If Your Salvation Depends Upon You - You Are Doomed.
Be Anxious in Nothing; but...
Fear: The Slave Master
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear..." Romans 8:15
For the true believer, a godly fear is spiritually and physically healthy, whereas a worldly fear is quite the opposite and can be very debilitating. We all know and can easily recognize those whose chief motivation in life is fear: fear of failure, fear of sickness, fear of loss, fear of the times and the fear of the wrong candidate being elected. Everyday the advertisers of this world sell fear: being under or uninsured; your teeth not being white enough, having the wrong car, wearing out of style clothing, being undereducated and the list goes on. The next time you listen to or read an advertisement, determine its fear factor and the intended victims they will prey upon.
Sadly for the believer, the fear of being "left behind" when the rapture does occur is being preached in many churches and being propagated within the social media as well. Just as there are differences as to when the rapture will happen, if at all, there are those who hold to differences as to who will go. I believe the Scriptures teach very clearly that every true born-again Christian, along with their sanctified children per 1 Corinthians 7:14 who have not been convicted of sin according to Romans 5:13, along with all the dead in Christ shall meet Him in the air in the very near future. Those who differ fall into at least a couple of categories.
- Only those who are spiritual at the exact time of the rapture. This position promotes self-aggrandizement and would most surely result in almost no one being taken for we truly are springs of both good and polluted waters.
- Only those who are in good standing with the local assembly and have not been pronounced by the local powers-that-be as currently unfit for the kingdom. It is the position of good works seen by men: though saved without works, now works are required for the blessed event.
Both of these positions promote neither peace nor the comfort that 1 Thessalonians 4:18 gives as the outcome of the hope in the rapture.
Does God's Mercy Outweigh God's Justice?
Justice, the Bedrock of the Believer
As per the picture to the right, most of us have heard it preached and taught in our assemblies that the mercy of God outweighs the justice of God. Nothing could be further from the Truth. Per Psalms 89:14, justice, judgment, mercy and truth are the habitation of the Father's throne, as co-equals. The word justice is the Old Testament word tsedeq6664 - decisions of the Judge are to be made according to the truth and without partiality. The New Testament word used is just dikalos1342 - pertaining to right, that which is just, which is expected by the One who sets the rules and regulations whereby man must live. Our God is as perfectly just as He is merciful. How is this the foundation for the security of the believer you ask?
- All sin earns the wages of eternal death, a payment for which every sinner is held personally responsible. Mercy did not excuse the sinner, for the payment was an absolute requirement that had to be paid.
- Enter our Lord Jesus Christ, He made the payment for all those He came to save. He did not pay for the sins of every man, for the justice of God would have been fully satisfied and no sins would ever be imputed to any man.
- An unjust man is susceptible to changing their mind at the slightest whim whereas God is not a man that He should lie. When He declares that all sins will cast into the depth of the sea, He does not dredge the sea floor to bring up that which has been forgiven; that is an ugly attribute of mankind.
- How can a man lose his salvation if there are no sins to accuse him on the day of judgment? As Christians, we will answer for our works when the works are tried by fire; this only pertains to rewards or the lack thereof.
- Even in our own law system, a man cannot be tried twice for the same crime if he was pardoned the first time: a godly principle set forth by our founding fathers.
- Do we really understand that every sin; past, present and future was paid for in its entirety? Those who believe that they are still susceptible to future sins seem to forget that when God had the Word written for our benefit, we were the future sinners to be saved and our future did not end on the day of our salvation.
When you pay a traffic fine, you do not live in fear of receiving a new bill because someone decided that you did not pay enough the first time. Do not mock the price Jesus paid on our behalf for as He said, "It is finished!".
Why Do People Leave the Church?
The Danger of Assumption
Everyone who espouses the testimony of witnessing the loss of salvation of another has made a potentially grave assumption and you know what is said of those who "assume". There are several reasons a person may walk away from the fellowship of believers, such as:
- 1 John 1:19 "..but they were not of us.." Even then we need to be careful, for it could be that God is turning them away for only a season to bring them to the Truth, instead of living a sheltered lie.
- Unfortunately, mankind is made of up great actors that can play a role better than that of many born-again believers. We are so easily deceived and want to believe everyone that comes to us in the name of Jesus. We have heard their well orchestrated testimonies, seen them baptized and watched them perform among us. On some occasions, it is blatantly obvious and find ourselves on guard while with another comes a very painful lesson in life. How many women come to church to meet a man or vice versa?
- We are to be discerning, but only God can discern the heart of a man or know their end. In Acts 20, Paul warned the leaders of Ephesus that wolves would enter among them, not sparing the flock and that men would arise from within to deceive and draw disciples to themselves.
The falling away of 2 Thessalonians 2:2 does not address those who were saved but those who have already rejected Christ. It is God shaking up His Church, so that what cannot be shaken shall remain. As the late J. Vernon McGee once stated, "I thank God for the cults; it gets the riff-raff out of the Church."
The 1 Timothy 4:1 passage of "..some shall depart from the faith." does not address a believer but one who stands aloof from the faith having never partaken of the Truth.
We also need to ask ourselves this question: is it worse to deny or believe not? 2 Timothy 2:12-13 is not addressing denying salvation to anyone, but denying the blessings of obedience such as answered prayer. In verse 13, if we, the true believers, believe not He abides faithful. Every believer without one exception has practiced unbelief in their walk as a Christian. When we knowingly choose not to do or to delay what we know His Word has instructed us to do, such as forgiving, patience, love, mercy, etc., we have acted in unbelief. I am sure every Christian is going to have some works worthy of wood, hay and stubble when we are judged.
What You Believe Is Important.
The Character of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Many of the following will be addressed more completely in future articles.
- Jude 24 - "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy," I don't know about you but my God is able, maybe the one you serve is not. Too many serve themselves and believe that their keeping lies within their own power, their trust does not depend upon our Lord. Paul in 2 Timothy was persuaded that He is able.
- Are you afraid that Jesus will cast you out though in John 6:37 He said, "..him that cometh to me,I will in no wise cast out."
- We, as Christian were born, not of blood (it has nothing to do with a physical birth or family lineage), nor the will of the flesh (I am sorry, you did not receive your free will until after you were saved, prior to that you and I did the will of our father the Devil), nor the will of man (no one talked you into being saved, they were the messenger used by the Holy Spirit to reach you for Christ), but of God. The Father drew you to Jesus and it was the work of the Spirit to convict you of sin. Even the faith you showed when saved was the gift of the Holy Spirit that no man should claim any credit for their salvation.
The Sovereign Buts...
A name I have given to those who with one side of their mouth say they believe that God is sovereign …but...with the other side say, I chose to believe and I can choose to believe not. My eternal destiny now lies in my hands and in effect meaning that God can do nothing about it if I choose to no longer believe. That is a far cry from Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
How man can display such arrogance in the face of such Truth, just boggles my mind. If you do not believe that He is absolutely sovereign, why believe in the rapture, why believe that there is really a heaven, why believe the Bible or why believe there is even a God. Make yourself a god and declare the truth as you see it and continue to try and shame others as many seem to do in these last days.