In a discussion about salvation and eternal security, earlier this week I debated two interesting questions I am eager to share with you: Is one’s salvation permanent and, can true Christians continue giving-in to habitual sin?
The first question raises a tremendous amount of controversy among Christians. The concept that salvation is not permanent, while troubling to many, is backed by scripture:
According to the apostle Mark, Jesus said “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Mark 13:13)
Matthew tells us that Jesus said “9 Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:9-12)
In the verses above, the word of God clearly reads those who “stand firm until the end will be saved.” The words “to the end” are critical in this scripture since, according to the apostle Paul, salvation is a work in progress rather than a one time event.
“12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
Notice the words “work out” in the verse above? Paul used the Greek “katergazomai” which translates into “to work fully”, to “accomplish”. According to Paul, Salvation is an accomplishment, one accompanied with fear and trembling.
The bible also tells us salvation is part of one’s spiritual growth. “So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander. Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation.” (1 Peter 2:1-2)
I pray all of you are growing toward salvation obeying God’s commands rather than defying Him. The price is too high, the alternative to Heaven too painful therefore fear the Lord and obey His commands. “And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5:32)
Have you disobeyed God for so long the Spirit has left your soul? Is your seat in Heaven still reserved? I invite you to find out before it’s too late. By faith, through grace Salvation is a gift from God which is worked out in obedience and in fear. Only those who stand firm until the end will ascend to Heaven.
The second issue, habitual sin among Christians is also quite controversial. Homosexuals, drunks, smokers, drug addicts and all other habitual sinners who refuse to turn from their sin face more than the loss of rewards in heaven.
Habitual sinners can be saved If they work out their salvation. This means they first need to repent then work toward ridding themselves of their sin.
True Christians, those who have been saved and born again through baptism in the Holy Spirit cannot continue to give-in to habitual sin. How so? Strength to resist temptation flows from the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel 7:3 reads “Now the end is upon you, and I will let loose my anger upon you, and will judge you according to your ways; and I will punish you for all your abominations“.
Again Ezekiel writes in chapter 7 verse 4 “And my eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity; but I will punish you for your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the LORD“.
Since God promises to “judge us according to our ways; and punish us for all our abominations”, it is wise to limit our sins to a minimum so to please Him and earn His blessings. Again, the price for disobedience is too high as false Christians dwell in Hell for all eternity: “And there you shall remember your ways and all the doings with which you have polluted yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed.” (Ezekiel 20:43)
If you find yourself at great fault versus God’s commands, caught in habitual sin defying God daily, you must repent of your sin and seek His all mighty strength so you can be delivered from your Evil ways. Denial and ignorance will lead you straight to Hell.
Remember God is all seeing, all knowing. The good news is He is also all forgiving. His grace is readily available to us, all we have to do is accept Jesus Christ as our savior, let our hearts be filled with the Holy Spirit then obey God’s commands.
The Christian life should be a most extraordinary sequence of challenges and compromises none of us can imagine. Try it on for size and see for yourself how difficult yet rewarding the true Christian life can be. Basically, if your Christian walk is not bumpy, you’re heading in the wrong direction!
Salvation is a work in progress, habitual sin is a part of this evolution. Stand firm until the end and strive to be found blameless.
We thank you for your blessings in our lives
And for allowing us to worship you
In so many ways, from morning to night.
Lord we ask you to inspire us to be the best we can be
And lead our footsteps guiding us in this life
So that we may rejoice with you in the next.
God we thank you for your word the bible
For providing us with such an awe inspiring guide book
To guide our ways, direct our lives to perfect obedience.
Father we pray for your strength
And for your wisdom,
Your love and your all mighty grace.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre