“It shall be forever!”

 

“I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth [it], that [men] should fear before him.”

(Ecclesiastes 3:14)

 

            When God saves a sinner, “it shall be forever!” 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. As Solomon asserts, — “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.”

 

Union with Christ

 

            Salvation is a real union with the Lord Jesus Christ, our Mediator. — “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephesians 5:30). All who believe on the Son of God 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” (John 14:19). Can you imagine Christ with a maimed body? Perish the thought! His body must be perfect and complete. And 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.

 

Performed by Grace

 

            Our salvation must be eternally secure, because it is both performed and preserved by the omnipotent grace and effectual power of God the Holy Spirit. Salvation is not in any way 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. By him, all the blessings of covenant grace, bestowed upon us in eternity in Christ, are sealed to our souls, as he gives us faith in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14). And, by him, we are sealed in Christ until the resurrection (Ephesians 4:30).

 

Completed by 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).

 

It will never be said of our God that he began a work which he was not able to complete. 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. 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 substitutionary atonement, atonement made by the sacrifice of his own dear Son. And though we went astray from him as soon as we were born, speaking lies, 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 save us. Then, at the appointed time, in the time of his love, he gave us life and faith in Christ.

 

Since that day, our sins have been many. Our faithfulness at best has been feeble. Our service has been insignificant. But he who 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!” If the Lord God has saved us, “It shall be forever!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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