From my message this past Sunday at Harvest Jacksonville… it’s amazing what happens to a person who trusts in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5.17 says, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.”
One of our leaders asked me about Romans 11.22, which says…
22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. (ESV)
22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. (NIV)
22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (KJV)
John MacArthur comments on this verse:
Yesterday at Harvest I preached a message titled, “Can a Christian lose his salvation?” and answered that question with a resounding no. A true Christian is secure for all of eternity and nothing can change that. God has promised that once he begins a good work of salvation in a person’s life, he will be faithful to complete that work (Philippians 1.6). Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8.31-39). Jesus has promised that for those who come to Him, He will never, ever cast them out (John 6.37). Many other Scriptures affirm this comforting truth.
As promised in my message yesterday to the saints of HBC Jacksonville, I would like to take a look at some of the so-called troublesome passages when dealing with the doctrine of eternal security. Today I would like to take a look at Galatians 5.4. Here is the verse from three of the most popular Bible translations:
Yesterday in my message, “Jesus Loves Me: He Reveals Himself to Me,” I pointed out how God sometimes surprises us with His timing, showing up in our lives when we don’t expect Him. I also mentioned that some people can point to their conversion testimony as examples of this reality. God saved them when they were not looking for Him. John Shore has such a testimony:
The split-second before I very suddenly became a Christian, I couldn’t possibly have been less of a Christian. If anything, I was anti-Christian. The religion struck me as ridiculously immature, a way-too-obvious system designed mostly to capitalize on people’s guilt: Big Daddy in the Sky knows you did wrong, but will love you anyway if you’ll only admit that he’s perfection itself, and that you’re a wretched, sickening sack of sin.”
Note those first words of that paragraph: “The split-second before I very suddenly became a Christian…” Talk about not looking for God! Yet God revealed Himself to Mr. Shore suddenly and convincingly. Reminiscent of Saul/Paul’s testimony (Acts 9). Read the rest of Mr. Shore’s story HERE.
“I chose to follow Christ because it made sense to me.”
Several years ago I was engaged in conversation with a close friend about the mystery of salvation, specifically why some people choose to follow Christ and some walk away from Christ, saying no. The quote above is from my friend that day. He said that it just made good sense to him and so he accepted Christ as His Lord and Savior.
Is this why people come to faith in Christ? Is this what the Bible teaches about why people come to saving faith in Christ?
I believe the answer is yes and no.