This topic will cover several continuing posts so stay with us… People profess Christ and then fall away. What about Judas? In the Gospel of Matthew, when Judas goes to the chief priests, he asks: “What will you give me if I deliver [Jesus] to you?” (Matthew 26:15). This verse suggests Judas betrayed Jesus out of greed. In the Gospel of John, however, after Jesus gives Judas the piece of dipped bread, “Satan entered into him” (13:27). This verse suggests Satan’s spirit entered into Judas and caused him to do evil. Jesus was sitting right next to him and allowed it. We know from scripture that Jesus knew ahead of time it would happen. Was it a choice a Judas made? What about Demas? Demas had been a faithful servant of the Lord, and a trusted companion of the apostle Paul. He served the greatest cause, and he served alongside some of the Lord’s most devoted disciples. It says in 2 Timothy 4:10, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.” So Demas chose the world over the Kingdom and deserted Paul in his greatest time of need. All of his time spent with Paul and the other disciples could not preserve him from the wiles of Satan, the lure of the world, and the lusts of the fleshly nature.
They both went back to the world, they went back to sin. Or were they ever saved to begin with?
Is there any assurance of an absolute and permanent salvation? Some say when a person turns away from God after genuinely being a Christian they lose the saving grace they once had. (This is the classic Armenian and Wesley position.) But others say when a person turns away from God and back to the world it proves they were never Christians to begin with. (This is the classic Calvinistic and reformed position.) So one says hey, “They were never saved to begin with.” And the other side says, “No sir, they once had it but they lost it.’ Where do you stand on this issue? There is yet the third position which is that once someone prays to the Lord and confesses their sin with repentance along with an outward profession of faith they are saved and they can never lose it.
But… people profess and then turn away. Sadly I am seeing a lot of it these days. Is it because of dead faith? You will find in the book of James three different kinds of faith. In James 2:14-26, we find James discussing those different kinds of faith, with an emphasis upon that faith which works to the saving of the soul. Those with a dead faith are just pretenders. Their “walk” does not measure up to their “talk”. Is only an intellectual faith and they have never really submitted themselves to God and trusted in Jesus for salvation. Any form of belief that does not result in a changed life and good works is a dead end street. It is dead. Dead, dead, DEAD! What about false faith? It says in 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” This is what John said about those that turned against Christ. He was making a point. Just like a healthy body keeps poison out of your system and will purge your body of the poison a healthy church or healthy Christian will purge itself from the poison. The insincere become detected and the apostates and revolters and antichrists, they went out, and are made manifest that they were not all of us.
You may be reading all these words about faith and thought we were on some rabbit trail. All this about faith is because a truly saved individual has saving faith. Saving faith causes a regeneration of the person which then becomes manifest in works revealing the fruit of the spirit. Others will know of your regeneration by your fruit. Without regeneration it is morally and spiritually impossible to savingly believe in Christ. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see, he cannot understand, he cannot come to Christ”, (John 3:3; 6:37, 44; 1 Cor. 2:14). Regeneration is the renewing of the heart and mind; and the renewed heart and mind must act according to their nature. This regeneration is the act of God alone. But faith is not the act of God. It is not God who believes in Christ for salvation; it is the sinner. Although it is by God’s grace alone that a person is able to believe, faith is an activity of the person alone. In saving faith we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation. It might be hard for you understand this concept that the Bible teaches but it is there. This is God’s way of salvation, expressing His supreme wisdom, power, and grace.
We are portrayed more than once in the Bible as sheep. There is a promise for the sheep. A true Christian, a true saved one, one with saving faith, cannot lose their salvation because of the promise scripture gives us. The shepherd gave his life for the sheep. Please allow me to turn your attention toward Jesus, The Good Shepherd in John. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”, (John 10:27-28) Please let verse 28 sink in. He gives us eternal life and we will never perish and NEITHER SHALL ANY MAN PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY HAND! He holds us tight to his chest forever. Forever safe Forever saved.
A person that is truly one of Christ’s sheep, born again of the spirit has Christ as the shepherd with his body lying across the sheep-gate protecting and keeping His sheep. God is committed to them and he will never let them be lost.
Just be sure you have that saving faith.
Have your prayer be similar to that of the Psalmist’s:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
try me and know my anxieties;
“And see if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
— Psalms 139:23-24
Believe and live!
Join me on the next post as we continue by looking at more evidence leading to “Once saved, always saved”. Click here to go to next post.
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