Though believers in Christ are heaven-bound, there are conditions to be fulfilled before we arrive at our final destination and claim our eternal reward.
say that God will never forsake believers and
that nothing will ever separate us from His love (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20, Romans 8: 38-39).
has this ever crossed our minds?
God may not leave us but we can walk away from God.
also like to emphasise the fact that God keeps us in
the faith (Philippians 1:6, Jude 1:24). Well, that is true to a certain extent.
have we considered the fact that everyone has a will? That makes everyone capable of saying 'Yes' or 'No' to God, even after conversion
(2 Timothy 2:12, Joshua 24:15).
because we have a will, we can choose the way we live our lives. In fact, the Christian
walk is a moment-by-moment experience whereby we can choose to serve the spirit or flesh—as opposed to a ‘once and for all’
experience of victory. Notice our free will is operative even after we are
believers in Christ are heaven-bound, there are conditions
to be fulfilled before we arrive at our final destination
and claim our eternal reward.
examine some passages which are less “popular” but, nevertheless, are relevant in helping us understand why it
takes two to tango.
Our faith endures till the end and we do not deny God:
shall also reign with Him.
We do not fall away or commit apostasy:
it is impossible for those who were once
enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of
the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age
to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify
again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs
useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if
it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end
is to be burned.
if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge
of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled
in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For
it would have been better for them not to have known
the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy
commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the
true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to
her wallowing in the mire.”
We are not complacent that we are God’s chosen but remain
faithful—not fall away like the originally favoured people, the Jews:
if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were
grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness
of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast,
remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in
His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
We are able to overcome persecution, apostasy and
you will be handed over to be persecuted and put
to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many
will turn away from the faith and will betray
and hate each other, and many false prophets will
appear and deceive many people. Because of the
increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
We are able to overcome sin and unbelief
who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I
will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving,
abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars
shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is
the second death.
Our faith endures; we do not shrink back in our faith
my righteous one will live by faith.
in the one who shrinks back.
we do not belong to those who shrink back and
are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
We continue to hold fast to sound doctrine—not led astray
by heresies of wolves lurking within the church
I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will
come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will
rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the
disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years
I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.“So
now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of
His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all
those who are sanctified.
you must continue in the things which you have learned and
been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from
childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise
for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness, that the man of God may be complete,
thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:14-17)
even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other
gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
told the people who had faith in him, “If you keep on
obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples. You will know the
truth, and the truth will set you free.”
We are able to overcome sin and unbelief—unlike the
children of Israel who fell after being delivered from slavery in Egypt.
I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved
the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not
become idolaters as were some of them. As it is
written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let
us commit sexual immorality, as some of them
did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as
some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as
some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all
these things happened to them as examples, and
they were written for our admonition, upon whom
the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take
heed lest he fall.
We ourselves are accountable in keeping God’s law. Starting
out well is not enough; we must finish well.
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father
bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon
himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. But if
a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My
statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not
But when a righteous man turns away from his
righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations
that the wicked man does,
shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be
remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the
sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.
Many believers find it difficult
to accept the HARD SAYINGS outlined in the above passages. Or they
might rationalise them away and choose to cherry pick the more acceptable
Many only want to hear
the soft, comforting and pleasant truths that tickle the ears. http://bit.ly/Jk0DAA
the time will come when they will not endure sound
doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves
teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the
truth, and be turned aside to fables.
God plays a great part in our Christian walk. He is faithful when we are
faithless, forgives us countless times and restores us when we fall. His
grace also empowers us to follow His commandments.
I think we have this tendency to shift the responsibility in our
spiritual pilgrimage to God—and downplay our part through it all.
out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you
both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12b-13).
is hoped that this article will set a much-needed balance in our
MORE THAN UNMERITED
As believers, have we
come to a point in our faith walk when we say to ourselves, “Thank you God for
taking me as I am,” and then happily go on our way? After all, as some teachers
say, believers always enjoy God’s unmerited favour—grace beyond measure—whatever
we do or don't do. Does it mean then we don’t need to improve ourselves in
areas such as self-discipline and character? Does it mean then that we need not
strive for excellence?
COMFORTING LIE, BITTER TRUTH
Some people only want to hear things that are pleasant and soothing.
Anything that brings pain is rejected. They would rather listen to comforting
lies than harsh truths.
TRUE BELIEVERS DENY THEIR MASTER?
In light of the pressure
faced by persecuted Christians in the Middle East, this is an important
question that needs to be asked.
Is there eternal
security for believers if they deny God or continue living in sin?
ALL YOU WANT TO KNOW
ABOUT GRACE AND HYPER-GRACE BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK—IT’S ALL HERE FOR YOU IN A
QUICKLY ACCESS PORRIDGE
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