“The righteous shall flourish…
like a cedar in Lebanon” (Psalm 92:12)


The righteous shall flourish…

like a cedar in Lebanon” (Psalm 92:12)

Eternal Life is Eternal

It’s a simple question I bring to you.  Is the eternal life that God offers eternal or no?  And I come with a simple purpose; to help you find assurance of salvation.  To put it simply I would lead you to understand that when God saves a soul, through simple faith in Jesus Christ, He will surely bring that saved soul to glory by His own almighty power!  “Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” is the way Peter put it (I Pet. 1:5).  The term men commonly use is “eternal security”, that once one is saved he is secure in the salvation God gives and could never be lost.  Oh there are many who do not see it this way.  “Many deceivers are entered into the world,” the Apostle John warned, who would rob Christians of the joy of their salvation.  It is that joy I wish to hand back to you or press deeper into your pocket through this little booklet.  It is God who says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (I Jn. 5:13).  Our God wants us to “have eternal life” through simply believing in Jesus Christ.  And He wants us to know that we have it!

Now some would make the point that the term “eternal security” cannot even be found in the Bible.  But please understand that this is no valid argument against the truth of eternal security.  For there are many Bible truths to which Christians have given names, terms not found in the Bible.  “Trinity” for example, or “rapture”, or “millennium”.  We use many an “unbiblical” term to label very biblical teachings.  Every believer in Jesus Christ has what God Himself calls “eternal life”, and he has it from the moment he believes (John 5:24).  Every believer has received what God calls “eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9), purchased with an “eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12), called to “eternal glory” (I Pet. 5:10).  These are indeed biblical terms, even if “eternal security” technically is not.

There can be no doubt that some folks misuse the Bible teaching of eternal security, using it to calm their troubled conscience while continuing to practice evil.  Some suggest that if the saved cannot be lost we will be led to think it makes no difference how we live.  But Jesus said His true sheep hear His voice and follow Him.  And the Apostle Paul said those who have truly escaped condemnation in Christ Jesus “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

Our question really is one; what does God say on this matter in the Bible?  Our experiences and human reasonings can be deceiving.  Only God’s Word, properly understood, can be a trustworthy guide.

Please consider with me Christ’s clear promise in John 10:27-29.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn. 10:27)

Jesus speaks here of possession with that little word “My”.  Every saved soul belongs to Jesus Christ.  He has secured them to Himself by giving His own life for them.  And it’s “My sheep” here in contrast to “lost sheep” Jesus spoke of elsewhere.  “Lost” is the way God describes every soul who has not yet “found” Jesus.  God describes the lost as “dead in trespasses and sins”, without direction, without hope.  To be “saved” is to be found by the Good Shepherd.  It is to receive, by faith, the salvation and eternal life God offers us in Jesus Christ.  This is no moral reformation but a complete spiritual transformation or new birth brought about by a supernatural act of God within the believer.

“I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand” (Jn. 10:28)

“I give unto them eternal life”, Jesus said.  What kind of life is it?  Eternal life”!  So, is it or isn’t it?  It’s a decision you must make my friend; the decision as to how you’re going to read God’s Book of books.  The word “eternal” is used here, so what does it mean?  Is it “eternal” if we might mess up and lose it?  If such life only becomes eternal if I manage to make it to the grave with enough faithfulness still in my walk, then is it really eternal life” that I possess at this moment?  In all fairness how can the life God gives be called “eternal” if its permanence depends on my keeping?

“They shall never perish”, Jesus saidBehind the word “never” here is an interesting little combination in the original Greek language in which the New Testament was first written.  It’s a union of two words which both mean “not”.  The combination of these two words means “not possibly”.  It’s the strongest possible way of saying “not” in the Greek behind the English.  This is then followed by “ever” or “forever”.  Thus the true sense of Christ’s words here is “they should not possibly perish forever”.  Now how do you read that Christian?  How else can such a phrase be read except the obvious?  By the clear testimony of the Son of God Himself a saved soul could not possibly ever perish!  Simple!

“Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand”.  Now understand that this is the hand of our Saviour holding believers, not our hand holding Him.  We might think that hold a matter of our own will, until we try to shake that divine grip.  Let a child of God even try, and he will discover just how tightly the Lord can hold the saved soul.  We are safe in the hand of He who said “they shall never perish”!

“My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand” (Jn. 10:29)

Praise God for that double grip!!

“My Father . . . is greater than all”, Jesus said.  The strength of He who is stronger than all is the power behind that hold, my friend.  The almighty power of God is our eternal guarantee.  Does any created being have the power to break the hold of He who “is greater than all”, Creator of all?  And that “all” of course means ALL!  What man could possibly snatch us away, OR HIMSELF AWAY, from God’s grasp?  None is so strong to remove himself, or any other, from the hollow of that blessed hand.

Oh beware of the danger of those who want to add their words to God’s words. For many there are who insist upon adding the word “if” to this precious promise of God.  Such troubled teachers wish to read the Lord’s words in this way; “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and IF they follow Me I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”  Such deceivers suggest that IFChrist’s sheep follow Him then “they shall never perish”.  But where is the “if”?  And what right do they have to dare tamper with the eternal words of God?  Hear Wisdom’s warning in Proverbs 30:6, “Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar”.  Understand that by adding that little word or thought salvation by God’s grace is denied, salvation by man’s works is promoted, Christ’s work on the cross is cheapened, and man’s part in the deal is made more grand.  If “they shall never perish”, not possibly so, then the Good Shepherd’s sheep shall NEVER perish!

Hear the Lord’s promise to us.  Can He be trusted?  Are His words credible?  “My sheep . . . shall never perish”, says He.  No conditions.  No qualifications.  Only that they have become His own sheep.  Fixed, final, settled, and simply to be received by faith as the sure words of God.  Rest on it my friend!  Believe Him for it!  Settle it now in your heart, and don’t ever let anybody mess with His sure promise again!

Now please look with me to the Apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians 1:13-14.

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.”

Because some were bold to speak the gospel message therefore some believed!  God has ordained that some will believe when His message of salvation in Jesus is proclaimed.

“Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise”.  Having believed “ye were sealed”, marking an event that took place the moment we believed the gospel.  This word “sealed” expresses the idea of marking with a seal.  In ancient times when “signing” a document they would melt wax or apply soft clay and then press a personal insignia into it.  It was the ancient signature before the ready availability of ink, pens, and paper.  The concept of the seal suggests the authority of the one making the seal.  Again, like a signature.  A man’s seal fixed his authority to the document or law he sealed.  Only that man, or one of greater authority, could break that seal, or be subject to the wrath of the one signing.  The seal signifies something sure and finished that could not be changed.  Though man’s seals can be broken, could God’s divine seal ever be touched or tampered with by any created power?  Of course not!  No man has ever broken God’s seal or ever could.  Not even Satan can.

Consider how Paul, in referring to the Ephesian believers here, indicates that all who heard and believed were sealed.  Clearly all of them are implied.  All believers are sealed by the indwelling Spirit upon their faith unto salvation.

The idea behind the word “earnest” in verse 14 is of something given as a pledge, some portion given as a deposit in assurance of the rest yet to come.  We pay a deposit on a property to ensure the seller that we’re committed to buy.  Our deposit ensures our commitment to pay the full amount in due time.  Even so the Spirit of God given to every believer is our “earnest” or security.  He is God’s pledge of the salvation that is ours who believe.  Now think it through.  Would God reverse His solemn pledge before making good on His promise of full inheritance?  Would He break the seal of His pledge?  Only if He would break His promise.  But what is God’s record on that score?  Does He break His promises?  Ever?  NEVER!!

So we have been sealed and pledged or promised, folks!  God has given the seal of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence within every believer, as if pressing His own signature upon each one, marking them as His own possession, fixing their eternal destiny with the very authority of God Himself.  And God has given the Holy Spirit as His pledge or down-payment of the fullness of His presence in glory.  That pledge or promise is as sure and fixed and permanent as God Himself!  As good as God’s name!  As sure as His word!  Again, what do we know about God’s promises?  He is the God whose word does not fail!  He is the God who does just what He tells us He will do.  To doubt that God will keep what He has sealed and pledged is to doubt the trustworthiness of God Himself.

Please allow me to take you to the core difference between the religion of the Bible and every other form of religion.  The Bible describes the God who is holy, absolutely pure, without the least toleration of sin.  On the other hand the Bible affirms the sinfulness of all men, with hearts not only wicked but “desperately” so (Jer. 17:9).  The gulf between holy God and sinful man is horribly vast and utterly unbridgeable from man’s side.  Herein lies the great difference.  Other religions offer benefits from their “gods” that are attainable through the steadfast obedience or prayers or service of their followers.  But the Bible presents the God who is so holy, and human sin so evil, that it is impossible for man to put himself right with God by doing good.  The evil of every man’s sin-defiled heart already stands in the way of any reconciliation from our side.  It’s too late!  No amount of good deeds can wash our evil away.  Except man’s sin be forgiven and cleansed by God there is no hope!  And again, there is no hope in man for this vital work.

God long ago established the principle that without the shedding of blood there is no pardon of sin (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22).  In God’s reckoning death is sin’s due.  That’s what Jesus was all about.  God, in grace, sent His own Son to die in man’s place.  Jesus allowed the punishment and death due to man to fall upon Himself in His suffering on the cross.  He was not weak there.  He allowed His death on the cross in grace, that He might carry the power of sin away in death.  He allowed what happened there that He might rise in victory over death forevermore.  He allowed what happened there that all who stand with Him will not face God’s judgment for their sin.  Now in Jesus Christ, through faith in Him, a soul finds forgiveness of sin in the only way he can; not by his own earning, but only by receiving it as a free gift from GodFor “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

Does this free pardon from God then make a Christian free to sin?  No.  It makes a true Christian a loving, grateful child of God, who is learning to not offend his holy heavenly Father by his sin anymore.

Now please understand that the true God keeps His words, both promises of good and warnings of severity.  Thus when He assures us in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” there are things we can know for certain according to His sure word.  We can know that those who believe and receive Jesus will certainly be spared from God’s judgment, receiving everlasting life instead.  And we can know that those who refuse to believe will just as certainly perish!  What will you do with the sure words of the only true and living God?

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31)

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12)




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