~ The Absolute Commitment of God to the Believer! ~
The doctrine of “eternal security” (sometimes described as “once saved—always saved”) is widely accepted with Christianity. There are however some who deny this important teaching of Scripture—by pulling verses out of their context to make them say something other than intended. In this series we look at what the Word of God has to say about the subject. “Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).
The following is a quote from Max Lucado’s book Glory Days:
Jimmy Wayne never knew his father. His mom spent more time in prison than out. When he was twelve years old, she was released from jail and took up with a troublemaker. They loaded Jimmy into the backseat of the Olds Delta 88, and for a year the car was his home. “It had bench seats and smelled like body odor,” remembers Jimmy. They drove from city to city, avoiding the police.
After miles of drifting they dumped Jimmy in the parking lot of a Pensacola, Florida, bus station and drove off. He was thirteen years old. He had no home. No future. No provision. One day while wandering through a neighborhood, he spotted an older man who was at work in a garage wood shop.
He approached the elderly gentleman and asked if the man had any work. The carpenter sized up the boy, assessed him to be home-less, and decided to give him a chance. The man introduced himself as Russell. He called for his wife, Bea, to come to the garage. They showed Jimmy the lawn mower and how to operate it.
For several weeks Jimmy cut the couple’s grass and survived on the twenty dollars they paid him each week. After some time Bea asked Jimmy where he lived. At first he lied, afraid she wouldn’t let a homeless boy work. But finally she convinced him to tell her the truth. When he did, the couple took him in.
They gave him his own bedroom, bathroom, and place at the dinner table. The home was like heaven to Jimmy. He took a hot bath and ate hot meals. He even sat with the family in the living room and watched television in the evening. Still, in spite of their kindness, Jimmy refused to unpack his bag. He’d been turned away so many times that he’d learned to be wary. For four days his plastic bag sat on the floor, full of clothes, ready to be snatched up when Bea and Russell changed their minds.
He was in the house but not in the house. He was under the roof but not under the promise. He was with the family but didn’t behave like a family member.
Russell eventually convinced Jimmy to unpack and move in. It took several days, a dozen or so meals, and more than one heart-to-heart conversation. But Russell persuaded Jimmy to trust them to care for him.1
Our Father is still working to convince us.
Maybe you question your place in God’s family. You fear His impending rejection. You wrestle with doubt-laced questions: Am I really in God’s family? What if God changes His mind? Reverses His acceptance? Lord knows, He has reason to do so. We press forward only to fall back. We renew our resolve only to stumble again.
We wonder, Will God turn me out?
Boyfriends do. Employers do. Coaches kick players off the team. Teachers expel students from school. Parents give birth to children and abandon them at bus stations. How do we know God won’t do the same? What if he changes His mind about us? After all, He is holy and pure, and we are anything but. Is it safe to unpack our bags?
God answered this question at the Cross. When Jesus died, the heavenly vote was forever cast in your favor and mine. He declared for all to hear, “This child is my child. My covenant will never change.”
Promised Land people believe this. They trust God’s hold on them more than their hold on God. They place their trust in the finished work of Christ. They deeply believe that they are “delivered… from the power of darkness and conveyed… into the kingdom of the Son” (Colossians 1:13). They know that Jesus was serious when He said, “[My children] shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28 NIV).
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