Words of Encouragement - Old Testament
New Testament

This is a copy of a discussion I had with a Christian, unsure of his salvation.

Pablo's words start with PS{ and are in blue, mine start with JD{ and are in brown.


. BBS: The Berean Connection . Date: 06-28-93

. From: John Dibble To: P.... S.......

. Subj: Salvation - we CAN know! Conf: (31) Bible----R .


PS{ Paul says that even he is not certain of salvation, as he may not be judged worthy. And he speaks of working on his sanctification "in fear and trembling". Paul frequently appeals to his fellow Christians to persist, that the road is hard.

JD{ Where did Paul say he was not certain of salvation? Read Paul's second letter to Timothy. These are not the words of a man uncertain of his salvation.

JD{ Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, -2 Tim 1:9

JD{ Our calling and salvation is not based on our works. If it were, then we WOULD have reason to fear.

JD{ For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: And not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. -2 Tim 4:6-8

JD{ There is nothing "uncertain" in that passage. As he said in 1:12, Paul KNEW who he believed and was convinced that the One he believed was able to justify his belief/trust.

PS{ Peter warns the Christians to stay sober and alert, that the devil is looking to devour them. Why this warning if they had it made?

JD{ Because the Christian walk is not just a matter of being saved. It is also a matter of service. I Pet 5 (from which this warning is taken), is an exhortation to Christians to continue in their service: To the elders to feed the flock and to the younger believers to be humble.

PS{ Why Paul's warning to the Ephesians not to let the devil work on them?

JD{ Ephesians 4:27?

JD{ Because, we still have the old nature in us. And that nature, if not "reckoned dead" (Romans 6:11) will disrupt our service, our witness for Christ. No where does the bible EVER say we can loose our salvation. What we CAN loose out on, are the rewards given for faithful service:

JD{ And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. -Revelation 22:12

JD{ Some specific rewards mentioned in the New Testament are:

JD{ Matthew 10:40-42, rewards for kindness;

JD{ Luke 19:11-27, rewards for stewardship;

JD{ 1 Corinthians 9:24,25, rewards for perseverance;

JD{ 2 Timothy 4:8, rewards for diligence;

JD{ Revelation 2:10, rewards for martyrdom

PS{ We do not merit our salvation, it is a gift. But it is a gift that can be thrown away, and we may be stupid enough to do so if we do not persist.

JD{ Not so! It is a free gift. Given at the moment of acceptance (Look at Luke 7:50, John 3:36, John 5:24 and John 6:47)

PS{ The NT is filled with stories of apostates. Now, if they never had salvation then that says that people can never know if they are saved. Which is why they must be exhorted to persevere.

JD{ Not really, if an apostate perseveres, he is still an apostate and no amount of perseverance will save him. The gift of eternal life can NOT be thrown away. Otherwise, it would NOT be "eternal".

JD{ And, yes, we CAN know. THAT is faith. Our salvation is NOT based on what we do. (Even our faith is a gift!)

JD{ However, our rewards ARE based on what we do. And 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 tells us that our works will be judged. It is possible to have all our works burned (as in useless) be still be saved. (vs. 15) But the exhortation to persevere is not to ensure salvation, but rewards, also referred to as crowns (1 Corinthians 9:25, 2 Timothy 4:8, James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4 to mention a few.)

JD{ In Revelation 4:10-11, the 24 elders cast their crowns before the throne in worship and honor. I like to think that I too, shall have something with which to pay tribute to the one who gave everything to redeem me.

PS{ Thus only those who persevere in Christ will be saved.

JD{ This is true in reference to salvation from the Power of sin. We have already been saved from the Penalty for sin. That was completed by Christ on the Cross.

PS{ I am justified -- that is in the past.

JD{ That is "Saved from the Penalty for sin" Guaranteed by His death on the Cross.

PS{ I am working on my sanctification in fear and trembling -- that is the present.

JD{ This is being "Saved from the Power of sin" This is where our daily crucifying of the old nature in Romans 6 comes in. It is a continuous struggle between two natures and this is where we earn our rewards/crowns.

PS{ I hope to be saved by my perseverance in Christ -- that is the future.

JD{ This will be "Saved from the Presence of sin". Guaranteed by His Resurrection from the dead, not by our perseverance.

PS{ One other way of putting it -- perhaps one more acceptable to you -- is this. We are saved once and for all the last time we turn to Christ with all our heart prior to our death. But given that we are weak and often turn away from Him at the slightest temptation, we do not know when that last time will be (or whether it has been).

JD{ Nope! Not acceptable to me! <smile> I KNOW I am saved! Praise, God, in spite of myself! Not because of anything I have done, but because of what Christ has done. The works I do now, I do, not to earn eternal life, (I already have that) but to show, in my own inept way, my appreciation and love for Him.

JD{ From your message, I believe you too have accepted the free gift offered to you. If that be so, then you ARE my brother and I WILL see you at His feet! I pray that God will give you the assurance of salvation also. He came so we could have life abundantly! Not to make us live in fear.

JD{ I am not known for my tact in speaking, but I hope you understand this is written in love. Meant as an encouragement not an admonition. I wish that all believers could enjoy the thrill of knowing their eternity is secure in Him.

Your Brother in Christ


Last updated: 1 May 2012