I Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”
God enables His servants and puts them into the ministry; but they have to be willing, faithful, and surrendered vessels. Be a willing vessel and don’t miss out on what God intended you to do with your life.
“Those whom He puts into the ministry He fits for it, whom He calls He qualifies” – Matthew Henry
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
Leviticus 9:23-10:2 “And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.”
THE TRAGEDY OF THEIR LIVES – One of the most tragic statements can ever be made about someone’s life is “What could have been” – This is what can be said about Nadab and Abihu. They could have done so much for the Lord, they could have set a great example, they could have been remembered in their family and history as great men and great men of God; but they are not. They became part of the long line of the “What could have been’s” – They had it all at one point, and then died an early death because of sinful mistakes. What remained of their lives was wasted. Let’s look at what they had going for them.·
ONE SEEMINGLY SMALL ACT (OR SIN) RUINED EVERYTHING – Don’t make the same mistakes that Nadab and Abihu did in throwing away a promising future for one moment, for one act, for one lapse of judgment. Always, always, always do things God’s way. Always put God first in your life and in your decision making. Establish convictions on what you will and will not do in certain situations based on God’s word and stick with those convictions. There is a famous song that states “I did it my way”; what a horrible statement this is that can lead to a life of ruin. We should hopefully never be able to say that about our lives. We should always strive to always do things God’s way and never our own way. (Galatians 6:7-8 – Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.)
No sooner had they enjoyed the great blessing of God consecrating them for His service in a glorious moment in front of the whole nation of Israel, that then Nadab and Abihu ruin everything. Just as Adam and Eve had it all in the Garden of Eden, and chose to disobey God in their pride, so too Nadab and Abihu ruin their lives and bring great grief upon countless other lives by their sin.
THE EFFECT OF YOUR SIN – Your sin does not just effect you, it also effect’s everyone else in your life too. Psalm 119:136 was spoken in reference to the sins of others “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.” – Doing things your way, your mistakes, your sins don’t just effect you, they affect everyone that loves and cares about you; they also affect all those who in the future you could have ministered too if it were not for those mistakes. Just as fire from God had consumed the animal sacrifice, it now fell upon Nadab and Abihu and consumed them because of their tragic sin and mistake.
Biblical Instruction on Gender Identity
Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”
Moses gave us some foundational and relevant instruction on a hot topic of discussion happening today. Moses in his writings in the Pentateuch, gave the world God’s foundational teachings and truths on this topic of gender identity and transgenderism.
INTRODUCTION: First, before we delve into this topic of transgenderism and gender identity, we have to establish what sources are used for truth. We have to establish that absolute truth, that absolute rights, and absolute wrongs do exist. Something’s are right or permitted to be done as long as they are in the bounds of God’s Word; and something’s are wrong and sinful to do. We have to acknowledge that there is sin in the world. We have to acknowledge that there are evil things in this world. We have to be willing to accept that certain acts committed by men are in fact evil in the sight of God and condemned as such by Him in His Word.
We have going on in the news today several examples of this topic that we are going to examine in light of God’s Word. We have the new bathroom policy implemented by Target stores – “In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” We also have in North Carolina the law designed to protect the privacy and safety of women and children while using the restroom by restricting people to using the bathroom that corresponds to their sex that is on their birth certificate. Since this North Carolina law has taken affect the state has been threatened and now sued by the federal government claiming the right of a transgender person to use the bathroom of their choice, trumps the right to privacy and safety of the other 99.7% of the population of the United States.
The Texas Attorney General in response to the bathroom policy of Target issued this statement – “As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target’s safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes,”. American Family Association President had this to say on this topic “Nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy …Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.” – As you can see, we live in a world that seems to have lost what historically most would have considered basic common sense. What is up is now down, what is right is now wrong, what was wrong is now right. The Bible warned us about this in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” “Modern social righteousness often differs from the righteousness of the Bible. Someone has said: ‘A wrong deed is right if the majority of people declare it not to be wrong.’ By this principle we can see our standards shifting from year to year according to the popular vote!” – Rev. Billy Graham. Hazen G. Werner, who served as a United Methodist bishop in Ohio, Hong Kong and Taiwan, once said this: “There is no more startling phenomenon in our day than the respectabilization of evil.” We are seeing this phenomenon taking place right before our eyes today. Today we are seeing things that were once generally accepted as being good, getting challenged over and over again. Governments and courts are redefining marriage and ruling that those desiring to live by Biblical standards are law breakers. So how does one know what is right and wrong in areas of morality, and specifically in the area of transgenderism? The answer I would argue is very simple; but we will first consider a few things.
WHAT DO MANY ACCEPT AS AUTHORITY IN MORALITY?
Their feelings. – If it feels good to them it must be right. The Bible warns us against trusting our feelings. (Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.). Others may say I have to follow my heart. The Bible also warns us against doing that as well. (Proverbs 28:26a – He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool:). Many people have destroyed their lives by trusting their feelings or following their heart. (Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)
Their conscience – As the saying goes “Let your conscience be your guide” – But your conscience will not always be reliable, especially if you are not saved. A better saying would be to “Always let the Holy Spirit that lives in you be your guide”. An example of a conscience not being right is found in the life of Paul. He let his unsaved conscience guide him to persecute Christians. (Acts 26:9-11 – I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.)
Their friends – “Everyone else is doing it” – Remember everyone else in Noah’s day did not trust God and get on the Ark. How did that work out for them? Don’t use what everyone else does as your guide to morality but rather choose the right path and the narrow way that leads to a joyous life. (Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.)
NOW LETS EXAMINE THE CHRISTIANS AUTHORITY IN MORALITY
Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18). Jesus has all authority in all areas, including areas of sexual morals and behavior. (Ephesians 4:21-24 – If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.)· Jesus will one day judge all of mankind. (Acts 17:31 – Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.)· Jesus will use His Word as the standard to judge all men. (John 12:48 – He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.)
Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, guided what the Apostles wrote about morality in their writings. (John 16: 12-13 – I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.) – The argument that says Jesus did not say anything about it does not hold water. Jesus used the Holy Spirit to author the entire Bible. The entire Bible is what Jesus said. (II Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.)
This authority pertains to all areas including areas of morality. – Paul charged the church of Thessalonica regarding moral issues (I Thessalonians 4:1-8). Paul also addressed the churches of Ephesus and Corinth regarding issues of morality.
CONFUSION ABOUT MORALITY – With the sources of authority the world uses you can see why there would be confusion about morality. This brings me to my original point in order to get to where one can know for sure what is really right or what is really evil in the sight of God; one has to acknowledge that absolute truth does exist and the authority for establishing that absolute truth comes from Christ Jesus. The Christian need not to be confused about moral issues, because God, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” II Peter 1:3. All need to know and accept by faith what Jesus said “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. If God is not the author of confusion then who is? —- The father of lies – Satan; and he uses his lies to help cause the confusion of the transgender person. (John 8:44 – Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.)
SO WHAT ABOUT BEING TRANSEXUAL OR TRANSGENDER? – Deuteronomy 22:5 says “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” We find also that Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 19:4 “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” – Notice Jesus said it is God that makes people male or female. They do not later get to decide or identify as a different gender, it is God that makes that determination and that determination was made before their conception. This verse tells us clearly that women are not to dress in a way or present themselves in a way that would lead one to possibly confuse them with a man or present themselves in a masculine way, with masculine characteristics to their dress or hair. It also teaches us clearly that men are not to dress up like women or present themselves physically in a way that could lead them to be confused for a women or to dress or present themselves in an effeminate manner.
Charles Ryrie said this about this passage – “In that society male and female dress were similar, making distinctive styles for the sexes especially important to help prevent transvestism and homosexuality.”
The British Family Bible Commentary states this about this verse in Deuteronomy “If there were no distinction of sexes, made by their habits, it would open a door to all manner of impurity: for which reason, if there were no other, this law was very wise and pious.”
It goes against nature to blur the distinction between male and female. When such blurring of these distinctions begins it creates confusion and opens the door to all kinds of unspeakable sins. It is not just a blurring of the distinctions between male and female but those who proclaim themselves as transgender or transsexual most likely are really suffering from a psychological disorder or the effects of sinfulness of some kind; because the Bible clearly teaches all people were made either male or female by God. God is not the author of confusion and thinking one is supposed to be the opposite sex of one’s birth is a clear indication of major confusion. (I Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.)
AN EXAMPLE OF THE CONFUSION INVOLVED IN THE SIN OF TRANSGENDERISM – There was a man who had medical procedures in the 1980’s to become like a women. He has since reverted back to his biological gender as that of a man. He changed back because he said he found God and God redeemed him, forgave him and changed his life and gave him the hope he had been searching for. This man lived for 8 years as a woman. He said the physical change did nothing to resolve his mental and emotional struggles. He simply needed God and instead searched for fulfillment in other things. He said one day he had an epiphany, he was not transgender he realized he was simply a man with a psychological problem. He now says that no one is born transgender but people can suffer from psychological disorders brought about by sin. Either their own sin or by being abused sinfully by others usually at an early age. This man said “God designed man; He designed women, God will redeem the lives of people who struggle with gender identity issues just like I did. He redeemed my life, and I’ve been free from it as a result of that. I can see that changing genders, quite frankly is just pure foolishness.” God’s power, love and forgiveness can redeem sinful man; it can redeem the transgender person. We need to demonstrate God’s love and compassion to the transgender person, while making sure at the same time to not condone their sin. Remember, such were some of the church at Corinth and God changed their lives and used them to do great things for Him. (I Corinthians 6:11 – And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.)
SO IS TRANSGENDERISM ACCEPTABLE OR SHOULD WE ACCEPT IT? – NO, it is NOT acceptable in God’s sight. It should NOT be accepted. It is not intolerant to be against sin. It is loving to be against sin and proclaim sin as sin. It is wrong to remain silent on the issue when you know the truth; and you know the truth has the power to set men free from the shackles of sin and the shackles of the sin of transgenderism. (John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
It is not acceptable because God created two distinct genders and roles at creation. (Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.)
It is not acceptable because nature teaches us that transgender conduct is sinful. (Romans 1:26-27 – For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.)
It is not acceptable because it disregards our God given gender. (Deuteronomy 22:5 – The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.)Ø It is not acceptable because it promotes homosexuality. (Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.)
It is not acceptable because it dishonors God’s creation. (Romans 1:24 – Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:)
It is not acceptable because it dishonors marriage and the home as ordained by God. (Genesis 2:23-24 – And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.)
IN CONCLUSION: Temptations and sin are not insurmountable. There is no sin too big or egregious that God cannot forgive and help the sinner to overcome it. We need to be ministry minded to those who are affected by this sin. Remember how God was able to use those that used to be affected by this sin in the church of Corinth to do service for Him. God can change lives and change hearts if the person affected by this sin will open up and let Him. It is that God forms our identity as male or female and He knows us before our birth. (Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.)
We just examined a foundational truth as found in the writings of Moses in Deuteronomy 22:5. This truth is a key teaching to be familiar with in light of current events going on in our country. We have to establish that absolute truth that absolute rights and absolute wrongs do exist. In order to get to where one can know for sure what is really right or what is really evil in the sight of God; one has to acknowledge that absolute truth does exist and the authority for establishing that absolute truth comes from Christ Jesus. We learned that this passage given to us through Moses clearly teaches women are not to dress in a way or present themselves in a way that would lead one to possibly confuse them with a man or present themselves in a masculine way and that men are not to dress up like women or present themselves physically in a way that could lead them to be confused for a women or to dress or present themselves in an effeminate manner.
Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord , and to do it , and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”
To Ezra the law of God was more important than the teachings of the day. Gods Word took the preeminence in his life. Ezra sought to learn the law of the Lord. He searched the Scriptures seeking knowledge of God. Then he set about to teach and share what he had learned about God with others.
Is God’s Word that important to us? Are we purposely seeking to learn His Word so we can then share the good news of Christ with others? – Have you prepared your heart to learn of God and live for Him? Are you seeking out the truth of God’s Word? Are you seeking to grow spiritually?
The lack of spiritual growth in the life of a Christian is a very dangerous thing. It can lead you to live a life of foolishness, it can lead you to make dumb and dangerous decisions that can have drastic and life altering consequences for you. The lack of spiritual maturity is sad and dangerous because there may be blessings to be enjoyed in Christ that only the mature or maturing Christian can truly understand and enjoy. The spiritual immature do not fully understand or grasp the incredible importance of their standing with Christ. Staying spiritually immature is dangerous in that in leaves those people wide open to falling for the “wiles of the devil”.
Are you preparing your heart to seek and to learn the Word of God? Are you acting on what you have already learned of the Word of God? Are you teaching and sharing what you have learned from the Word of God with others?
Proverbs 10:30 “The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.”
The joy and hope only found in the Lord shall never leave the righteous. The righteous have a guaranteed hope in the Lord; we have a guaranteed inheritance. “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” I Peter 1:4
The wicked on the other hand have certain and eternal ruin and destruction coming. II Thessalonians 1:9 “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”
Make sure you have accepted God’s free gift of salvation today. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“ABOUND IN HOPE”
Romans 15:13 – “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
We can abound in hope because we have trust in a risen Savior. We can abound in hope because we have the Holy Ghost within us. We can abound in hope because we have a merciful and gracious God that will enable us to abound in the Hope only He can provide.
INTRODUCTION: Christians are to live a life abounding in Hope. Are you abounding in Hope right now? Do you have the hope of God living in you right now? Have you accepted the only source of this true hope as your personal Savior?
Notice in verse 13 “Now the God of Hope” – God is the foundation on which our hope is built; and He is the Builder of that hope. God is both the object of our hope and the Author of it.
Now man can have earthly hope of things to come. A child can hope to get a certain present, a young man can hope to get his driver’s license or a car; an adult can hope to get a nice house; but this kind of hope is man based, man centered, and man built. Hoping for all these things is not wrong necessarily; but Christians should also have a heavenly minded hope, this heavenly minded hope should be the predominant hope of our life. We should not worship at the altar of earthly things but we should be worshipping at the altar of the Author of our eternal hope – Christ Jesus! Psalm 39:7 says “And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”
Is your hope in the Lord tonight? Or is it in your ability? Or is it in your plans? Or is it in your dreams? Or is your hope where it should be, in the Lord?
To help get a better understanding of what Biblical hope is and how we get it, how it is defined, how it is described in the Bible, how we develop it in our lives, how we demonstrate it, and how we act in out in our lives, I am going to ask a series of questions about hope and try to answer them as we go along.
WHAT IS HOPE? – It is joy and peace and not sorrow and stress! (Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.)
HOW DO WE GET HOPE?
HOW IS HOPE DEFINED – The Greek word translated as hope in Romans 15 is “el-pece” which means to anticipate with pleasure, an expectation either concrete or abstract, or a confident faith or expectation. It has the meaning of dealing with the unseen or the future.
HOW IS HOPE DESCRIBED – what are some descriptions of true Biblical hope?
HOW IS HOPE DEVELOPED – How do we develop our hope? How do we develop hope in our life?
HOW IS HOPE DEMONSTRATED – How is hope demonstrated by the Christian? How is hope demonstrated in your life?
HOW IS HOPE ACTED OUT – How does a Christian act out the living Hope that is within us? (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is the Desire and expectation of…
So what is the hope of a Christian? – it is the Desire and expectation made possible by…
So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is the Desire and expectation manifested by…
So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is truly the helmet of our salvation. (I Thessalonians 5:8 – But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.)
Hope is the anchor of our soul. (Hebrews 6:19 – Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;) – For which we should praise God.
If you are born again in Christ you are a partaker of a lively hope, a living hope, and an eternal hope through the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1:3-7 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 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. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ;)
Are you a possessor of this true Biblical hope? – Have you ever admitted you are a sinner, in need of a Savior? Have you ever accepted the gift of salvation and eternal life from Jesus Christ? Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
If you have not accepted this gift of salvation why don’t you accept it today?
Are you abounding in hope?
If you need to renew your eager anticipation, if you need to refresh your hope in Christ why don’t you do that today?
If you need to ask God to give you peace and hope to face your current circumstances make sure and do that today too.
If you are feeling convicted because your life does not always demonstrate the hope you should have as a Christian why don’t you get that right today?
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!
“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” – Psalm 34:18
“HOLD MY HAND, LORD…”
Walk me through the loneliness
and the valley of my sorrow…
Hold onto me when I’m too afraid
to think about tomorrow…
Let me lean on You, Lord,
when I’m too weary to go on…
Hold my hand, Lord,
through the night until I see
the light of dawn…
–written by – B.J. Hoff
The word translated as “nigh” in Psalm 34:18 has the meaning of being near, allied with, at hand, a near family relation and eager to help comfort. When we are going through the tremendous sorrow of a broken heart, keep in mind the Bible promises us at this time the Lord is as near to us as possible. He is allied with us; that is He is not going to let us go through this despair alone. He is always at hand, He is not going to let even one moment pass by without being there for us in that trial. The Bible says He is a near family relation; or in other words He is there for us as a loving Father wrapping us up in His loving arms of support and love. He is eager to help us, He desires to and will give us the strength we need moment by moment. We may not realize it at the time; but looking back on certain moments we have been through in our life, we know it is only but for the Lord helping us through that moment that we made it through.
Are you ready to meet God? We all will meet Him one day. We all have a set appointment already made with death. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:27 – “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”. Are you ready for that appointment with death? Are you ready to meet God? The Bible tells us elsewhere that all men whether they are evil or good, saved or lost will meet God one day and bow the knee to Him; and that everyone will confess that Jesus is the true God and Lord of all. (Philippians 2:10-11 – That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.)
Have you confessed Jesus as the Savior of your soul? Have you accepted Him into your heart and called upon Him to save you from your sins? Many people may say there is more than one way to heaven; but the Bible tells us otherwise. Jesus said in John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” There is but one way to heaven and that way goes through Jesus Christ the Son of God. Who humbled Himself and came to this earth and became a man and lived among us for 33 and a half years. He did this so He could sacrifice Himself for us and pay our sin debt for us. We all have a sin debt that needs to be paid before we can go to heaven. (Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;) We are incapable of paying this debt on our own. This debt requires a perfect sacrificial payment to be paid in full. Jesus was that perfect sacrifice. He came to earth and paid that sin debt, on our behalf, so we could have the opportunity to go to Heaven. Jesus did this for us because of His great and perfect love He has for all mankind. (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.)
In order to be ready to meet God you want to be sure you are going to Heaven. You do not want any doubt as to where you will spend eternity. You do not want to take a chance on this eventuality. We all will go to one of two places when we die; if we are saved, if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will go to Heaven when we die, if we are not saved, if we have not accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will go to hell when we die. Jesus spoke of hell in Matthew 8:12 – “…shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”, Matthew 13:42 – “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” & Matthew 25:41 – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” and many other verses record Jesus teachings and warnings about hell.
So, are you ready to meet God? – I pray you are. I also pray you seriously consider and ponder if you are ready and take the time to make sure you are on your way to heaven; and that you are ready to meet God. If you are not sure you are ready to meet God; you just need to acknowledge you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Repent or turn away from your sin, ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you from your sins and accept His payment in full, of your sin debt, on the cross. Please take the time to read the Bible passages below, if you are uncertain if you are ready to meet God, and then pray to God to save you from your sins.
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.”
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 10:9,10 & 13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 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.”
Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
David went through a lot of trials and trouble in his life. He faced the giant none other was willing to face and he killed Goliath – with God’s help and guidance. What giants are you facing right now? What obstacle has presented itself in your life? Perhaps it is a financial giant, a problem relationship giant, a trial at work or school giant, a health concern giant or perhaps it is the giant of guilt or the giant of losing someone in your life that was dear and beloved to you. (John 16:33 – These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.)
David went on to be hunted by Saul for doing nothing wrong but willing to live his life according to God’s plan and purpose. David lived in caves in the wilderness; but David kept his faith. What trials are you going through that are no fault of your own? – give those cares and give those concerns over to God; and don’t lose your faith in Him. Just like David did, though under heavy persecution and facing many trials he kept his faith in God. Don’t lose your hope or faith, with the Lord there is always hope for a better tomorrow. (Lamentations 3:22-24 -t is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.)
David later went over to the Philistines, he continued to suffer many things. Many times he did not have anything to eat. – Why? Have you ever asked why? Why must I go through this trial, this tribulation, this hardship or this loss? The Bible tells us God does everything for a purpose – why didn’t God make David’s circumstances easier for him? Because God was training David to be a king! What could God be training you for with the circumstances you are currently facing? What could you learn from that trial? How could God use you in the future as a result of that tribulation? What could that loss you are facing lead you to in the future? We do not know the answers to these questions. We must though, however difficult in can be at the moment, we must, like David did, keep our faith in God. Trust in Him, rely on Him and continue to look for how what you are going through can be used for His honor and Glory. (I Peter 1:6-9 – Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.)
In Acts 13 verse 22 the Bible says “he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.“ How is your heart lining up with God’s? Are you willing to fulfill His will in your life? David in his life made many mistakes, caused many of his own problems when he strayed from God and God’s will for his life. Do not allow yourself to make those same mistakes of straying from God in your time of trial, don’t try to do it alone, do not allow yourself to become bitter at the situation. As hard as it is to hear, as hard as it may be to think, as hard as it may be to believe – but God does work everything out for the good to those who are called according to His purpose and those who confess Him as their Savior. God is our safe haven, He is our strength in time of weakness and trouble. (Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. & Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.)