22 April 2018 AM – John 10:28 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Can a true Christian ever lose his salvation? Are true Christians eternally secure? Can we KNOW we are saved right now?
Years ago, I spoke with a man who strongly believed a true Christian could lose his salvation. He told of a friend who had made a profession of salvation and had become very actively involved in church. However, something happened and that friend turned his back on God and now wants nothing to do with God. Based on that example this man believed his friend had lost his salvation. However, he could not see his friend’s heart. He only saw outward evidence. (Read John 10:28)
Transition: I have said many times that a true Christian can lose his fellowship with God but not his relationship with God. Can I back that up with Scripture? Yes, I can, and I hope to do that this morning.
1. Pertaining Scriptures
a. How do scriptures define a Christian?
1) A Christian is not one who is kind and does good deeds (Eph 2:8-9).
2) A Christian is not a religious person who has said a prayer, been confirmed, went forward in a service, been raised in a Christian home, or been baptised (Tit 3:5).
3) A Christian is one who has been convicted of his sin, repented and trusted in Christ alone to save him from hell (Ac 2:37; 3:19).
4) Since a person is not saved by doing good works certainly he cannot keep himself saved by good works. We are saved by faith and kept secure by God (Jude 1:1).
5) I believe that a person becomes one of God’s elect when he repents and trusts Christ alone for salvation (1Pe 1:2).
b. Not all who claim to be Christians really are.
1) Jesus said that many who prophesy and do wonderful works are not truly saved (Mat 7:21-23).
2) Jesus said, “by their fruits ye shall know them” (Mt 7:20).
3) Those who can live in sin without experiencing God’s chastening have never truly been saved (Heb 12:8).
4) The indwelling Holy Spirit bears witness with the spirit of every true believer that he is a child of God (Ro 8:16).
2. Perplexing Scriptures
a. Some scriptures are perplexing.
1) (Matthew 24:13) “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” “Saved” in this verse is not about heaven but about being saved from persecution.
2) (Luke 8:13) “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.” In the parable of the sower, the only true Christians are those who bear fruit. Fakes will fall away.
3) (John 15:6) “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” This verse is not about salvation but about a Christian staying in close fellowship with Christ so he can bear fruit. The gathering of branches by men and casting them in the fire is not hell fire. Never do men cast others in hell.
4) (1 Corinthians 9:27) “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” A castaway was one who was disqualified for reward. Paul wanted to remain useful to God. He feared losing his reward not losing his salvation.
5) (Galatians 5:4) “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” This verse speaks to those who think they are justified by keeping the law, not to true believers. They fell away from God’s offer of grace through faith in Christ.
6) (1 Timothy 6:12) “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” Timothy was saved and already had eternal life. He was challenged to live more for eternity than for this life.
7) (Hebrews 10:26) “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,” (cf., Hebrews 10:27-29) These verses and Hebrews 6:4-6 are to the religious unsaved not to true Christians. If Christ’s sacrifice is rejected, there is no other means of cleansing.
8) (2 Peter 2:20) “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” (cf., 2 Peter 2:21-22) These verses describe unbelievers who profess to be Christians. They know about Christ but do not know Him as Saviour.
9) (Revelation 22:19) “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Christ died for all men and provided a place in the book of life for all. However, not all will receive that gift. Their names were never written in the book of life.
b. We must not build doctrine on perplexing verses.
1) For every perplexing verse in the Bible there are many clear verses. We must build doctrine on the clear verses not the unclear.
2) God never contradicts Himself. If God says we presently have everlasting life, no perplexing verse can change that.
3) We must follow the clear promises in the Bible and wait until heaven to have the Lord explain any perplexing verse that we cannot figure out completely.
3. Promising Scriptures
a. Salvation is like a birth
1) In John 3:3-7, Nicodemus asked Jesus about eternal life. Jesus said that he must be born again. Then Jesus compared the physical (water) birth to the spiritual (spirit) birth of salvation.
2) Salvation is not a process. Like birth, it takes place in a moment. A believer passes from death to life instantly.
3) No one is ever physically or spiritually born twice.
4) Once born physically, you cannot be “unborn”. Likewise, no true Christian can be spiritually “unborn”. Once you truly become God’s child that is permanent.
b. True Christians are…
1) Saved from hell (Ro 5:9)
2) Justified or given Christ’s righteousness (Ro 5:1)
3) Redeemed by Christ’s blood (1Pe 1:18-19)
4) Regenerated or given new life (Tit 3:5)
5) Adopted into God’s family (Eph 1:5)
6) Made a son of God (Jn 1:12)
7) Become God’s children (Ga 3:26)
8) Indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:9)
9) Holy Spirit sealed until redemption day (Eph 1:13-14)
10) Made a new creature in Christ (2Co 5:17)
11) Promised the hope of heaven (Col 1:5)
12) Already recipients of eternal life (Jn 5:24)
13) Guaranteed eternal life (Jn 11:26)
14) Recorded in God’s book of life (Php 4:3)
15) Kept secure by God’s power (1Pe 1:3-5)
16) Chastened by God when they sin (Heb 12:5-8)
17) Aided by Christ their Advocate (1Jo 2:1-2)
18) Renewed to fellowship through confession (1Jo 1:9)
19) Promised that Christ will never leave them (Heb 13:5)
20) Kept secure in God’s hand (Jn 10:27-29)
Conclusion: Any salvation that requires you to hold fast to the end in order to be saved is a works salvation. God saves and keeps us (Php 1:6). The Scriptures are clear; a true Christian cannot lose his salvation. He is eternally secure. When he sins, he may feel insecure, but God’s peace will return when he confesses his sin. He may temporarily lose his fellowship with God but never lose his relationship with God. My friend, if Christ has truly saved your soul, you need not fear losing your eternal life. That is a great comfort. It is not, however, a licence to sin, for a true believe will desire to please the Lord.
Those who should fear are the fake Christians. Does the Spirit dwell within bearing witness that you have been cleansed from every sin and stain? Does He convict you when you sin? Has he given you a hunger for the Bible? If not, you may not be a true Christian. If you are not positive, you are a true Christian, admit it and trust Christ today. I would be happy to talk with you about it if you will let me.
Song: Amazing Grace – 236