Eternity

November 19, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Eternity | 1 Comment
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The idea of eternity can be difficult for finite minds to grasp. Unlike our amazing Creator, we (His creatures) are constantly changing. Since “time” is the method devised for measuring change, we can scarcely fathom a realm (or a God) that exists “outside” of time. Christians talk of “spending” eternity with God and describe our Heavenly home as a place that will “last” forever, but we truly lack the language to adequately explain what it will be like to live “forever” with our magnificent Savior and His eternal, unending, infinite majesties, glories, and perfections.

Some of the earliest posts on this blog dealt with the theme of everlasting security, so, along with those and some other posts that examine Bible verses which talk about eternal life and God’s infinitude and immutability, I came up with the category called “Eternity.” Here are the links to its posts:

1. The Eternal Glory of God (II Timothy 2:10)
2. There Are Some Absolutes (Psalm 25)
3. Temporary Wealth Vs. Eternal Wealth (II Timothy 6:17-18)
4. Right Where You’re Supposed to Be (Ecclesiastes 3:11-12)
5. R.S.V.P. Before You R.I.P. (Ezekiel 12:27-28)
6. It’s Just Faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 4:5)
7. When Time Shall Be No More (Matthew 13:51-52)
8. The Bridegroom Cleans His Bride’s Wedding Gown (Revelation 19:7-9)
  a. Delivery and Birth (I Corinthians 5:1-5)
  b. The Deposit on Your Soul (II Corinthians 5:5)
  c. It All Depends on What Your Definition of “OF” Is (Galatians 2:16-20)
  d. All in the Past (Ephesians 4:30-32)
  e. Who “KEEPS” Me Saved? (Philippians 3:9)
  f. Perfect Unbreakable Love (Colossians 3:13-14)
  g. Learning to Like Eternal Life (I Thessalonians 4:7-8)
  h. Eternal Destruction (II Thessalonians 1:7-9, 2:16)
  i. Temporarily Saved Is Not Really Saved at All (I Timothy 2:3-4)
  j. Get Over Yourself, because You Can’t Get Over on God (II Timothy 2:13)
  k. Eternally Paid in Full (Philemon vv. 18-19)
  l. The Author of the Story that Never Ends (Hebrews 12:2, 7:5; Titus 1:2)
  m. Eternal Security Does Not Have an Expiration Date (I Peter 1:5, 2:24, 4:17)
  n. The Legend of the Unsaved Christian (II Peter 2:20-22)
  o. The Everlasting Anointing (I John 2:27)
  p. The Things that Will Last (II John v. 8)
  q. Eternal Infamy vs. Eternal Honor (III John vv. 9-10)
9. Do You Want to Live Forever? (I Timothy 2:5)
10. Discipleship Lesson 2: Everlasting Security
11. Objections To the Doctrine of Everlasting Security Answered (Objection 1) (John 14:16-17)
12. Objections To the Doctrine of Everlasting Security Answered (Objection 2) (Ezekiel 3:20; John 1:12-3)
13. Objections To the Doctrine of Everlasting Security Answered (Objection 3)
14. Objections To the Doctrine of Everlasting Security Answered (Objection 4) (Luke 8:13; Deuteronomy 30:17-20; Matthew 5:13)
15. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket (Job 39:13-17; Matthew 23:37; I John 5:13; Deuteronomy 33:27) *
16. Do Birds Sing about Eternity? (Ecclesiastes 3:11-14)
17. Partakers Overtake Undertakers (Hebrews 6:4-6)
18. The Assurance of the Blood (Hebrews 13:20-21; Jeremiah 32:40; Luke 22:20)
19. The Testator as Intercessor (Hebrews 7)
20. Hard Sayings (John 6)

* most-viewed post in category

Objections To the Doctrine of Everlasting Security Answered (Objection 3)

January 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Posted in Eternity | 1 Comment
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Objection: I know that I can lose my salvation because Lucifer once was in Heaven, and was cast out. There were also MANY angels created by God that chose to follow Lucifer to the fiery pit.

Answer To Objection: Lucifer being thrown out of Heaven has nothing to do with losing your salvation. Lucifer was never saved, so he could not “lose” his salvation.

Objection: Adam and Eve fell from God’s grace and favor and lost their eternity in the Garden.

Answer To Objection: When Adam and Eve were created in the garden they had not yet been “saved.” It was only after they sinned that they needed to be saved. God put them out of the Garden, but that is not “losing their salvation.”

Objection: If a Christian decides to walk away from God and live in sin he will surely die in his sin.

Answer To Objection: Do you mean die physically, or go to hell? Do you know any Christians who do not sin at least once every day? Is that “living in sin?” Do you know any Christians who have achieved sinless perfection? How many sins does a Christian have to commit before he or she “loses his salvation?” Why is most of the New Testament after Acts written to Christians telling them how to get the victory over sin, instead of telling them to get re-saved since they must have lost their salvation? Every Christian sins. We should not, but we do. God chastens His children for sinning. He does not kick them out of His family, or go back on His Word and take away His eternal salvation.

Objections To the Doctrine of Everlasting Security Answered (Objection 2)

November 19, 2010 at 10:52 am | Posted in Eternity, Ezekiel, John | 5 Comments
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Objection: Ezekiel 3:20 teaches that you can lose your salvation because you have free will.

Answer to Objection: Ezekiel 3:20 is not teaching that a saved person can lose his salvation. “Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

Please read the whole chapter – Ezekiel 3 – in context. It is teaching that people under a covenant with God must continue obeying, or else God will take their earthly life – especially after He has sent a “watchman” (a preacher) to warn them. It is also teaching that preachers must preach to disobedient people as though they were lost, even if these lost people claim to be righteous.

Objection: What about free will?

Answer to Objection: The question of “free will” was also brought up in my post on Objection 1. However, you need to remember that our wills are in bondage to our natures. And “free will” is not a reason for believing you can lose “your” salvation, unless you believe you were saved by your own free will. Let me show you that you were not saved by your own free will:

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:12-13, emphasis added

If you are truly saved, you were saved by God, not by your own will. Then, at the moment of salvation, you received a new nature, and a new will connected to that nature. Your old will could not love God or obey God. Only your new will can. That’s why Jesus says that Christians are people who have been “born again.” Babies are not born by their own will. And they can not “walk away” from having been born. They may get sick. They may die. They may fail to grow. They may deny that they were ever born to begin with. But they can never, ever be unborn.

Eternally Paid in Full

March 12, 2010 at 9:04 am | Posted in Eternity | 15 Comments
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In the Book of Philemon, the Apostle Paul acts as a guarantor on behalf of a runaway slave, Onesimus. Onesimus illegally ran away from his master, Philemon, and wound up meeting Paul. Paul led him to Jesus Christ, and Onesimus was saved. Paul, who was in prison at the time, sent Onesimus back to Philemon with a letter.

Paul’s promise to Philemon in this letter is an illustration of the role that Jesus Christ, the Great Guarantor, plays in the salvation of Christians on a far grander scale.

If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it…

Philemon vv. 18-19

Before I was “born again” to new life in Christ Jesus, I owed a debt to God I could never pay. My sins had violated His holy law, and no amount of good works or anything else could make up for it. The Lord Jesus, on the hill called Calvary, paid off my sin-debt in full with His blood.

Such a transaction is difficult to describe, first of all because of its enormity and greatness, and second of all, because of the overpowering emotions it evokes in those who have been saved. I would probably not agree with every point of theology held by the Puritans, but you have to give them credit for this: As one preacher said, they thought great thoughts about God. Here is a passage from Puritan preacher and theologian, John Flavel, that some have called “The Father’s Bargain.” It imagines a conversation between God and Jesus in the councils of eternity as the Son agreed with the Father to do what Paul promised to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus: to pay his debt in full, no matter how great.

Here you may suppose the Father to say, when driving his bargain with Christ for you:

Father: My Son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice! Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them: What shall be done for these souls? And thus Christ returns.

Son: O my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them as their Surety; bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no after-reckonings with them; at my hand shalt thou require it. I will rather choose to suffer thy wrath than they should suffer it: upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.

Father: But, my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements; if I spare them, I will not spare thee.

Son: Content, Father, let it be so; charge it all upon me, I am able to discharge it: and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures (for so indeed it did, 2 Cor. viii. 9. “Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor”), yet I am content to undertake it.

John Flavel

Please do not tell me that God will start charging sins to my account, now that I am saved… after Jesus Christ paid for them so thoroughly and so completely.

Eternal Infamy vs. Eternal Honor

March 1, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Posted in Eternity | 5 Comments
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Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your own personal name written down in the pages of God’s everlasting Word? Don’t answer too quickly. First, you might want to ask, “What would it say about me?”

It is a great honor for men such as Job, Moses, Paul, and Stephen to have their names inscribed in the Bible, but, for a few others, it is an eternal shame. One such example is Diotrephes. He is named only once, but it’s not good:

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

III John Verses 9-10

Apparently, Diotrepehes was a proud man, with a love for being “first,” and a willingness to step on a few toes and heads to get there. He was not averse to attacking the Lord’s work, or even the Apostle John. We get a picture of Diotrephes tossing people out of the congregation left and right.

One key thing to remember, though, is that, while Diotrephes did cast people out of the “church,” he did not cast them out of the “CHURCH.” A “church,” which we usually use to refer to a building, is a local assembly of believers, but there is a greater sense in which “THE CHURCH,” is the called-out assembly of all the true Christians in the world. This Church is both the Body (I Corinthians 12:27) and the Bride (Revelation 21:9) of Christ.

Men may remove other men from a local congregation of believers, but Jesus Christ will never withdraw eternal life from His own Body or divorce His own Bride. This is the promise and assurance of salvation.

The Everlasting Anointing

February 11, 2010 at 10:16 am | Posted in Eternity | 10 Comments
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If you were to disregard the Bible, and base what you believe about Christianity solely on what you heard from television preachers, and from those involved in “healing ministries,” “deliverance ministries,” and “signs, wonders, and miracles ministries,” you would almost have to believe that God’s favorite word is “anointing.”

We hear about “the anointing” on singers, “the anointing” on preachers, and “the anointing” on faith healers. I once even heard that a really good cook had a special “rice and gravy anointing.” Another person told me that they knew “the anointing” was upon us, because he had chill bumps from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. (Maybe I’m too skeptical, but I did happen to glance at the thermostat, and it was set on 64 at the time.)

It may surprise you to learn that the word “anointing” is almost always used in the Old Testament in connection with the pouring of oil on someone or something. It is used in a very literal way. It may surprise you even more to learn that the word “anointing” is used only three times in the entire New Testament. In James 5:14 it is used to mean the literal application of oil to a person, like in the Old Testament. It appears twice in I John 2:27, and there, in a stark exception, it is used to refer to a grant of special spiritual power from God to men: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

The Greek word in I John Chapter 2, which is translated as “anointing” in Verse 27, and as “unction” in Verse 20, is chrisma, and is found nowhere else in the Bible. Therefore, it is strange to think it has become such a watchword in modern-day evangelicalism.

We are tempted to think that the over-use of the concept of “the anointing” as a description for the way in which God may capriciously send greater measures of His power upon His servants was concocted as a way to explain our deficiencies in the times when we fail to have an emotional response to His presence in our lives. “The Lord really spoke to me today – it must have been ‘the anointing.’” Or, “I didn’t hear from God today, but it wasn’t my fault; He just didn’t send ‘the anointing.’” “The anointing” has become our great spiritual cop-out. I most certainly need God’s power if I am going to get the victory over habitual sin or minister in any way to the glory of God, but it would be ludicrous for me to believe that this power is going to be magically imparted to me by some “anointed” Christian, while I am grieving God’s very Spirit Who resides within me on a daily basis.

I John 2:27 says that if I am truly a Christian, then God anointed me with His Spirit at the moment of salvation. This “anointing” abides with me. It stays with me permanently. I can no more lose the “anointing” of the Holy Spirit than I can lose God’s gift of salvation. The question is not whether I will receive “the anointing” under some mystical circumstances, so I can operate in “my” gifts. The question is whether I will yield to God’s Spirit, which He has already given me, and surrender my will to His, and obediently allow His gifts to be exercised through me, so that He is glorified.

The Legend of the Unsaved Christian

February 1, 2010 at 10:01 am | Posted in Eternity, John | 7 Comments
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“Urban legends” are sort of modern day fairy tales. They are stories that have been told and re-told, but can never be confirmed as actually happening. “I know someone who told me about his brother’s old roommate, and you would not believe what happened to him.” This is usually the sort of third- or fourth-hand pedigree that signals the onset of an urban legend about to be told.

There is even a sort of Christian urban legend. I hear it fairly often when I speak about the doctrine of eternal security. “I just know a Christian can lose his salvation,” someone will tell me, “because my cousin’s uncle’s great aunt’s stepfather was saved when he was nine, and he grew up to be an alcoholic and a big jerk, and he even killed a guy one time.”

This sort of experiential tale might make for an interesting story, but it carries no weight whatsoever when held up to inerrant Scripture.

And I 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. I and my Father are one.

John 10:28-30

So, what do we do with the person who claims to be a Christian, but lives like a devil? I don’t know about you, but I would hope for the opportunity to give him the Gospel message. There are two possibilities. One, this person is a child of God, saved by grace through faith, and is under the chastening hand of His loving and omniscient Father, Who knows things we can never know – including whether someone is really saved or not. Two, this person is only a “professing Christian,” and has never really been saved to begin with.

The true Christian’s job is not to help other Christians figure out who’s really saved and who’s not, and it is certainly not to help God figure out who really belongs to Him, and who doesn’t.

Whether the person who claims the name of Christ but lives in egregious sin is a prodigal son or a false professor, the proverb of the pigs and the dogs is no urban legend.

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

II Peter 2:20-22

Perfect Unbreakable Love

November 20, 2009 at 10:52 am | Posted in Eternity | 5 Comments
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True Christianity is so difficult for the unregenerate person to comprehend. People are born with an innate understanding that there is a God, and that, because of the hidden wickedness of their own hearts, they are not righteous before this God. So far, so good. But here is where the problem appears. Unregenerate sinners are blind to spiritual truth. Therefore, they grope about in the dark, and come up with this plan: “I will do enough good things to make up for my bad things, and God will be pleased.”

This flies right in the face of God’s revealed truth, which is found in the pages of the Holy Bible (Ephesians 2:9), but it makes a certain type of worldly, humanistic sense. After all, are not people supposed to do good things? The answer is that people are supposed to do good things, but not as a way to make God our debtor. Instead, God, in His grace and mercy, and for Christ’s sake (Ephesians 4:32), forgives us our sins when we trust in Him, and that motivates and empowers us to do good things.

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Colossians 3:13

Notice what comes first in that verse. Christ forgives me first, then I am able to forgive others. Not the other way around: I do not earn Christ’s forgiveness by first forgiving others. The following verses shed even more light:

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Colossians 3:14

Charity (self-sacrificing, giving, Christian love) is first the act of God. And it is the bond of perfectness. We are to love others because Christ loved us first, and gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:2). Christ’s love is so perfect and its bond is so unbreakable that the natural result is for me to want to emulate it after I have experienced it. However, even when my love fails, Christ’s love is still effectual. For Christ to reject the regenerate would make His love less than perfect, and His bond weak and breakable. These things simply cannot be.

Eternal Destruction

November 2, 2009 at 9:21 am | Posted in Biblical Violence, Eternity | 20 Comments
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Some Bible words can be hard to understand. If you are going to get a grip on the idea of “propitiation” or “justification” (Romans 4:25, 3:25), you had better be prepared to stay up all night. There are other words, however, which are extremely self-explanatory. Take the word “everlasting.” Something that is “everlasting,” is something that…(all together now)…LASTS…FOR…EVER.

When God says something is everlasting, it may blow our minds a little. After all, most things in this world have a start and a stop, a beginning and an end. The sun comes up; the sun goes down. Plants spring up and grow; plants wither and rot. People are born; people die. In God’s realm of eternity, however, there is no true end or beginning. So while the conceptualization of “everlasting” may be difficult, the basic sense of it is not. This is a great encouragement to true Christian believers and a great condemnation to those who have rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Unbelievers will experience punishment forever.

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

II Thessalonians 1:7-9

However, believers have the assurance of knowing that their salvation may never be lost.

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

II Thessalonians 2:16

All in the Past

October 20, 2009 at 7:50 am | Posted in Eternity | 16 Comments
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Satan, the adversary of every Christian, will one day be bound and utterly defeated. At that point he will no longer have the ability to harass and torment the children of God. Today, however, he is tirelessly at work doing all he can to rob God of glory, and to destroy the creatures that God loves. Dr. Frank M. Kepner, the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Long Beach, California, from 1956-1979, once wrote: “Yes, when we have been brought close to Christ by some high spiritual experience or by some noble decision, we may always expect great temptation to follow. For Satan never surrenders a life to God without a desperate struggle.”

Of course, the faithful Christian who studies his Bible is not ignorant of Satan’s devices, weapons, schemes, or persistence. When he is tripped by Satan, and stumbles into sin, he need not fret or wallow in defeat. In fact, Christians have access to a great promise concerning God’s compassion on His children even when they have shamefully stumbled.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32

When you have been “born again” – that is, born into the family of God – your past sins are forgiven, your current sins are forgiven, and even your future sins are forgiven. The “tense” of your sins is not the important thing. The tense of God’s forgiveness is. The sins of believers were dealt with on the Cross of Christ and they “hath” been (past tense) forgiven.

A believer who is dealt a blow by Satan, and who gives in to sin, grieves the Holy Spirit of God.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Ephesians 4:30

This would have been the perfect place for God to tell us that our sins can cause the Spirit to be grieved to the point that He leaves us, and that we lose our eternal salvation. But He does not. Instead, He reminds us that, though we may grieve the Holy Spirit, He still seals Christians unto the day of redemption. Satan is strong. Some men are strong. But no one can break the seal of God.


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