by Jim Kilgore
If you knew that you had only one day to live, and then you would die sometime before midnight, would you not want to make sure that you would spend ETERNITY in heaven with the Lord? What if you were to die in less than a week, or a month, or even one year from now? You would surely want to know where you would spend eternity.
I have been blessed to see thousands come to Jesus Christ this year, but I have yet to have even one person, in any Country, say that they WANTED to die and go to hell. In fact, in 44 years I have only had two people say they were not afraid to go to hell, though they tried to convince me that they would have one continual party with their friends.
We know that we all are going to die. This is a given, unless we are blessed to be alive when Jesus Christ returns in the air for every Christian. I Thessalonians 4:17 reminds us, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Would you say to yourself, “It will be a time of Rejoicing in Heaven or will it be a time of immediate Regret, as you lift up your eyes in Hell? By the way, the Bible teaches that when a person dies they will immediately to heaven or hell. Luke 16:22-23 “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” In II Corinthians 5:8 Paul speaks of the Christian’s departure at death. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
Hebrews 9:27 says “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
The basis of going to Hell is found in John 1:11:” He came unto his own, and his own received him not..” All a sinner needs to do to miss heaven is to simply reject what Jesus Christ did in becoming their substitute and shedding His blood as the only payment for sin on their behalf.
The basis of going to Heaven is found in John 1:12: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” To receive eternal life one must receive by faith that which Jesus has done on the cross. Romans 10:9-13 promises every sinner, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Romans 6:23 is a Promise from God to every sinner that calls upon Him alone for salvation: “…but the gift of God is Eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
How long is everlasting life?” Everlasting life is life without end; it means it will never cease. The question each must ask of themselves is this, “Since I possess an eternal, never-dying soul, where do I want my soul to spend eternity? Do I want to live in a place where there is no sorrow, sickness, or sadness? Where is no poverty, pain, or punishment? Where there is nothing to fear, fight, or frustrate you? Or do you really want to live in a place of peace, purity, and purpose? A place where the streets are of pure gold, reunited with all saved loved ones, and to gaze upon the One that made it all possible, the Lord Jesus as He is sitting upon His throne? To go to a place where there is no more disease, discouragement, or death?”
Yes, God has promised many times in His Word that His salvation promise to us is that of everlasting life! If you can lose it, then it was only temporary. If you lose it, it was not “everlasting” and Jesus lied in John 3:16 and in dozens of other passages, which of course, it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to lie. Titus 1:2: “In hope of ERTERNAL life, which God, that cannot lie, PROMISED before the world began.”
The question is not what did grandma say, or a preacher, or a neighbor, or even our Church. The question is “What does the Bible say?” No church, preacher, denomination, or Christian is being faithful to the Scriptures who teach otherwise.
Some churches sing, “Blessed Assurance.”
They sing, “When We All Get to Heaven.”
But these same churches don’t embrace eternal security!
- There is not one person in the Bible ever saved, then lost.
- There is not one principle that supports that false doctrine.
- There is not one preacher or prophet that ever taught it.
- There is not one picture that symbolizes losing salvation.
- There is not one precept or passage that teaches you can lose your salvation.
- There is not one provision for being saved again.
…but shall have…”
What the saved have is not just until you sin, but forever and ever!
John 3:36 – “He who has the Son has eternal life…” John 10:28 – “I give eternal life to them…” Notice the present tense in these verses.
God repeatedly gives us the assurance of our salvation in His word the Bible: In 2 Corinthians 5:8 God says to the believer, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
On the other hand Jesus told of the rich man who died unsaved “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments” Luke 16:23. At the moment of a person’s death it is determined where they will spend eternity. Judgment for the lost is for the degree of punishment, but for the believers judgment is only for reward or the lack of it.
The Bible is perfectly clear that the true believer has eternity security, and just as clear as to the condemnation of those who reject God. It is misled men and churches who have falsely confused the matter.
What Did Christ Himself Say on Eternal Life
John 17:1-3, Jesus said this was life eternal. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
Verses 9-10 states seven times that believers are given to Christ, by God. Jesus made the point that believers are God’s, h so how can they be lost?
Verse 12 emphatically states clearly none are lost and that Jesus keeps His children saved!
“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12)
What does everlasting life mean? It simply means that everlasting life that does not end. When does eternal life begin? When one receives it! John 3:16. says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Jesus said, believers are given eternal life and no one can pluck them out of My hand. It is God Himself that keeps the believers saved! That is His promise to those that believe! John 10:27-29.
We have the testimony of the New Testament. If the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Savior, says once a person believes and is saved has eternal life, how can anyone call Him a liar and say that eternal life is not eternal life?
II Corinthians 5:6-8. “Therefore we are always CONFIDENT, KNOWING that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.”
II Timothy 1:12, Paul says to Timothy, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
Note Paul’s says he KNOWS, and is PERSUADED that GOD, (not Paul) would keep that which he had committed to Him. Paul believed God’s promises of salvation, and Paul accepted and committed his soul to God. Paul was absolutely sure he had been forgiven and was saved.
Paul knew too, that he was not sinless. He said “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” I Timothy 1:15. He said he was the chief of sinners, yet God forgave him all his sins past, present and future the day that Paul believed.
Romans 8:1, God tells us through this passage, “there is therefore “NOW” no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. That word “now” is an important word. “Now” refers to the period after one believes, meaning after a person believes in Christ, there is no longer any condemnation. Why? Because God has forgiven him.
What a great absolute assurance God gives us in Romans 8:31-39.
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:31-39).
I Peter 1:5 tells us it is God who keeps us saved, “Who are kept by the power of God, by faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” One is not said to be kept by his works in which we all fail, but by the power of God.
What is the basis of God’s accepting a person and forgiving him? Clearly, the scripture says it is based upon what Jesus Christ did on the cross. If a person by faith believes and receives Christ as their Savior…they receive eternal life and if it is eternal it cannot be lost. A person is not saved by any work or works they do and salvation is purely an act of God’s grace in giving the “gift” of salvation to those who will believe and accept it. Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
God wants you to know the truth. He wants those who are unsaved to know they are lost that they will believe and receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. He also wants those who are saved to know they are and have complete assurance of their salvation. Two important questions a person must ask:
First: How can I be saved, have my sins forgiven, and go to heaven when I die?
The answer is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and God will save us and give us eternal life. Note these verses:
Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
John 3:15-16, “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
Romans 5:21, “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
John 10:28, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
Second: How do I know that I am saved? Answer: Note that in each of these passages the person who believes in Christ is said to receive “everlasting” or “eternal life.” Note what God tells us through the following passage: 1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Some denominations conclude that the doctrine of “Eternal Security of the Believer” is a license to sin. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know of no preacher or church that teaches and believes in Eternal Security that teaches that it gives license to sin. The truth is that the opposite is true! They all conclude with the Word of God, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer there in?” (Rom. 6:1-2). Ask any preacher or church that teaches Eternal Security what they believe regarding sin and they will strongly condemn sin in a believer’s life.
This question deals with men’s souls, and one’s eternal fate. The heart of the matter is this: Is salvation by grace, the free gift of God through faith, or is it a matter of earning or working for salvation? It is a matter of one or the other and there is no middle ground. One is either by faith accepting God’s free offer of salvation by grace and pleading the shed blood of Jesus Christ for his salvation, or he is offering God his filthy rags of his works to atone for sin. It is either one or the other, it is not both, or part one or the other. It is all of Christ or nothing!
If a church or person believes a true Christian can lose their salvation then that church or person is a false because they are teaching salvation by works. God plainly states works do not save! “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
What if a person’s life has never changed?
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Note the verse begins with the subjective “IF”. A truly saved person has the new nature of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that enables him to live for Christ. The false professor in Chris may for a time attend church and do things that true believers do, but it is done in the flesh. Because they have no root, not true faith in God…when there is difficultly or sacrifice to be made they wane and fall away.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
1 John 3:10, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
John is not saying a believer will not sin, but he is saying the one who lives continually in sin and is without love for the children of God is of the Devil and is not nor ever was saved. Speaking to believers God says: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. … If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8, 10)
God knows that although a believer is saved he still has the old carnal nature that is always tempting him. Yet the Lord makes provision for believers that sin. In 1 John 1:9 believers are told, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness..”
The believer who sins is to repent and confess his sin, and that process God will use to cleanse him from sin. Believers are already fully and eternally forgiven of their sins. When a person is saved his past, present and future sins are forgiven. In Colossians 2 God states this truth: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:13-15).
God says when a person is saved, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:17) However, if a believer sins and refuses to confess it God will chasten him as recorded in Hebrews 12:6-11: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
John also explains that believers can sin unto physical death, but not lose their salvation. “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” (1 John 5:16).
Please note that the verse says if a believer sees a brother sinning. A brother is referring to a saved person and thus the death here is physical death. God intervenes and in chastening His child takes the child’s life to stop his disobedience. This is what 1 Corinthians 11:29-31 is addressing. “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world”
Note the last verse says that “we” referring to true believers “. . . are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” These believers, who were not discerning of the Lord’s body, were those that sinned without regard for the suffering of Christ for their sin. They knew Jesus suffered greatly to pay their sin debt, but continued to sin refusing to judge themselves and repent.
“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death” (1 John 5:16-17).
This “sin unto death” is committed by believers. The seriousness of this is seen in that other Christians who see a person blatantly sinning and refusing to repent are not to pray for the erring brother because he is in God’s hands and God will certainly deal with him. Although the “sin unto death” is not identified it seems to be not one particular sin, but a lifestyle of sin.
My study of the Bible has firmly convinced me of the following truths:
- Anyone can be saved they will trust Christ.
- Anyone can know for a fact that they are saved.
- Once a sinner comes to Jesus, they are saved eternally.
The author of our salvation doesn’t want our money or need anything from us. Jesus Christ came to bring salvation to man and reconcile us to God through his sacrifice on the cross.
Salvation is free to us, but Cost Heaven a Price I am sure we will ever fully comprehend here on earth.
Why not claim the promise from God’s Word and call upon Jesus Christ right now? Romans 10:13: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved..?” Will you call upon Jesus Christ today and place your complete faith in Him, and He alone?
by Jim Kilgore
Article submitted to Independentbaptist.com