A missionary in Africa asks for biblical insight regarding the security of the believer, sometimes referred to as “once saved, always saved.” And a missionary in China inquires about the passages which warn Christians against falling away from Christ. How do we put all this together?
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True believers may know that they are securely in God’s care and keeping, and that no person, circumstance or unforeseen set of events can ever snatch them away to destruction (John 10:27-30; 1 Pet. 1:3-5). This certainty is grounded in God’s own faithfulness (1 Cor. 1:8-9; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Thes. 3:3-5), power (Jude 24-25) and love (Rom. 8:35-39). God’s eternal purpose stands as its foundation, for those whom God foreknew he will eventually glorify as well (Rom. 8:28-30).
According to Jesus, all who truly believe in him have been given to him by the Father, and none of those given to him by the Father will finally be lost (John 6:37-40). The Apostle John assures believers that “God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:11-13).Our security is not in a doctrine, but in a Savior.
The question is ours each new day: “Do you acknowledge that you are a sinner, considered apart from Christ? Do you acknowledge him as your Savior and trust his atonement for peace and right standing with God? Are you sorry for sin and determined to turn from it? Do you cling to the cross of Jesus as your only hope of forgiveness? Do you give yourself to God in return, in gratitude for his unfathomable kindness and grace?” Whoever sincerely answers “Yes” to these questions may know that they belong to Christ, and that God will keep them to the end. Nothing can separate them from God’s love. Nothing can defeat God’s power. Nothing can thwart God’s purpose. True believers are eternally secure in his hands.