From 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves (false prophets) because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things (unbiblical). And they will turn away from hearing the truth; but will turn aside to myths” (emphasis mine). They’ll believe the lie but not the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
This is followed by 2 Timothy 4:5, which is a call for true ministers to follow: “You, however, be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry.”
Recently, I posted a message about “Falling Away,” and the question came up asking if I believe we can lose our Salvation. A quick answer followed by some scripture: I believe that when a true believer accepts Jesus as their Savior, that it is for all eternity. Are we still subject to sin? Absolutely, as we all sin and fall short (Romans 3:23) and will do so as long as we are on this earth. However, Christians have 1 John 1:8-10 as a remedy regarding forgiveness. We are also subject to the Father’s discipline (Hebrews 12:5-11) which I have felt numerous times in the past. That’s not a complaint; it means He is still very much interested in my soul.
There are people who hear the word, but as with the parable of the seeds (Matthew 13:3-8), if the word doesn’t become ingrained, it doesn’t really take root and grow. Before long, they turn back to the world, especially when a hardship or trial comes up, and they fall back into their previous lost lifestyle. They were never really “planted” in the word to begin with.
There are those who hear the word and realize they are lost without a real Savior. They are convicted of their sin, and call out to Jesus to save them. They truly believe He is the only Way, Truth and Life (John 14:6), and that they cannot approach the Father without Him. They know they cannot earn or buy their Salvation. They accept the gift of eternal life that is offered, and look forward to being with Him forever.
These are described in John 10:27-30, “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; no one will snatch them from My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them from My Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
When we truly accept Jesus, we are part of His “flock” – forever.
There will be a judgment Seat of Christ that all believers will have to appear before (2 Corinthians 5:10). We will be judged by what we did while here, and will gain or lose rewards by our actions. Our work will be tested by “fire” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15), and that which is consumed will create a loss. That which survives will receive rewards. It could be there will be nothing but ash left after the “fire,” and there will be no rewards. However, that soul will still be in Heaven for eternity. It will be far greater than to end up for eternity in the Lake of Fire.
Some say this isn’t fair because we were promised to be “forgiven” of all our sins, and they shouldn’t count. It is true we are forgiven, but to be fair, there has to be a type of merit system. In schools, there are classrooms with a variety of students, and each receives a grade depending on how they complete the curriculum. WE are not saved by our works, but how we honored the Savior and used our talents while here will count. God will determine what our capabilities were, and how we used them. More will be expected from those who are “teachers and preachers” than those who are the “followers” (James 3:1).
It stands to reason that false prophets and antichrists will receive a harsher judgment at the Great White Throne than someone who never got around to accepting Jesus. Both will be in torment forever, but in different degrees. Would anyone argue that Satan should receive the harshest punishment of all?
Once a person accepts Jesus, Ephesians 1:13-14 kicks in. “And when you heard the Word of Truth (the gospel of your Salvation), when you believed in Christ, you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession to the praise of His Glory.”
As was shown in John 10, Romans 8:38-39 emphasizes we are not to be separated from the Love of God; “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Before going further, please re-read that last paragraph and note all that we are exempt from when we are part of the “flock.” Add to this Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Those who are saved will never be cast out. John 6:37-39, “Everyone whom the Father gave Me will come to Me and the one who comes to Me, I will never send away. For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me. Now this is the will of the One who sent Me, that I should not lose one person of everyone He has given Me, but raise them all up at the last day.”
Therefore, the “Falling Away” pertains to all who reject our Lord and Savior. They are the ones who believe the Bible is nothing but a book of myths and “religious” ceremonies that they are not interested in. Satan has turned their minds to what the world has to offer, and causes them to believe that is more important than their eternal souls.
We were told in numerous places in the Bible by several prophets and apostles that there would be false prophets and antichrists in the days before the Lord’s return. Jesus, Himself, spoke of this as well. His first calling will be for all true believers from Calvary forward, in order for them to bypass the Wrath (tribulation), and is an event referred to as the “Rapture.” His Second Coming will be to rule and reign from Jerusalem for a millennium, after which will be the final judgments. All believers and the faithful from the beginning of earth’s time will miss the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
For all this to make sense, we must believe the Bible is the true word from the Father, written by about 40 Holy Spirit-inspired men. (2 Peter 1:21). We must also have the faith and trust in our Heavenly Father because He cannot lie (Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:18). To those who overcome the pull of this world and accept Jesus, Heaven will be our eternal home.
There will be plenty of room for everyone, but sadly only a few of the total will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14). Our security is that the grave where Jesus laid was only needed for 3 days. He arose to conquer sin and death for all who will believe in Him, and accept the free gift. Call out to Him today. He’s seated at the right hand of the Father, and will soon be calling all true believers to meet Him in the air to get ready for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We are the “brides” and He is the “groom.” He could come at any hour, any minute. Are you ready?
Shalom – Maranatha!