15. SALVATION IN CHRIST AND THE ISSUE OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER (Chapter 15).

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Chapter 15, Continued from Chapter 14

“Words taught by the Spirit” (1Cor.2:13)

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A series of Bible studies on

SALVATION IN CHRIST

AND

THE ISSUE OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER

 

PART 2: Which believer risks losing his salvation… (#6)

DANGERS OF LOSING ONE’S SALVATION:  “Case studies”…

ΜΠΑΛΤΑΤΖΗΣ-Σειρά Βιβλικών μελετών (15).

 

Now we will continue examining certain other cases:

 

21. Those who behave like the “foolish virgins”

In Mat.25, we have the parable of the ten virgins (vv.1-13). “Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra olive oil with them. But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. When the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep” (Mat.25:2-5). The parable continues in the following way: “The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied. ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut” (Mat.25:8-10).

In this parable we see the following points, which interpret themselves:

  • They were all virgins; they were all waiting for the bridegroom.
  • They all grew drowsy and slept.
  • Where was their difference? In their spiritual preparation!
  • The ones were diligent, the others negligent.
  • The word “oil” does not correspond to the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit cannot be bought nor borrowed. It refers to their spiritual preparation and promptitude.
  • Preparation is not an object of just one moment but it has to do with a continuous, diligent procedure during all our life. Promptitude is an object of a steady purity of heart and clear conscience, which does not condemn the believer.
  • Their request to enter in the ceremony was not accepted, but they received the following answer: “[…] I tell you the truth, I do not know you! ” (v.12). Were they saved? No! Let us pay attention and let us be serious!

This part of the Scriptures refers to the need of incessant preparation and promptitude of the believer, since he does know neither the moment the Lord is going to return to pick up the church nor the moment that the believer will die… The readiness of the believer by the Holy Spirit at any moment is an issue of fundamental importance! If the believer does not retain his “robe” always clean and proper by his repentance and his faith in Christ and His Word, he is likely… to hear “ […] truly I say to you, I DO NOT KNOW YOU. You can neither borrow nor buy your readiness, your spirituality or your purity from someone else! It is absolutely personal!

Whatever has been said up to this point does not cancel the case of the salvation of a sinner if he repents humbly and sincerely of his sins. Example: The one of the two criminals who were crucified with Jesus our Lord!

We are always ready:

  • IF we respect the end of the commandment which is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned (1Tim.1:5).
  • IF we hold faith, and a good conscience, which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck (1Tim.1:19).
  • IF we live with a humble and a contrite spirit and tremble at His word (Isa.66:2).

The wise virgins simply became drowsy and went to sleep but they were well prepared… The foolish virgins also became drowsy and went to sleep but they were unprepared!

God asks me and you:

What is your spiritual preparation? What is your spiritual readiness?

 

22. The wicked and lazy slave

In the Parable of the Talents, “someone”, before leaving on a long journey, distributed to each as many talents as they could handle according to their ability (Mat.25:14-30). In fact, it refers to all kinds of abilities, talents and material goods, which God has entrusted to each and every one of us. The non-use of them on account of indifference or laziness on the pretext that what God has given us was so little that it was not worth to deal with compels us to give an account and makes us guilty before Him. The problem is not how much we have, but how we use what we have. The slothful slave, who on account of his slothfulness did not make use of what he had received, came to the point of accusing his master in order to justify himself! That unfruitful servant was cast into the outer darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mat.25:30). The slothful servant had done on purpose what he did: He knew that his boss was a hard man, reaping where he had not sown, and gathered where he had not strewed… (Mat.25:26).

“His lord answered and said to him, You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed: You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him which has ten talents” (Mat.25:26-28).

May the Lord forbid that such a thing happens to us!

For both of them, the foolish virgins and the slothful servant it was too late! They did not have the opportunity to change and be saved! Terrible! Some, who are sincere and honest have the time to repent, even at the last minute but others do not have the time to repent and be saved because they already have made their final choice…

[Jesus addressed these words (in chapters 24 and 25) to his disciples and not to unbelievers!]

 

23.  Those who have been tempted by the Tempter…

“For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain” (1Thess.3:5). So, we see the apprehension that Paul and his co-workers had! It was possible that their labor might be in vain if those who had believed succumbed to the Tempter’s temptations! How disappointing! Terrible! Bring certain people to spiritual life; follow them up with our admonitions, tears and prayers, and then see them soon after being devoured by the roaring lion… They had believed, but what was going to happen if they were cheated by the Great Tempter’s temptations? In that case, Paul’s labor, which had produced good effects concerning their salvation, would have been made vain! I believe that Paul with this apprehension in mind wanted to come back and visit his brothers to all the cities in which they had preached the Word of God, to find out “how they do” (Acts.15:36), lest the Tempter had tempted them and their work proved to be in vain (1Thess.3:5). Let me mention some of the wiles of Satan: Persecutions, discouragement, murmurs, offended with God’s ways and His plans, false “prophets”, delays, perplexity, sickness, etc.

Result: Loss of the worker’s effort but also perdition of the believer!

(I consider this case very important and that is why I reiterate several points that I mentioned in the case number 15 of Chapter 13).

The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in the city of Corinth: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2Cor.11:3). So we see that there is a real danger for Christians to be beguiled by Satan and be corrupted… by false teachers and satanic wiles (Eph.6:11), through another Jesus, another Spirit or another Gospel that they receive. How? Through false teachers, etc., which aim at swerving the believers form the simplicity of the Gospel: This is the reason why they are exhorted:

  • To be “wise to that which is good and simple concerning evil (Rom.16:19)!
  • To heed and beware of the leaven (of the doctrine) of modern Pharisees and of Sadducees (Mat.16:6, 12) ;
  • To be attached wholeheartedly to the Lord and not to turn to other things, persons, icons, etc. (Ex.20:4, Deut.5:8-9);
  • To be attached to the simple and healthy teaching and not to turn to voluntary worship, to admixtures of philosophies, psychology, sociology and lose the simplicity that should characterize a true Christian (Col.2:23);
  • To stick to the simple way of worship in spirit and in truth that the Lord had recommended and required: In spirit and in truth (John 4:23), i.e., the worship emanating from the heart and not from ceremonies and feasts, expensive, luxurious and stunning body armor or even icon worship of dead saints, worship of Mary (Jesus’ holy Mother), modern secular ways of worship, with clergy, etc. Let us limit ourselves and not talk about other unscriptural ways of worship…

Are such people who are beguiled and corrupted going to be saved if they do not come to themselves and repent on time and put their trust on God? ON THE CONTRARY, do you think that believers who have entered through the narrow gate, have loved the Lord with all their heart, that have sworn (made a covenant with Him) to keep His righteous judgments (Ps.119:106 and Ps.50:5), that have taken up their cross and followed Jesus and have presented their bodies as a living sacrifice, who are not conformed to this world but are being transformed by the renewing of their mind, will be beguiled by Satan and lose their salvation?

No, No, No! God’s promises concerning the protection of HIS FAITHFUL ONES are they of no value? Which man will fulfill Christ’s requirements and Christ will not keep His “promise” to protect him up to the end? That man has the testimony of the security of his salvation!

Let us mention only three of them:

  • “O love the LORD, all you his saints: for the LORD preserves the faithful, and plentifully rewards the proud doer” (Ps.31:23);
  • My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me” (Ps.101:6);
  • Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Pet.1:5)!

 

24.  Those that had already sinned, and have not repented

Special attention, let me repeat it, should be paid to 2Cor.12:21 which says: “And lest when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall mourn many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.” (I will come back to this point later… extensively).

In the previous chapters we examined the cases:

1. “I will spew you out of my mouth”

  1. 2.      “… Ready to die…”
  2. 3.      “… Lord, Lord…”
  3. 4.      “Enemies of the cross”
  4. 5.      Those that live in “worries…”
  5. 6.      Those that were “called” and accepted the invitation but did not conform…
  6. 7.      “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back…”
  7. 8.      Examples of “believers” who apparently lost their salvation
  8. 9.      “The dog which is turned to his own vomit again”…
  9. 10.  “Believers” but who “walk disorderly…”
  10. 11.  Brothers in whom there is “a wicked heart of unbelief…”
  11. 12.  Those who do not believe God’s promises and warnings
  12. 13.  Those who «fell away»
  13. 14.  “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life…”
  14. 15.  Those who have been “beguiled… by the serpent…”
  15. 16.  Those who preach “Another Gospel”
  16. 17.  Those who profess that they know God but…  
  17. 18.  Those who are false apostles, deceitful workers
  18. 19.  Those “Christians” who are ashamed to confess Christ openly…
  19. 20.  Spiritual leaders who work for filthy lucre and lord over God’s heritage…
  20. 21.  Those who behave like the “foolish virgins”
  21. 22.  The wicked and the lazy slave
  22. 23.  Those who have been tempted by the Tempter…
  23. 24.  Those that “had already sinned, and have not repented…”

This list is not exhaustive. Someone else could add other cases. The next Chapter discusses some general principles, with which closes the second part of this new series, in which we examined various “cases” of the loss of salvation of the believer: “Which believer risks losing his salvation…”

 

John BALTATZIS

baltatzis@skynet.be

To be continued…

ΔΙΑΔΩΣΤΕ ΤΟ ΑΡΘΡΟ ΣΕ ΦΙΛΟΥΣ ΣΑΣ