ETERNALLY SECURE? – You can know for Sure!
I Peter 1:4-5 – “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” – We, as the born again children of God, have an inheritance of eternal life that is eternally secured and guaranteed.
It is called an inheritance because it belongs to the children of God. Eternal life cannot be a gift to any but to those who have truly believed by faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Any other assurances of eternal life, by other religions or beliefs are false assurances. We need to understand and defend this doctrine of eternal security. It is foundational to our Christian belief. There are others who believe you can lose your salvation. But to believe this way requires you to take certain scriptures out of context and not fully study or investigate others, as Dr. C.I. Scofield said “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one.” Other false religions around the world claim they can tell you where you will spend eternity if you do certain things or attain certain levels of their belief; but all of these other religions require works of man of some sort. Our Bible tells us it is not by anything man does but eternal life in heaven with Christ is a gift. (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 IS SALVATION? (I John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.) Salvation is being saved. It is being born again. It is accepting the free gift of Christ paying the penalty of our sin so we can go to Heaven. It is calling on the name of the Lord and trusting him with your eternal soul.
Let’s take a look at the steps of salvation:
• First you need to recognize you are a sinner and that you have sinned. (Romans 3:10, 23 – As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;)
• Next you need to realize there is a penalty for sin. (Romans 6:23a – For the wages of sin is death ;)
• Third you need to acknowledge that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sin. (Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. & John 19:30 – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.)
• The fourth step is to know that salvation is a gift of God that He is waiting to give us. (Romans 6:23b – but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)
• Finally and simply the Bible tells us we need to call upon the Lord to be saved and He will save us from our sins and eternity in hell and give us the gift of eternal life with Him in Heaven. (Romans 10:10 &13 – For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.)
LET’S TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT VERSES 4 & 5 OF I PETER CHAPTER 1 (I Peter :1:4-5 – To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.) – The verses are speaking about the elements and nature of our salvation in Christ.
“Incorruptible” – means it cannot decay, it cannot be infiltrated with untruth, and it cannot be dissolved in any way. Because of this “incorruptibleness” it cannot be earthly in origin. It has to be Divine in origin because of its incorruptibleness.
“Undefiled” – “Nothing impure can enter it; it not only has no principles or seeds of dissolution in itself, but it can never admit any; therefore its deterioration is impossible.” – Adam Clarks Commentary.
“Fadeth not away” – It cannot fade, it cannot dim, it cannot lose its original strength, It cannot wither, it is eternal in nature and power.
“Reserved in heaven” – Our salvation is reserved, set aside, preserved and kept safe and secure in heaven for us.
“Who are kept” – Those who have accepted the free gift of salvation, their salvation is kept or defended in a fortress, secured to the utmost. “Who are kept” has the meaning of being kept in custody by watch and under military guard. True Disciples of Christ are under constant and watchful care of God who is guarding and keeping their salvation secure.
“By the power of God” – This phrase tells us by what power our salvation is kept secure. It is kept secure by the mighty and miracle-working power of God. Nothing is more powerful than God and knowing our salvation is kept by the most supreme power there is, is pretty reassuring.
“Ready to be revealed” – Or in other words prepared to be revealed. Our eternal security is prepared, preserved and protected. It is ready to be revealed to us as we pass through deaths door to life eternal with God.
IF YOU ARE BACKSLIDDEN (FALLEN AWAY FROM THE LORD) CAN YOU LOSE YOUR SALVATION? (Hosea 11:7 – And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.) If you have fallen back into a sinful lifestyle are you still a child of God? Or, if you have lost the joy of your salvation do you still have that salvation? (Psalm 51:12 – Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.) The backslider may think he is not saved and he may act like he is not saved. (I Peter 1:4 – To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,). But thank God, no matter what the backslider may do or think that does not matter because once he is saved he is always saved. (Colossians 3:15a – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,…. & I Peter 1:5 – Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.) It is not in our power or how we think that keeps us or makes us saved. We are “kept by the power of God” and knowing and trusting in that, we need to “let the peace of God rule in” our hearts.
If you are saved you are a child of God. Children can be disobedient, rebel and doubt their parents some times, but that does not mean they are no longer their parents children. Once we are saved God calls us His children. If God declares us His children nothing we could do could change that fact. (Luke 20:36 – Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.)
Bible examples of backslidden Christians who were still saved despite their sin:
• Lot did many terrible sins. He lived in a terrible wicked city, he offered up his own daughters to wicked, vile sin. Even though he did some terribly wicked things he was still saved. Why? – Because of what we just learned; our salvation is not dependent on us. Amen! (II Peter 2:8 – And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:) That word “just” in this verse means Lot was a saved man.
• Peter went as far as to deny Christ. Peter denied Christ three times, and the last time he denied him with an oath, but again Peter was still saved. Why? – Because our salvation is not based on our good behavior, but is based on our trust in the shed blood of Jesus to save us from our sins. (Luke 22:54-62)
• Moses was a murderer. He killed the Egyptian guard. Moses trusted the Lord for his salvation. Our salvation is not of ourselves, it is of God and God alone. (Hebrews 11:24,26 – By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.)
• David committed the terrible sin of adultery with Bathsheba; he then had Uriah the Hittite killed to cover up this sin but David was still saved. Why? – Because David trusted in the Messiah, the Christ for his salvation. He knew it had nothing to do with how good or bad he was but it had to do with faith in the saving power of Jesus blood. (Psalm 55:22 – Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.)
IS OUR SALVATION ETERNAL?(John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.) If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we have eternal life. Not, we shall have it, indicating a future tense, not if we are good we will get it, but if we trust on Jesus shed blood for our salvation we have (present tense) eternal life. (John 3:36 – He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.)
If we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior He gives us eternal life. He won’t take it back. We shall never perish – we shall never lose our salvation. (John 10:29-30 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.)This verse says our salvation is kept safe in Gods hand and that no man is able to “pluck” us out of God’s hand. We can be totally confident in God’s ability to keep our salvation secure. There is nothing we could do or any other man could do to cause us to lose our salvation.
God gave His only son to pay our sin debt for us. It is paid in full already. We can’t lose our salvation if God’s son has already paid it in full as He said he did on the cross. (John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.) The Bible tells us that we have the “righteousness of God” imputed in us, imparted to us by Christ’s death on the cross. If we have the “righteousness of God” how is that not enough to satisfy God? God would have to declare himself not righteous enough to be in Heaven if that were so. (II Corinthians 5:21 – For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.)There was an atonement made on our behalf. It was made by Christ through his shed blood. Jesus made himself a substitute for me. He has paid my sin debt on my behalf. (Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.)In other words every Born-Again Christian is credited with Christ’s righteousness. Through the blood that He shed on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin for us.If we have trusted in that shed blood and been credited with the atonement made on our behalf there is no way that we could lose our salvation.
IN CONCLUSION: No scripture says you can lose your salvation, if it is not pulled out of its proper context of the Bible. We are supposed to use scripture to help interpret scripture. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. C.I. Scofield he said “Never use a doubtful or obscure passage to contradict a clear and positive one, and never use and (if) to contradict a (verily)” The Bible tells us that Jesus offered one sacrifice for sin for forever and then He sat down on the right hand of God. The work of the blood sacrifice for the sins of man is done. Jesus paid for all sin of all mankind for all time: past, present and future. To say we could lose our salvation would be to say to Christ “you have to die on the cross again because the first time just was not good enough.” (Hebrews 10:12 – But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God ;)
For us to be able to lose our salvation Jesus would have to be a liar. For on the cross he said “It is finished” which also means paid in full. So if Jesus on the cross said our sin debt was paid in full, and then we lost our salvation. That would mean our sin debt was not paid in full and that Jesus is a liar. Jesus is not a liar. He said in John 14:6 – “….I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” So we can’t lose are salvation. The Bible says our salvation is “sealed with the holy spirit” in Ephesians 1:13. If God seals our salvation how could that seal be broken? The Bible says in Hebrews 5:9 that Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation”. Not salvation till you sin too much. Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation”! Isaiah 45:17 says we have an “everlasting salvation”. Hebrews 7:25 says we are saved “to the uttermost”. That phrase means permanently and completely. We can’t lose something that is already permanent and completed.
We as true born again believers can rest assured in the fact we have an eternally secure salvation that is based in the finished works of the Son of God; which makes it eternally secure. If our salvation was based on anything else it would be a false salvation. Other groups or religions may try to say you can lose your salvation or add works to your salvation but this kind of belief is simply unbiblical and is saying that what Jesus did for us was not good enough and we need to help Him finish the job, God forbid! Rest assured the finished work of securing our eternal salvation was completely done by our Almighty Savior, Jesus Christ the Son of God!