It shall be forever!
When God saves a sinner he saves him forever. — “It shall be forever!” Solomon says, “I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” Of this you may be sure, if salvation is the work of God and the work of God alone, as it most surely is, then it is an everlasting, eternal salvation. It can never be lost or destroyed.
Salvation is a real union with the Lord Jesus Christ. — “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephesians 5:30). We who believe are members of that mystical, spiritual body, the church, of which Christ is the Head. Eternal life is a life of real oneness with the Son of God. He says, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Can you imagine Christ with a maimed body? Perish the thought! His body must be perfect and complete. But if so much as one member of his body is lost, his body cannot be complete. Children of God, we are so really and truly one with Christ that not so much as one member of his body can perish, unless he also perishes. So long as our Head is safe, his members are all safe.
Our salvation is forever and must be eternally secure, because it is both accomplished and preserved by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit. Salvation is not in anyway to be attributed to man. We were dead in sin. But the Holy Spirit graciously regenerated us, giving us life and faith in Christ. And he preserves us in life by the influence of his almighty grace. That is one part of the office and work of the Holy Spirit. He keeps God’s elect, preserving us in faith, in grace, and in life. He seals all the blessings of the covenant of grace to the believing sinner by giving Christ’s redeemed ones faith in him; and he seals the heaven born soul in grace unto eternity (Ephesians 1: 13-14; 4:30). In fact, the gift of God the Holy Spirit is the “earnest,” that is to say, “the pledge” or “first part of” our eternal inheritance in heaven, by which we are assured of the full inheritance.
We often talk about the necessity of perseverance. Without question, only those who persevere to the end shall be saved (Matthew 5:20). But I am afraid too much emphasis is placed on the perseverance of the saints and too little on the perseverance of the Savior. If we shall persevere in faith it is only because God our Savior perseveres in grace!
We know that every true believer’s salvation is safe and secure in Christ, because the work of grace which God has begun he will carry on to perfection. The apostle Paul assures us of this. — “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Every man considers it his shame to undertake a work, and be compelled to give it up before completion, because he lacked the ability, the skill, the wisdom, the power, or the dedication necessary to get the job done. But it is not possible for the Lord God to be confronted with such shame. It will never be said of our God that he began a work which he was not able to complete. He has never known failure; and he never shall.
He began with us in eternal election. Though thousands of years rolled by, his purpose never changed. According to his wise and holy will, in the fulness of time he redeemed us by the substitutionary sacrifice of his own dear Son. Though we went astray from him as soon as we were born and spent our days and nights in rebellion, yet he stood by his purpose of grace. He graciously preserved us until the time appointed when he would call us to life by his Spirit. Then, at the appointed time, in the time of his love, he gave us life in Christ.
Since that day, our sins have been many. Our faithfulness at best has been feeble. Our service has been insignificant. Yet, he who chose us, redeemed us and called us has been faithful. He has kept us by the power of his grace. He has never failed us yet; and he never shall. He will not give up that work to which he has been faithful for so long. Our God will perform that which he has begun until he brings us safe into eternal glory. He is willing to complete his work in us. He is wise enough to complete his work in us. And he is powerful enough to complete his work in us. Many ask, “Can a saved man ever be lost? I reply, “Not until God ceases to be God!”
I know that if God has saved me and if God has saved you by his matchless grace — “It shall be forever!” Let every believing sinner sing with confident joy…
“The work which His goodness began, the arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen, and never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now, nor all things below or above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo, or sever my soul from His love.
My name from the palms of His hands eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is giv’n;
More happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in heav’n.”
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