IT IS A MOCKERY OF GOD AND HIS WORD TO PREACH SALVATION BY MAN’S FREE-WILL

IT IS A MOCKERY OF GOD AND HIS WORD TO PREACH SALVATION BY MAN’S FREE-WILL

Michael Jeshurun

God says – “(Salvation) is “not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy!” [Rom 9:16]
The Arminian says, “sorry, Salvation IS of him that willeth of his own ‘free-will’ and of him that runneth with his determination!”

God says, “No man can come to Me except the Father which hath sent Me draw him!” [John 6:44]
The Arminian says, “sorry, that’s YOUR interpretation! A man though fallen and depraved CAN come to Christ if he so wills!”

God says, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” [John 10:28]
The Arminian says, “sorry, the child of God CAN and will perish if he doesn’t ‘behave’, and though no man may be able to pluck them out of God’s hand, the child of God can himself jump out and run away!”

God says, “I lay down My life for the sheep!” [John 10:15]
The Arminian asserts “No! Christ shed His blood for Judas equally with Peter, and for Pilate as truly as for Paul, and for those burning in hell as well as for those in glory!”

God says, “the redeemed of the LORD SHALL RETURN, and COME with singing unto Zion” [Isaiah 51:11]
The Arminian says, “No! they can CHOOSE not to return or come!”

Finally God says, “And I will make an Everlasting Covenant with them, that I WILL NOT TURN AWAY FROM THEM, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that THEY SHALL NOT DEPART FROM ME.” [Jer 32:40]
The Arminian says, “Sorry, God WILL depart from His covenant children if they don’t behave and His children too will depart from Him if they aren’t faithful.”

Ultimately, Salvation according to the Arminian is NOT “of the Lord!” [Jonah 2:9] it is of “the Lord AND man!” Salvation is NOT by grace ALONE but by grace PLUS WORKS! In the final analysis man hath whereof to glory (Rom 4:2) for without his ‘cooperation’ Christ died in vain!

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, BUT OF DEBT!
But to him that WORKETH NOT, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, HIS FAITH is counted for righteousness.

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness WITHOUT WORKS,

Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” [Rom 4:4-8]

“Not UNTO US, O LORD, not Unto Us, but UNTO THY NAME give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake!” [Psalm 115:1]

THREE THINGS ON WHICH SECURITY OF SALVATION IS BASED

THREE THINGS ON WHICH SECURITY OF SALVATION IS BASED

Henry Mahan


A man’s idea of Salvation and his security is based on three things – It’s based first of all on HOW you got it, it’s based secondly on WHAT it is that you have, and it’s based thirdly on what IT DID FOR YOU.

Now let me point those out. Number one, HOW did you receive Salvation? Now your idea of Salvation, and the security of that salvation depends on HOW you got it. How did YOU get salvation? Huh? Was it something that was a work YOU performed? Was it a change that YOU affected? Was it a decision that YOU made? Was it something that YOU did for God? . . . . then you can lose it! ‘Cause it’s YOUR work, and YOUR work will not abide. Your work will not endure the trial. It won’t last! If it’s something YOU did, it won’t last, you can lose it!

But was it all of GOD? . . . was it GOD who saved you? Was it God who found you in the ditch? Was it GOD who found you hopeless and helpless like the babe in Ezekiel 16, neither washed nor swaddled nor navel cut, lying in your own blood, polluted – waiting for the vultures to pick your bones dry? And God said “LIVE”, it was a time of love, He said, “I came by and I said “LIVE!” Was it a work GOD did for you? Then it will last, because the scripture says, “He that hath begun a good work in you will perform until the Day of Jesus Christ!” . . . It all depends on HOW you got it.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 says that “whatsoever GOD doeth, it shall be forever” no man can add to it or take from it! I don’t know who saved you, but I’ll tell you if GOD did, it is an ETERNAL WORK! Now if YOU did it, if some preacher stood up and kept begging you to make a decision for Jesus and you stood back and wrestled over it for a while and decided you might as well please your wife, your son your daughter, and you might as well please your brother or sister, you might as well get religion and you might as well go to heaven when you die . . . if THAT was all there was to it – and you joined the Church, got baptized, you turned over a new leaf, you quit your drinking and you did this that and the other . . . you’re going to hell before it’s over! That’s not nice, but that’s so! Because if YOU did it . . . you can lose it. But if GOD did it, it’s a whole lot different.

Second thing it depends on is this – WHAT IS IT YOU GOT? What is salvation? Is it just ‘reformation’ well then you can lose it. If you can reform one way, you can reform the other way. Is it just mental assent to certain doctrines? Did you just read some doctrine and say, “Well, I believe that” well you can un-believe it too. That’s all it is. Is it just a desire to go to heaven? Everybody wants to go to heaven, . . . well maybe someday you might change your mind, and decide there isn’t a heaven after all. You could you know. You made that other decision, you could make this one.

What is Salvation? Reformation? Mental assent to doctrine? A desire to miss hell? Then I say you can lose it. Or is salvation like the Bible says – A new life, a new life, a new life! The Holy Spirit quickeneth whom He will. A new nature! That which is born of the flesh is flesh. I still have a fleshly nature. But thank God by His power – by His regenerating begetting power I have a new-nature, a divine nature, a godly nature. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, he is a new person. When God gives the sinner life, he is a new person! A person who never was before! A new person, a new being, a new creature – THAT is what salvation is about and Christ is the King and Priest and Prophet of that new creature.

And the THIRD thing is WHAT HAS SALVATION DONE FOR YOU? Has it made you miserable or has it made you happy? Has it left you pining for the world? Has it left you wishing you didn’t have to go to Church, wishing you didn’t have to give your income, wishing you didn’t have to associate with those religious people, and wishing you could go on and be what you want to be . . . then go on and be what you want to be . . . ‘cause you will sooner or later anyhow.

But when GOD saves a sinner, He puts the love of God in his heart, and He gives him a new walk and a new desire, He makes him happy in Christ, he is happy with the people of God, he is happy with the Gospel . . . that’s his new nature, that’s his new life. He who is born of God overcometh the world! You see what I’m saying. He is not miserable, he is happy. This is where he wants to be, these are the people he wants to be with . . . this is what he wants to be doing. He is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new! [2Cor 5:17]

[Transcribed by Michael Jeshurun from Pastor Henry Mahan’s sermon titled – “Astonishing Doctrine” preached on August 3rd 1975]

‘ETERNAL SECURITY OF BELIEVERS’ WHAT IT MEANS

‘ETERNAL SECURITY OF BELIEVERS’ WHAT IT MEANS

Michael Jeshurun

Eternal Security does not mean that all those who were baptized in infancy, all those who responded to an ‘altar call’ or all those who prayed a little prayer to accept Jesus as their ‘personal saviour’ are ‘eternally secure’!

But what it does mean is that all those who were loved and elected by the Father in eternity (Eph 1:4), all those for whom the Son shed His precious blood (John 10:15), and all those whom the Holy Spirit has sovereignly regenerated (John 3:8) are “KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time!” (1Pet 1:5)

Salvation is something which in all honesty WE never desired, prayed for nor sought after! It was something which was given to us FREELY without any regard to either our merit or demerit! “I was found of them THAT SOUGHT ME NOT; I was made manifest unto them that ASKED NOT AFTER ME.” (Rom 10:20)

All the children of Adam are born as sworn enemies of the Mighty Jehovah. They “are ESTRANGED FROM THE WOMB: and go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” (Psalm 58:3) They may worship a ‘god’ of their own imagination, embrace an orthodox religion and have a head full of doctrine, but they can neither perceive nor love the Sovereign Discriminating God of the Scriptures!

This GOD can only be known by REVELATION! And He has chosen to reveal Himself to a FEW as opposed to the MANY who live and die in darkness! These ‘FEW’ He calls ‘Sheep” as opposed to the “Goats”. To the sheep it is GRANTED (Luke 8:10) to hear His voice and follow Him, and the voice of a stranger they will not follow!

And as is common with sheep in the natural world these spiritual sheep go astray many a time, but they NEVER CAN BE ‘LOST’ FOREVER, for they are under the care and oversight of the Master Shepherd of whom it is written – “Of them which Thou gavest Me have I lost none!” (John 18:9)

The salvation of God’s elect is at times likened to the building of a temple, and God as the Master builder! While men may at times undertake the building of a project and later leave it undone for a lack of foresight or the power and resource to finish thereof; not so God!

It shall NEVER be said of God, “This man began to build, and was not able to finish!” Oh No! “Being CONFIDENT of this very thing, that He which HATH BEGUN a good work in you WILL PERFORM IT until the day of Jesus Christ!” (Phil 1:6)

“The hands of Zerubbabel (picture of Christ) have LAID THE FOUNDATION of this house; his hands shall also FINISH IT; and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it! (Zech 4:6-8)

Yes, the elect of God are eternally secure, not because of anything in them or performed by them, but because of Him who promised –

“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!” (John 10:28,29)

Say Hallelujah!

HOW TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE

HOW TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE

 A.W. Pink

 “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure”! [2Pet 1:10]

This exhortation, then, is addressed to LIVING SAINTS AND NOT TO DEAD SINNERS. To teach that the unregenerate can do anything at all toward securing their calling and election, is not only colossal ignorance, but it gives the lie of God’s Word. When they are delivering a divine message, the FIRST DUTY of God’s ministers is to draw very definitely the line of demarcation between the Church and the world: it is failure at this point which causes so many children of the Devil to claim relationship with the people of God.

Attention to the context will almost always make it clear to whom a passage pertains: whether to the children of men in general or to the children of God in particular. The simplest and most effectual way of making this plain to their hearers, is for them to carefully delineate the characters (the identifying marks) of the one and of the other—note how the apostle followed this very course in the first four verses of the epistle.

To discover that God’s purpose of grace is restricted to an elect people, is alarming to one who has imagined that He loves all mankind alike. To be made to seriously wonder if I am one of those whom God chose in Christ before the foundation of the world, raises a question which it is not easy to answer satisfactorily; and to be made to diligently inquire into my actual state, to solemnly examine myself before God, is a task which no hypocrite will prosecute; yet is it one which the regenerate will not shrink from, but on the contrary will pursue it with earnest zeal and fervent prayers to God for help therein.

It is not (as some foolishly suppose) that the one who is now so seriously concerned about his spiritual condition and eternal destiny is in such alarm because he doubts God’s Word. Far from it: it is just because he believes God’s Word that he doubts himself, doubts the validity of his Christian profession. It is because he believes the Scriptures when they declare the Lord’s flock is a “very little one” (Greek, Luke 12:32), he is fearful that he belongs not to it. It is because he believes God when He says, “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness” (Prov. 30:12), and that finding so much filth in his own soul, he trembles lest that be true of him. It is because he believes God when He says “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9), that he is deeply exercised lest he be fatally deluded. Ah, my reader, the more firmly we believe God’s Word, the more cause have we to doubt ourselves.

To obtain assurance that they have received a supernatural call from God, which has brought them from death unto life, is a matter of paramount concern to those who really value their souls. Those to whom God has imparted an honest heart abhor hypocrisy, refuse to take anything for granted, and greatly fear lest they impose upon themselves by passing a more favorable verdict than is warranted. Others may laugh at their concern and mock at their fears, but this moves them not. TOO MUCH IS AT STAKE FOR SUCH A MATTER TO BE LIGHTLY AND HURRIEDLY DISMISSED. They know full well that it is one which must be settled in the presence of God, and if they are deceived, they beg Him to make them aware of it. It is God who has wounded them, and He alone can heal; it is God who has disturbed their carnal complacency, and none but He can bestow real spiritual rest.

There is a class of professing Christians who entertain no doubts whatever about their salvation, who are fond of saying, “as well look to an iceberg for heat or into a grave to find the tokens of life, as search within ourselves for proofs of the new birth”. But is it not akin to blasphemy to suggest that God the Spirit can take up His residence in a person and yet for there to be no definite evidences of His presence.

It is not the making of our calling and election sure GODWARDS, but MANWARDS. Nor is it something future which is here in view: it is the present enjoyment to ourselves of our calling and election, and of evidencing the same to our brethren. By heeding the exhortation of verses 5-7 I am to prove my calling and election, and demonstrate the same to the Church. A man may tell me he believes in election and is sure that he has been called of God, but unless I can see in his character and conduct the spiritual graces of verses 5-7 then I have to say of him (as Paul did of the Galatians) “I stand in doubt of you.” Here, then, is the meaning: make steadfast in your own conscience your calling and election, and make good to others your profession, by walking as a child of God.

HOW may a real believer ascertain that he is one of God’s elect?

Why, the very fact he is a genuine Christian evidences it, for a believing into Christ is the sure consequence of God’s having ordained him to eternal life (Acts. 13:48). But to be more specific. How may I know my election?

FIRST, by the Word of God, having come in Divine power to the soul, so that my self-complacency is shattered and my self-righteousness renounced.

SECOND, by the Spirit’s having convicted me to my woeful, guilty, and lost condition.

THIRD, by having had revealed to me the suitability and sufficiency of Christ to meet my desperate case, and by a divinely given faith causing me to lay hold of and rest upon Him as my only hope.

FOURTH, by the marks of the new nature within me: a love for God, an appetite for spiritual things, a longing for holiness, a seeking after conformity to Christ.

FIFTH, by the resistance which the new nature makes to the old, causing me to hate sin and loathe myself for it.

SIXTH, by sedulously avoiding everything which is condemned by God’s Word, and by sincerely repenting of and humbly confessing every transgression thereof. Failure at this point will most surely and quickly bring a dark cloud over our assurance, causing the Spirit to withhold His witness.

SEVENTH, by giving all diligence to cultivate the Christian graces, and using all legitimate means to this end. Thus, knowledge of election is cumulative.

[Taken from A.W. Pink’s ‘The Doctrine of Election’]

THE NEW BIRTH – BOTH IRRESISTIBLE AND IRREVERSIBLE!

THE NEW BIRTH – BOTH IRRESISTIBLE AND IRREVERSIBLE!

Michael Jeshurun

Salvation is not a REWARD given to those who have ‘PERFORMED’, but a FREE GIFT given to those who CANNOT PERFORM! It is something that you have RIGHT NOW, not something you will receive LATER, based on your performance! May the good Lord burn the truth of this verse into our hearts – “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!” [Eph 2:8,9].

“Regeneration is a radical and supernatural change of the inner nature, through which the soul is made spiritually alive, and the new life which is implanted is immortal. And since it is a change in the inner nature, it is in a sphere in which man does not have control. No creature is at liberty to change the fundamental principles of its nature, for that is the prerogative of God as creator. Hence nothing short of another supernatural act of God could REVERSE this change and cause the new life to be lost!

The born-again Christian can no more lose his sonship to the heavenly Father than an earthly son can lose his sonship to an earthly father. The idea that a Christian may fall away and perish arises from a wrong conception of the principle of spiritual life, which is imparted to the soul in regeneration.” – A.W. Pink

If Christ had gone to the cross just to give us life, conceivably we could commit a sin and lose that life; but because He has given us ETERNAL LIFE, by the very nature of that which is eternal, it must be forever and ever. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” [Jn. 3:36]. Not WILL have or MAY have (IF he behaves), but HATH RIGHT NOW! [see also 1 Jn 5:13].

The ‘new birth’ is a spiritual resurrection, a passing from death unto life [Jn 5:24]. Writing to the saints in Ephesus the apostle Paul said, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; [Eph. 2:4-6; see also Col. 2:12]. This is the resurrection that Jesus spoke of to Martha before He raised Lazarus from the dead. He said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die [Jn. 11:25,26].

According to these verses, those whom God hath made alive, have experienced the resurrection of their souls. The Bible calls this the ‘First Resurrection’ [Rev. 20:5]. Upon those who have experienced the First Resurrection the ‘Second Death’ has no power [Rev. 20:6]. The second death being eternal damnation in Hell [Rev. 20:14].

THE MEANING OF THE ‘ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE SAINTS’

THE MEANING OF THE ‘ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE SAINTS’

Michael Jeshurun

Eternal Security does not mean that all those who were baptized in infancy, all those who responded to an ‘altar call’ or all those who prayed a little prayer to accept Jesus as their ‘personal saviour’ are ‘eternally secure’!

But what it does mean is that all those who were loved and elected by the Father in eternity (Eph 1:4), all those for whom the Son shed His precious blood (John 10:15), and all those whom the Holy Spirit has sovereignly regenerated (John 3:8) are “KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time!” (1Pet 1:5)

Salvation is something which in all honesty WE never desired, prayed for nor sought after! It was something which was given to us FREELY without any regard to either our merit or demerit! “I was found of them THAT SOUGHT ME NOT; I was made manifest unto them that ASKED NOT AFTER ME.” (Rom 10:20)

All the children of Adam are born as sworn enemies of the Mighty Jehovah. They “are ESTRANGED FROM THE WOMB: and go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” (Psalm 58:3) They may worship a ‘god’ of their own imagination, embrace an orthodox religion and have a head full of doctrine, but they can neither perceive nor love the Sovereign Discriminating God of the Scriptures!

This GOD can only be known by REVELATION! And He has chosen to reveal Himself to a FEW as opposed to the MANY who live and die in darkness! These ‘FEW’ He calls ‘Sheep” as opposed to the “Goats”. To the sheep it is GRANTED (Luke 8:10) to hear His voice and follow Him, and the voice of a stranger they will not follow!

And as is common with sheep in the natural world these spiritual sheep go astray many a time, but they NEVER CAN BE ‘LOST’ FOREVER, for they are under the care and oversight of the Master Shepherd of whom it is written – “Of them which Thou gavest Me have I lost none!” (John 18:9)

The salvation of God’s elect is at times likened to the building of a temple, and God as the Master builder! While men may at times undertake the building of a project and later leave it undone for a lack of foresight or the power and resource to finish thereof; not so God!

It shall NEVER be said of God, “This man began to build, and was not able to finish!” Oh No! “Being CONFIDENT of this very thing, that He which HATH BEGUN a good work in you WILL PERFORM IT until the day of Jesus Christ!” (Phil 1:6)

“The hands of Zerubbabel (picture of Christ) have LAID THE FOUNDATION of this house; his hands shall also FINISH IT; and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it! (Zech 4:6-8)

Yes, the elect of God are eternally secure, not because of anything in them or performed by them, but because of Him who promised –

“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!” (John 10:28,29)

Say Hallelujah!

THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE – HOW MAY I KNOW THAT MY NAME IS WRITTEN IN IT?

THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE – HOW MAY I KNOW THAT MY NAME IS WRITTEN IN IT?

A.W. Pink

This expression “the Book of Life” has its roots in Isaiah 4:3, wherein God refers to His chosen remnant as “every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem,” and it is THIS which explains the meaning of all the later references thereto. God’s eternal act of election is spoken of as writing the names of His chosen ones in the Book of Life, and the following things are suggested by this figure. First, the exact knowledge which God has of all the elect, His particular remembrance of them, His love for and delight in them.

Second, that His eternal election is one of particular persons whose names are definitely recorded by Him. Third, to show they are absolutely safe and secure, for God having written their names in the Book of Life, they shall never be blotted out (Rev. 3:5). When the seventy returned from their missionary journey, elated because the very demons were subject to them, Christ said, “But rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20 and cf. Phil. 4:3; Heb. 12:23), which shows that God’s election to eternal life is of particular persons—by name—and therefore is sure and immutable.

Let us now particularly observe that this election – register is designated “the Lamb’s Book of Life,” and this for at least two reasons. First, because the Lamb’s name heads it, His being the first one written therein, for He must have the preeminence; after which follows the enrollment of the particular names of all His people – note how His name is the first one recorded in the New Testament: Matthew 1:1!

Second, because Christ, is the root and His elect are branches, so that they receive their life from Him as they are in Him and supported by Him. It is written “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). Christ is our life because He is the very “Prince of life” (Acts 3:15). Thus, the divine register of election in which are enrolled all the names of Christ’s members, is aptly termed “the Lamb’s Book of Life,” for they are entirely dependent upon Him for life.

But it is in connection with the first reason that we would offer a further remark. It is called the Lamb’s Book of Life because His is the first name in it. This is no arbitrary assertion of ours, but one that is clearly warranted by the Bible, “Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me)” (Heb. 10:7). The speaker here is the Lord Jesus and, as is so often the case (such is the fullness of His words), there is a double reference in it: first to the archives of God’s eternal counsels, the scroll of His decrees; second, to the Holy Scriptures, which are a partial transcript of them. In keeping with this twofold reference is the double meaning of the word “volume.” In Psalm 40:7 “volume” is unquestionably the signification of the Hebrew word there used; but in Hebrews 10:7 the Greek word most certainly ought to be rendered “head”—kephale occurs seventy-six times in the New Testament, and it is always rendered “head” except here. Thus, properly translated, Hebrews 10:7 reads “at the head of the book it is written of Me.”

Here, then is the proof of our assertion. The Book of Life – the Divine register of election – is termed the Lamb’s Book of Life” because His name is the first one written therein, and He who had Himself scanned that roll said, as He entered this world, “at the head of the book it is written of Me.” A further reference to this Book was made by Christ in “In Thy book all My members were written” (Ps. 139:16). The Psalmist was referring to his natural body, first as formed in the womb (v. 15), and then as being the subject of the divine decrees (v. 16). But the deeper reference is to Christ, speaking, as the antitypical David, of the members of His mystical body. “The substance of the Church, whereof it was to be formed, was under the eyes of God, as proposed in the decree of election” (John Owen).

Should an exercised reader be asking, How may I now be assured that MY NAME is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? We answer, very briefly.

FIRST, by God’s having taught you to see and brought you to feel your inward corruption, your personal vileness, your awful guilt, your dire need of the sacrifice of the Lamb.

SECOND, by causing you to make Christ of first importance in your thoughts and estimation, perceiving that He alone can save you.

THIRD, by bringing you to believe in Him, rest your whole soul upon Him, desiring to be found in Him, not having your own righteousness, but His.

FOURTH, by making Him infinitely precious to you, so that HE is all your desire.

FIFTH, by working in you a determination to please and glorify Him.

THE COMMANDMENT TO SAVE GOD’S ELECT

THE COMMANDMENT TO SAVE GOD’S ELECT

Michael Jeshurun

If God has given commandment to ‘save you’ you WILL BE SAVED! Period! No ifs ands or buts about it! The commandment of the Lord standeth sure! Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel, but Balaam replied – “If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I CANNOT GO BEYOND THE COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak?”

“Behold, I have received COMMANDMENT to bless: and He hath blessed; and I CANNOT REVERSE IT!” [Num 23:20]

“Omnipotence has many servants, and some of those least seen are the strongest it employs. If there be an angel anywhere, my friend, he is thy friend if thou be God’s friend. If there be in heaven or earth any intelligence flying swiftly at this moment, he flies upon no errand of harm to thee. Be thou full sure of that.

Occasionally I meet with very foolish people, who believe in things which are unrevealed, in things superstitious, in glamors strange, and baseless fancies. Ofttimes they are not a little frightened about I scarcely know what such as enchantments, divinations, sorceries etc. There is such a credulity that still survives among the extremely ignorant. But whenever I have heard such observations I have always thought of that wonderful text in the Book of Numbers, “Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel.” [Num 23:23]

There can be no spiritual powers which you or I have any need to fear. I remember hearing a good brother speak about courage against the devil, and in reference to spiritual power he said that he believed that a man of God, when he had faith, could kick his way through a street full of devils from one end to the other. I admired his simile. It was worthy of Martin Luther, for it was the kind of thing that Martin Luther would have said. Oh, if the air were as full of devils as it is of fogs, a man that has God within him might laugh them all to scorn.

WHO can hurt the man whom God protects?

Unseen powers and terrible they may be, but they cannot injure us, for there are other unseen powers more terrible still, the hosts of that Lord who is mighty in battle, and all these are sworn to protect the child of God. “Thou hast given commandment to save me,” says David; and if God has charged his angels to protect and save His people from all harm, depend upon it they are secure.”  [C.H. Spurgeon]

THE MEANING OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE SAINTS 

THE MEANING OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE SAINTS

Michael Jeshurun

Eternal Security does not mean that all those who were baptized in infancy, all those who responded to an ‘altar call’ or all those who prayed a little prayer to accept Jesus as their ‘personal saviour’ are ‘eternally secure’!

But what it does mean is that all those who were loved and elected by the Father in eternity (Eph 1:4), all those for whom the Son shed His precious blood (John 10:15), and all those whom the Holy Spirit has sovereignly regenerated (John 3:8) are “KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time!” (1Pet 1:5)

Salvation is something which in all honesty WE never desired, prayed for nor sought after! It was something which was given to us FREELY without any regard to either our merit or demerit! “I was found of them THAT SOUGHT ME NOT; I was made manifest unto them that ASKED NOT AFTER ME.” (Rom 10:20)

All the children of Adam are born as sworn enemies of the Mighty Jehovah. They “are ESTRANGED FROM THE WOMB: and go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” (Psalm 58:3) They may worship a ‘god’ of their own imagination, embrace an orthodox religion and have a head full of doctrine, but they can neither perceive nor love the Sovereign Discriminating God of the Scriptures!

This GOD can only be known by REVELATION! And He has chosen to reveal Himself to a FEW as opposed to the MANY who live and die in darkness! These ‘FEW’ He calls ‘Sheep” as opposed to the “Goats”. To the sheep it is GRANTED (Luke 8:10) to hear His voice and follow Him, and the voice of a stranger they will not follow!

And as is common with sheep in the natural world these spiritual sheep go astray many a time, but they NEVER CAN BE ‘LOST’ FOREVER, for they are under the care and oversight of the Master Shepherd of whom it is written – “Of them which Thou gavest Me have I lost none!” (John 18:9)

The salvation of God’s elect is at times likened to the building of a temple, and God as the Master builder! While men may at times undertake the building of a project and later leave it undone for a lack of foresight or the power and resource to finish thereof; not so God!

It shall NEVER be said of God, “This man began to build, and was not able to finish!” Oh No! “Being CONFIDENT of this very thing, that He which HATH BEGUN a good work in you WILL PERFORM IT until the day of Jesus Christ!” (Phil 1:6)

“The hands of Zerubbabel (picture of Christ) have LAID THE FOUNDATION of this house; his hands shall also FINISH IT; and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it! (Zech 4:6-8)

Yes, the elect of God are eternally secure, not because of anything in them or performed by them, but because of Him who promised –

“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!” (John 10:28,29)

Say Hallelujah!

WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE PREACH “ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED!”

WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE PREACH “ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED!”

Michael Jeshurun

Introduction

Both Christians and unbelievers always ask, “Are you telling me that if someone just accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior and still lives in sin, that he is still eternally secure and on his way to heaven”?

No that is not what this doctrine teaches!

Then what does it mean?

To understand what it means, we need to understand how one becomes a Christian in the first place. This is vital for our understanding of all the other things pertaining to salvation.

Basically there are three types of Christians. Preacher-made, self-made, and God-made ones. In the former are included not only those who were “sprinkled” in infancy and thereby made members of a “church”, but those who have reached the age of accountability and are induced by some high-pressure “evangelist” to “make a profession .”

The “self-made” class is made up of those who have been warned against what has just been described above, and fearful of being deluded by such religious hucksters they determined to “settle the matter” directly with God in the privacy of their own room or some secluded spot. They had been given to understand that God loves everybody, that Christ died for the whole human race, and that nothing is required of them but faith in the gospel. By ‘saving faith’ they suppose that a mere intellectual assent to, or acceptance of, such statements as are found in John 3:16 and Romans 10:13 is all that is intended. It matters not that John 2:23, 24 declares that “many believed in his name but Jesus did not commit himself unto them,” that “many believed on him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him lest they be put out of the synagogue, for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God,” which shows how much their “believing” was worth. Imagining that the natural man is capable of “receiving Christ as personal Saviour” they make the attempt, doubt not their success, go on their way rejoicing, and none can shake their assurance that they are now real Christians!

God-made Christians on the other hand are a miracle of grace, the products of Divine workmanship [Ephesians 2:10]. They are a Divine creation, brought into existence by supernatural operations. The new birth is “not of blood (by natural descent), nor of the will of the flesh (his own ‘free-will’), nor of the will of man (the preacher’s persuasion), but OF GOD” (John 1:13),

Even these ‘God made’ Christians may initially be deluded into thinking that they became Christians because they ‘accepted Christ into their heart, by their own free-will etc’. But even as they begin to read the Word of God and are taught by the Holy Spirit they will begin to see that just as they had nothing to do with their natural birth, even so they contributed nothing to their spiritual birth! “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures”! [James 1:18]. And they realize the truth of Jesus’ Words – “Ye have chosen not Me, but I have chosen you”! [John 15:16]

These ‘God made Christians’ the Bible calls ‘elect’ or ‘sheep’. [Matt 18:11]And the Lord Jesus came to seek and to save these lost sheep. Now notice carefully, it does not say that Jesus will try to save these sheep. But that He will save them! “and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins”! [Matt 1:21]

Another thing to bear in mind is that their repentance and the faith with which they believe are both gifts of God and a fruit of regeneration. A man does not believe the Gospel and get saved, but believes the gospel because he is saved. Now the Apostle says, that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance”! [Romans 11:29] This just means that God did not give these gifts in the first place because of any merit which He saw in them and neither will He take back these gifts on account of any demerit.

But to return to the question – “What if they sin”?

The Scriptures declare that when God saves His elect, He creates within them a ‘new nature’. This is what the Apostle calls the ‘new man’. [Eph 4:22-24] This ‘new man’ has but one goal in life –To stop sinning and do righteousness. Paul said – “I delight in the law of God after the inward man”. [Rom 7:22]. He has been born of God, and therefore cannot practice sin! Please notice, that I did not say that he cannot sin, but that he cannot practice or habitually live a sinful life. And the reason he cannot practice sin is because God’s seed is in him. John said – “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”. [1John 3:9]

There is a big difference between falling into sin and practicing sin. The worldly people and the nominal Christians can and do practice sin without any conviction. But not so the true child of God!

Now when God creates the ‘new nature’ in his elect sheep, He does not remove or eradicate the old nature, but leaves the old nature in them until the resurrection. And in-spite of the introduction of the new nature, the old wicked nature in the Christian has not changed one bit. It is as wicked as it was before the Christian was regenerated. And it strives with all its power to make the Christian sin and rebel against God. So the Christian often groans – “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?!” [Romans 7:24]

Whoever may get away with sin on this side of eternity, the Christian cannot! Since they are His children, God uses the rod, chastises them, brings them to their senses and grants them the power to forsake sin! [see Psalm 89:30-35]

A saved Christian is a member of God’s household, and God sets His own house in order before He goes after the heathen!

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God”? [1Peter 4:17] And again – “if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world”. [1Cor 11:31,32]

So to paraphrase all that is said above – “A true Christian will not and cannot continue in sin! But even if he should be taken in a sin (as some backsliders are) as David was, then God will go after them, chastise them and bring them to repentance! His promise is – “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely”! [Hosea 14:4]

So, is the true Christian eternally secure? He sure is! A true believer can fall into error, even very serious doctrinal error. A true believer can fall into sin, even very serious sin. But a true believer will not totally abandon Christ and die in his sins or become a total apostate to the point where he “stops believing” the gospel or even teaches contrary to the gospel. On the ship of faith, believers can fall down on the deck and they can fall down very hard on the deck but they will not fall overboard!

How come? Because, the Lord who saved them, is not only the Author of their faith, but He is also the finisher of their faith! [Heb 12:2] And they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”! [1Pet 1:5]

“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us (past) from so great a death, and doth deliver (present): in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us (future)”! [2Cor 1:9,10] Hallelujah!

One of the most comforting doctrines or truths revealed in the Word of God to the believer is his ‘Eternal Security’ in Christ. There is nothing more comforting to a soul troubled with sin, but to know that the Christ in whom he hath placed his trust, shall save him to the end, notwithstanding his own corrupt flesh, the temptations of the world and the devil who goes about as a roaring lion seeking to devour him!

As the Lord Himself assured – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: 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”. [John 10:27-29]

The nature of the change which occurs in regeneration, guarantees the eternal security of God’s elect.

Before one can understand or grasp the truth of the ‘eternal security’ of the believer, he must first grasp the nature of salvation!

Regeneration is a radical and supernatural change of the inner nature, through which the soul is made spiritually alive, and the new life which is implanted is immortal. And since it is a change in the inner nature, it is in a sphere in which man does not have control. No creature is at liberty to change the fundamental principles of its nature, for that is the prerogative of God as creator. Hence nothing short of another supernatural act of God could reverse this change and cause the new life to be lost. The born-again Christian can no more lose his sonship to the heavenly Father than an earthly son can lose his sonship to an earthly father. The idea that a Christian may fall away and perish arises from a wrong conception of the principle of spiritual life, which is imparted to the soul in regeneration.

If Christ had gone to the cross just to give us life, conceivably we could commit a sin and lose that life; but because He has given us eternal life, by the very nature of that which is eternal, it must be forever and ever. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” [Jn. 3:36]. Not will have or may have (if he behaves), but hath right now! [see also 1 Jn 5:13].

The ‘new birth’ is a spiritual resurrection, a passing from death unto life [Jn 5:24]. Writing to the saints in Ephesus the apostle Paul said, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; [Eph. 2:4-6; see also Col. 2:12]. This is the resurrection that Jesus spoke of to Martha before He raised Lazarus from the dead. He said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die [Jn. 11:25,26].

According to these verses, those whom God hath made alive, have experienced the resurrection of their souls. The Bible calls this the ‘First Resurrection’ [Rev. 20:5]. Upon those who have experienced the First Resurrection the ‘Second Death’ has no power [Rev. 20:6]. The second death being eternal damnation in Hell [Rev. 20:14].

The saints relationship to the law guarantees his eternal security.

Prior to their salvation the elect of God were under the ‘curse of the law’ [Gal. 3:13]. The curse of the law is its penal sanction. This is essentially the wrath or curse of God, the displeasure which rests upon every infraction of the law’s demand. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them” [Gal 3:10]. Without deliverance from this curse there could be no salvation. It is from this curse that Christ has purchased his people and the price of the purchase was that He himself became a curse. He became so identified with the curse resting upon His people that the whole of it in all its unrelieved intensity became His. That curse He bore and that curse He exhausted. That was the price paid for this redemption and the liberty secured for the beneficiaries is that there is no more curse.

Christ has redeemed us from the necessity of keeping the law as the condition of our justification and acceptance with God. Without such redemption there could be no justification and no salvation. It is the obedience of Christ Himself that has secured this release. For it is by His obedience that many will be constituted righteous [Rom 5:19]. In other words, it is the active and passive obedience of Christ that is the price of this redemption, active and passive obedience because He was made under law, fulfilled all the requirements of righteousness and met all the sanctions of justice.

Paul teaches that believers are not under law, but under grace, and that since they are not under the law they cannot be condemned for having violated the law. “Ye are not under law but under grace,” Rom. 6:14. “Not under law” here means that we are no longer under condemnation because of our failure to keep the law. Further sin cannot possibly cause their downfall, for they are under a system of grace and are not treated according to their deserts. “If it is by grace, it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace,” Rom 11:6. “The law worketh wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there transgression,” Rom 4:15.

“Apart from the law sin is dead” (that is, where the law is abolished sin can no longer subject the person to punishment), Rom. 7:8. “Ye were made dead to the law through the body of Christ,” Rom. 7:4. The one who attempts to earn even the smallest part of his salvation by works becomes “a debtor to do the whole law” (that is, to render perfect obedience in his own strength and thus earn his salvation), Gal. 5:3. We are here dealing with two radically different systems of salvation, two systems which, in fact, are diametrically opposed to each other.

The infinite, mysterious, eternal love of God for His people is a guarantee that they can never be lost.

This love is not subject to fluctuations but is as unchangeable as His being. It is also gratuitous, and keeps faster hold of us than we of it. It is not founded on the attractiveness of its objects. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins,” I John 4:10. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life,” Rom. 5:8-10. Here the very point stressed is that our standing with God is not based on our deserts. It was “while we were enemies” that we were brought into spiritual life through sovereign grace; and if He has done the greater, will He not do the lesser?

The writer of the book of Hebrews also teaches that it is impossible for one of God’s chosen to be lost when he says that Christ is both “the Author and Perfecter of our faith.” We are there taught that the whole course of our salvation is divinely planned and divinely guided. Neither the grace of God nor its continuance is given according to our merits. Hence if any Christian fell away, it would be because God had withdrawn His grace and changed His method of procedure—or, in other words, because He had put the person back under a system of law.

Robert L. Dabney has expressed this truth very ably in the following paragraph: “The sovereign and unmerited love is the cause of the believer’s effectual calling. Jer. 31:3; Rom 8:30. Now, as the cause is unchangeable, the effect is unchangeable. That effect is, the constant communication of grace to the believer in whom God hath begun a good work. God was not induced to bestow His renewing grace in the first instance, by anything which He saw, meritorious or attractive, in the repenting sinner; and therefore the subsequent absence of everything good in him would be no new motive to God for withdrawing His grace. When He first bestowed that grace, He knew that the sinner on whom He bestowed it was totally depraved, and wholly and only hateful in himself to the divine holiness; and therefore no new instance of ingratitude or unfaithfulness, of which the sinner may become guilty after his conversion, can be any provocation to God, to change His mind, and wholly withdraw His sustaining grace. God knew all this ingratitude before. He will chastise it, by temporarily withdrawing His Holy Spirit, or His providential mercies; but if He had not intended from the first to bear with it, and to forgive it in Christ, He would not have called the sinner by His grace at first. In a word, the causes for which God determined to bestow His electing love on the sinner are wholly in God, and not at all in the believer; and hence, nothing in the believer’s heart or conduct can finally change that purpose of love. Is. 54:10; Rom. 11:29. Compare carefully Rom. 5: 8-10; 8:32, with the whole scope of Rom. 8:28-end. This illustrious passage is but an argument for our proposition; ‘What shall separate us from the love of Christ?’”

The promises of Christ assures us of our eternal security in Him.

Jesus declared, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” John 10:28. Here we find that our security and God’s omnipotence are equal; for the former is founded on the latter. God is mightier than the whole world, and neither men nor Devil can rob Him of one of His precious jewels. It would be as easy to pluck a star out of the heavens as to pluck a saint out of the Father’s hand. Their salvation stands in His invincible might and they are placed beyond the peril of destruction. We have Christ’s promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church; yet if the Devil could snatch one here and another there and large numbers in some congregations, the gates of hell would to a great extent prevail against it. In principle, if one could be lost, all might be lost, and thus Christ’s assurance would be reduced to idle words.

When we are told that “There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, who shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect,” Matt. 24:24, the unprejudiced believing mind readily understands that it is impossible to lead astray the elect.

The mystical union which exists between Christ and believers, is a guarantee that they shall continue steadfast.

“Because I live, ye shall live also,” [John 14:19]. The Lord says these words to His elect, His chosen, His sheep and not to “every man who ever lived”. The effect of this union is that believers participate in His life. Christ is in us, Romans 8:10. It is not we that live, but Christ that liveth in us, [Gal 2:20]. Christ and the believers have a common life such as that which exists in the vine and the branches. The Holy Spirit so dwells in the redeemed that every Christian is supplied with an inexhaustible reservoir of strength.

The intercession of Christ assures us of our eternal security.

Christ makes intercession for His people [Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25], and we are told that the Father hears Him always [John 11:42]. Hence the Arminian, holding that Christians may fall away, must deny either the passages which declare that Christ does make intercession for His people, or he must deny those which declare that His prayers are always heard. Let us consider here how well protected we are: Christ is at the right hand of God pleading for us, and in addition to that, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. [Rom. 8:26].

In the wonderful promise of Jer. 32:40, God has promised to preserve believers from their own backslidings: “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. And in Ezek. 11:19,20, He promises to take from them the “stony heart,” and to give them a “heart of flesh,” so that they shall walk in His statutes and keep His ordinances, and so that they shall be His people and He their God. Peter tells us that Christians cannot fall away, for they “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time,” [I Pet. 1:5]. Paul says, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” [II Cor. 9:8]. He declares that the Lord’s servant shall be made to stand; for “God is able to make him stand,” [Rom. 14:4].

Another strong argument is to be noticed concerning the Lamb’s book of life.

The disciples were told to rejoice, not so much over the fact that the demons were subject to them, but that their names were written in the Lamb’s book of life. This book is a catalogue of the elect, determined by the unalterable counsel of God, and can neither be increased nor diminished. The names of the righteous are found there; but the names of those who perish have never been written there from the foundation of the world. God does not make the mistake of writing in the Book of Life a name which he will later have to blot out.  Hence none of the Lord’s own ever perish. Jesus told His disciples to find their chief joy in the fact that their names were written in heaven, Luke 10:20; yet there would have been small grounds for joy in this respect if their names written in heaven one day could have been blotted out the next. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Our citizenship is in heaven,” Phil. 3:20; and to Timothy he wrote, “The Lord knoweth them that are His.” [2Tim. 2:19].

Here, then, are very simple and plain statements that the Christian shall continue in grace, the reason being that the Lord takes it upon Himself to preserve him in that state. In these promises the elect are secured on both sides. Not only will God not depart from them, but He will so put His fear into their hearts that they shall not depart from Him. Surely no Spirit-taught Christian can doubt that this doctrine is taught in the Bible.

It seems that man, poor, wretched and impotent as he is, would welcome a doctrine which secures for him the possessions of eternal happiness despite all attacks from without and all evil tendencies from within. But it is not so. He refuses it, and argues against it. And the causes are not far to seek. In the first place he has more confidence in himself than he has any right to have. Secondly, the scheme is so contrary to what he is used to in the natural world that he persuades himself that it cannot be true. Thirdly, he perceives that if this doctrine be admitted, the other doctrines of free grace will logically follow. Hence he twists and explains away the Scripture passages which teach it, and clings to some which appear on the surface to favor his preconceived views. In fact, a system of salvation by grace is so utterly at variance with his every-day experience, in which he sees every person treated according to works and merits, that he has great difficulty in bringing himself to believe that it can be true. He wishes to earn his own salvation, though certainly he expects very high wages for very sorry work.

Now for a final word. The meaning of this doctrine must be clearly understood. It does not mean that every churchgoer or even every church member is certain to persevere to the end in his or her faith, or that everyone who has made a public profession of faith is eternally secure, or that all who seem to us to be true believers will never fall away from the faith.

What the doctrine of the perseverance or ‘Eternal Security’ of true believers does mean is this: those who have true faith can neither totally nor finally lose that faith. The Bible makes it clear that God will never permit those to whom He has given true faith to fall away from that faith. True believers persevere not because of their strength but because of God’s unchangeable mercy. Believers persevere only because God in His unchangeable love enables them to persevere.