Summary: Can God keep me from losing my faith?
Before Woodrow Wilson became president of the United States, he was president of Princeton University. One day he had to endure a one hour-long interrogation by an anxious mother who wanted to be sure that Princeton was the best place to send her son. He patiently tried to answer every one of her questions, and assuage every one of her doubts, but finally, his patience came to an end. He held up his hand and looked at her and said, “Madam, we guarantee satisfaction, or you will get your son back.” There is nothing quite like a guarantee to put you at ease.
The next time you are in an airport, observe the difference between passengers who have confirmed tickets and those who are flying standby. You can always tell the difference. Those with confirmed tickets are reading newspapers, talking, napping, or maybe even waiting in line to get something to eat. But the ones on standby hang around the ticket counter like a vulture around a piece of meat – pacing, smoking, rubbing their hands, constantly inquiring as to the availability of space.
This is the back half of the bookend of last week’s message, Never Lost. We’re dealing with the question, “Can I Lost My Salvation?” This isn’t an easy question for any of us. Nor is it a question reserved for the ivory tower of intellectual enterprise only. Instead, this is an emotionally explosive question. It is a question that deals with people’s lives.
One of America’s wealthiest, Ted Turner was interviewed in 2003 about his faith: “I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover twice.” Turner spouted off a list of religious activities of his childhood to prove his knowledge of Christianity. He said that while he attended a Christian school in Chattanooga, he was required to study the Bible in class each semester for six years. He even volunteered for a Billy Graham crusade and “was born again seven times.” He said he was in the habit of praying an hour a day in his teens. What shook his devotion was the death of his younger sister.
Certainly, our faith lives in a hostile world. When navigating the road of life, God’s power directs your road safely to Him. Here is the central question for our time together: Can God keep me from losing my faith?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:3-7)
Quickly, here are four reasons why we doubt our salvation
3. Struggle of Life
1. God’s Matchless Power
“who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5)
I am reminded of the story of the farmer who was helping one of his cows give birth, and he had the calf about half way out of that mother cow when he noticed his four-year-old son at the fence soaking in the whole event. That man thought to himself, “Great! Four years old and now I’ve got to start explaining the birds and the bees.” He started to say something and then he said, “No, I’ll just let him ask questions and I’ll answer.” After he had safely delivered the calf and put the calf down, and everything was over, the man walked over to his little boy and said, “Son, do you have any questions?” The wide-eyed boy said, “Just one, dad – how fast was that calf going when it hit that cow?”
When it comes to salvation, the vast majority of this world, and a lot of people in church, have it totally backwards. The entire doctrine of eternal security, that is, once you are saved you are always saved, is built around the words “…by God’s power are being guarded through faith…” (verse 5). That statement is the key to the door of eternal security. Our God is not only an awesome God, He is an able God. He is able to do anything. That means that God has not failed, God cannot fail, and God will not fail.