Many debate the statement “once saved, always saved.” Perhaps it could be more accurately stated “if saved always saved.” But Jesus said those who truly belong to Him cannot lose that relationship.
1 Kings 5 & 6:
The beauty of God and the ugliness of sin
Every time I read these passages I try to get my mind around what Solomon’s Temple must have been like! The love and care that went into every detail, the magnificence of it, the gold that was beaten into thin sheets and then gently hammered to fit over all the carved and embellished wood and stone so that everywhere you looked there was gold! The most beautiful things we build today with all our technology can’t match what it must have been like.
But, even with all the beauty and splendor, God was more interested in whether or not their lives reflected the beauty of God or the ugliness of sin. He warned Solomon that He would only dwell among them as long as they walked in His statutes and kept His commandments (vv. 6.11-13). He would eventually allow this magnificent temple to be burned and sacked because of their repeated sin and idolatry (2 Kings 25).
What beautiful things does He allow to be destroyed in our lives because of our unwillingness to love and obey Him? We often turn and blame Him when it’s actually a consequence of our rebellion.
He reigns forever
This psalm was probably part of David’s celebration when the Ark of the Covenant was brought back to Jerusalem, but it also looks forward to the day when Jesus will reign forever and all the world will worship Him.
Those who reward good with evil
Verse 13, “Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.” Romans 12.17 & 21 say, “Repay no one evil for evil” instead we are to “… overcome evil with good.” If we are not even to repay evil with evil, how much worse the judgment on someone who repays good with evil!
No one can snatch us out of His hand!
Verses 27-30 should give us great confidence in God’s sovereign control of our eternal lives.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”
If we truly belong to God, no one, not the devil nor anyone else can take that away from us. But the kind of saving faith that gives us that reassurance involves more than our just having prayed a prayer at some point. While it is true that we exercise saving faith through prayer, there is no magic in the words or the prayer itself. The prayer must involve true saving faith. A prayer merely spoken in response to outside pressure or the emotion of the moment does not necessarily constitute saving faith. We’ve all known people who “prayed a prayer” at some point, but have never displayed any life change.
Salvation is not a work. We can’t conjure up faith or do anything to save ourselves, but we’re all called to “examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13.5)—that is whether or not we have “unquestioning belief in and loyalty to God” and whether that faith has resulted in fruit. John the Baptist warned the religious people of his day to “bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Lk. 3.8).
What about you? Questions to ponder or journal:
Have you truly put your faith and trust in Christ and Christ alone? Have you come to the place where you realize you are a sinner in desperate need of a Savior and that nothing you do warrants eternal life? Have you confessed you sin to Him and received His free gift of forgiveness and salvation?