Foundational to our understanding of God’s great love and mercy for us, His children, is the correct understanding of His having chosen and elected us and of our complete security in Jesus Christ, that we are saved for eternity, having been given eternal life, and that we are being kept secure in Him.
God’s Word is replete with references to His having chosen and elected us:
“… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world’ (Eph 1:4).
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16).
“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation” (2 Thes 2:13).
“Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). What a marvelous verse! It does not say ‘all who believed were appointed to eternal life.’ It says all who were appointed to eternal life believed. They had all been appointed to eternal life before the foundation of the World, and when God’s planned moment came, they believed.
Sadly, too many Christians believe their salvation was their own doing and the maintaining of that salvation depends upon their correct actions. They believe some variant of the following: When I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart, He forgave me of all my past sin, and then I became ‘on my way to Heaven’; however, it is very important that I live a ‘good Christian life.’ I should read my Bible, go to church, pray and not do any of many sins. If I don’t faithfully maintain this lifestyle, if I turn away from God and church, then I can lose my salvation. I have to be careful, always.
Tragically, this kind of thinking is really no different than that of the poor deceived Catholic, Mormon, or Jehovah’s Witness – My salvation is based on my works, and if I am good enough and stay good enough, I’ll go to Heaven. But if I fail to be good enough, I will not, but I’ll never really know for sure.
The most sinister deception of all is the thinking that anyone can, in fact, ever be good enough to be saved and stay saved… even for five minutes!
That is the lie that keeps so many from understanding the reality of the true security of the believer, the full assurance of Salvation every true child of God has, forever.
If we could understand that we can never be good enough to be saved or to stay saved, then we could begin to understand the reality that we could never be bad enough to become unsaved because our salvation does not rest in our own works at all… ever!
If it were possible to be good enough or bad enough… where are those magical lines, that when crossed, suddenly result in salvation, re-damnation, or re-salvation? Seriously… is it telling a lie… going 8 miles over the speed limit… stealing a newspaper… being a homosexual… gossiping? You see, the Bible makes very clear that sin is sin… all sin is what Jesus Christ died on the Cross to pay the penalty for, and for the one called and chosen by God, the one whom the Bible calls, ‘His Elect,’ He paid the full penalty for all time of every sin: past, present, and future. That is what He meant when He said, “It is finished!”
Here are a few scriptures where God tells us of the reality of the eternality of our Salvation… by the way, if eternal life could end or be taken away, how could it ever be called ETERNAL LIFE?
“But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:26-30).
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Col 2:13-14).
Paul is saying that we were dead… incapable of coming to God or responding to Him in any way. He chose us and made us alive in Christ. He completely forgave all our sins, nailing them ALL to the Cross of Christ, after which Jesus said, “It is finished!” Now, don’t you see that if it were not finished, every time we sin, it would have to be forgiven and atoned for again on the Cross? Jesus Christ paid one complete sacrifice for all our sins, for all time.
This goes to the heart of Satan’s desire to convince us that we are not really spiritually dead from birth. Everyone born since Adam and Eve have been spiritually dead from birth. No one has a ‘spark of divinity’ in them… no one has ‘some measure of good’ in them. God tells us we are sinful and dead… like it or not. The only people who are alive… having spiritual life, eternal life, are those to whom God has given His Own Life, and those who have been made alive will never again be dead. It really is simple if we will allow ourselves to believe what God has said.
The problem is that we don’t want to admit that we were dead and incapable of coming to God, that salvation is all God’s work from beginning to completion. Only He initiates it, only He completes it, and only He maintains it. That’s it! Only when we begin to understand this can we even start to comprehend the height, depth, and breadth of God’s love and sacrifice for us.
Finally, let’s look at a favorite verse to supposedly disprove our eternal security in Jesus Christ. To the Church at Sardis, Jesus writes in Rev. 3, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” They say, See, He says He will blot out your name if you don’t overcome! He never said anytime, anywhere, that He would ever forsake, leave, blot out any one of His children no matter what they ever did!
First, who is the overcomer? Every child of God, whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. “Whoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
You see, it is our saving faith that causes us to be an overcomer in God’s eyes… not our deeds! He doesn’t say He will blot our name out but rather that He for sure will not… no, not, never will He ever forsake us!
When one moved to an ancient city like Sardis, their name was written into the Citizen’s Roll Book… one of the honors of being part of the city. When one was especially honored, they would be clothed in white and announced before the populace. For any number of crimes, one’s name would be blotted out from the book of citizenship, and they would be dispossessed, a great dishonor. What Jesus is saying here is, simply, that ‘I am not like those in worldly government. When I choose you, you are mine forever. I have forgiven you; I will keep and preserve you; I will never reject, leave or forsake you. I will never blot out your name from My book of citizenship in Heaven. I will clothe you in white, and I will confess you before My Father and before His angels. You are safe and secure in Me. Never fear, never worry; you are mine, and I Am yours!’
“You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13-14). Paul is telling us that God’s gift of His Holy Spirit to every true believer is the same as ‘earnest money’ when buying a house… ‘I will give you $15,000 to prove to you I mean business. It’s a done deal as soon as my financing is worked out; I won’t back out.’
God uses the language of betrothal and marriage often to describe His relationship to us. The Holy Spirit is like God’s huge expensive engagement ring He has given us to prove His love and absolute commitment to us.
Prov 2:32 says, “The lord is intimate with the upright.” We are upright and righteous in Jesus Christ.
Answer this final question: Is Jesus Christ the type of Person who goes around getting engaged to someone, being intimate with her if it is not a ‘full on’ marriage arrangement in His mind, and then breaking off the engagement and throwing her away because she does something that displeases Him? Sounds more like Lucifer to me, and that is exactly why he’s the one who’s trying to convince you that unless you are pleasing and walk ‘right,’ you will be thrown away… that your salvation is not secure in Jesus Christ.
This is what God says to you: ‘I have chosen you, I have drawn you to Myself and created My Spirit within you; I will never leave you or forsake you; you are Mine, and you will never not be Mine. I will complete the work I’ve begun in you, and I will present you faultless before My throne. You will be kept safe and secure in Me forever!
Is His election of me and His faithful protection of me a license to sin? Does this mean it’s fine for me to go about the business of sinning? May it never be!
Why do we walk uprightly and in close fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ until He comes for us in the Rapture? Simple! Whenever we choose to sin, we will have lost, despised, thrown away eternal rewards of which we cannot even imagine: “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.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Cor 2:9-10).
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-21).
We can assuredly rest in His secure, eternal love for us, but we must choose to not sin because if we don’t, we will lose and cast away unimaginable, eternal rewards!