The Pryor Times

May 30, 2013

Salvation is promised to the faithful


— The wise man Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all.  For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”  Anyone who has studied the Bible at all should realize that God requires that we obey Him.  It is a shame that people can be misled into believing that they can be saved simply by believing that Jesus is God’s Son and that He died for them.

Faith in Jesus is absolutely essential.  In John 8:24, Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  And Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.  But the idea that all one has to do to be saved is to believe is erroneous.  It is not really feasible, and it can cause people to be eternally lost.

Numerous Scriptures tell us that God is faithful.  For example, we read in Deuteronomy 7:9-10, “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face.”  Notice that God keeps covenant and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments.  Man breaks God’s covenant when they reject His commandments.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  What a blessing it is that we have a faithful Creator, and we can be sure that he will not allow Satan to tempt up beyond what we are able to bear.

The Bible tells us that our faithful creator is both loving and just.  He wants to save everyone, but He also has to punish sin.  In other words, God is mercifully just.  He gives us the opportunity to be saved, but if we reject Him, we will be punished.

Paul wrote in Romans 11:22, “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.”  God extends His goodness to those who believe and obey Him, but He will be severe to those who do not obey Him.

In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus tells Christians, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Jesus expects those who believe in Him to obey all of His commands.  He asks in Luke 6:46, “But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?”  What makes anyone believe they can be saved without obeying the Lord?

 John writes in I John 2:3-5, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if  we keep His commandments.  He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”  See II Thessalonians 1:6-9.

Jude encourages us in Jude verse 21, “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  In other words, remain faithful.  Hebrews 3:14 says, “For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.”  Salvation is promised to the faithful.