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Hebrews 13:5 I will never leave you or forsake you.
Jesus said this. We can be sure He meant it, but that does not mean we may not end up in hell. In fact some individuals who have been to hell and back (it doesn’t happen often) tell us Jesus is there and people do indeed talk to Him. They are angry and rebellious, as you might suspect, but Jesus has not forsaken them – they have of Him.
John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Another promise. There are thousands of promises in the Bible and this is just as solid as any other, but there are people who jump OUT of his hand. The promise of salvation is not what God does, but depends on what you do. Your salvation depends on the unqualified acceptance of your sin and His redemption.
By the way, this is a lifetime experience. I was saved 50+ years ago and my level of understanding, experience, and dedication bears little resemblance to what it was so long ago. I have grown. God does not judge us on our level of sophistication in spiritual things. But only our attitude.
1 Samuel 16:7 – God looks on the heart.
We are saved by faith; but we are not necessarily damned by faithlessness. One of Jesus’ contemporary’s asked him to “increase my faith.” That would be a good prayer for us all.
Churches (denominations and pastors) don’t decide who is in hell and who is not
The third point is this: NO church or denomination can tell you unqualifiedly that you are either going to hell or heaven. In order to do this they would need to travel to the afterlife and take a census, then return with their findings. There are some pretty scruffy characters who made it to heaven and some clean and washed up-standing citizens who are no where near heaven. These things, that is our destiny, are not decided by men.
No one should be insecure either
While a denomination cannot guarantee you “eternal security” neither should anyone fret and worry about “eternal insecurity.” God’s intention of the Bible is to set us free, not to keep us in bondage to an unknown future.
A woman named Kat Kerr has books and tapes about her frequent visits to heaven. She has pictures and tales about a happy and strange land of options, fun, travel, and excitement. On one of her tapes she records that a 18th century pirate repented and is now conducting pirate ship treasure hunts for our departed relatives if that is their pleasure.
Heaven gets a bad rap
This points out that what we are good at in life is what we can have in heaven. It also means that if you live like the devil, don’t be shocked if you end up dying like and with him too. Life is a preparation time for an eternity – the choice is yours. There is no dead-dull harp-playing on clouds and other nonsense. Heaven has goals and opportunities just as life does; simply put, the distractions of sin are removed. That is why it is called heaven.
Don’t ask anyone to guarantee that you are heaven bound
One of my students told me recently – your students want you to guarantee them that they will go to heaven. I said, “Sadly I can’t do that.” The promise and assurance of salvation cannot and will not come through men or their doctrines. It is the warm assurance of our heavenly father who, through Bible study and prayer, gives us that. And it is a totally individual and personal experience.
If you are looking for eternal security, try reading John 10. I can do no better than the Lord in this matter. May you find His peace.
#heaven #hell #oncesavedalwayssaved
The time was the late 70’s and my husband’s practice was suffering, I could not get a job because I was competing against so many unemployed males, the kids were in college and my old car was on its last piston. Putting together meals was a challenge and my friend was bragging about the terrific sales she was finding in food. I started grousing to God about how put upon I was. It was summer and I wanted some black cherries which the grocery store had for about $3 or $4 a package. Big, sweet, giant cherries from Washington State. I figured I had enough money for maybe two packages, perhaps half a pie.
So I waited until Monday morning when I thought they’d be on sale at the store. “Do you have any black cherries on sale,” said I. The man said —- Sure, and he asked me to drive around back to the loading dock.
When I got there he poured a wheelbarrow load of cherries into my trunk, most of them in terrific condition. It filled up the entire trunk. As an experienced canner I put them up and we ate them the following winter. I had so many in fact, I was not able to use them all.
God was making fun of me, and my lack of faith. Did he not say, I provide for the sparrows and you are worth more than they? (Matt 10:29)
Did He say, I will never leave you or forsake you? (Hebrews 13:5)
Did he not say he would keep us alive in famine? (Psalm 33:19)
But did I believe it? Do we really believe it. Fuss, fuss, fuss.
Since then I’ve been in trouble a thousand times, then ……. I found a ten dollar bill on the sidewalk, or when I was deadly ill in 1989 and someone brought food to my place, totally without knowing how bad off I was, and the time I had severe dysentery and a woman I had not talked to for 10 years called with the name of a specialty doctor or the time in 2011 when I was out of coffee (and complaining) when a person I barely knew showed up with a bag of Kona Coffee, the highest price domestic coffee in America.
God is saying, See, I can do this. And since He can and does this for me, so He can for you.
Many people buy expensive treadmills and incline trainers which sit in the corner because they are too unmotivated to exercise. Our faith is like that. The promises of God are there – we just need to step out on His promises for a faith exercise and watch Him do His job.