I am not here to judge this man. I never knew him nor did I know anything much about him or his ministry. I cannot say whether he was a false convert or not. I cannot say that he was a man who committed apostasy. I cannot say where he is. I don’t know. I leave that to God alone. This post is not to judge where this man is or about suicide. This post is about finishing well.
We could debate the condition of this man. I have read some who have. One Calvinist (whom I appreciate though I disagree with him here) states that its possible this man was a false convert. This man was in prison in for his faith in Cuba for many years. This man went all over the world preaching about the persecuted church. It is possible that a false convert could do these things but it’s highly unlikely. No doubt some will proclaim Jesus and not be truly saved as the case in Matthew 7:21-23. I do think that Calvinists often misunderstand the point of Matthew 7:21-23 but I shall leave that for another day. This Calvinist brother went on to write that we must judge people by their fruit (Matthew 7:20). Because of his belief in the final preservation of the saints, he is unwilling to concede that its possible that this man, like King Saul, had committed apostasy and turned away from the Lord (Hebrews 6:4-20). This doctrine of apostasy was completed avoided in this brother’s post about this man.
There is no doubt that God promises us security. Key passages such as John 10:27-30 or Romans 8:38-39 or Philippians 1:6 or Jude 24-25 are often cited to show that God promises security to us. I agree. The huge difference between myself and many who hold to eternal security would be that I believe those promises are given to believing believers. These are not isolated promises that seem to state that God will keep us no matter what. He promises to keep us in Christ Jesus. Apart from Jesus, we have no hope (Colossians 1:21-23). Jesus is our salvation (John 15:1-9). Jesus is our advocate before the Father (1 John 2:1-2). Jesus is our faithful high priest who intercedes for us before God the Father (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus is our everything! Jesus is our very life (Colossians 3:1-3). We are seeking to build our lives upon Him and His Word (Matthew 7:24-27). To be in Christ Jesus through faith does keep us (2 Corinthians 1:24). Jesus, not our works nor our own righteousness, keeps us safe from harm (Romans 8:1).
But equally clear is the warning to abide in Jesus. We are to remain in Him through faith (1 Peter 1:5). Notice 1 John 2:24-25 (NKJV):
Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.
That seem very clear to me. Abide in Jesus and we have the promise from Him: eternal life. How do we abide in Him? By keeping His commandments. Notice that in 1 John 3:24. 1 John 3:24 says, “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us (NKJV).” Romans 8:16 says that the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Obedience to Christ as Lord is vital here. We must not downplay this. This is not obedience that flows from a heart of works but of faith. We love Jesus and through faith in Him, we seek to obey Him as Lord (John 14:15). Our obedience flows from this transformed heart that He has wrought within us through faith (Ezekiel 36:25-27). The Holy Spirit Himself helps us to obey.
The Scriptures to me are a perfect balance. On the one hand we have the promises from God about our security. What joyful delight it is to read that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Yet on the other hand, I fear God because of who He is and His just wrath against sin (Hebrews 10:19-39). Like Paul in Romans 11:20-22, I fear Him and stand in awe of His grace and I rejoice in His salvation but I also tremble at His Word. I know that my salvation comes from Him and not myself (Jonah 2:9). I know that He alone saved me by His sovereign grace (Ephesians 1:4-13). I know that my hope, my salvation, my righteousness, my everything is found in one place and that is in Jesus Christ alone (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). I don’t begin to believe that I am saved by grace through faith and kept by works (Titus 3:5-7). The work of God is simply this: to believe in the One whom He has sent (John 6:29). Salvation is not half God and half me. It is all of God and all of grace (Acts 15:11).
Yet I want to finish well. I want to please the Lord. I want to fear Him always. I am young now but if I grow to be an old man, I pray that I will be an old man who honors the Lord. I pray that all my days are spent for His glory alone. Can you imagine spending years in service to the King and then at the end of your life, turn away from Him toward sinning and end your life with misery and the foulness of sin? I want to be like Paul the Apostle in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 and be able to say with confidence that I fought the good fight, I have kept the faith (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). I don’t want to bring shame to the One who gave His life for me. I want to die well and hear Him say when I enter into His holy presence: “Well done good and faithful slave” (Matthew 25:21).
Thank you to the Seeking Disciple for this guest post. To view the original post, click here
BE A MAN.