Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Does This Prove That There Is No Eternal Security For A Believer?

In Rev 3:5 Jesus Saying "He Who Overcomes...I Will Not Blot Out His Name From The Book Of Life", Does It Mean That If We Do Not Overcome, Our Names Will Be Removed From It?

Question: I spoke with a Bible teacher who believes that there is no eternal security. After speaking with me of my reason to believe in it, He told me, so you believe in eternal security and then he told me, then you have got to answer the question that Jesus told to believers in Revelation 3:5, "[If you] hold fast and repent, ...I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life". Does this prove that there is no eternal security for a believer?

Answer: Greetings in Jesus wonderful name!

I have seen almost everyone who come against the OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved) ETERNAL SECURITY, do so out of their own experience they have learned through their teachers in their own denomination and not from the Word of God directly. In other words, even the good teachers of the Word of God who do not believe in eternal security do so out of the influence they have come under through learning Christ from the denomination they have been brought up or were guided in their spiritual lives.

The first thing about the promises of God is that it never changes or cannot be broken, Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." (Matt 24:35). To me that means, every body who believes any promise of the Bible, will end up receiving the blessings of that promise in their lives eternally. Every promise can stand on itself and cannot be negated by any other in other parts of the Bible. We should understand that, if we cannot take something as true from the Word of God, it is because we have not yet understood it in the context Jesus has spoken to us. When we take the context rightly, we will soon understand that we need to shift our understanding to the Word of God which is able to transform us and help us tune in to the will of God. Each promise of the Bible can stand on its own, and does not need a support from us or even from another part of the Scripture to prove its authenticity.

Allow me to expound the context of the verse that you have quoted, “1 And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’" (Rev 3:1-6).

In the above verses we see Jesus is speaking to the Church in Sardis through the messenger Pastor of the particular flock who is called as a angel, he starts to speak the following verses by claiming supreme authority over the seven-fold Spirits of God and over the seven stars which are the Seven Churches that symbolises the seven different states or the spiritual climate of the universal Churches in all nations of the world (Rev 4:6-9; 5:6-14; 19:4-5; Isa 11:2). In other words, each Church in each nation, area and locality will be at any particular time settled in atleast one of the spiritual climate or more that Jesus spoke about, even though the specific message of Jesus was to seven different Churches established in the first century in the area of the nation of Turkey in the middle east of our times which all had seven different spiritual climates during those times.

In this above message of Jesus, he is speaking to the Church not about their salvation but about their works done after salvation which is able to decide their position of riches in their eternity.

When someone speaks the above, verses of Rev 3:1-6, as though it is about the salvation of people to whom Jesus spoke to, the whole context become wrong. Why? Because salvation of every person who gets saved, remain saved through the finished and perfectly completed work of Jesus done for them on the Cross (Eph 2:8; Tit 3:5-6). To get saved is a gift of God, but what we do after we are saved is a work that brings eternal profit to us who believe (Eph 2:10; Tit 3:8; Heb 6:9-12).

So to all of the seven Churches Jesus admonishes and commands them to repent and overcome the sinful nature and tendencies that pull them down to act selfishly in lust against the work of the Holy Spirit, because Jesus wants all the believers to become rich in eternity and not remain poor without fruitful works that can only bring Glory to God through their salvation (Rev 22:12, 17).

Jesus starts the conversation with the Church of Sardis by saying, "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead", here are some very very important things to note inorder to understand the context, Jesus did not say, 'You have a name that you are saved, but you are dead,'. Jesus knows all His sheep and are known by His own, they will follow him, and as he has given eternal life to them, none shall perish and neither any can be able to snatch them out of his hand for eternity ahead (John 10:27-30). When Jesus speaks about the works we are appointed to do after salvation, it was something that was prepared before hand by God, that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10). It cannot be done by our own power or proceeded according to our own wishes outside of the will of God and without taking up our own cross which He has given to us to crucify our self and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23). When self life is saved and works are done by our own wishes, it becomes dead work that are of no value in terms of eternity as they have failed the conditions of God (Heb 6:1-3). When we are alive to God through denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily, then we remain alive to God's will and purposes done and fulfilled through our works (Luke 9:24-26; Rom 6:11). Sin dies when we die by our belief (Rom 6:7), and therefore Jesus talks about the works of righteousness that comes to us through our belief and that which collects treasures in heaven on our eternal account for which we will personally be glorified by God when we enter heaven in our glorious resurrected eternal body after the Rapture (Rom 8:30).

To all the Churches, salvation is not disputed by Jesus to cause fear, but rather His intention is to make the Churches grow to maturity in the works of righteousness that is planned by God beforehand to make them do it and glorify Him through it. Therefore Jesus continues the command by saying to the Church, "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God" and more people are discouraged seeing the fruitless believers who live their lives for themselves fully dead in their dead works, therefore Jesus instructs the Pastor of the Church to be watchful of these discouraged people and strengthen them once again to continue to maintain their good works through faith for eternal profit and the glory of God (Tit 3:8). Those who become discouraged and worried and filled with fear to save themselves will lose their glory and eternal profit (Luke 9:24), their works become imperfect before God as it lacks the faith that can only please God (Heb 11:6).

As Jesus continues saying, "Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent", this brings us to the day we were saved by Jesus from sin, where we all got convicted of our sins and told God that we were sinners on our way to hell fire and then asked God to save us through Jesus who died for us, and as a joyful result of it, we were saved by God through our belief (Eph 1:11-12, 13-14). This is what Jesus tells all believers to look up to [i.e. the day of salvation in which we were saved] and therefore "hold fast" to the promises of God through their belief once again and repent by turning to God away from the sin of unbelief we were involved in until that time (Heb 3:12-14).

As Jesus continues his admonition saying, "Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you", it is about the unexpected time of the end of the life of a believer or the happening of Rapture that Jesus has spoken about in many other places that he is speaking here too. The imminency of the end of the life of a believer or for that matter even to unbeliever any moment (Luke 12:15-21), and at the same time the imminency of the rapture of the Church is what Jesus describes as like the coming of the thief (1 Thess 5:2, 9), where people who do not watch spiritually to pursue the call of God to fulfill His purpose for their lives will end up losing their eternal wealth suddenly even as they realise it very late that it has been stolen and also given to others as they were not watchful (Rev 3:11; Matt 6:19-20). The life of every believer is in the hands of Jesus, who chooses to keep some or take some if they remain unfruitful to God (Luke 13:6-9).

After this Jesus further encourages certain believers who continue to reject their own will and continue to take the God-given cross daily to walk in the will of God saying to them, "You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy."

When Jesus says to these small group of believers within the Churuch that they have not defiled their garments, they shall walk with Him in white because they are worthy, He is not talking about the salvation of these believers and their entering in to heaven, but rather He is speaking about the reward for the work of undefiled garment of white which are actually the good works of the saints done through faith (Rev 19:7-8, 9, 14).

There are two things that we need to note here, garment of salvation comes to us as clothing over us when we get saved, but then when the robe of righteousness which is a loose-fitting outer garment is worn by us which signifies honorary stature, this in actuality keeps the inner garment of salvation intact in white. Garments of salvation is something that God clothes us with as a gift over our spiritual lives when we get saved, but then robe is something that God chooses to cover us with even as we cooperate with him to choose to wear on by our works done in faith for the Glory of God after we are saved until we die and go on to be with the Lord in heaven (Isa 61:10; Job 29:14).

So those who keep the garments white shall walk with Jesus in heaven in honor of their work done for God on earth, and they will be declared to be worthy of great privileges of honor, power and glroy because of their works. Those who defile their garments will lose such honor and priviledge for eternity.

Then Jesus comes to the crux of the main verse which is, "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." (Rev 3:5). First of all, Jesus is not threatening the believers of the harsh consequence of their dead works which can make them lose their salvation here, but rather many in the Church who were living for themselves in condemnation and spiritual lethargy (1 John 3:20), were keeping the law of God for salvation and had not even realized of their dead works (Rom 10:4; Gal 2:16; 3:3; Heb 6:1-3). In fear of losing salvation many believers were habitually beginning to keep the law of God inorder to avoid losing their own salvation, as like many believers even in our times do the same. In other words, the believers were more worried about losing their own salvation because of sinful and self willed life lived for themselves (Heb 10:26-31), than realizing the truth that it is not for their salvation but it is for their eternal honor, glory and power that Jesus is more concerned and is admonishing them to overcome self and sin in their life to walk in the will of God for their lives and bring glory to God through it. Infact, Jesus saying to them "I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life" is actually a reassurance of the eternal security of all other promises he has already given to the believers about the permanency of salvation and not a threatening to cause fear and doubt in their heart about the eternal salvation that He has already promised to them (Heb 5:9; John 10:27-28). Jesus Christ remains the same, it is the believers who need to renew their mind to take hold of the unchanging promises given to them and walk worthy of the high calling He has given to each one to bring glory to him on earth just as He has walked before them and brought Glory to our Heavenly Father God (Heb 13:8; Php 3:13-14; Eph 4:1; Col 1:10; 2 Pet 1:3-4; 1 John 2:6; Rom 12:2).

Jesus thus closes his admonition and command saying to the Church, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." In other words, Jesus is saying to those who call themselves as a part of the church, if you are saved really and have a internal ear opened enough through salvation which I have already given to you to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches, let him hear what I have already told through the Spirit so as to do the works pleasing to God through their lives and not fear about losing salvation, to make a turn around by overcoming faith and not continue by fear to remain in the dead works of the law which brings no eternal profit to you who are caught in it!

What can we learn from the above clear exposition of the words of Jesus spoken to us?

To say that eternal security is not in the Bible and OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved) is false has no basis to defend except it is a wish of religious radicals to discourage and keep in fear all Christians who want to pursue God and fulfill His call for their lives (Heb 5:9; Rom 10:13; Eph 1:13-14). No Scripture should be taken out of context to mean something other than what it wants to convey clearly. Then it misses the whole point of what Jesus wants to convey to us. So the very words of admonition from Jesus mainly are, be watchful and encourage those who try their best to walk taking up their cross, hold fast to how you were saved and repent again and again of sin because it can harden the heart and make you miss the perfect work of God planned by God to be fulfilled through faith. If you waste the time that Jesus has given for you after salvation, you might miss it altogether eternally in heaven because you might die anymoment or Rapture might happen whichever comes first as like a thief in the night God might take you up out of this world to close the window of opportunity that He had given for you to collect and retain eternal riches to become rich eternally.

Jesus knows persoanlly each one of those who are walking in spiritual maturity by denying themselves and taking up their cross to follow Him to fulfill the will of God in their lives, and therefore He gurantees them that they will walk with Him in white garment because they have proved themselves worthy through their constant pursuit of fulfilling God's purpose for their lives. These white garments are the reward for the works done in their earthly life from the day of salvation to the day of their physical death that adore their eternal lives with honor, glory and power. Jesus encourages the fruitless believers to overcome sin and self and take up their cross willingly to fulfill the will and purposes of God in their lives, and he commands them to stay away from legalism that makes them work for God in fear and not faith to keep their salvation intact which infact becomes a dead work because of bad motive behind the work done. In fact salvation as a free gift of God bestoved once cannot be taken away by anyone in the world or outside the world according to God's own promises to all the believers individually. So to these who have started the salvation by faith and wanted to become perfect through works, Jesus did not threaten them of taking their name out of the Book of Life, instead He encouraged them to overcome legalism and not be ever worried that he will take their names out of the Book of Life. But the ultimate encouragement for these people from Jesus is that they will be clothed in the white garment which will be the eternal prize for their works done by faith through overcoming sin and self and Satan, which will be given to them eternally if they will choose to overcome the world, the flesh and Satan through their persevering faith for which they will be felicitated at the Judgment seat of Christ before the Father God. Glory to God!

Much Blessings...


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