Summary: A message on the eternal security of the believer.
SAVED AND SURE
INTRO: One of the reasons many people do not serve the Lord is because they are not quite sure about their relationship to God. They don’t want to commit themselves to serving a God when they don’t know exactly where they stand with Him. Many Christians have no joy in their lives for the same reason.
Many people sit in the pews week after week. They hear the gospel preached. They believe what they hear, and apply some things to their lives. And yet, if you were to ask them: "Are you certain? Are you sure? Are you confident that if you were to die right now you would go to heaven?" many of them would say: "Well, I think so, I hope so, I’m not sure, I used to feel I would, or Oh yes, I am certain." If you were to ask them on what basis they place their certainty, some would give you all kinds of different answers. Those who show some doubt would place the basis of their hope on their performance or lifestyle, not on the only foundation of salvation.
I. IT IS GOD’S WILL FOR EVERYONE TO BE SAVED.
The Scriptures affirm this. If I were not sure that I was saved, I could not be free to serve Him, and enjoy life.
1. Luke 19:10 From Genesis to Revelation you don’t find man reaching up to or seeking God. You find God reaching down to man.
2. John 6:40 The will of the Father.
3. 2 Peter 3:9 God doesn’t want any to perish.
Some will say, but I believe in predestination. I do too (Romans 8:29). What God has predestined is: having been saved, that we be shaped in the likeness of his Son spiritually. God isn’t sending anyone to hell. God has done everything that He can do to redeem mankind. What more could He do other than making us robots without a free will?
Someone says, but what about these folks who have never heard the gospel? There is within every culture a principle or practice whereby there is a perfect demonstration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is why Paul said in Romans 1:20 "They are without excuse." If it is God’s will that everybody be saved, it is God’s responsibility to get the Gospel to them.
II. IT IS GOD’S WILL THAT WE BE SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH.
In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul talks about the relationship between grace and works. You can think of the word works as being performance, or behavior. Grace is God’s unmerited love. It is not how good we are, or what we do. If it is grace, it cannot be purchased. If it is grace, it isn’t the result of performance.
Some say that in eternity past, God looked down and saw how you were going to respond, and He chose you on that basis. That would mean that God chose you on the basis of your performance, and that isn’t grace.
ILLUS: Suppose I gave you an automobile valued at $50,000. I say to you, "I’ll give it to you if you just give me $1." You say, "I thought you were going to give it to me." That’s not a gift. It might be cheap, but it’s not a gift. It is the result of your payment.
If I am saved by the grace of God plus anything else, it is no longer grace. It cancels out grace. Grace is an unconditional free gift motivated by nothing within me. There is nothing within us that can motivate God to save us. The motivation is from within God alone. If it were the other way around, it would not be grace.
I’m going to give you a list of Scriptures, and I want you to look for two things in them.
1. Look for what is there that is absolutely essential to salvation.
2. Look for something that is glaringly absent from the Scriptures.
What is found in every single one of these verses? FAITH. What is lacking? WORKS or PERFORMANCE.
Look at John 1:11-12. Salvation is the result of BELIEVING SOMEONE, not DOING SOMETHING! The natural reaction is that this is too simple. You mean that I just have to believe in Jesus? I don’t mean a mental acceptance. Believe is a word of action. When I place my faith in Christ, there is a result. There is a change in my life.
Here is where most people lose their assurance of salvation. If you aren’t sure, you’ll be a poor servant. If you aren’t sure, you will be in bondage to sin. You will have to carry around doubt, fear, anxiety, and frustration.