We Shall Be Saved
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
Something that has really concerned me is the ignorance among some Christians as to exactly what our salvation actually is and how we are required to maintain it. On the surface this might seem to be another message condemning the “Once Saved, Always Saved” false doctrine, but it is a little more involved. What this is really about is completely grasping and embracing the salvation experience.
First of all I need to put to rest the argument of those who are already saying to themselves “Ah, but our salvation is a gift, not earned or obtained by works!” This is absolutely true of course; however the problem is one of faulty logic, not doctrine. We don’t earn our salvation, but we absolutely must maintain it.
Let’s say I had a broken watch. If I took it to a watchmaker to fix would I have fixed it myself? Of course not! We maintain our salvation in exactly the same way. When something is wrong we take it to the Lord in prayer. When we sin we appear before Christ and ask Him to forgive us. The life of a Christian is one of constant visits to Him who can tend to our every need, the man Jesus Christ.
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.
It is in fact through this perpetual reliance on Him that we come to know Him. God has a personality that we can get to know in a real and meaningful way. Want to know the meaning and purpose of life? Here it is: To have a personal relationship with God, to walk with Him as Adam did in the garden. This is the purpose for which we were created.
So as you can see the word “saved” as it is understood by many Christians is problematic. It implies a past tense to our salvation which is in fact an ongoing process, a walk with Christ. The phrase “shall be saved” appears over a dozen times in the New Testament. So what is it that we “shall be saved” from? The fires of Hell and eternal damnation! Those who have chosen to follow Christ and maintained their garments shall be saved from that fate on Judgment Day.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due
season we shall reap, if we faint not.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same
shall be saved.
In the multi-part “Once Saved, Always Saved” series I go over the dozens of scriptures and parables that clearly demonstrate that we can abandon our salvation. Christ will never leave us or forsake us, but we may choose to “walk no more” with Him (John 6:66 KJV) at any time. The purpose of sin is to interrupt this relationship, to cause us to be distracted, to fall into a pit. Just like Adam and Eve the shame of sin makes us hide ourselves from God, which is exactly what Satan wants.
When we fall into a pit due to our own carelessness Christ does not abandon us; He stands their ready to help us out! He extends His nail scarred hand to right where we are, but we must grasp it. He knows we are only flesh and blood, He knows we tend to stumble and fall. It is not how many times we stumble, but how many times we get back up!
If you know a Christian who claims that they never stumble on occasion in thought, word or deed they are at the very least a liar. Yes, that is our goal, but all except Christ fall short. The one who continually stumbles yet cries out “God be merciful to me a sinner.” will be shown more mercy than he who prides himself in his lack of sin (Luke 18:10-14 KJV).
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions,
do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
My advice to you is to avoid the word "saved" completely because it implies a done deal. Jesus paid the full price for our redemption, however as the above scripture plainly says we shall be saved "if we faint not" and "endure to the end".
When someone asks "Are you saved?" we should tell them that we are Christians who walk with Christ and will be saved on judgment day because of His sacrifice for us. This isn't about splitting hairs doctrine wise, but making sure we acknowledge that we have a part to play in guarding our precious salvation, which is to endure.
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