Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Forever Eternally Imperishably Saved

I have for sometime held that most Southern Baptists believe in "Once Saved Always Saved" but really don’t know why. Subsequently, some then reject that teaching. I too, once suffered from the view that a person could in fact reject Christ after having once believed. 
I did not believe any mere sin would cause that, because, as the Psalmist points out, we have been set free as a bird and that the snare has been broken. (Psa 124:7) And yet I still held that a saved person could, for some strange reason, decide he didn’t want to be saved any longer and reject what Christ had done. 
After all, I said, “If God is a Gentleman and won’t force heaven on me before I’m saved, surely He won’t force it on me after I am saved.” Then I learned God is not a gentleman. Being a Gentleman is a tradition born of sinful men trying to elevate manhood to be gallant, noble, and perhaps, 'more Christian'. But it does not begin to compare with Christ
C. S. Lewis was closer to the truth when he said that God “is no tame lion.” God is Sovereign Lord of the Universe. He does only as He pleases. The fact that He has grace on anyone is more than we deserve. If He never sent Jesus to die in our place He would have been justified. But since He did, we should be careful not to misunderstand the basis of His Great Salvation. It is all of Grace, not of any human activity lest any man should boast against the saving grace of God in Christ.

Salvation Is Eternally Secure
 John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know themand they follow me: 28 And
I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man (none!) is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
(Notice, in one sentence, eternal life, never perish, and no man is able to pluck! All in one sentence.)

Many times, faulty beliefs about the eternal nature of salvation spring from faulty views about how salvation occurs. I know that was true in my case. I came from a tradition of believing the old adage “Once saved, always saved.” But I began to see scripture after scripture that seemed to support the idea that one could choose death and choose to reject God, after being born again. And it seemed right, to me, that anyone who thumbed their nose at God and rejected Him after receiving so great a salvation should become “lost” again. But I learned, that is not what God says.

First, what is Salvation? Let’s take a look at some of what salvation entails:
When one is Saved:
One’s name is in the Lamb’s book of Life,[1]
Born Again: A new heart, a new nature, 
and death of the old nature[2]
Union with Christ, (We are “IN” Christ
as Christ is One With the Father)
Seated in Heavenly places, [3] Adopted into the 
Family of God, “no longer slaves but sons”[4]
Justified: Declared righteous, past sins forgiven, 
the imputed righteousness of Christ applied to our account,
keeping us righteous,[5]
Sanctified, set apart for God at conversion, 
and increasingly made to be like Christ in this life, 
changed in an instant at glorification,[6]
Baptized, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the “earnest” of 
the Holy Spirit as a promise/guarantee of Heaven,[7]

And, the Perseverance of the Saints guaranteed:
Jn 3:36-he who believes has eternal life,
Rom 8:30-for those who are In Christthere is no condemnation 
Phil 1:6-He who began a good work...
will bring it to completion in the day of Christ,
1Pe 1:5-Who are kept (from escaping) by the power
of God through faith unto salvation...

Now, with this incomplete list of all God has done for the one who believes in Jesus Christ, can you imagine all that would have to be undone to release a soul from salvation? If God left any of these in place the person who thinks they have rejected Christ and secured damnation would have a rude awakening when they woke up in Heaven one day. 
If God canceled everything else He'd done but left your name in the book of life, you would still be saved.
If He blotted out your name but left the imputed righteousness of Christ on your account, you'd still be saved.
If He took back the imputed righteousness but left you in union with Christ you would go directly to Heaven without “passing Go” because “There is NO CONDEMNATION to those who are IN Christ.” And how could you possible be out of Christ when He promised “I will never ever leave you or forsake you, ever!”(Heb 13:5)

In fact, I think we could fill a whole book as a take off on Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck" concept, but instead have "You might be eternally saved" as the new motif.
If you are robed in the righteousness of Christ, You might be eternally saved.
If you have a new heart, you might be eternally saved!
If you have a love for the Bride of Christ, You just might be Eternally SAVED!!!

OK, you try your hand at that now, and I'll be back with an other installment of Eternal Salvation.

[1] Rev_21:27, Lu 10:20.
[2] Eze_36:26, Rom 6:6, 2 Cor 5:17
[3] 1 Cor 1:30, Ep 2:6, 10;
[4] Gal 4:5, Eph 1:5, Jn 8:35
[5] Rom 3:24, Eph 1:7,  Phil 3:9
[6] Rom 8:29-30, 1 Cor 1:2,

[7] 2 Cor 1:22, 5:5; 

1 comment:

Feel free to tell me and others what you think. You can use the tools of rhetoric but please, be clean and nice.