I have been studying and teaching Bible doctrine for over 48 years and the shepherding teacher for home based Churches. Sola Scriptura
Charles Hadden Spurgeon
Note: I enjoy reading Spurgeon and what follows is my personal take on one of his sermons in [Vol. VIII, Sermon 8, Page 150] concerning the perseverance of the saints.
The Hallmark of the Gospel is the Cross and Christ Crucified.
Perseverance is a Hallmark of True Believers
Many seem to enter the race: churches are filled with those claiming to be fellow Christians but a great multitude appear to be running in place and going nowhere. Good works may very well follow but that is only in the eyes of those who know them in the here and now. We have very little knowledge of our own hearts [Jeremiah 17:9-10] let alone that of another. We are to know one another by our fruit which flows from the Holy Spirit. Per Ephesians 5:9-10 the fruit of the Holy Spirit is displayed in ‘... all goodness and righteousness and Truth,’ to prove what is acceptable to the Lord.
The problem we have is that what little we witness of one another; outward appearances of goodness and righteousness are rather easy to disguise to the occasional witness. To those who may know them much more intimately it could be a completely different picture. It is the Truth that separates fact from fiction.
Hallmarks of the ones who persevere.
- Their constant battle with their own personal sinful flesh and not that of another. Little sins as the worldly see them are as the princess and pea. When what would seem to be an insignificant sin to many becomes an irritation that has to be dealt with to restore their peace of mind.
- The Word, the Truth drives a personal appetite to know more of our Lord and becomes a quest to know Him in a much more intimate sense. They are constantly learning to be more like Jesus every day.
- They are less demanding of others as they recognize their own weaknesses and are eager to restore relationships. They learn to welcome another’s insights and corrections when the Word is the counselor.
- When trials come, they may struggle for a season but when they have run their course, they will have found a new strength that did not previously exist.
- They are eager to have others come into the same relationship with our Lord, which has nothing to do with any denomination or specific church gathering.
- They learn to recognize and expose false doctrines
Caveat: many within churches today are very skilled in living an outward life that appears to be that of a born again believer … but time wounds all heels. Some may take years before their true colors are shown.
If One Mocks the Security of God's Child, They Mock God.
Perseverance of True Believers is Mocked by Those Demanding Works
When one is depending upon their own works, or the doctrines of their denomination or cult for their guarantee of salvation; their first line of defense is what I call the Tom Smothers defense: ‘Oh yeah!’ They have no freedom in Christ but must adhere to the dictates of another and their personal inability to spiritually read the Word for themselves. Their battle is not with themselves but with others that should disagree because it interferes with their peace of mind. They may battle over personal sin but only in relationship to their own belief. They know what they know and do not seek more than is necessary to keep them in good stead with their own. All relationships must be centered around their own core beliefs and they are eager for others to join their cadre as misery loves company. All other doctrines are questionable and must be dealt with severely. Their security resides with themselves alone per the dictates of the assembly.
A Holy God is Very Jealous of His Glory
Perseverance in Being Secure Displays the Glory of Christ
Matthew 20:16 - ‘ … many are called but few are chosen.’ If one’s eternity was left up to each individual; no one would be saved and heaven would be empty of mankind. Glory be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords for:
- We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and have been given the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [the saints], unto the praise of His glory. [Ephesians 1:14]
- It is Christ that completes His good work within us. Philippians 1:6
- John 10:28 Those who like to claim one’s salvation is in jeopardy are actually saying they are more powerful than God and can remove themselves from His hand.
- 1 Peter 3:3-5 Our inheritance is incorruptible and is KEPT by the power of God.
- Jude 24 - ‘Now unto Him that is able to KEEP you from falling …’
One more point - in John 14:1-3 where the Lord tells us that He is going to prepare a place for us who persevere. I wonder how the naysayers would equate this verse? Maybe He really doesn’t prepare a place until an individual achieves final victory or makes a few extra mansions just in case and He will let them out later should they not be filled.
This is just a sample of our Lord’s care for His own and all those who decry the security of the believer mock God by believing that He needs their help in keeping them secure. Another sample of the lack of being able to discern the scriptures spiritually. As I said, misery loves company.
Grace Received Will Always Produce Good Works
Perseverance Demands the True Believer’s Personal Daily Care
Paul, who considered himself to be the least worthy of our Savior’s saving grace, throughout the Word, encourages the saints to walk worthy of our calling. Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:11 All of which produces personal holiness - ‘ ... without which no man shall see the Lord:’ [Hebrews 12:14]
The price for our security has been paid in full; it is our perseverance that will testify to our place in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Our God is faithful, even when we are not. 2 Timothy 2:13.