Assurance, Surrender, and Falling Away I


Jesus makes sure that he doesn’t lose us, even though we often lose sight of him.  That’s assuring to me because even though Jesus doesn’t move, we do.  And messing up is not grounds for abandoning us – Jesus lived and died for us…

4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation.
Hebrews 6:4-9

I don’t believe that it is possible to lose one’s salvation.  That seems to be the initial imagery here.  If you start down the Christian path and then you fall away, you can’t come back because that would be like crucifying Jesus again. And that could never happen.  So you’re out.  One chance.  Don’t mess it up.

This is a serious topic and we don’t want to get it wrong.  I’m actually taking three days to work through it because I find there is just so much here…

Fear of messing up is, perhaps, where our first issue lies.  We will mess it up. We can’t help but to mess it up.  We follow God, and then we do things we don’t even want to do (Romans 7) which break our fellowship with God, and then we confess and are cleansed (1John 1). Rinse and repeat.

Hopefully as we grow, we will enter a maturity which we have read about in the previous chapter in which we train ourselves by the constant use of scripture.  That maturity should accompany a more consistent fellowship with God.  Yet it doesn’t help what on the surface here looks like a threat of losing our security in God’s grace.

The end of the story is clear in verse 9; we get to see the answer very clearly.  There is a confidence in the case of the audience of this letter to the Hebrews.  Why are they different?  Why is this risk we see in verses 4-8 not applicable to the reader?  The confidence for them comes from the fact that our readers are saved. There are better things for them – things that have to do with salvation…

The implication of these words, going back to verses 4-8, is that the situation described is not a situation that a saved person would face.  The situation described is a scenario relating to people who fall short of salvation.  They fall short of a saving relationship with Jesus.

It makes some good sense to us that there is a line between people who are in the faith and those who are standing outside the faith.  Somewhere there is a line and sometimes it is difficult to see what side of it people are on.  Is that you?  Would someone clearly know where you stand with Jesus by looking at your life?  Even though we mess up and fall short at times, our goal is to be as close to Jesus as possible.  Remember, Jesus doesn’t move – we do.

Back to messing up.  I am guaranteed to fall short in my daily living of the righteousness and faithfulness to which I am called.  And you’re in the same boat as me… So is there any good news in this?  For sure there is.

Jesus teaches in John 6:37-40 that every single person who comes to him in faith, whom he describes as being given to him by the Father, will be raised up again to heaven on the last day.  He will lose not a single one of those souls.  So to think that Jesus is making sure that he doesn’t lose us, even if there are days in which we lose sight of him, is assuring.

Do you have that assurance?  Remember that assurance comes to those who have a saving faith relationship with God through Jesus.  John shares clearly in John 1:12: “To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”  That’s forever.  Full assurance.

This is the time for self-reflection and submission to God.  Turn over your life, live in Christ and give everything over to him in faith.  Accept that he gave his life for you and your sin so that you can be acceptable to God.  If you do this, you will belong to Jesus and he will never let you go.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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