Can I Lose My Salvation?
It’s been nearly 2,000 years since Jesus Christ personally offered forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Of the millions who have accepted His offer, many have found the peace and joy of knowing they have a secure relationship with their Lord and Savior. Others, however, haven’t felt so secure. Some routinely struggle with confusion and uncertainty, wondering if they’ve lost their salvation in Jesus Christ because of something they have or have not done. Maybe you are one of these? It’s a frightening and tense place to be in when you are uncertain about where you stand in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Bible stresses that salvation completely rests on trusting in Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as full payment for our sins.
"That whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:15-16
I like to make John 3:16 very personal by adding my name. You can do this too. Add your name in the blanks.
For God so loved _______, that He gave His only Son, that if _______ believes in Him they should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:15-16
Faith Alone is the Basis For Our Salvation
Our salvation is not based on our own merit or performance. If it was, we would be in a most pitiful state!
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
Also, or salvations is not based on the amount of our faith! PRAISE THE LORD! It is the object of our faith that matters. Trusting in Christ and Him alone (not anyone else, including ourselves), brings salvation.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30
In the same way, the apostle Paul wrote that those who have trusted in Christ for salvation are eternally saved. He stated, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). He went on to say in Romans 8:35-39, that absolutely nothing could separate us from God’s love.
So then, according to the Scriptures, we can confidently believe that we are eternally secure if we have placed our trust solely in what Christ accomplished on the cross as full payment for our sins.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." John 5:24
Eternal Means That it Never Ends
We Can't Lose Our Salvations But We Can Lose Our Fellowship
That is why Jesus told the woman at the well, whose faith had saved her, to “go in peace” (Luke 7:5). She could rest and not worry about where she stood with God. That relationship was eternally secure.
We will sin as Christians, and our sin should grieve us as it grieves the Holy Spirit. But it shouldn’t take us by surprise. The apostle John said, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (I John 1:8).
Most importantly, there is no sin we could commit that would cause us to lose our salvation. The apostle John added that God is willing to forgive all of our sins if we confess them to Him (I John 1:9). He did not just mean the total amount of our sins, but the various kinds of sins as well. In other words, God forgives and cleanses us from every kind of sin possible. His mercy has no limits.
Have you ever doubted your salvation, and if so, what helped you get past your doubts?
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Today we're going to talk about 8 simple ways we can be an encouragement to the shepherd of our flock— our pastor.
Pastors can be the loneliest people in the church. Often their hours are long, the pay minimal, the criticism considerable and constant. Feelings of disappointment, discouragement, and defeat may plague the best of them.
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13
Paul's admonition in Galatians 5:13, "by love serve one another" should encourage us to remember our shepherds.
Fred Rogers, of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, shared the following experience in an address he gave. While he was a seminary student, he chose to attended a different church each Sunday to hear a variety of preachers. One Sunday he was treated to "the most poorly crafted sermon [he] had ever heard." But when he turned to the friend who had accompanied him, he found her in tears. "It was exactly what I needed to hear." she told Rogers. "That's when I realized," he told his audience, "that the space between someone doing the best he can and someone in need is holy ground. The Holy Spirit had transformed that feeble sermon for her—and as it turned out, for me too."
"...the space between someone doing the best he can
"He's an amazing example of what should happen to us as we grow in Christ—allowing the Lord's strength to be made perfect in our weakness." —John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men
John had a passion for the truth and this passion shaped the way he wrote. To John, there were no gray areas. He wrote in black and white. He wrote in absolutes. Cut-and-dried. He sets light against darkness, life against death, receiving against rejection, fruitfulness against fruitlessness, obedience against disobedience, and love against hatred. He is known to draw a clear, distinct line in the sand so to speak.
John was committed to the truth early on. Before we find him following Jesus, we see him following John the Baptist.
His love for the truth was evidenced in the way he followed Jesus once John the Baptist identified Him as the Messiah. It is also evidenced in his writing. John uses the Greek word for truth, aletheia, twenty-five times in the book of John and twenty times in his epistles. No one except Jesus had more to say in Scripture about truth.
"And He sat down and called the twelve. And He said to them, 'If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.' And He took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 'Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.” Mark 9:35-37
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful." I Corinthians 13:4-5
"The Kingdom needs men who have courage, ambition, drive, passion, boldness, and a zeal for the truth. John certainly had all of those things. But to reach his full potential, he needed to balance those things with love.... Zeal for the truth must be balanced by love for people. Truth without love has no decency; it's just brutality. On the other hand, love without truth has no character; it's just hypocrisy." —Jahn MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men
"There is therefore no greater truth than love. The two are inseparable. After all, the First and Great Commandment is this: 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind' (Matthew 22:37). And the second is like unto it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself' (v. 30). In other words, love is what real truth is ultimately all about....
Genuine love is not some saccharine sentiment that disregards the truth and tolerates everything....
Love and truth must be maintained in perfect balance. Truth is never to be abandoned in the name of love. But love is not to be deposed in the name of truth. That is what Jahn is learning from Christ, and it gave him the balance he so desperately needed," —John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men
"The error was in desiring to obtain the position more than the desired to be worthy of such a position. Their ambition was untempered by humility." —John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men
"...everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 18:14
"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." I Peter 1:6-7
All the disciples needed to learn this. Remember, they all wanted the chief seats in glory. But Jesus said there is a price for those seats." —John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men
"but standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom he loved [John] standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home." John 19:25-27
"Obviously, John had learned the lessons he needed to learn. He had learned to be a humble, loving servant—or else Jesus would not have given him the care of His own mother. He told Peter, 'Feed My sheep' (John 21:17). He told John, 'Care for My mother.' Several witnesses in early church history record that John never left Jerusalem and never left the care of Mary until she died." —John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men
"It may seem amazing that Jesus loved a man who wanted to burn up the Samaritans. He loved a man who was obsessed with status and position. He loved a man who forsook Him and fled rather than suffer for His sake. But in loving John, Jesus transformed him into a different man—a man who modeled the same kind of love Jesus had shown him." —John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men
"John's theology is best described as a theology of love. He taught that God is a God of love, that God loved His own Son, that God loved the world, that God is loved by Christ, that Christ loved His disciples, that Christ's disciples loved Him, that all men should love Christ, that we should love one another, and that love fulfills the law. Love was a critical part of every element of John's teaching. It was the dominant theme of his theology." —John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men
"Thus the fishermen of Galilee--Peter, Andrew, James and John—became fishers of men on a tremendous scale, gathering souls into the church. In a sense, they are still casting their nets into the sea of the world by their testimony in the Gospels and their epistles. They are still bringing multitudes of people to Christ. Although they were common men, theirs was an uncommon calling." —John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men
To read more about John's life, and how he was the apostle of love, check out Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur.
Many of the above thoughts and quotes came from the book. I've found it to be fascinating, a great read, and have throughly enjoyed getting to know and understand John better.