Posts Tagged ‘eternal security’

Thoughts on the Kings of Israel and Judah – and Eternal Security

April 3, 2019

As I approach the end of 2nd Chronicles in my daily reading, it is interesting to note the behaviour of each king from the beginning of his reign until the end – which is usually marked by his death. Some kings (like Joash) start off well and please the Lord. We are told that “Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Je-hoi-a-da the priest.” (2Chronicles 24v2)

However, after the death of the priest we learn that the princes of Judah “made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.” (Verse 17) Listening to man, I feel, was the downfall of Joash for after all the good he had accomplished in repairing the house of the Lord, after the death of Je-hoi-a-da, he turned to idolatry. As a result he would not listen to Zechariah, the son of the priest whom we are told had “the Spirit of God.” He said “because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you.” (Verse 20) Sadly Zechariah was stoned to death for merely warning Joash of the wrath to come – and it did come, in the form of an attack from the Syrians. “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16v7). When we read about the lives of the kings, we can see that the reverse is also true.

There are other kings who started off well in their reign but something then happened to mar their relationship with the Lord. Certainly David walked perfectly with the Lord “save in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” David and some other kings are greatly repentant and restored in their walk with the Lord but there are kings (like Ahaz) who from start to finish are steeped in idolatry and never got right with God at any time during their reign.

We are not told either way whether Joash (who died at the hands of his servants after being attacked by the Syrians) found peace with God in his final hours. It saddens me to think that all the good that he had previously accomplished in repairing the house of God would be vanquished by his later actions.

In Ezekiel 18v24 we read: “When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.”

By the same token… “if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.” (Verse 21)

“Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? Are not your ways unequal?” (Verse 25)

Today there is a doctrine permeating many churches globally and the ways of this doctrine are not equal. It holds that an individual can commit his life to the Lord and then enjoy the position of unconditional eternal security, no matter what sin or degradation he descends to in the present or future – even if he never repents of it. While some preachers promise their congregation “liberty,” they simultaneously tell them that they “are slaves to sin.” Indeed I have heard these very words uttered from the pulpit. We have to ask ourselves, did the Lord suffer and die so that those who commit their lives to Him should be “slaves to sin?”

In 2Peter 2v19-22, we read… “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment, delivered unto them.”

But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” Here we learn that it is indeed possible to fall way.

Like the kings of the Old Testament, some of whom walked with the Lord for a while and then fell away, Revelation 2 has a message for certain churches or categories of Christian…. “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Verse 4&5)

Thousands of years ago in the Garden of Eden the devil uttered those words…”Yea, hath God said…?”(Genesis 3v1) He assures Eve… “Ye shall not surely die.” (Verse 4) And he still utters them today. But today, praise God, there is eternal security for the believer who rests in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary. We are told “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1John 2v1) Note, it is not when we sin.

Something else has never changed since the Garden of Eden… God never has taken away the free will of mankind. Unlike mindless robots, invented to perform certain duties, the Lord wants nothing but our wholehearted and sincere love for Him, His ways and His Word. He never forces His way into our lives and He never drives us on that narrow road. The Shepherd ever leads us. By faith we trust Him and we follow Him by faith all the way. Our security is sure in Him, as long as we desire His Presence in our lives, obey His Word and follow the Shepherd. We are exhorted to “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12v14)

Yes, of course “backsliders” can be restored. The Lord takes no pleasure in the death of those who die spiritually (Ezekiel 18v32) and is long suffering to us-word, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Peter 3v9) But I believe that there is a point at which this may not be possible and certainly if someone remains in unrepentant sin, he will die in his sin.

There is a dangerous doctrine which states that “God doesn’t see my sin – He looks at Jesus and I am forgiven.” Where in scripture does it say this? Sadly, this idea may leave people with the notion that they have no need to repent of sin. Another well-known statement I have heard is that “when we trust the Lord to save us, all our sins are forgiven: past, present and future.” Again, there is no scripture to back the latter. Yes, past sins are forgiven when we repent of them. However, no sin is forgiven until it is repented of, whether the person concerned is a professing Christian or not – for God’s ways are equal.

The vast majority of evangelical Christian churches and fellowships in the Republic of Ireland adhere to the doctrine of unconditional eternal security and some would even go as far as to say that the Lord Jesus Christ only died for certain people.

His creation is precious in His sight. He died for them all – not just “the elect” (another subject which I have touched on briefly and will do so again) “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2v2)

Praise God His atonement is not limited – and neither is His mercy. It is His will that souls are not led astray into a false sense of security, in which they think that they do not have to get right with Him, concerning many serious issues and even deep sin in their lives. There is a reckoning day coming and His message to all is… “Cast away from you all your transgressions; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezekiel 18v31&32)

A Recent 60th Wedding Anniversary Celebration – and Some Thoughts on Fidelity and Eternal Security

January 20, 2014

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We were delighted when my husband’s parents recently celebrated their 60th (diamond) wedding anniversary. Even though health issues have meant that circumstances are not what they once were, it is wonderful to see a couple so emotionally close after all those years. Swans also keep the same lifetime partner – which is why they are often depicted on wedding anniversary cards, as a symbol of fidelity. Unfortunately where the human race is concerned, nowadays the very institution of marriage itself is under threat. Sadly these days, many people move from ‘partner to partner’ with an alarming disregard for the Word of God – but what is even more disturbing is the fact that many who would say that they are ‘committed Christians’ seem to take the same view as the rest of the world on this matter.

Perhaps some of us may know of a situation like the following… someone you once knew well had a testimony. Then a few years later you discover that this person has since left his wife and family and has been with another partner for quite a while. You later discover that he still believes himself to be justified and his eternity secure, even though he is openly living in disobedience to God’s Word.

Now, some may say that you are judgmental and have no right to have an opinion on how this person conducts his life, but surely it is perfectly legitimate (even for an unbeliever) to point out the hypocrisy of leading a life, where on the one hand a person is quoting from God’s Word through social media – and on the other he is living in sin and disobedience to this same Word?

Sadly this person has most likely been subjected to some erroneous doctrines when he was young in the faith and today he is in danger spiritually. You feel angry about this situation; about the broken homes and the children involved and this persistent hypocrisy but you also feel despondent that this terrible doctrine of unconditional eternal security is accepted so readily. Ezekiel 18v20 is clear: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

“But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?” (Verses 24&25)

The issues of divorce, remarriage and of leaving one’s marriage partner to be with someone else are clearly covered in God’s Word. Jesus says: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19v6)

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” (Matthew 19v9)

We live in a world where fidelity is rare and where even laws and financial implications encourage couples to live together, rather than commit to marriage. But the Word of God is unchanging and cannot be twisted to suit the desires of mankind. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus Christ… “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24v12&13)

The Lord is not willing that any die in his sin…“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” (Verse 23)

If at one time in my life I repent of my sins and make a commitment to follow the Lord, this does not mean that I am suddenly covered and secure in future sins or as some would put it… ‘God no longer sees my sin.’

God sees all sin (whatever the person’s profession of faith) and knows all hearts and it is totally His will that the soul who is living in sin “should return from his ways, and live.”

Jesus also said: “For as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24v27)

Judgement will come as fast as a sheet of lightening… we must be ready and not as “that evil servant” who says in his heart, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” (Matthew 25v48)

Note that it is the servants who are exhorted to be ready in many portions of scripture… “Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” (Matthew 24v46)

May the Lord through His own loving words speak to those who read, that many may recognise the danger of living in adultery or any sin, while deceived by a false security.

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