Tuesday, March 17
The Great Evangelical Conundrum!
I have been asked this on more than one occasion, “Do you believe that you can lose your salvation?” and how I answered would determine whether that person would continue in a conversation with me or visit my church. Since I do enjoy a good conversation with people (and, indeed, what is a relationship but a good conversation?), and I do like people to visit my church, this works out to be a pretty good question to be able to answer.
What I believe, now, has to come first from what the Lord has brought me, thus far, to understand from my walk with Him as His Spirit teaches me through His Word, and through godly reflection on what I, and we as His people, find there. But to understand the question, if we look at it closely, we realise that to lose something we first have to own it, which means taking responsibility for it. So if we can lose it we have to be responsible for it in the first place. The person asking me this must be assuming that the outcome of “our” salvation is up to us in calling it ours to start with. Does the Bible say that it is ours, as something we own?
A quick search of the King James gives us seven references that either God is our salvation, or that He is the God of our salvation. One, Eph. 1:13, speaks of the gospel of our salvation, and another, Rom. 13:11, tells us our salvation is nearer than when we believed. However, when we look up “eternal life,” we find thirty references, generally in the context of a future expectation with none that say it is a present possession except for John 17:3, that, “This is eternal life, to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent.” So, then, that one key relationship is the factor, not that we “have” salvation, but that we have a reason to hope for it.
What it is, then, to “know” God, becomes the second most important question we can ever ask. Is it merely a passing acquaintance? I have met a few successful authors and musicians in the past years, but if I started dropping their names to get access to big parties, or boasting of their friendship while making an ass of myself, they would have every right to call me to court for abusing their names. I really doubt if Christ came to earth to go through all the abuse He did just so “Christians” could continue to abuse His Name. He came that we might know Him, and He put the key to our eternal future in that relationship. We could, at this point, go into a deep and technical study into the meaning of this word, “know1” but the wiser idea might be to ask that one, more important, question, “Do I know Him?” Do we find the answer by mining Scripture for a proof text that can excuse us from building a real relationship, or do we go the safer, and far more rewarding, route and make it our life's quest to really and truly know Him as intimately, personally, and openly, as He will in His own grace, allow? Do we bury our earthly lives in a rag, or do we truly embark on the adventure of all eternity?
Jesus said, “He that loves his life (in this world) will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel's, the same will find it.”
Posted by Patrick Robert Easter