvation… and even then, you can never be really sure…   Many Christians don’t believe that they can really be sure of their salvation unless…  they are being good enough… again… having faith in their own good works… in addition to Christ’s work on the Cross… They wouldn’t say that that is what they believe… but that is what they believe…

Why do people disbelieve… what the Bible obviously… clearly teaches … because… that is not the way I would do things if I was God… I’d make sure people deserved my gift… and if they disobeyed me… I’d want to make certain that they were adequately sorry for their wrong… I’d want them to grovel a little…  just to make sure… to prove that they know… they were wrong… and are truly sorry…

but is that what God demands, or wants… is that what glorifies Him… what if, rather, what He desires and invites us to do is to always come to Him no matter what and to believe in His love and grace and mercy for us at every moment…

Heb 4:16   Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Grace and mercy in time of need… that’s not talking about going through hard times… that’s talking about sin… let us therefore…  HE is not saying, to obtain grace and mercy to make hard times end… He NEVER promises that… He says that in this world you WILL have tribulation… He is saying that His grace and mercy are ours… His grace and mercy of forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ.

Heb 10… “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Christ’s Death Perfects… perfected, once for all…  the Sanctified… we are sanctified, set apart… not by our own works, but by the Holy Spirit…

11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,  14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified… those who are more and more, by the Holy Spirit, being formed into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our eternal salvation is God’s free gift by His grace alone… it is absolutely free, paid for completely by the Lord Jesus Christ… and it is without repentance… it is beyond revoking…

When I was a boy, my father was pastor of a small church in Palm Springs… not much income there… one of the men in the church decided to give my dad a little car… a ‘King Midget’… cute little stripped out bug of a car… so dad then had a car to use for doing what pastors do… calling on shut-ins or those in the hospital… things like that… well, one day this man decides he doesn’t like my dad anymore and he’s going to go back to his other church… maybe he had good reason… but that is not the point… so what does he do… he sneaks over to the house with his trailer hitch and hauls that little car away…  That was not a gift… it was the provision of something… to use… as long as the receiver met the expectations of the provider… but it wasn’t a gift.

a reward on the other hand is something we earn… that man’s reward happened to be that he dropped the trailer on his foot and broke his ankle…

Paul wrote… But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Cor 2  we can’t even imagine the wonderful things God has prepared for us throughout His universe… for our pleasure and enjoyment… but…

Jesus said, if you love me, you will keep my commandments…

The problem lies in the fact that people don’t understand that God is preparing incredible, unbelievable, unimaginable wonders for us to enjoy throughout all His universe throughout all eternity… and some of those things are tied up in rewards or loss of rewards… they don’t realize that to lose even one of God’s eternal rewards is a far greater loss than to have lost all of this world with all of its riches and pleasures.

Salvation is free… it is Eternal Life… it’s not called temporary life or probationary life… it is everlasting life… it is eternal life… in Jesus Christ… we are one with the God’s Holy Spirit… indivisible, with liberty and freedom… for all… who belong to Him…

Rewards are earned and can be lost or, rather, given up or thrown away…

We’re given a picture of this with… Jacob and Esau…  Esau was the older of the two twins, but God had chosen Jacob and rejected Esau… even before they were born… Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated… even before they were born…  As the older, Esau held the birthright, regarding inheritance… and his father’s blessing… both extremely important.  Jacob deceived his father into blessing him instead of Esau… but Esau himself despised his birthright and was willing to trade it to Jacob for just a bowl of lentils because he was hungry… and yet, even so… after giving up or losing both of those, he never stopped being Isaac’s son.  He lost his reward, but not his sonship.

Now, to the Bible’s most obvious teaching on the security of the believer… and God had this written into His Word for the very purpose of teaching this reality… we go to 1 Cor …

Paul is writing to the Christians at Corinth… these are born again believers… he addresses the letter to… the Church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints… he goes on to say… I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus… who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ… blameless… do you think that even one of those people never sinned as a believer…

He talking to Christians here… and he says that they will be blameless to the end because of God’s grace… not because of their perfect obedience…

Now, on to chapter 5… he writes…  It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.  ‘Does Paul mean, taken away and sent to hell?’ He goes on,  ‘For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so done this deed. (as though I were present)  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh…  that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus… how do you get anything except Eternal Security out of something like that…

Do you see the reality… the gravity… the incredible depth of what Paul is telling these Christians at Corinth…and what he is telling us

look at it again… ‘You Christians… there is sexual immorality among you and you are not doing anything about it, in fact, you are proud of that ugly fact… you Christians… what you should have done is sent him out away from you… , but I, as God’s messenger, have already judged him… Now… next time you are together… next Church service… as I am with you in spirit… as is the Lord Jesus Christ… spiritually deliver this guy over to Satan who then might be allowed to destroy this guys body… his flesh… Satan might be allowed to kill him physically… but he will still be saved… he will still go to Heaven… his spirit will be saved, as though by fire… physically he will go through a fiery trial and perhaps die… but he will still be a child of God… no matter what!!

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus… on the day of the Rapture, his body will rise just like every other child of God who is ‘dead in Christ’, though his spirit will have been with the lord from the moment of his physical death…

You cannot read this any other way… it is too clear to be misunderstood… it can only be denied… not misunderstood.

That doesn’t sound right, does it… that’s not the way I would do it if I was God… it sure isn’t the way that guy

If it were up to that guy… this guy in Corinth would have lost his salvation and gone to hell… but that isn’t the way it is with God Almighty.  When He gives eternal life to the one He has chosen and called to Himself… to His elect… it is forever… it is eternal… life… no conditions… no requirements… no stipulations… no nothing!

The child of God is eternally secure in Jesus Christ.

When a person disbelieves this… it is because they have listened to and believed what the Bible calls, doctrines of demons… conditional salvation is a doctrine of demons… a lie from Satan… he whispers in the ear of every believer… you are not good enough… God does not really love you… you are bad… you don’t do enough good, you have a wicked heart… you will be left behind… forget about God… He’s obviously forgotten about you…

But God says… I have loved you with an everlasting love… you are mine… I will never leave you or forsake you… lo, I am with you even to the end of the world… nothing and no one could ever pluck you out of my hand…

Rom 5:19  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  by one man’s obedience… not… by many people’s good works they will be made righteous.

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!

Rom 3:8    And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”… as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say…

Why were some saying that Paul said we could go on sinning because grace would cover it… because, obviously, he was, in fact, saying something that sounded to these people like that is what he was saying…

Right here, Paul is saying something to the Corinthians that sounds just like that… this Christian who is engaging in sexual immorality and not forsaking it… is still going to go to Heaven…

But when it comes time for eternal rewards… he will wish he could go back to Earth and make some different decisions… We have all thought at one time or another… if I had only known then, what I know now… if I could only go back to then… that summer night… that Christmas day… the night of that party… and do things, especially that one thing… differently…

Far from being a doctrine that encourages Christians to sin… Eternal Security is, rather, our great encouragement to live lives of holiness and to forsake sin…

I know from experience… the truth of what I say.

When I finally understood the reality, the depth and extent of God’s wonderful salvation… which He had chosen to give me… only because He loves me… not because I deserve it in any way… when I understood that there was nothing I could ever do to cause God to love me any less than He always does, and that there was nothing I could ever do to cause Him to love me any more than He always does… I finally could begin to learn to really love Him… to want to be with Him forever, more than anything else… to want Him and Him alone… He is my treasure…  then I had a real reason to want to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which I’ve been called… because I actually began to think… what if one of those unimaginable eternal rewards has to do with access to Him throughout eternity… after all, there will be many millions of us… what if certain kinds of access, intimacy of relationship with God the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit… are reserved for certain depths  of loving Him and faithfulness on our part…  here on Earth…

I already knew that when He spoke of rewards, He wasn’t talking about gold or diamonds… up there, that’s just pavement… asphalt…  stucco… the stuff you build streets and houses with… pretty… but worthless… but what is of immeasurable value… Him… being with Him… talking with Him… sitting with Him… walking with Him… touching Him… loving Him…

Only when a Child of God understands the full scope and depth of God’s His free gift of salvation… and all that it means… can he or she begin to know how much God really loves them… eternally.

Finally, let me ask you this… which sounds more like God as He has revealed Himself through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ…

As we travel through this short time here on Earth… as a child of God… we are, as it were, climbing an impossibly steep, treacherous mountain… straight up… to the home we will share with Him forever… Jesus is leading the way… and… He Himself has fastened a rope around our waist, tied to Himself, which cannot be broken… He moves forward only at the speed which we can handle… then… instead of keeping our eyes on Him and using the handholds and footholds that He provides… we begin to take our eyes off of Him and look around… at all the beautiful gems… rubies and emeralds… Safire’s and diamonds…  streaks of silver and gold… embedded in the rock…  we disobey Him and stop… we try to grab on to some-of-what this lovely, deceptive mountain has to offer… suddenly, we slip… and we fall… we disobeyed, we sinned, and now we’ve fallen and are barely hanging on to a small outcropping by our fingertips… and we are wounded… we’ve broken our legs…

So… Now what happens next… does Jesus Christ… the One Who died on the cross to pay for our sins so that we could be saved…  does He stop and quickly climb down to where we are, pick us up into His arms and carry us upward… …or… does He take out His knife, reach forward and cut the rope… watching us fall… calling out… I sure hope you get resaved before you hit the bottom…  Now… let that be a lesson to the rest of you… let’s go…

In conclusion… I want to show you how easy it is to misinterpret something if we aren’t ‘rightly dividing’ the Word of truth…  you see, 2 opposite things cannot be true… that is reality… and yet, sometimes it seems… that in the Bible… that very thing is true…       it seems to say 2

opposite things at the same time…

The truth is… that when that seems to happen… we are usually not correctly understanding one of the 2 positions… and we are usually blinded by our own presuppositions… or… thinking… that must not be true, because if I was God… I wouldn’t do it like that…  or… that must be the truth… because that is the way I would do it…

One of the most widely cited verses in an attempt to disprove the reality of God’s gift of eternal salvation and our security in Christ is found in Rev. 3… to the Church at Sardis… Jesus says… ‘He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I will not blot his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels…

Some take this as saying, see… if you don’t overcome… God will blot your name out of the Book of Life… you will lose your salvation…

But, in fact, just the opposite is true, here… Jesus Christ promises true believers that He will not erase their names from the book of life, but will confess their names before the Father and before His angels.

Sardis is a gentile Pagan city in modern day Turkey…

At the time of the Revelation… 1st Century Asia Minor… City rulers kept a register, a roll of everyone in the city… no different than today… they just didn’t have computers… it was a physical book… the book of all living… in the city.  If someone would die or commit a crime… their name would be blotted out of the book of the living… of that City… and then they would be driven from the city… in the case of a criminal… a great dishonor.  If a citizen was to be honored for some great act or accomplishment… they would be clothed in white garments and announced and confessed to all… and given a garland for their head.

The Christians of Sardis clearly understood these things.

Jesus is saying… you see how men do things… how the world system does things… I am not like the world… I am trustworthy… I have promised to keep you … I will never leave or forsake you… I will never blot out your name out of the book of life… the book of Eternal Life… you are Mine forever…

Let’s read that again…  ‘He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I will not blot his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels…

But, you say… He’s talking about one who overcomes… a good Christian… one who defeats evil… who doesn’t sin…

Is He?  Is that what it means to be one who overcomes…

John tells us who is an overcomer… in 1 John 5…

 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  Our faith is what overcomes the world… what makes us an overcomer… not our deeds…

This is the one who is an overcomer… he who overcomes…

He who overcomes: the one who has saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ… the one who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  The one who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation…

That’s a Christian… every true child of God…

Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone… that is the one to whom Jesus has promised… I will never leave you … I will never forsake you… I will be with you to the end of the world… I will never… never… blot out your name from My book of Life, My book of Eternal Life.

Rev 17:8 says that your name was written in His Book of Life… long before you were born… from the foundation of the World.                          (Thanks to John MacArthur for this further understanding of Rev 3:5)

 

The Hardest Thing

The hardest things for a child of God involves believing what God has said to us about Himself, about us and about His love and forgiveness for us.  The hardest thing is to believe that God loves us when we have sinned and that He invites us to come to Him NOW, without demanding that we do something to demonstrate our extreme ‘sorryness’.

We seem to believe that, ‘No way can I sin and then just walk right in to God’s presence, and even if I could, there’s no way He would love and accept me as if I hadn’t sinned; even if I hadn’t sinned, there’s no way He would still love and receive me…                   That hardest thing for a child of God is to come into His presence after willfully sinning. (Never mind the fact that we are never ‘out’ of His presence, you know what I mean.)  You also know what I mean by ‘willfully sinning’, we’ve all done it… planned to sin, known it was sin and then, even after clearly hearing the Holy Spirit tell us not to, warn us not to, we went ahead and did it.  We may have even discovered that having done it the first time, each subsequent time became easier and easier while to turn around became harder and harder. Turn around!

That is what God meant when He inspired Isaiah to write, Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. Isa 55:6                  When God instructs us to  return, it means turn again, because the first time we tuned, it was in thinking to be ‘away’ from Him in order to ‘accomplish’ our sin, and remember what James said about ‘accomplished’ sin… But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed. 15 Then, when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is accomplished, it brings forth death. James 1:14,15. When a child of God chooses to sin, he is immediately convicted of his sin by the Holy Spirit… not condemned (demons try to do that), but convicted.  Immediately, we are made aware of our sin and our broken fellowship with God… broken because we turned away, not Him… He said, I will never leave   you nor forsake you.  Heb 13:5 We are never condemned by the Holy Spirit because Jesus Christ was condemned for us.  We were made free and fully forgiven, for all time, at the Cross.  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36  God has chosen to see us always, only, pure, holy and righteous in Jesus Christ, clothed only in His perfect holiness and righteousness. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Us!) Heb 10:14                                   This is how we have been deceived… we believe that in order for us to return to God, we must show how repentant we are with accompanying sour face and saying things like, ‘I’m such an idiot, I’m such a fool and a loser, how could anyone love me, I stink!  Only after we have maintained that attitude for a sufficiently adequate time, can we then feel able begin to crawling back into God’s presence, but we must say something like what the prodigal son said… ‘I am not worthy to be called your son… just make me a servant, that will be enough!’  Then, after enough time, we can begin to think about praying and maybe reading the   Bible, starting with just one or two verses, of course… baby steps.                             Where did we get this kind of    baloney… certainly not from God’s Word, not from the Bible!  He tells us just the opposite, in fact!  We got these ideas from the same place our poor Catholic friends did… centuries of lies and heresy from Satan.  This is what the Reformation was all about… when Martin Luther, a Catholic priest of the 16th Century, realized that God’s Word really said that our salvation is by faith alone… faith in all that Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross… not the result of our ’works’ whether those works be in the form of ’Hail Marys’, or shuffling five miles on our knees to reach a ‘holy shrine’, or beating ourselves up over our sin, or giving money or doing, thinking or saying anything else on Earth.  Our salvation is God’s work alone.  He planned it, He chose and called us, He initiated it and accomplished it; He is the only One Who can maintain it for us.  We can do nothing but believe in Him and in what He has finished for us, for all time.        You see, for the child of God, whether we sin or not, big or small, often or never, God chose to place on Jesus Christ every one of those sins and then to exact every measure of punishment for every one of our sins from the suffering, agonizing crucifixion of His Son Who chose to suffer and die in our place.  He went on to say in Isaiah 55, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. And in Psalm 103,  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.                          Here is what God commands us to do… Return to Me!  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Come unto Me!  Behold, now is the time appointed, now is the hour of  salvation.                                                     I repeat: Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. Isa 55:6                  He is always near!  He is always here!  Remember, He said, I will never leave you nor forsake you… Lo I am with you always, even till the end of the age. Matt 8:20

He knows us intimately, better than we know ourselves.  He knows we will sin and He has chosen to forgive us before we even do.  He forgave us at the Cross, He knew us on the Cross, He chose us long before the Cross.  His love for us is the reason for the Cross.            Am I saying it is OK to sin?  May it never be!  We will pay a terrible price for our choices to sin… not in terms of salvation, but in terms of rewards and the loss of rewards.  No momentary pleasure of sin is worth the cost of the wonderful things God has in store for those who love Him, for those who obey Him.

The hardest thing is the easiest thing.  Why is it so difficult to stand back up, after sinning, turn to God and say, I’m sorry, I sinned… thank You for loving and forgiving me and inviting me to always come to You.  Thank You for always seeing me as perfect, holy and righteous in Jesus Christ. Thank You for always loving me completely.       Why isn’t that simple and easy!? Answer: our pride stops us, our refusal to humble ourselves before God, confess our guilt and receive His love and forgiveness.   Stop it!!  

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.   Heb 4:16    

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