GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #521
DO GODíS SAINTS PERSEVERE IN FAITH?
IS THE BELIEVER KEPT IN ETERNAL SECURITY?
††††††††††† Pastor Don Fortner
††††††††††† Grace Baptist Church of Danville
††††††††††† 2734 Old Stanford Road
††††††††††† Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
††††††††††† The Word of God clearly teaches the perseverance of the saints. Those who are born of God must and shall persevere. They will continue in the faith of Christ. We both believe and keep on believing. The true believer begins in faith, lives in faith, and dies in faith. True faith never quits (Matt. 10:20; John 8:31; 1 Cor. 15:1; Col. 1:23; Heb. 3:6, 14). ďThe righteous shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.ď The Word of God is very clear in this matter: Only those who continue in the faith shall enter into glory. This is the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints. Those who forsake Christ never knew Christ. Those who depart from the gospel never knew the gospel. Those who fall from the doctrine of grace never had a true experience of grace. Those who fall away were never truly in the Way. All true believers shall persevere in grace to the end. Perseverance requires diligence and effort on our part. But the cause of our perseverance is Godís grace. It is the grace of God working in us which causes us to persevere with diligence. We must hold on to Christ. But it is Christís holding us that causes us to hold him, not the other way round.
The Book of God teaches that the perseverance of Godís elect is the fruit, the result, the product of their preservation in Christ. Those who are truly born of God will most certainly persevere in faith, because we are preserved in Christ by almighty grace. Not one of Godís elect shall ever perish. The Word of God teaches the preservation of the saints just as plainly, just as fully, just as forcibly as it teaches the perseverance of the saints.
††††††††††† We believe and preach both. Perseverance is the believer continuing in faith. Preservation is God keeping his people in faith. Perseverance is the believer holding Christ by the hand of faith. Preservation is Christ holding the believer by the hand of grace.
Jesus is our God and Savior, Guide, and Counselor, and Friend:
He will never, never leave us, Nor will let us quite leave Him.
Having Christ as our Shepherd, all of Godís sheep are absolutely secure in his hands. It is not possible for any true believer to perish, because we are preserved by the grace of God in Christ. Is this, or is it not, the teaching of Holy Scripture? This is what the Book of God saysÖ
††††††††††† "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."††† (Ecc. 3:14) ďI give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."†† †(John 10:28-29) "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: And he is the propitiation for our sins."††† (1 John 2:2)