Summary: To be assured of our salvation sets us free to serve the Lord free without the fear of Hell. Jesus made many wonderful promises to give the believer assurance so he could serve the Lord with gladness and freedom.
Does Everlasting Really Mean Forever?
Sermon 3 in the series, "Free Grace in Focus – A Biblical Answer to Lordship Salvation"
August 29, 2010
Much of the main points in this sermon come from a booklet titled “You Can Be Eternally Sure.” The booklet has been lost and the author and publisher is unknown.
TEXT: John 10:28 – “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
I want to begin by asking you a question: Once you’ve trusted in Jesus for eternal life and you have the assurance that God has forgiven you of sin and given you eternal life, can you then lose your salvation, or give it up, or somehow ever be lost in your sins again? Many people would answer “yes” to that question, but I assure you that nothing is as far from the teachings of the Bible as could be.
Let’s look at our text again, and let me ask a few more questions for your further consideration:
--When Jesus said in our text that He gives eternal life to His sheep—which are believers in Jesus Christ—did He REALLY mean “eternal”—as in “never ending”?
--When He said “they shall never perish,” did he really mean never, ever, under any circumstances would they perish?
--When He said, “Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand,” did He really mean that NO one, EVER, including Satan or a believer himself, will EVER pluck a believer out of His hand?
Over the last few weeks I have tried to make abundantly clear the freeness of salvation—that there are no works you can bring to the table for God to save you, that no intention to do good works or surrender to the rulership of Christ plays a part in genuine salvation, and that there is indeed NOTHING you can do to earn or contribute to your salvation. Salvation is TOTALLY free, and the ONLY way we can receive God’s forgiveness and eternal life is by simply believing in or trusting in Jesus who died on the cross for your sin.
Today I want you to see that His salvation is FOREVER and can never be lost, given up or taken away. There are many scriptures that prove this, and many lines of logic reinforcing it, and only a few problem texts in the Bible that SEEM to teach otherwise, but which on closer investigation say nothing of the sort. The subject is just too vast for one sermon, or even a year of sermons, because the biblical data piles up one scripture upon another until it is an edifice difficult to deny.
So rather than ransack the Bible for all that it has to teach us about the eternality of the believer’s salvation, let’s simply look at just the words of Jesus in just one book of the Bible. You’re in the Gospel of John, so let’s just examine some more words of Jesus in John and see what they teach us about eternal security.
1. FIRST, I WANT YOU TO SEE THAT EVERLASTING LIFE IS EVER-LASTING LIFE. – Turn with me to the most well-known scripture in all the Bible – John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Jesus is talking to Nicodemus here and He promises “everlasting life” to the one who believes in Him for it. Since it is “everlasting life,” it cannot last 10, 20 or 30 years, and then be lost. By definition, everlasting means eternal, never ending, lasting ever, lasting forever. If “everlasting life” could be lost, it has the wrong name. It should be called “temporary life” and to be accurate, Jesus would have had to say, “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him…perhaps might not perish, but shall have temporary life.”
See how absurd this is? Since “everlasting life”, i.e., life that lasts forever, is the only kind of life God gives, then if you believe in Him for that life, you are eternally in a state of saving grace.
2. SECOND, I WANT YOU TO SEE THAT ONCE YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD, YOU’RE ALWAYS A CHILD OF GOD. – In John 3:3, in that same conversation with Nocodemus, Jesus said this – “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Illus. – Some time ago, a boy sued his parents for divorce because he no longer wanted to be their child. But there’s not a court in the world that can undo that boy’s birth. Even if this parents disowned him, that would never change the fact of his birth and the life given him because of that birth. Once his parents’ child; always his parents’ child.