Eternally Secure? Or Eternally Insecure?
Our new birth relationship with God is not that of just a servant, but, firstly, that of a son. An example of the eternal security difference is shown here: 2 Samuel 7:14,15 “I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.” John 1:12 “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:”
We are saved by faith in Jesus, by grace. Not of ourselves. Ephesians 2:8, 9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
So, What happens when a Christian sins, or continues in sin? Romans 6:1, 2 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” We should not continue in sin and it is within our new nature not to. But, we will. Or is it we who do? Romans 7:15-17 “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” Nonetheless, we are accountable for what we allow. We are yet accountable to God. Romans 14:10-12 “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” This accounting is not to see if we are still saved, but because we are.
Jesus will soon return to set up an international kingdom. He will rule and reign for 1,000 years. We who are saved and serve and keep ourselves from sin (James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”) will rule and reign with him. In Revelations 20:4 “…and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
How does this happen? Firstly, the judgment seat of Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
The judgment seat of Christ is about reward, ruling and reigning. It is about the kingdom of God, not salvation. Yes, they are not the same. You must be saved to be in the kingdom, but not all the saved will be in it. Here is a scriptural example: 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Fornicators do not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Chapter 6 clearly states that no fornicator shall inherit the kingdom. In chapter 5 is an example of a fornicator that is saved and will stay saved.
Jesus made a promise to save us. John 6:39 “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” It is his assignment from the Father. We count on him being faithful, not we. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” If we suffer with him we will reign with him. if we deny him our prayers, blessings and protection will be denied. Our receiving of reward will be denied. But, since he is faithful… we are still saved. He cannot deny his own promise.
So, what happens when we sin? Firstly, we will be chastened if we do not accept correction. Hebrews 12:5-8 “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” If a saved person continues in sin he will be chastened. If he is not chastened, he was never really saved. A life born of the teachings, not of the Father.
We cannot lose salvation because salvation is not of ourselves, it is a gift. The kingdom is a different deal. After all, we are saved from being ignorant sinners. If by ignorance and sin we err, that’s the glory of grace. But beware the Father’s heavy hand.