Security in Christ

The security of all Christians is in Christ. He died for us, forgave us, and promised a home in heaven to those who are faithful. There we will be eternally secure in his radiant presence. Even today Christians can have a calm assurance of salvation as long as they are faithful, for while they live, they have the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and when they die, they have the promise of a future home in heaven.

Redemption Available to All

God created mankind for the purpose of honoring and glorifying Him. Knowing that man would fall, God planned from creation to redeem him (Matthew 25:34). “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). This redemption was for all humanity, as proclaimed by Jesus in the Great Invitation: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Complete text of: Security in Christ

 

Predestination or Choice?

Some teach that God has predetermined everything that happens. According to this doctrine, some people are predestined to eternal life and others to eternal death. Their eternal destiny does not depend on their own faith or personal choices, but on God’s choice for them. Some even believe that once a sinner is born again, it is impossible for Satan to lead him back into sin. They also teach that the new birth proves one is predestined for heaven and is unconditionally and eternally secure.

The Bible teaches that Adam and Eve were given a clear command. They chose to disobey, and therefore they were punished. Throughout the scripture, man is taught that he is responsible to choose between right and wrong, life and death. Moses exhorted the Hebrews, “Therefore choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Joshua said, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15). Undoubtedly, Adam and Eve could have chosen to obey, and you and I can also choose. If we choose God’s will for our lives, He will save us and bless us. If we choose the way of sin, we will be punished (Romans 6:23).

God Wants Everyone to Be Saved

A primary principle taught in the Word of God is this: It is the will of God that all men should be saved. “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). “But is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). We must conclude that those who will perish in hell were not preselected for hell, but chose not to repent and believe.

God loved the world so much that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The atonement clearly is not only for a chosen few but is for everyone. Therefore we rejoice, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11).

Salvation Is Conditional

Peter, after giving a unique formula for spiritual growth, invites believers to accept “exceeding great and precious promises” and to add to their lives various Christian qualities. Then he tells believers: “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:10). That little word if, used so often in Scripture, indicates that salvation is conditional on one’s faithfulness. Jesus says, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).

What did Jesus mean when He said, “No man is able to pluck them [my sheep] out of my Father’s hand”? See John 10:27-29. Examining this scripture, we note two requirements if the sheep want to claim the Father’s keeping. They must “hear his voice,” and they must “follow” Him in obedience. No other person or power will be allowed to pluck the believer from Christ’s safekeeping. However, if a sheep, of his own choice, neglects to hear and obey the Shepherd, he will soon stray from the Shepherd’s side.

A sinner who responds to the call to salvation and is saved, must follow Christ thereafter. Jesus instructed his disciples to teach baptized believers to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). He was concerned that they would “follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21) to remain saved. That is a condition of our salvation.

Backsliding Is Possible

In Matthew 18:15-17 Jesus teaches that a believer who sins and resists correction will lose his salvation. This passage gives directions to the church for dealing with disobedient members. The same thought is repeated in Jesus’s discourse on the vine and the branches. “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:6). Here Jesus plainly describes one who was a branch (a believer) on the vine but did not continue in his doctrine. He perished!

In 2 Peter chapter 2, the apostle writes about people “which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray” (verse 15). It is very clear that he is speaking of erring believers and of God’s judgment on their backsliding. “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them” (vv. 20-21).

The teaching of unconditional eternal security is incompatible with the doctrine of church discipline as taught by Christ and the apostles.

There Are Reasons for Biblical Warnings

Jesus often cautioned his disciples to be on guard: “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation” (Mark 14:38). See 1 Peter 5:8, Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:35-37, Luke 18:1, Ephesians 6:11, 1 Corinthians 10:12. “Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17). Paul writes about the need for disciplining his own life and gave this reason: “Lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

Scriptural Examples of Backsliders

Scripture relates examples of people who once were Christian believers but became unfaithful.

Of Judas Iscariot, Jesus says, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70). Some may say he was never converted. Would Jesus have given Judas the apostleship if he were unsaved? Would He have sent him out to preach, heal, and cast out devils? This is not reasonable. Peter said of Judas: “For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry... from which Judas by transgression fell” (Acts 1:17, 25). Could he have fallen if he had not been saved?

The book of Revelation records the Lord’s messages to the seven churches in Asia and asks those at fault to repent. If they did not repent, the Lord said their names would be blotted out of the Book of Life. For example, the leader at Ephesus, received many commendations, yet he had left his first love. The message continues: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:5). The message to each of the seven churches ended with a promise to the one “that overcometh.” Satan’s tactics are such that believers must be continually watchful lest they fall. Only by the grace of God and his Spirit within will we be overcomers.

Who Is Predestinated for Heaven?

Much of Romans chapter 8 is devoted to the topic of “Life in the Spirit.” It soon becomes evident that in order to be saved we must walk after the Spirit (v.1), be spiritually minded (v.6), and not live after the flesh (v.l3). Such holy living is essential to salvation. God calls everyone to salvation. Therefore, no one is destined to be lost. God does, of course, see the future but the foreknowledge of God does not affect in any way man’s power of choice or his need to choose rightly in this life. This element of God’s foreknowledge is the basis for what Paul writes in Ephesians 1:4-12. Another beautiful truth is revealed in these verses. For those who will choose God and his way, the Father has made full preparation for their journey to heaven. He accepts them as his own (v.6), gives forgiveness of sins and redemption (v.7), gives them wisdom and prudence (v.8), makes known to them his will and purpose for their lives (v.9), promises to gather them together (v.10), and provides for them an inheritance as children of his family (v.11). The Father has made every needed preparation, and in this sense, has “predestined” them to glory. If the believer fails to reach the goal, it will be he who has failed, not the Father.

Suppose that a beloved friend from a distance invited us to visit him. Knowing we did not have the means to pay for the trip, he sent us a good supply of money with which we could begin our journey, and also told us of banks along our route where we could obtain more. He sent us a detailed map on which our route was highlighted. Included were many notes describing landmarks along the road, detours, road construction, places of particular danger, and places of special interest where we would delight to stop for refreshment.

Further, our friend’s instructions would tell us of places where we could buy good meals, and places of lodging where we could rest at night. Added to the invitation would be this postscript: “Here is my telephone number. If you get lost or have problems with your vehicle, just give me a call and I will send help for you. Please come as soon as you can.”

This is an example of what God has done and is doing for us. We are very secure as we follow his maps and use the resources He has provided. There is really no reason not to make it to our Father’s house. Like the illustration, however, we can choose a different road, decide we want to make some side trips, or choose to use the resources He has provided to pursue other pleasures or buy other things. In this way, we can choose to miss the goal. God has made a way for us to go to heaven, and the principles of the Bible teach us that faith in Christ and a life of holiness is the way to make this possible. God has done his best. Now we must do our part. He created us. He created heaven for us. Unfortunately, Satan is trying to spoil God’s plan. It is our duty to resist these evil forces, to commit our lives to Him, to heed the warnings in the Word, and to live holy lives. Then, having overcome the world, we can await his second coming with confidence.

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Eternity

Eternity defies man’s imagination and comprehension. It is not an object, nor a place; it is not a period of time. It has no beginning and it has no end. Everyone from Adam to the last one born will be in it.

The word eternity is used in Isaiah 57:15 where it states that God inhabits eternity. He is eternal, with no beginning and no end. This can be said only of God, for man has beginning but his soul has no end. The dictionary agrees with the Bible that eternity is a duration without end; the state into which the soul passes at death and in which it remains forever and ever.

The opening statement of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), has reference to the creation of the heaven and the earth and all things therein (Colossians 1:16-17). God has decreed that all things shall cease to exist: “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).

Man is a creature of time—he takes time, uses time, and depends on time. His life is controlled by time. Time, however, as important as it is, has no relation to eternity. Eternity is unique and incomparable. It has no measurable length, breadth, depth nor height. It offers no opportunity to change the eternal destiny that was chosen in life. It is everlastingly the same.

In all of creation, only man, clothed with a changed and immortal body, will make the transition from time into eternity. Man is the only creature who has the “breath of life” (Genesis 2:7) and who lives forever as God does.

With the end of time, eternity will reveal many wonders and miracles that cannot be understood in our day. When the Lord returns, all eyes shall see Him (Revelation 1:7). He will sit on a throne and all nations shall be gathered before Him in judgment (Matthew 25:31-32; 2 Corinthians 5:10). There God will judge according to his record of every man’s works (Revelation 20:12-13). The skeptic finds these matters impossible. All eyes means multiplied billions, those of every land and sea, the resurrected dead as well as the living. It boggles the mind to think of all nations gathered as one before the judgment throne. Those who think it incredible must note that time has fled and eternity has no limitations. The restrictions of distance and time found in earth life are absent in eternity.

Complete text of: Eternity

Eternity, as the Bible reveals it, has three aspects—the judgment, the dividing of the righteous from the unrighteous, and the everlasting. This judgment will be final, with neither appeals nor reviews. During man’s lifetime, God places before him the choice between right and wrong, endeavoring to bring him into a right relationship with his Creator. Those who will not give heed will, in the final judgment, receive their sentence and then be sent to an eternal punishment. Those who yielded to God in life will have had their sins judged before, while those who did not yield will have their sins follow them into the final judgment (1 Timothy 5:24).

After the judgment every man shall be rewarded according to the record in the books, including those whose names are in the book of life (Revelation 20:12). The term reward as used here is a recompense for acts performed, good or evil.

Eternity will know only two classes of people—the saved and the lost. God will classify them as such by their acceptance or rejection of his great saving plan for mankind while in their earth life. There are only two destinations in eternity for all people—heaven for the saved and hell for the lost.

To those whose names are found written in the book of life, the eternal Judge will say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34); and to those whose names are not in the book, the Judge will say, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).

To some these words will be shocking, and again others will expect them. There are those who pass from time into eternity through death who have prepared to meet God; they died with an assurance in their hearts that they will be with the Lord in eternity. They expect those welcome words, “Come, ye blessed.”

There are also those who in life are already condemned and pass over not prepared to meet God. They have a “fearful looking for of judgment” (Hebrews 10:27). At that great day they will call upon the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:16).

This immense throng will also include the disappointed: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23).

What all eternity holds for the immortal beings is not detailed in the Bible. Jesus did, however, say that those who overcame shall sit with Him in his throne (Revelation 3:21); they will be robed in white, and will have no need whatsoever (Revelation 7:14-17). They will enjoy every blessing prepared for immortal souls.

Those to whom the Judge will say, “Depart from me” shall go into outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12), into hell fire that shall never be quenched (Mark 9:43); they shall have part in a lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:15; 21:8). These souls will be mentally alert, knowing people (Luke 16:23); they will feel the torment of hell fire (v.24); they will understand (v.26), and they will remember earth life (v.28), but for the lost there will be no benefits in eternity.

Eternity will see Satan, the old dragon, totally and eternally defeated, and an everlasting punishment meted out which will become his gross wickedness. For this purpose hell was primarily prepared (Matthew 25:41). What a gruesome lot to share an eternal place of torment with that most hideous and wicked being, and with all his damnable, evil spirits!

The third aspect of eternity, which is the state of finality, is beyond human grasp. Man’s mind is limited to beginnings and endings. Because of this, man must rely on the truthfulness of God’s Word. God is the author of all things and also of eternity.

If a bird would pick up one grain of sand and carry it to the moon, and in that fashion would eventually carry all of earth away, eternity would still have just begun, but would be no nearer the end. For the wicked this is the most distressing thought possible. However, for the righteous who will be in eternal bliss in heaven with God and all the holy angels, it will always be welcome.

Now in life, while there is yet time, our eternal destiny can be decided.

Are you ready for eternity? This question demands your answer in this life. Today is the time to prepare for eternity.

One prepares for this great meeting by accepting Jesus Christ as the Savior of man, who died on Calvary’s cross for man’s sins and was raised for his justification (Romans 4:25). This acceptance must be more than a mental resolve; it must be a heart matter, a total surrender to God. This also makes one a follower of Jesus—one who walks with Him, obeys his teachings, and is led by his Spirit.

Failing to so receive Christ will result in eternal banishment from God. Life is too uncertain, death is too sure, and eternity is too long to further risk delay. God’s Word is to be accepted now.

Where Will You Spend Eternity?

“Eternity!—Where? It floats in the air:
Amid clamor, or silence, it ever is there,
The question so solemn: “Eternity!—Where?”

“Eternity!—Where?” oh, “Eternity!—Where?”
With redeemed ones in glory or fiends in despair?
With one or the other: “Eternity—Where?”

“Eternity!—Where?” oh, “Eternity!—Where?”
Friend, sleep not, nor take this world any share,
Till you answer the question: “Eternity!—Where?”

-anon.

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Chapters of Pure Gold

The Bible is a precious book that fills the need of every soul. The messages found in it provide spiritual nourishment. There are chapters exactly suited for your particular need or inquiry.

God’s message to man is expressed in different ways in various chapters of the Bible. There is much knowledge of God and the history of his people to be found in Genesis and other Old Testament chapters. The Psalms and many New Testament chapters can be read as a source of real spiritual inspiration. Many teachings of Jesus such as Matthew 5, 6, and 7, as well as writings of the apostles, give direction for our daily lives. It all combines to provide an understanding of God, his will for us, and his promises.

God has warmed the hearts of many readers as they have drawn from these blessed resources. Let us be encouraged to read these chapters. Let us read them not only to make ourselves feel better, but to let the message of God touch the need of our inner self.

Complete text of: Chapters of Pure Gold

What Your Bible Says About…

God

Birth of Jesus Chapter

Luke 2

Creation Chapter

Genesis 1

Deliverance Psalm

Psalm 18

God’s Greatness Chapter

Isaiah 40

God’s Holiness Psalm

Psalm 99

Good Shepherd Chapter

John 10

Holy Spirit Chapter

John 16

Messianic Psalm

Psalm 110

Nature Psalm

Psalm 104

Redemption Chapter

Luke 23

Sad Chapter

Luke 22

Sufferer’s Chapter

Isaiah 53

Your Spiritual Need

Beatitude Chapter

Matthew 5

Comfort Chapter

2 Corinthians 1

Endurance Chapter

Hebrews 12

Hypocrite Chapter

Matthew 23

Infidel’s Psalm

Psalm 14

Prison Chapter

Acts 23

Refuge Psalm

Psalm 46

Safety Psalm

Psalm 91

Shepherd Psalm

Psalm 23

Temptation Chapter

James 1

Wisdom Chapter

Proverbs 3

Being Saved

Atonement Chapter

Hebrews 9

Baptism Chapter

Mark 1

Blessing Chapter

Deuteronomy 28

Conqueror’s Chapter

Luke 4

Cornelius Chapter

Acts 10

Courage Chapter

Joshua 1

Crucifixion Chapter

John 19

Fisherman’s Chapter

Luke 5

Guilty Chapter

Romans 1

Invitation Chapter

Isaiah 55

John the Baptist Chapter

Luke 3

Lost and Found Chapter

Luke 15

New Birth Chapter

John 3

Pentecost Chapter

Acts 2

Prayer Chapter

Matthew 6

Saul of Tarsus Chapter

Acts 9

Today Chapter

Hebrews 3

Whosoever Chapter

Revelation 22

Happiness in the Lord

Abiding Chapter

John 15

Golden Chapter

Psalm 16

Growth Chapter

2 Peter 1

Joyful Psalm

Psalm 98

Mercy Psalm

Psalm 136

Peace Chapter

John 14

Song Chapter

Luke 1

Thank You Chapter

Luke 17

Traveler’s Psalm

Psalm 121

Practical Directions for Living

Abraham Chapter

Genesis 15

Asa’s Reform Chapter

2 Chronicles 15

Bishop’s and Deacon’s Chapter

1 Timothy 3

Character Chapter

Job 29

Charity Chapter

1 Corinthians 13

Christian’s Psalm

Psalm 15

Confidence Psalm

Psalm 27

Consecration Chapter

Romans 12

Divorce Chapter

Matthew 19

Employee’s Chapter

Colossians 3

Employer’s Chapter

Colossians 4

Faith Chapter

Hebrews 11

Family Chapter

Ephesians 5-6

Golden Rule Chapter

Matthew 7

Greatest Commandment Chapter

Luke 10

Humility Chapter

Luke 18

Judgment Chapter

Romans 14

Law of Love Chapter

Romans 13

Life in the Spirit Chapter

Romans 8

Preparation Chapter

Matthew 25

Separation Chapter

2 Corinthians 6

Sermon on the Mount Chapters

Matthew 5-7

Soldier’s Chapter

Ephesians 6

Stephen’s Chapter

Acts 7

Ten Commandments Chapter

Exodus 20

Tithing Chapter

Malachi 3

Watchman’s Chapter

Ezekiel 33

Wife’s Chapter

Proverbs 31

Wise Man’s Chapter

Proverbs 15

Works Chapter

James 2

Witnessing

Ascension Chapter

Acts 1

Great Commission Chapter

Matthew 28

John and Peter’s Chapter

Acts 4

Lame Man’s Chapter

Acts 3

Macedonian Chapter

Acts 16

Philip’s Chapter

Acts 8

Sower’s Chapter

Luke 8

When You Have Fallen

Backslider’s Chapter

Jeremiah 3

Excuse Chapter

Luke 14

Intemperance Chapter

Proverbs 23

Overcome Chapters

Revelation 2-3

Prodigal Psalm

Psalm 51

Revival Chapter

2 Kings 23

Life after Death

Brevity Psalm

Psalm 90

Heaven Chapter

Revelation 21

Last Judgment Chapter

Revelation 20

Lazarus Chapter

John 11

Resurrection Chapter

1 Thessalonians 4

Second Coming Chapter

2 Peter 3

Bible Stories…

Early Times

1. The Garden of Eden

Genesis 2-3

2. Cain and Abel

Genesis 4

3. Noah’s Ark

Genesis 6-8

4. Destruction of Sodom

Genesis 18-19

5. Isaac on the Altar

Genesis 22

6. Joseph Becomes a Ruler

Genesis 37, 39, 47

7. Moses, Babe in a Basket

Exodus 2

8. Crossing the Red Sea

Exodus 14

Israel, a Nation

9. The Two Spies

Joshua 2

10. Fall of Jericho

Joshua 6

11. Thief among the Soldiers

Joshua 7

12. Gideon and his 300

Judges 6-7

13. Strong-bodied Samson

Judges 13-16

14. Ruth, the Gleaner

Ruth 1-4

15. The Boy Samuel

1 Samuel 1-3

16. Jonathan, Brave Young Prince

1 Samuel 14

17. David Kills the Giant

1 Samuel 17

18. Elijah the Prophet

1 Kings 17-22; 2 Kings 1-2

19. Elisha the Prophet

1 Kings 19; 2 Kings 2-8

20. The Israelite Maid

2 Kings 5

21. “Jonah, Go to Nineveh”

Jonah 1-4

22. Queen Esther

Esther 1-10

23. Book of the Law is Found

2 Kings 22

24. Fiery Furnace

Daniel 3

25. Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Daniel 6

Life of Christ

26. Birth of Jesus

Matthew 2; Luke 2

27. Jesus Tempted

Matthew 4

28. Jesus at a Wedding

John 2

29. Woman at Jacob’s Well

John 4

30. Through the Roof

Mark 2

31. Girl Raised from the Dead

Mark 5

32. Five Thousand Fed

John 6

33. Jesus Walks on the Sea

Matthew 14

34. A Blind Man Healed

John 9

35. Good Samaritan

Luke 10

36. The Runaway Boy

Luke 15

37. Rich Man and Lazarus

Luke 16

38. Dead Man Raised to Life

John 11

39. Last Days of Jesus

Matthew 26-27

40. Resurrection of Jesus

John 20

Early Church

41. Death from a Lie

Acts 5

42. Saul Sees a Light from Heaven

Acts 9

43. Conversion of Cornelius

Acts 10

44. How a Prison Gate Open

Acts 12

45. A Song Opens Prison Doors

Acts 16

46. Paul is Shipwrecked

Acts 27-28

47. The City of God

Revelation 21-22

(Adapted from Lessons for Christian Workers, by C.H. Yatman)

Read Your Bible…

For it contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, doom of sinners, and happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter.

Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be open at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with its holy contents.

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