PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
Eternal Security of all Blood Bought Believers
WE BELIEVE THAT SUCH ONLY ARE REAL BELIEVERS AS ENDURE UNTO THE END; THAT THEIR PRESERVING ATTACHMENT TO CHRIST IS THE GRAND MARK WHICH DISTINGUISHES THEM FROM SUPERFICIAL PROFESSORS; THAT A SPECIAL PROVIDENCE WATCHES OVER THEIR WELFARE, AND THAT THEY ARE KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH UNTO SALVATION.
I. "WE BELIEVE THAT SUCH ONLY ARE REAL BELIEVERS AS ENDURE UNTO THE END."
A. This statement is speaking about the motivation of the true saint of God, and does not reflect the fact that some who are true believers do not show in their bodies the grace of God in obedience.
1. Matthew 24:13 states, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
2. The true saint of God will either be faithful to God and rejoice in God, or rebel against God and be chastened by God.
3. It is not exactly "once saved, always saved"; although that thought is correct.
a. All "hell-raisers", all wicked, and all who continue in sin will go to hell.
b. All those who are trusting in their walking a church aisle many years ago, being baptized, and having their names on a church roll somewhere, will go to hell.
c. The only way any person can go to heaven is by repenting of their sinfulness and believing (complete dependence) on Jesus Christ.
d. When a person is truly saved, their lives will change and they will walk after Christ, not after wickedness.
4. It is that only real believers can continue.
5. A person can continue only with the power of God upon them.
6. The way to tell whether a person is a real believer is whether or not they continue faithful to God in all circumstances.
7. We must also understand that our knowledge of people is always inexact, and sometimes wrong.
8. God always knows the heart; we only see what is on the outside.
9. Their continuing with God will likely not be perfect, but it will be there.
B. We are looking at the perseverance of the saints in a positive way.
1. II Peter 1:10 states that every true believer should make his calling and election sure.
2. Philippians 2:12 reveals that every true believer should work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.
3. It is a most terrible thought for a person to believe they are saved, yet die and go to hell.
4. We are not trusting in the "power of positive thinking", but on the promises of God.
C. I Thessalonians 1:4 states, "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God."
1. How did Paul know these people were the elect of God? By evidence.
2. Verse 5 states,
a. The gospel came to them in word.
b. The gospel came to them in power.
c. The gospel came to them in the Holy Spirit.
d. The gospel came to them in much assurance.
e. Verse 6 reveals these people became followers of Paul and of the Lord, even though there was much affliction at the time.
f. Verse 7 states they were examples to all believers because:
1) Verse 8 – They were missionary to all.
2) Verse 9 – They turned from their former life to serve the living God, and to wait for the rapture.
D. Those that cannot continue.
1. John 8:31 - Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
2. Jesus said that only those who are genuinely saved would continue in His Word.
3. Saved people are not saved because they continue in His Word, but continue in His Word because they are saved.
4. It is a perversion of the doctrine of eternal security to believe that a saved person can continue in sin.
E. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. I John 2:27-28 - But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
2. I John 3:9 - 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.
3. I John 5:18 - We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
4. Colossians 1:23 - If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
F. While we have stated that only true believers endure to the end, it must be understood that some who are true believers will not endure faithful to the end.
1. Lot was a saved man who was unfaithful to God.
a. Genesis 13:10 declares that Lot chose the well watered plains of Sodom, and moved his family into the wicked city and reaped the consequences of his erroneous decision.
b. II Peter 2:6-8 describes the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the rescue of Lot, his wife and their two daughters from that wicked city.
c. Genesis 19:17-23 – When Lot left Sodom, he desired to go to Zoar, instead of to the mountains as God commanded.
d. Lot committed incest with his two daughters.
e. If the Bible (in II Peter 2:6-8) had not called Lot righteous, we would not have known he was saved.
2. Numbers 22 – Balaam was a prophet of the Lord, who would have taken money to curse Israel, God’s chosen nation.
a. God would not allow this prophet to curse Israel.
b. Numbers 23:10 – "Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!"
c. If Balaam had lived like he wanted to die, he would have died like he wanted.
d. Numbers 31:8 and Joshua 13:22 – the people of Israel killed Balaam when they invaded the land of Canaan, particularly the land of Median.
e. We can only suppose Balaam was a true believer because he was a prophet of God.
3. Saved yet so as by fire.
a. I Corinthians 3:15 – I believe these verses are talking about saved people and how God will judge their works.
b. All works that are not done for God will be burned, but the spirit of the person will still be saved.
II. "THAT THEIR PRESERVING ATTACHMENT TO CHRIST IS THE GRAND MARK WHICH DISTINGUISHES THEM FROM SUPERFICIAL PROFESSORS."
A. I John 2:19 states, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
1. These folks that John spoke of were people who professed to be saved and members of a Baptist Church.
2. John says they went out from (or separated themselves from true believers and Baptists) because they were not of God’s true people to start with.
3. These folks did not hold out or endure because they were not of the Lord.
4. The very thing that distinguishes a true child of God is their willingness to endure all things for Christ who strengthens them.
B. John 13:18 states, "I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me."
1. Those whom God has chosen to be saved in Christ will not only be saved, but will preserve to the end.
2. God’s plan for redemption will not be destroyed because there are false professors who do not hold out.
C. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. Matthew 13:20-21 – "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
2. John 6:66-69 – "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."
3. Job 17:9 – "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."
III. "THAT A SPECIAL PROVIDENCE WATCHES OVER THEIR WELFARE."
A. Romans 8:28 declares, "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."
1. We who are saved can be assured that all things will work together for good for us because of what Paul says in the following verses of this same chapter.
2. As far as God is concerned, the saved have already held out to the end.
B. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. Matthew 6:30-33 – "Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
2. Jeremiah 32:40 – "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."
3. Psalms 121:3 – "He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber."
4. Psalms 91:11-12 – "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."
IV. "AND THAT THEY ARE KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH UNTO SALVATION."
A. Philippians 1:6 states, "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:"
1. This verse applies first of all to Baptist churches and then is just as applicable to the saved person as well.
2. God never starts anything He doesn’t intend to finish.
3. Those who are saved will stay saved by the power of God.
B. Philippians 2:12-13 states, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
1. We are to work out our salvation, but you can’t work out something you don’t have.
2. You must have salvation full and complete before you can work it out.
3. You must have a garden before you can work it out.
4. Paul says, "…it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
5. He will work nothing out that pleases God if He does not work it in us to do it.
C. Other scriptures that teach this to be true are:
1. Jude 24-25 – "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
2. Hebrews 1:14 – "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
3. II Kings 6:16 – "And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."
4. Hebrews 13:5 – "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
5. I John 4:4 – "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."