FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH?
"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."
Many today are being taught that once you are saved, you are always saved!
They are told that you cannot do anything to 'lose' your faith, and be lost!
This comes from a false teaching often referred to as: 'once saved, always saved'; also called 'perseverance of the saints', and 'eternal security'.
One of the Scripture's used to try and teach this false doctrine is
Romans 8:38, 39
"38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
The above is certainly true, but there is ONE exception, OURSELVES!
"4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame."
Notice, that as long as they continue to crucify to themselves the Son of God (practice sin), and put Him to an open shame, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance!
So, in being stewards (servants, workers) for God, we must be faithful to our Creator in doing His will above all else!
1 Corinthians 4:2
"Here, moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."
Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit that we MUST have!
"22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."
These are attributes we must be involved in applying to our faith in order to be faithful unto God!
2 Peter 1:3-11
"3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you."
1 Peter 4:8-11
"8 above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves; for love covers a multitude of sins: 9 using hospitality one to another without murmuring: 10 according as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God; 11 if any man speaketh,'speaking as it were oracles of God; is any man ministers, ministering as of the strength which God supplies: that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, whose is the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
This involves 'growing in God's grace'
2 Peter 3:17, 18
"17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."
Therefore, we are to accomplish these 'works' from God in order to be faithful!
Notice these instructions from our Creator:
2 Corinthians 7:1
"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6
"3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh 4 (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds), 5 casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; 6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be made full."
"9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light."
Philippians 2:12, 13
"12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."
When we allow God to work in us through our application of His word to our lives, He gives us that ability to properly please Him above all else, by doing His will, His works!
But, can we boast in doing His will? MOST CERTAINLY NOT!
"So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done."
So, how important is our being 'faithful' to our Creator?
Psalms 4:23, 24
"23 O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer. 24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD."
This brings us to a question I want to ask you:
What kind of soil is YOUR HEART?
"11 Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12 “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. 13 “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance."
Have you properly heard the Word of God?
Are you responding to it correctly?
Are you holding it fast, that is, being faithful to God's Word?
Are you bearing fruit with perseverance, patience, endurance?