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Bible Study

A New Look at Predestination and Once Saved Always Saved

On Judgment day, can a person who at one point became a Christian go to Hell?

Note: I had never had a real interest in theological positions or discussions about Salvation. One day the Lord impressed upon me that I needed to study the subject of Salvation for myself so that I would know for sure what was truth, Calvinism or Arminianism. I reluctantly dove into this study thinking it would be dry and boring. What I found was the exact opposite. God opened a whole new bigger picture for me about Salvation. This study is not exhaustive, nor can it ever be here on earth. There is more for you to discover and share with the rest of us.

You can click on the following Puzzle piece links to open an individual section. You may copy it or print it out for further Bible study.

Puzzle Piece #1 Salvation is a Two-Part Process

Puzzle Piece #2 A Christian Cannot Lose Their Salvation. The Eternal Security of the Believer

Puzzle Piece #3 It is Possible for a Christian to Backslide and go to Hell

Puzzle Piece #4 The Marriage of Christ and the Church

Puzzle Piece #5 We are Saved by Faith Not Works

Puzzle Piece #6 The Necessity of Keeping Christ’s Commands

Puzzle Piece #7 The Role of Grace

Puzzle Piece #8 Predestination and Election

Puzzle Piece #9 Repentance

Puzzle Piece #10 Unpardonable Sin

Puzzle Piece #11 Hell

Puzzle Piece #12 Heaven

Puzzle Piece #13 Judgment Day

Puzzle Piece #14 The Fear of God

Salvation is a very important subject to understand correctly. A person's view and understanding of salvation, affects their understanding of every other aspect of the Christian life. It influences how a person interprets Scripture. The view and understanding of salvation shapes the beliefs and practices of the individual congregation and of church denominations. The understanding of what is right and what is wrong for a Christian to do is shaped by a person's understanding of salvation. Many of the "controversial issues" in the church are controversial because those on the opposing sides of the issue have different views or understandings of salvation.

The reason the subject of salvation is so important for us to understand correctly is that it directly affects every thing we as Christians do. If it is not possible for a Christian to go to Hell once they become a Christian, then there is really no right or wrong actions for a Christian. A Christian would be "free" to divorce and remarry at will, commit adultery, commit incest, commit acts of abuse, commit acts of homosexuality, lie, steal, kill, cheat, use foul language, get drunk, get high, break the government’s laws, etc. This is the direction that the Church is currently moving. The beliefs and actions of Christians are little different from non-Christians. However, if it is possible for a Christian to go to Hell because of sin that is committed after they become a Christian, then subjects such as divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, women in church leadership, lying, incest, pornography, false theology, etc. take on a whole new significance. It would mean eternity in Hell if a person found out they were on the wrong side of right and wrong on Judgment Day.

The subject of salvation is like a puzzle with a number of pieces. The picture is not complete without all of the pieces. One of the reasons that there are different theological positions on salvation is because men pick up some of the salvation puzzle pieces and put them together without using all the pieces. They then complete the picture in their mind and the result is a particular theological position. Others use a different set of pieces and put them together. Again the picture is not complete so they complete the picture using reasoning and they have a different theological position to argue. We need to look at everything that the Bible says and evaluate it as a whole. God made His Word Grand and Glorious so that we have to have a deep desire to know what He says, and search through all His Word to find all the puzzle pieces in order to correctly understand it.

It is amazing how much that is written and believed about salvation is based upon theology rather than the Bible. I have scanned over article after article that explained a person’s understanding of this subject, but in looking for the Scriptural basis for what they were saying, there were often few Scripture passages quoted. Many times, only a few references were given, and many of the articles were long articles. The educated mind has been taught to look at the subject of salvation from the perspective of theology and the reasonings of the human mind, rather than study the entire Bible to find out what it says. As a result of the seminary focus on theology, we have adherents to the theological positions of men, such as Calvinism, Arminianism, and various shades of these positions. Theological positions of men, churches, and denominations become stumbling blocks to understanding the Scriptures because it shapes our interpretation of Scripture with preconceived conclusions. If we can be convinced that a certain premise is true it affects the way we interpret everything else. There is a tendency to believe that our theological position is right before we study the Bible, and the Bible is then interpreted through our theological filter. We need to be careful that we follow the Bible and not be followers of men and their theological positions.

There is an old fable by John Godfrey Saxe about six blind men of Indostan who went to see the elephant. This fable describes well what is happening in the different theological camps on Salvation: The first blind man found the side of the elephant and declared that the elephant was like a wall. The second blind man felt the tusk and cried that it is clear that an elephant is very much like a spear. The third blind man happened to take the squirming trunk in his hands. He boldly declared that the elephant is very much like a snake. The fourth blind man reached out and found the knee and said, it is clear enough the elephant is like a tree. The fifth blind man touched the ear and declared that an elephant is very much like a fan. The sixth blind man grasped the tail and said that the elephant is very much like a rope. The last two verses of the fable go like this:

"And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
And all were in the wrong!

Moral
"So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!"

p.122,123 Childcraft, Storytelling and Other Poems, 1961 edition. Field Enterprises Educational Corp. Chicago, Ill.

I had heard this fable as a boy, but never realized that it was directly addressing theological disputes. It seems that many in the Church (including those in Sunday school classes) have the opinion that Scripture needs to be argued, each person arguing their viewpoint and asserting themselves, rather than humbly looking at Scripture together to determine what is truth. I desire that this paper would stimulate you to look afresh at the subject of salvation, so that together we might all come to a unity of the faith in the understanding of salvation.

In each of the following Puzzle Piece sections, the passages of Scripture are listed in chronological order, rather than putting the "most important" ones first. The verses for each puzzle piece were compiled from the writings of a number of different positions, plus cross-references that I found. Too often, people quote the passages of Scripture first that best prove their bias, and sweep other verses under a rug, or discredit them. They end up misunderstanding the mind of God. It is important to look at all the passages for each "Puzzle Piece" as a whole, rather than at a few of the passages that seem to be most important.

This puzzle piece is key in understanding the full picture of salvation. Many view the entire salvation process as the point at which a person receives Christ as their Savior, and that view then affects everything else that they believe about salvation. The Scriptures in this puzzle piece show that view to be incomplete. When a person receives Christ as his or her Savior, that is the first step in the salvation process, not the final step. What has brought confusion to this subject is that the Bible uses the terms "saved" and "salvation" to refer to when a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Being saved and receiving our full salvation are then viewed as synonymous, and systems of theology are built on the misunderstanding.

Salvation is a two-part process.

  1. Conversion – when we repent of our sin, accept Jesus as our Savior, and the Holy Spirit dwells in our heart. The Bible states that at this point a person is saved. No amount of good works or keeping the Old Testament Law, can convert a person. It is only available by grace through faith in Jesus alone.
  2. Our full Salvation and redemption – We receive our full Salvation on Judgment Day when the sheep are separated from the goats, and Jesus says that we may enter into Heaven. We are saved from eternal punishment in Hell for our sins.
Passages of Scripture that tell us that our full salvation is still in the future:

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

  • Our full salvation comes at the end – Judgment Day
  • Our commitment to Christ will be tested, and if we endure to the end of life, we will be saved.

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

  • The redemption of the Christian is yet to come.

Romans 5:8-11 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

  • Notice the tenses – "now justified" "shall be saved". Saved is in the future tense not present tense. "Were reconciled" is past tense, and "we shall be saved" is future tense.
  • Now we are justified, reconciled to God, and received the atonement. In the future we will be saved from Hell, from wrath.

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

  • Believing on Jesus and our salvation are two separate events.
  • Salvation is a future event and each day brings us nearer to that day.

2Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

  • Once a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior they are espoused to Christ. They are engaged.
  • The marriage of Christ and the Church is in the future. It has not yet occurred.

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

  • Salvation is yet to come. The believer has not yet received it.
  • Each believer is personally responsible to live in obedience to Christ’s commands.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.

  • Salvation is in the future. It is something that the Christian has not yet received but is hoping for.

1Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

  • This was written to Timothy, who was already a believer. Salvation for the Christian is in the future.

Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; (2) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

  • Hope is for something that we have not yet received. Eternal life is something that we have not yet received

Titus 3:1-14 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, (2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. (3) For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, (5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; (7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (8) This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (9) But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. (10) A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject; (11) Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (12) When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. (13) Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. (14) And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

  • Works of righteousness do not save a person. However, both oars, faith and works, are necessary in living the Christian life (v.1, v.8, v.14)
  • Eternal life is in the future – "the hope of eternal life" v.7
  • Eternal life is not eternal life if we can lose it. But we have not yet received eternal life.

Hebrews 1:13-14 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? (14) Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

  • "Who shall be heirs of salvation" is future tense.

Hebrews 4:8-11 For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. (9) There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (10) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (11) Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

  • Our salvation is yet to come, and it is still possible for a believer to lose their future salvation.

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

  • Salvation is when Jesus comes the second time.

1 John 2:24-25 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life,

  • Eternal life is promised. We have not yet received eternal life.

1Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (6) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (8) Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (9) Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

  • We have a lively hope of salvation. v.3
  • Our inheritance is reserved in heaven for us, but we have not yet received it. V.4
  • Salvation is to be revealed in the last time. V.5
  • The salvation of our souls is in the future. v.9

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

  • This is when our final salvation occurs.
The Holy Spirit is a deposit of our Future salvation.

Romans 8:23-25 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (24) For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? (25) But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

  • We have received the firstfruits of the Spirit.
  • Verse 23 states that we have been saved, we have received the Holy Spirit, but we are waiting for the redemption of our body, the final part of salvation.
  • Verses 24, 25 Our full salvation is something that we have not yet received. If we had already received it we would not still hope for it.

2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

  • Earnest — a pledge, that is, part of the purchase money or property given in advance as security for the rest: - earnest. Strong's Greek Dictionary
  • The Holy Spirit is God’s pledge, security deposit of our future salvation.

2 Corinthians 5:1-7 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

  • Earnest — a pledge, that is, part of the purchase money or property given in advance as security for the rest: - earnest. Strong's Greek Dictionary

Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

  • Earnest — a pledge, that is, part of the purchase money or property given in advance as security for the rest: - earnest. Strong's Greek Dictionary
  • The Holy Spirit is God’s seal, His pledge, the reminder of His promise of our inheritance in Heaven.

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

  • A Christian is at the present sealed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwelling in the believer is God’s conformation that the believer will receive redemption.
  • Redemption is in the future.

The two step process of salvation can be illustrated by the following drawing that was first printed in the Sword and Trumpet magazine in April 1930. Conversion is the point at which we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and we get into the boat to go to heaven. Salvation is when we have rowed to the other side with both oars faith and works (obedience to Christ’s commands), and reach the end of life, and enter Heaven.

In the race across the river of life, two oars are needed for straight rowing

This is an important puzzle piece. One of the great blessings for us as Christians is eternal security and eternal life with Jesus in Heaven. It is clear from the passages of Scripture in this section that a Christian cannot lose their salvation, that there is eternal security. However, when does a person receive eternal security? Does a person receive eternal security when they are converted or on Judgment Day?

This puzzle piece must be viewed in context with all the other puzzle pieces. Many of the following passages of Scripture are the ones that are used by those who hold the theological position of the present eternal security of the believer – once saved always saved. For some of the passages, I included the larger context. The context of a number of these passages actually shows the opposite of the "once saved, always saved" position.

Much of the misunderstanding about the present eternal security of the believer comes from not realizing that there are two parts of salvation – when a person becomes a Christian, and when we receive our final Salvation and eternal security on Judgment Day. In looking at all of Scripture, it is not until the Judgment Day that we receive eternal security that can never be lost.

John 3:14-17 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

  • The purpose of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins is that we might have eternal life in Heaven for all eternity.
  • Everlasting life in which we never perish is eternal security.
  • The gift of eternal life is contingent upon a person believing on Jesus, not only on predestination.
  • Eternal life and eternal security is available to everyone in the whole world, to those who believe on Jesus.
  • This passage of Scripture tells us that the starting point of eternal life is when a person becomes a Christian.

John 5:24-30 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (30) I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

  • In this passage we see that everlasting life, the eternal security of the believer is something we receive in the future on Judgment Day v.29
  • Verse 24 states clearly that when a person becomes a Christian that they are no longer under condemnation and that they have eternal life. If we take this verse by itself we would come to the conclusion that once a person is saved, they will always be saved and can never go to hell. However the context, verse 29, does not support that interpretation, and neither do many other passages of Scripture. But it is true that the starting point for a person’s eternal life is when they become a Christian.
  • Eternal life is dependent upon several things:
    • Hearing what Jesus said. (v.24)
    • Believing on Jesus (v. 24)
    • Keeping Christ’s commands. (v.29) Doing good and not evil.
  • Jesus, Who will be our Judge (v.30), states clearly the criteria we will be judged by in order to have eternal security. We will be judged by what we have done, not merely whether or not we became Christians. If we continue to sin and do not repent of the sin, we will not enter into eternal life.

John 6:37-40 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (38) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (39) And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

  • Everlasting life is something we receive when we are raised up at the last day — on Judgment Day.
  • There is also present security in Jesus.

John 6:44-51 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

  • A person who believes on Jesus has everlasting life.

John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

  • Eternal life is a gift. For all eternity we will never go to hell.
  • No one can cause us to lose our salvation. Our spirit is secure from other people taking away our salvation. We have a present security, a protection from others causing us to lose our salvation.
  • Matthew 10:28 explains this verse further: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell".
  • Notice that in these verses Jesus did not say that a person cannot change their mind and reject their salvation. Jesus did not say that if a person sins and does not repent they will still go to Heaven.

John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

  • Jesus kept all His disciples safe except Judas who chose, all by himself, to reject Jesus and to betray Him. No other person caused Judas to reject Jesus.
  • This passage is not addressing eternal security. When the Jews came to arrest Jesus, and Judas betrayed Him, only Jesus was arrested and killed. All of the disciples were let go free. None were lost (that is, none died) except Judas. This is explained in John 18:6-9 "As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. 7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. 8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: 9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none."

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

  • Notice how the "once saved, always saved" theory does not line up with this verse. There is a qualification to a Christian not having condemnation: if he walks (lives) not after the flesh but after the Spirit. It does matter what we do and how we live.

Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • No other person, persecution, death, or problem can separate us from Christ.
  • Our salvation cannot be stolen, taken away by the government, taken away by Satan or any other angel, taken away by any other person, lost through some unavoidable circumstance, or lost because we die. That is security! No other possession that we have has that kind of security.
  • Note, however, that this passage does not state that sin cannot separate us from Christ or that we cannot make a choice ourselves to separate from Christ after we become a Christian.

1 Corinthians 1:8-9 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • We do not walk the Christian life alone or on our own strength. God enables us to live the Christian life in His power and strength, that we might be blameless in the day of Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

  • God does not prevent us from sinning or yielding to the temptation.
  • After we become Christians, God does prevent us from being tempted beyond what we are able to resist. God always makes a way for us to escape from going into sin.

Galatians 4:5-11 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (7) Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (8) Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. (9) But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? (10) Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. (11) I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.

  • This is a passage, that if we did not take the context, we would conclude from verse 7 that since you become God’s son when you become a Christian, then you can never lose your salvation.
  • Verses 9, and 10 state that a Christian still has the freedom or choice to return to their former way of life. If that happens, the one who helped them become a Christian wasted their time teaching and witnessing to them.
  • If a Christian in their lifetime leads many to Christ, but only a few remain faithful and the rest return to their former way of life, the majority of that Christian’s life and evangelistic efforts were in vain and wasted.
  • Discipleship must follow conversion in order for people to have eternal security.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

1Thessalonians 5:22-24 Abstain from all appearance of evil. (23) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (24) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Titus 3:1-14 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, (2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. (3) For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, (5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; (7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (8) This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (9) But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. (10) A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject; (11) Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (12) When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. (13) Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. (14) And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

  • "The hope of eternal life" (v.7) indicates that we have not yet received eternal life, but live in hope of receiving it.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

  • Jesus is able to save to the uttermost everyone that comes to Him. There is no person that He is only able to partially save.
  • Jesus’ death only had to occur one time to save us from our sins, unlike the O.T. sacrifices which had to be performed each year.

1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.

  • Eternal security is dependent upon us doing God’s will after we become Christians.
  • The Christian who does God’s will has everlasting life.

This puzzle piece needs to be understood correctly. Don’t jump to conclusions before reading all the Scriptures.

It is incorrect to state that a Christian can lose their salvation

In order for a person to lose their salvation they would have to have received it first. Since we have not yet received our full salvation, it is technically incorrect terminology to talk about a person losing their salvation here on earth. And it is not possible to lose one’s salvation once we get to Heaven. It would, however, be correct to state that a person can lose their future salvation.

The following passages need to be viewed as a whole. While some of the following passages could be argued to mean something different, when we look at all the passages together, we see that it is possible for a Christian to go to Hell. Many of the passages are very clear about it. The concept of the possibility of a Christian going to Hell does not fit into some people’s theology. It is interesting evaluating what some people say about some of these verses. They deny that a person, who at one point became a Christian, can go to Hell; and they "make" or twist the verse to say the opposite of what it says. They are right in stating that a person can’t lose their full salvation, but the fundamental error in their theology is the understanding of when a person receives their full salvation. Once a person receives their full salvation on Judgment Day they can never lose it.

The following passages show that it is possible for Christian can backslide and go to Hell. These passages span the entire New Testament from one end to the other.

Matthew 5:13 (KJS) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

  • Jesus likens Christians to salt. But we have a choice in the matter of whether we will be salt or worthless "salt".
  • A person who has lost his spiritual influence is good for nothing in Christ’s Kingdom. Jesus will cast him out. Those who are not being a witness for Christ will be cast out of the Kingdom.
  • In this context, to try to interpret "to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men" as meaning God's discipline of a Christian to make him salty again, does not make sense, because once a person throws salt on a dirt path and it is walked on, the salt cannot be recovered and used again as salt. Jesus indicated that nothing could make the salt "salty" again.

Matthew 7:19-23 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (21) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

  • This passage is talking about Christians, not non-Christians, who do not bring forth good fruit. It is the fruit of the person’s life that determines whether one ends up in hell.
  • Not everyone who thinks they are a Christian will go to heaven. Not everyone who calls Jesus "Lord", in other words, makes a commitment to Christ and attends church regularly will go to Heaven.
  • It is not just the presence of good works but also the absence of iniquity in one’s life.
  • A person can’t do good works to be saved, but if they do not do the will of God once they are saved they will not go to heaven.
  • Iniquity is defined in this passage as work in the church, doing wonderful work that is not following the direction (will) of the Father in Heaven. Therefore not doing God’s will in the church is iniquity, even if it is prophesying in Jesus’ name, casting out evil spirits in Jesus name, and doing many wonderful works in Jesus’ name. Jesus will tell such persons to depart from Him.
  • A person who becomes a Christian must learn to hear God speak so that he can follow God’s leading, and do God’s will. If he does not get his direction from the Father and follow God’s will, he will go to Hell on Judgment Day.
  • This passage is very sobering because Jesus tells us that there are many things in the church that appear to be doing the will of the Father because they are done in the name of Jesus, but they are iniquity and many will be barred from Heaven. Therefore, discernment of God’s will is very important, no, it is essential for every believer.

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

  • A person that does not endure to the end will not be saved. A Christian can go to hell if they are not committed to Christ to the very end of their life.
  • A true believer will be hated because of Jesus and will be persecuted. That persecution is a testing to see if a person’s commitment is steadfast, or if they will turn their back on Jesus. We need to endure persecution and not turn our back on the Lord or we will not be saved.

Matthew 10:32-33 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

  • A Christian who denies Christ will not go to Heaven.

Matthew 12:31 (KJS) Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy [against] the [Holy] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come.

  • Christians are not exempt from the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. It does not say that this does not apply to Christians.

Matthew 13:41-43 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (42) And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (43) Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

  • Jesus will gather out of His Kingdom, the church, those who sin and shall cast them into hell.
  • Right now we are a part of the Kingdom of God, but we have not received inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven. Not all who are part of the Kingdom of God on earth will receive inheritance in Heaven.

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

  • A Christian that does not endure, in his Christian life, to the end will not be saved.
  • A Christian can go to hell by not enduring to the end of his life.

Matthew 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. (2) And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. (3) They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: (4) But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. (5) While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. (6) And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. (7) Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. (8) And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. (9) But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. (10) And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. (11) Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. (12) But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. (13) Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

  • All 10 virgins were ready at the beginning, and their lamps were burning. The analogy is that all ten were Christians. But five did not endure and did not enter Heaven.
  • What would be the need be to watch and be ready for Christ’s return if we already had eternal security? We would be ready regardless of whether we watched or not and regardless of what sin we committed.

Matthew 25:14-46 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. (15) And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. (16) Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. (17) And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. (18) But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. (19) After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. (20) And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. (21) His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (22) He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. (23) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (24) Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed: (25) And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. (26) His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed: (27) Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. (28) Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. (29) For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. (30) And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (31) When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: (32) And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: (33) And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (35) For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: (36) Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (37) Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? (38) When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? (39) Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? (40) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (41) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (42) For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: (43) I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. (44) Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? (45) Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. (46) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  • This parable is about the kingdom of Heaven. One of the "Christians", the servant who received one talent, was cast into Hell.
  • Jesus, the Judge who will judge us on Judgment Day, tells us what criteria He will judge us by. Note that our Judge does not say that those who are covered by His blood are righteous and will, regardless of what they do or not do, will enter into eternal life, but those who have done certain things, feeding those without food and water, hospitality to strangers, giving to the poor, and visiting the sick and those in prison. James 2:14-17,19
  • Jesus will judge Christians based on their works. Notice that those who enter into Heaven did not do those works to earn their salvation because of their response to Jesus. They will ask when did we do these things for you? We do these things because of our love for Christ.

Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

  • A person who becomes a Christian, and then longingly looks back at the old life of sin will not go to Heaven. We have the example in the Old Testament of Lot’s wife who died because she looked back after she was saved from Sodom.

Luke 12:8-12 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. 10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

  • The context of this passage is the persecution of Christians. Jesus says that anyone who denies Him while being persecuted, or because of fear of persecution, will not receive his or her salvation.
  • If a Christian blasphemes the Holy Spirit, he will go to Hell.

John 15:6 (KJS) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.

  • "Our Lord in the plainest manner intimates that a person may as truly be united to him as the branch is to the tree that produces it, and yet be afterwards cut off and cast into the fire; because he has not brought forth fruit to the glory of his God. No man can cut off a branch from a tree to which that branch was never united: it is absurd, and contrary to the letter and spirit of the metaphor, to talk of being seemingly in Christ - because this means nothing. If there was only a seeming union, there could be only a seeming excision: so the matter is just where it began; nothing is done on either side, and nothing said to any purpose." Adam Clarke’s Commentary
  • We have a choice in whether we remain Christians or not. If we choose to sin, and not remain, we will be cast into Hell.

Romans 11:20-23 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: (21) For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. (22) Behold 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. (23) And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

  • "If God did not refrain from rejecting the Jews who became unbelievers, assuredly he will not refrain from rejecting you in the same circumstances. It may be supposed that he will be quite as ready to reject the engrafted branches, as to cast off those which belonged to the parent stock. The situation of the Gentiles is not such as to give them any security over the condition of the rejected Jew." Barnes' Commentary
  • "If He, in his infinite justice and holiness, could not tolerate sin in the people whom he foreknew, whom he had so long loved, cherished, miraculously preserved and blessed; take heed lest he also spare not thee. Be convinced that the same righteous principle in him will cause him to act towards you as he has acted towards them, if you sin after the similitude of their transgression; and to this, self-sufficiency and self-confidence will soon lead you." Adam Clarke’s Commentary
  • We do not have unconditional eternal security once we are saved if we continue to sin.
  • The fear of the Lord is realizing that God can cut us off from a relationship with Him and from eternity in Heaven if we do not continue in Him. v.20
  • Again, a branch cannot be cut off unless it was already a part of the tree. A person cannot be cut off from Christ unless he was already a Christian.
  • Even the book of Romans teaches us that it is possible for a person who was once a Christian to backslide and be cast into Hell.

1 Corinthians 6:6-11 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

  • We are not to be deceived that a Christian who does these sins will inherit the Kingdom of God. They will not receive their salvation unless they repent of the sin. V.9
  • The context of verses 9 and 10 is addressing Christians. God repeats "Shall not inherit the kingdom of God" twice for emphasis.
  • This passage of Scripture needs to be interpreted in the context of all of Scripture and in light of the rest of the verses in this section. The next verse says "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." A person could build a man-made theology on this verse that a Christian can commit whatever sin they want to, "all things are lawful for me", and still be saved. However, God does not contradict Himself and say something bars one from Heaven and then turn around and state that it does not bar a person from Heaven.
  • Note that verse 11 states that "such were some of you." It is stated as past tense not present tense, "such are some of you." If it was stated in the present tense then it would be understood that a Christian could continue to commit the sins listed and still inherit the kingdom of God. But being stated in the past tense, we cannot state that a Christian can do these sins and enter the kingdom of Heaven.

Galatians 4:5-11 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (7) Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (8) Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. (9) But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? (10) Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. (11) I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.

  • Galatians 5:1-4 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
  • Once a person is saved, it is possible for us to go back and try to earn our salvation by observing the Old Testament Law and fall from our salvation. When a person looks to keeping the Old Testament Law in addition to Christ in order to be saved, they in effect reject Christ as being sufficient. "Christ will profit you nothing." Gal. 5:2
  • Paul’s labor would not have been in vain if those who observed days and months and times, and years – the Old Testament Law – were still Christians. If they were still Christians his labor might not have been as successful, but not in vain.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

  • God does not give an exemption that Christians who do these things will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • These sins will bar a Christian from Heaven and their final salvation.

Galatians 6:7-9 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

  • Reap in verse 9 is defined in verse 8 as reaping life everlasting.
  • We will not receive everlasting life in Heaven if we faint in our Christian life and get tired of being a Christian or if we follow the desires of our flesh.
  • God warns us in this passage not to deceive others or ourselves. We need to realize that God will not be mocked by a Christian living in sin. That Christian will receive the punishment for their sin and go to Hell.

Ephesians 5:3-7 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

  • God does not give an exception for Christians who commit these sins to go to Heaven. We are instead commanded "Be not ye therefore partakers with them."
  • A Christian who commits these sins and does not repent will go to Hell.
  • God warns us not to be deceived by the vain words of those who say that once a person is saved they are saved regardless of what sins they commit.
  • A Christian can go to Hell, "just" by coveting and making the coveted thing(s), the coveted position, etc. their goal in life!

Colossians 3:23-25 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; (24) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ. (25) But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done; and there is no respect of persons.

  • God makes it clear that Christians are not given special treatment or an exemption if they sin. There is no respect of persons.
  • A Christian who does not repent of sin receives the same punishment as a non-Christian.

1Thessalonians 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain.

  • This verse indicates that a Christian can be barred from Heaven by yielding to temptation.
  • Again as in Galatians 4:11, Paul’s labor would not have been in vain if they were still Christians. If they were still Christians his labor might not have been as successful, but not in vain.

1 Timothy 4:1-3 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; (3) Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

  • A Christian can depart from the faith and go to Hell, and there are Christians who do depart from the faith.
  • A person cannot depart from THE faith if they never were a Christian as some people teach in their theology. In order to depart from the faith, they first have to be a Christian.

1 Timothy 5:11-15 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; (12) Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. (13) And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. (14) I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. (15) For some are already turned aside after Satan.

  • A Christian can cast off their faith in Christ and go to Hell.
  • A Christian can reject Christ and turn aside after Satan.

Hebrews 3:6-14 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (7) Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, (8) Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: (9) When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. (10) Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. (11) So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. (12) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (13) But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (14) For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;

  • A Christian has to remain faithful to Christ until the end of life to receive eternal life. (v.6,14)
  • "Brethren" is addressing Christians. God tells us here that a Christian can develop an unbelieving heart and depart from Christ and not receive their salvation.
  • God uses the analogy in this passage of the Children of Israel who died in the wilderness and did not receive an inheritance in the promise land because of their unbelief. That is likened to the Christian life, that we will not receive our inheritance in Heaven if we have a heart of unbelief or are not faithful to Christ to the end.
  • God, two times in this passage, states that we as Christians will only be partakers of Christ if we are faithful to the end. God is serious about this fact and wants Christians to realize how serious sin is in our lives.

Hebrews 4:8-11 For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. (9) There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (10) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (11) Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

  • The rest is still future for us as Christians also.
  • Verse 11 states that a Christian can fall through unbelief and not enter into Heaven.
  • "Labor therefore to enter into that rest" indicates that there is more than merely resting in God’s grace to enter Heaven. We must also keep Christ’s commands.

Hebrews 6:1-8 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briars is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

  • It is possible for a Christian to back slide.
  • This is a difficult passage because it states that it is impossible for a person to return to Christ once they fall away. There are other passages that indicate that it is possible for a person to return to Christ who had fallen into sin. The purpose of Church discipline is to restore a person to Christ who has fallen into sin.

Hebrews 10:26-31 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  • A Christian who willfully sins will receive God’s judgment and punishment in Hell. Sin can not to have any place in a Christian’s life.

Hebrews 12:15 (KJS) Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

  • God does not owe us grace regardless of what sin we commit. God makes it clear that if we are not diligent in our Christian walk, and live in sin, we will fail of His grace in receiving eternal life.
  • It is possible for one sin to bar a person from Heaven. The example given is Esau.

James 5:19-20 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; (20) Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

  • Sin will cause a Christian to go to Hell.
  • If we help a fellow Christian who has fallen into an error of the truth to reject the error of what he is doing, we save his soul from Hell.

2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.

  • In persecution if we do not endure, but deny Christ, Jesus will deny that He knows us on Judgment Day.

2Peter 2:18-22 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (19) While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. (21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

  • It is possible for a Christian to return to his old life of sin and go to Hell.
  • God tells us that the punishment in Hell is worse for a person who was once a Christian and went back into sin, than for a person who never became a Christian.
  • Evangelism can be worse than no evangelism at all if the new Christian is not taught to observe all the Christ commanded. Evangelism may be merely increasing people’s punishment in hell. This is sobering because today less than 5% of people who make a profession for Christ continue living for Him. In eternity, It would be better for them to have never known the way of salvation than to make a profession to follow Christ and then turn their back on Him!

2Peter 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.

  • It is possible for a Christian to be led away from the truth into error and fall from the steadfastness of their Christian life. It is possible for a person who was once a Christian to go into sin and not go to Heaven.

2John 1:6-9 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. (7) For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (8) Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. (9) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

  • A Christian who does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. Therefore they will not go to heaven.

Revelation 3:4-5 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. (5) He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

  • It is implied that there are those in the church who defiled their garments, who did not overcome, and whom Jesus blotted out their name from the book of life.

Revelation 3:14-21 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; (15) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. (17) Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (18) I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see. (19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (21) To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

  • There are Christians who are lukewarm. Those Jesus says He will spew out of His mouth. If a person is spewed out of Jesus’ mouth, then that person has no part in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Revelation 21:6-8 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (7) He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (8) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

  • It is only those who overcome who will inherit eternal life in Heaven.
  • According to verse 8, any Christian who is covetous (an idolater), who tells a lie, and does not repent, will be cast into Hell.

Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

  • Any Christian that takes words, verses, or commands from the book of Revelation will lose his reward in Heaven.

Note: A theology that states that a Christian cannot backslide and go to Hell has the same error as the Catholic doctrine of baptizing infants in an attempt to make them lifetime Christians. Instead of baptism, the Church today attempts to use the method of having people say certain words to become a Christian and then state that a person is a Christian and is eternally saved regardless of how they live. Today there are many in the Church and many who do not attend church who have said the right words to be saved, but who have not departed from a life of sin. Their lives and philosophy are no different from non-Christians. They are lost and have been deceived into thinking they are saved and will receive an inheritance in Heaven.

The puzzle piece of the marriage of Christ and the Church is fascinating and provides insight into the eternal security of the believer and the question of whether a person can lose their salvation. There are some aspects of the marriage of Christ and the Church that many of us have overlooked. It has resulted in us misunderstanding some of the parts of salvation.

The marriage of Christ and the Church has not yet occurred. The Church is still only in the engagement period with Christ. There are some interesting passages of Scripture that point this out. In II Corinthians 11:2 it says that we are Christ’s fiancée, that the marriage is yet to come: "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." In Ephesians 5:22-33 human marriage is given as a type or foreshadowing of the marriage of Christ and the Church. I had always viewed this passage as if the Church was already married to Christ. However, in verse 27, it indicates that the marriage is yet to come by using the future tense. It is not the past tense: "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

The marriage of Christ and the Church occurs after the whole Church is gathered together in Heaven at the end of the world. God gives us a glimpse of this in Rev. 19-7-9: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God."

The fact that the Church is not yet married has some very interesting implications. It has opened up some new insights that I had never seen before.

  • There must be death first from Satan, sin, and self so that we can be remarried to Christ, a divorce is not sufficient. Death is the only thing that can end a marriage and free a person to marry another. This is true in human marriage as well as in marriage in the spiritual sense to Christ. In Romans 7 where God states that death frees a person from the first marriage so that they are free to marry another person, He also says in verse 7: "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." This death occurs in the spiritual sense so that we can be espoused to Christ. However, it also seems that there may need to be a physical death and the destruction of the world and the "death" of Satan (bound and put in hell) before the marriage of Christ and the Church.
  • Human marriage is a type of Christ and the Church. We are told marriage is a type in Ephesians 5. As a type, human marriage cannot violate what it is a type of. Therefore, if Christ would have been allowing divorce and remarriage in the "exception clause" in Matthew 19:9, He would have destroyed the type. Human marriage would no longer have been the illustration of the marriage of Christ and the Church. If Jesus had stated that divorce would free a person in a human marriage to marry again, it would not illustrate the eternal security of the believer in which there cannot be, and will not be any separation from Christ.
  • The marriage of Christ and the Church is like the Jewish wedding in New Testament times. In the Jewish betrothal period the man and woman are called husband and wife even though they are not married. In the same way, as Christians on earth we are called saved even though the marriage of Christ and the Church has not occurred and we have not received our full salvation.
  • The "exception clause" in Matthew 19:9 allows divorce from the engagement due to fornication with another during the engagement period. Any other interpretation of the "exception clause" does not line up with the marriage of Christ and the Church. Because the time on earth is the engagement period of Christ and the Church, it is possible for a Christian to backslide in this life and go to Hell.
  • The marriage of Christ and the Church will never, ever end. There cannot, and never will be, a divorce of Christ and the Church once marriage occurs. We will have eternal security!
  • Marriage, where the only thing that can end the marriage is death, is an illustration of absolute eternal security. In Heaven there will be no more death. Therefore, there can never be a divorce, annulment or ending of the marriage of Christ and the Church.

This is an important puzzle piece also. We are saved by faith in Jesus, not by any good works on our part. We cannot do enough good deeds, service, disciplines, or pay money to cancel out our sins.

In Romans, many of the passages that state that works do not save us further identify works as keeping the Old Testament Law. God makes it very clear that we are not saved (converted) by keeping the Old Testament law. This was a point that God drives home over and over in the New Testament. A person does not have to become a Jew in order to become a Christian. The Jewish Christians in the early Church had a difficult time coming to grips with this puzzle piece.

Romans 3:21-31 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (22) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (27) Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. (28) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (29) Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: (30) Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. (31) Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

  • We are not justified by keeping the Old Testament law.
  • We are justified by faith in Jesus.
  • We cannot boast that we are more holy or righteous than others.

Romans 4:2-16 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. (3) For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (5) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (6) Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (7) Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (8) Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (9) Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. (10) How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. (11) And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: (12) And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. (13) For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (14) For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: (15) Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. (16) Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.

  • Even in Old Testament times, God says that a person was justified by faith and not by the works of keeping the law. The Old Testament is consistent with the New Testament in that a person was justified by faith and not by keeping the Law. The Jews/Pharisees misunderstood the purpose of the Old Testament law. They thought that righteousness was the result of keeping the Law. The Law became a stumbling stone. (See Romans 9:32).
  • If God counts a person righteous because of keeping the Law, then righteousness is not of faith but of works. Our reward would then be a debt that God owed us. (V.4)
  • In the New Testament the Jews continued to stumble at the stumbling stone of the Law, and thought that the Gentiles had to become Jews and keep the Old Testament Law in order to be saved.

Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.)

  • The illustration is given of God choosing Jacob before he was born rather than Esau.

Romans 9:30-32 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. (31) But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. (32) Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

  • Again this passage states that keeping the Law did not make the Jews in the Old Testament righteous. Their righteousness came by faith just as it does today for us as Christians.
  • We see that God did not change from the Old Testament to the New Testament on what makes a person righteous – it is faith, not keeping the Law.
  • This sheds light on the purpose of the Old Testament law for the Jews and now for the Christian, the New Testament commands that God has given us. The New Testament commands do not make a person righteous. Righteousness only comes by faith. The New Testament commands are a stumbling stone for those who try to obtain righteousness through keeping them. More on this in the next puzzle piece.

Romans 11:5-7 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (6) And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (7) What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

  • We are saved by grace and not by works.
  • If works saved us then God’s grace is not necessary.

2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

  • We are saved by God’s grace not our works.

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost… 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men… 14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

  • Doing good works does not save us. However, after we are saved, doing good works is part of living the Christian life. This is stated clearly in verses 8 and 14.

When the Bible talks about the Christian not being under law, it is referring to the Old Testament Law. If it meant all law, we would not have to obey civil law or Christ's commands in the New Testament.

Keeping Christ's commands is an essential part of salvation. Teaching others to keep Christ's commands is the second half of the Great Commission and is just as important as the first part to be evangelistic and share the gospel. Keeping Christ’s commands is something that much of the Church has ignored as being important. In looking at the passages of Scripture in this section, we will see how important keeping Christ's commands really are. If a Christian does not keep God's commands, their punishment in hell will be greater then if they had never accepted Christ as their Savior! (2 Peter 2:20-21 "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.") A Christian's final salvation is fully dependent upon whether they keep Christ's commands or not.

Christ's commands define what is sin and what is obedience to God. God defines loving Him as keeping His commands. A person who does not keep His commands does not love God. We show our love to God, not by what we say but by what we do – by keeping His commands.

Legalism

Whenever keeping Christ's commands are mentioned, there are those who immediately think "legalism". Legalism is not a Biblical term. It is not found in the Bible. It is man's term and has various shades of meaning depending on one's theology. Legalism is often used to refer to the doctrine of salvation by good works, or by keeping the Old Testament law. Legalism is often used of a person trying to earn their salvation by doing the right things. Legalism usually refers to the motive of a person's heart. One person can do something that is right with a legalistic attitude, and another do the very same thing with a totally different motive or reason and not be legalistic.

Regardless of what one’s opinion of legalism is, it is not sin for a Christian to keep the commands that Jesus has commanded us to do. Obedience to God is never sin. It is always sin to not do what God has commanded us to do. It is also sin to add to or remove from the commands that Christ has given us.

The following verses show the importance of keeping Christ’s commands:

Matthew 7:21-27 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

  • Not everyone who thinks that they are a Christian will receive their salvation. Only those who live according to the will of God. Many professing Christians who thought they were saved will go to hell because they did not keep Christ's commands.
  • Exhibiting gifts of the Spirit, tongues, prophecy, miracles, etc., is not proof or an indicator that a person is a Christian because many who do those things will go to Hell because they are also doing iniquity. They are not keeping Christ's commands.
  • The story about the wise man and the foolish man is about keeping Christ’s commands. A Christian who hears Christ’s commands and does not do them is building his life on sand. One day his life will fall and Jesus will tell them, "Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity." v.23.
  • God defines iniquity in this passage as doing the will of someone other then God and not doing God‘s will. Iniquity might be one’s own will or the will of one’s pastor, church, or denomination. It can appear to be doing God‘s will, but is not and is iniquity. V.22.
  • It is only those who do God’s will that will go to Heaven.
  • Only the Christians who keep Christ’s commands will go to heaven.
  • A person can become a Christian, but unless they keep Christ’s commands they will not go to Heaven.

Matthew 25:31-46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: (32) And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: (33) And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (35) For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: (36) Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (37) Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? (38) When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? (39) Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? (40) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (41) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (42) For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: (43) I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. (44) Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? (45) Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. (46) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  • In this passage the criteria that Jesus says will be used on Judgment Day in determining whether a person goes to heaven or hell is their works, not whether they said the right words and accepted Him as their Savior. In other words, once a person is saved, they are not guaranteed their final salvation if they have not kept Christ’s commands.
  • Jesus will be the Judge on Judgment Day and He has told us what we will be judged by. This passage is not the words of a man, or the opinion of a theological position, or the speculation of a lawyer. These words are from THE Judge Himself.

Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

  • The Great Commission has two parts. The first part is evangelism. The second part is discipleship, teaching the believers to do everything that Christ has commanded us.
  • Teaching Christ’s commands and obedience to them is as important as evangelism and has been seriously neglected by the church.
  • Keeping Christ's commands comes after one is saved and baptized. Keeping Christ's commands does not replace the conversion experience, or nor does it earn one's salvation.
  • Keeping Christ's commands is what it means to live the Christian life, to do what Jesus would do, and to be a true follower of Christ.

Luke 8:21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

  • Those who are truly part of the family of God are those who hear what the Bible says, and do what it says. There are many professing Christians who are not ready to hear and to do all that God tells them to do. Like the Pharisees, they use human reasoning to explain away why they do not need to do what God says.

Luke 11:27-28 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

  • Jesus tells us that there is a blessing for hearing and keeping the Word of God.
  • There is a greater blessing for those who keep Christ's commands than there is for Mary. That shows how important keeping Christ's commands is.

John 14:21-24 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

  • Only those who keep Christ’s commands love Him. A person who does not keep Christ’s commands does not truly love Jesus. Loving Christ is more than a feeling or developing a relationship with Christ. Loving Jesus is keeping His commands.
  • Keeping means to obey, but it is more than obedience. Keeping also means to treasure, to value, to safe guard from loss, to protect.
  • Keeping Christ's commands is necessary to receive greater spiritual understanding and to grow in spiritual maturity- "will manifest myself to him." Therefore, a person who choses not to obey Jesus in one area will not receive spiritual understanding of why obedience in that area and other areas is important to Christ. They will begin a downward spiral away from Christ all the while using human reasoning to make up for their lack of true spiritual understanding.

John 15:10-14 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

  • Keeping Christ's commands is necessary for abiding in Christ.
  • Jesus has given us commands so that His joy might remain in us and our joy might be full. v.6,11 His commands are not a burden or a cross we have to endure. His commands bring us the most joy possible for us to have in this life. Therefore if we as Christians are lacking joy, we need to look at Jesus' commands and see what command we are not keeping.
  • Our continuing friendship with Christ is dependent upon our keeping His commands. v.14

Act 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

  • The Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Christ’s commands. This verse ties in with John 14:15-16 "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;"

Romans 2:2-13 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. (3) And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? (4) Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (5) But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; (6) Who will render to every man according to his deeds: (7) To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: (8) But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, (9) Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; (10) But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: (11) For there is no respect of persons with God. (12) For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (13) (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

  • This passage is important to help us get the concept of keeping Christ's commands in proper perspective. Keeping Christ’s commands does not save us. God makes that very clear, once we are saved, we are to walk in obedience to Christ, and do what He tells us to do.
  • God predestined that we should do good works.

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

  • Obedience to Christ’s commands is necessary for us to receive our final salvation. The fear of God is realizing that our disobedience will bar us from Heaven.

1 Corinthians 7:18-19 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

  • Keeping Christ's commands is very important. In other words, the Old Testament law is not important for a Christian. We do not have to become a Jew to be saved. However, it is important that a Christian keep God's commands in the New Testament.

1 Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

  • The commands that are given in the New Testament are not the commands of Paul, Peter, John, etc., but are the commands of God.
  • We frequently hear preachers say "Paul said", "the writer of Hebrews said", etc. As a result, the Church has come to the belief that some of the Bible is the commands of men and some of it is the commands of God. There is much explaining away of God's commands as being commands that that particular writer was giving to the first recipients of that letter, to deal with a problem they had.
  • We must recognize that all Scripture is inspired by God and the commands were also inspired by God and come from God, not a human writer. Those commands apply to us today.

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

  • Professing to know Christ and to being a Christian is not enough to continue in the Christian life. A person will not receive their final salvation if they walk in disobedience to Christ's commands.
  • A Christian must do good works and walk in obedience to Christ's commands.
  • Those who deny Jesus by what they do will go to Hell, Matthew 10:33 "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."

Titus 3:1-14 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, (2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. (3) For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, (5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; (7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (8) This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (9) But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. (10) A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject; (11) Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (12) When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. (13) Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. (14) And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

  • This passage again puts keeping Christ's commands in perspective. A person is not saved or converted by obedience to Christ's commands (v.5).
  • Once a person is saved, they keep Christ’s commands and do good works because they want to please Christ. v.8,14

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.

  • Keeping Christ’s commands is essential for us to receive eternal salvation.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

  • A Christian must keep Christ's commands and not merely read the Bible. One of the problems in the Christian education system in the church today is that people hear the Word, they talk about it, but they are not moved to keep it. The result is that the more spiritually educated a person becomes the more they can deceive themselves. They think that because they have spiritual knowledge and know more than another person, they have spiritual maturity. They do not realize that spiritual maturity does not come from knowledge of the Bible, but from keeping Christ's commands. This is a significant error in the philosophy of Sunday school and seminary education today.

James 2:14-26 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (16) And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. (19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (22) Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (23) And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (24) Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (25) Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? (26) For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

  • Many have misunderstood the importance of works and obedience to Jesus in the Christian's life, because they thought that when a person is saved, that person has received their full salvation. But the conversion experience is merely the getting into the boat to go to heaven. If one only has faith, they will go in circles and will be lost. If one only has works, they will go in circles in the opposite direction and also be lost. We cannot reach Heaven without both faith and obedience to Christ's commands.

2 Peter 2:20-21 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

  • God tells us plainly the importance of keeping His commands. For a Christian to turn their back on keeping God's commands, their punishment will be eternity in hell with a worse punishment then if they had never heard the Gospel and gone to hell. That is serious.
  • It is very important that the Christians are taught to keep Christ's commands and warned of the consequences of not keeping them.
  • People need to be taught to fear the Lord, not the preacher or the church.
  • Commands that the church adds in addition to keeping Christ’s commands take the focus off of keeping Christ's commands. People quickly recognize that they are commands of men and not of God. The result is that young people in the church, discard the commands of men because they are not required in the Bible, and also discard the command of God because it is tied to and identified with the command of men. The end result for many young people in the Church is eternity in hell with worse punishment then if they had never gone to church.

1John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

  • A person who thinks that they are a Christian and does not keep Christ’s commands is a liar and will go to hell.
  • If a person is a Christian, they will keep Christ’s commands.

1 John 3:19-24 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our life is dependent upon us keeping Christ’s commands.

1 John 5:1-3 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

  • God's commands are not difficult or burdensome.
  • Loving God is keeping His commands. Loving other Christians is only possible when we keep God’s commands

Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

  • Obedience to God’s commands is essential.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

  • We will be judged by whether we have kept the commands of God.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

  • A Christian is one who keeps the commands of God.

Revelation 20:12-15 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (13) And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

  • We will be judged by what we do, not only by whether or not we have accepted Jesus as our Savior.
  • The sins we have committed, the disobedience to God's commands, are written down in God's book. On Judgment Day we will have nothing to argue with, the evidence is in writing.
  • Jesus is the Judge and He tells us plainly how He will judge us. It does not line up with what many preachers are telling us about "once saved, always saved". Who do you think is right, Jesus or those preachers?

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

  • Eternal life is only for those Christians who do God's commandments. They are the only ones who will enter through the gates into the city.

The role of Grace in salvation is another important puzzle piece. The church has frequently misapplied the term grace to mean a catch all license that is given to a person that allows them to acknowledge something is not God's ideal, but if it is difficult or inconvenient to follow God's way in that area, to disregard it (do what is right in their own eyes). This wrong application of the term grace is used in many areas of the Christian life. This philosophy has been very harmful to the church. Statistics show the beliefs and practices of many Christians are basically the same as those of non-Christians. The Church does not have God given authority to grant grace to a person in an area of sin and grant them permission/freedom to continue to sin.

To understand grace better, I did an in-depth study of grace in the Bible. I found some interesting facts. The main fact is that grace is from God. Most of the verses in the New Testament that use the word grace also state that it is from God or Jesus. Nowhere is there any verse that the church or a local congregation has any authority to grant a person grace for their sins. We can bless another with God’s grace, but not from us. When the church grants another person grace in a sin area so that the sin is no longer viewed as sin, the church is setting itself up as God and making the church equal with God. This line of thinking has occurred before in Jeremiah 7:9,10: "Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; (10) And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?" They thought they had received grace to continue in their sins but they had not.

Grace is not an allowance to sin a little more than what the Bible says. Grace is not a license from God or the church for one to continue in sin as many would lead us to believe. Grace is not God overlooking our sin as we continue to sin after we know better. Romans 6:1-2 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:15 "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid." There is no grace for those who willfully continue to sin and don't want to stop or change because it would be "too difficult", such as separate from a divorce and remarriage situation. Hebrews 10:26-31 "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." God's grace is not a license to do what is right in one's own eyes, and follow one's own beliefs, even if it is contrary to Scripture.

  • When Jesus through grace forgave the woman caught in adultery, He also told her to do something. He said "go and sin no more!" Jesus did not give the woman grace so that she could continue to commit adultery. Jesus told her she had to stop committing adultery. If a person goes on in the same sin, they will not receive God's grace but rather incur His judgment. There cannot be grace and mercy without justice.
  • When a person realizes that they have sinned, and they go to God and confess their sin and forsake the sin, God totally forgives them. They do not have to earn "brownie points" or do a certain amount of good deeds to receive God's forgiveness. They are freed from eternal punishment in hell and are granted eternity with Jesus in heaven. That is God's grace, not a license to continue in sin or to do what is right in one's own eyes. It is only through the grace of God that they receive forgiveness. Without God's grace none of us would be saved because we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23-25 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 5:15-21 But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. 17 For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 11:5-7 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

Ephesians 1:5-7 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Ephesians 2:5-10 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by (grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

What is significant about this puzzle piece is that many people today have adopted the part of the theory of Calvinism, which makes predestination and election a pivotal point in their theology. It is amazing how a whole system of theology can be built mainly upon one word in the Bible - "predestination", just like the blind men defined the elephant with one aspect of the elephant. However, systems of theology tend to be the words of men and are named after men (Calvinism, Arminianism, etc.). God has warned us to not be followers of men and their theology, but rather followers of Jesus Christ. We also need to look at predestination and election in the context of all of Scripture, not merely a few verses removed from their context.

There are some important questions:

  • Who was predestined? Individual persons or a group of people?
  • What were they/we predestined to?
  • Can man make a choice to be saved or does he have no choice in the matter? If he is saved without any choice on his part, he cannot lose that salvation because God predestined him to eternal salvation.
Scripture passages related to Predestination and Election

Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

  • Called - #2822 invited, that is, appointed, or (specifically) a saint: - called. Strong’s Greek Dictionary
  • Many are called or appointed but few are chosen. Not everyone who is predestined is saved. These are the words of Jesus.

Matthew 22:2-14 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

  • Called (v.14) -#2822 invited, that is, appointed, or (specifically) a saint: - called. Strong's Greek Dictionary
  • Bidden - #2564 to "call" (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise): - bid, call (forth), (whose, whose sur-) name (was [called]). Strong's Greek Dictionary
  • Jesus tells us that entrance to the marriage of Christ in the kingdom of heaven involves God’s appointment, and later call, and man’s response. Man cannot go to Heaven independent of God’s invitation.
  • Jesus, not Paul or some other man, tells us in this parable that people have a choice. Many are called to become Christians, but at the end of the world at the marriage of Christ and the Church few of those who were appointed will be there.
  • Not everyone who is called is saved. Not everyone who God appoints, or predestines to salvation receives salvation.
  • God did not call everyone at the same time.

John 1:10-13 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

  • Verse 12 states that a person has to first receive Christ before he can become a Christian
  • There is much stated in man’s theologies about man’s will as it relates to salvation and that man cannot choose Jesus with his own will because of his depraved sinful nature. Verse 13 is one of the key passages for those theologies, because it states that man cannot be born again by his own will. But note the preceding verse, believing on Jesus and receiving him does come first before one is saved. A person does have to choose Jesus first.
  • Note however what God says, that receiving Jesus does not save a person. Believing on Jesus does not save a person. A person is not saved by their own will, or the will of another person.
  • A person is saved by God giving them power to become His sons. Our receiving Jesus, believing on Him, or our own will does not save us. They are merely steps that open the door of our heart so that Jesus can come in and dwell there.

John 3:14-18 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

  • The gift of salvation is available to all. The word "whosoever" applies to everyone and is not qualified as only referring to a group of people who alone have been selected to receive salvation.
  • Those who receive salvation do so as a result of first believing on Jesus v. 15,16,18. It is a choice that each individual must make for himself. God does not make the choice for him.
  • "That the world through him might be saved." Salvation is available to everyone by God’s choice and decision.

John 6:44-51 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

  • This is another passage used by those who hold to various shades of Calvin’s theology to show that man does not have a choice in whether he becomes saved; that God’s will cannot be thwarted and overrides man’s choice.
  • Note the context of the verses preceding verse 44: John 6:35-43 "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves."
  • God’s will is that everyone who sees Jesus and believes on Him will have everlasting life, (verse 40). Note however, verse 36 that the Pharisees saw Jesus but did not believe. They did not receive eternal life because they did not believe on Jesus. It was the one step that they had to chose to do,
  • It does not state that God forces His will on us and that we do not have a choice. Coming to Jesus and believing on Him is our choice.
  • John17:12 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled."
  • Judas was lost because he himself chose to follow Satan. It was not Jesus’ fault or lack of protection that caused Judas to go to Hell.

Acts 13:45-48 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

  • Again the context of verse 48 has to be taken into account. If we look at only verse 48 we come to the conclusion that only those who are ordained or predestined can be saved.
  • Verse 46 stated that the Gospel first needed to be preached to the Jews, but because the Jews rejected Jesus they went to the Gentiles.
  • The Jews had a choice to accept Jesus or reject Him. Their predestination, or election by God as His chosen people did not force them to receive salvation. They still had a choice to receive Jesus or reject Him. They rejected eternal life. The Jews received the blame for not receiving eternal life. If the Jews had no choice in whether they would be saved and were not predestined by God to receive salvation, then why did the Gospel need to be preached to the Jews first?
  • It was the Jew’s choice of rejecting Jesus that resulted in their not receiving eternal life.

Romans 1:6-7 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Called #2822 invited, that is, appointed, or (specifically) a saint: - called. Strong’s Greek Dictionary

Romans 5:18-19 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

  • The free gift of salvation is available to all people, to everyone. Some have tried to explain that "all men" does not mean "all men" but "all Christians". But the context does not allow that interpretation. "All men", not just the Christians, received the sinful nature from Adam and have sinned and will receive God’s judgment. The same, "All men" have the free gift of salvation available to them.
  • Note, however, that "all men" do not receive salvation. In verse 19 it says many, not all, are made righteous.

Romans 8:28-33 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

  • Called (v.28) #2822 invited, that is, appointed, or (specifically) a saint: - called. Strong’s Greek Dictionary
  • Called (v.30) #2564 to "call" (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise): - bid, call (forth), (whose, whose sur-) name (was [called]). Strong’s Greek Dictionary
  • Elect (v.33) #1588 select; by implication favorite: - chosen, elect. Strong’s Greek Dictionary
  • There is an order of events: 1) God predestined 2) God calls those He predestined 3) God justifies those called 4) God glorifies those justified.
  • God calling those whom He predestinated indicates that those people have a choice in the matter. A call requires a response from the one called. The one called makes a choice to respond to God’s call or to reject it. If a person does not respond to God’s call the order of events is broken. God does not justify all that are predestined if they do not respond to His call. Predestination does not mean automatic salvation for those whom God predestined.
  • Predestination according to this verse does not mean that a person does not have a choice in whether he will be saved or not. He has a choice.

Romans 9:9-25 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. 17 For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? 22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

  • Calleth (v.11,24) #2564 to "call" (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise): - bid, call (forth), (whose, whose sur-) name (was [called]). Strong’s Greek Dictionary
  • Election (v.11) #1589 (divine) selection (abstractly or concretely): - chosen, election. Strong’s Greek Dictionary
  • Calling is used with election, indicating that man’s response to God’s call and election is necessary.
  • God called us. (v.24) We had to respond to His call to be part of His Kingdom.

Romans 11:5-7 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (6) And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (7) What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

  • The election in verse 7 is the Gentiles.
  • The Gentiles (The election, chosen, and called by God) were not elected by God because of their righteousness, or works -- the keeping of the Old Testament Law -- but by grace.

Romans 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.

  • Election -- #1589 (divine) selection (abstractly or concretely): - chosen, election. Strong’s Greek Dictionary
  • Election means we are chosen by God.

1 Corinthians 1:1-2 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

  • Called #2822 invited, that is, appointed, or (specifically) a saint: - called. Strong’s Greek Dictionary

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

  • Jesus died for everyone in the world, both Christians and those who rejected Him, not just Christians as the followers of Calvin believe. It states that Jesus died for all, but implies that only some of whom Jesus died for live as a result of His death and resurrection ("They which live"). Those who reject Jesus do not receive any benefit of Jesus death.
  • There are some who say that the "all" does not mean everyone but only Christians because only Christians died with Christ. But note that it says that all were dead, not we (Christians) all died. Everyone in the world is spiritually dead unless they become Christians. Ephesians 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins" Ephesians 2:5 "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by (grace ye are saved;)" Colossians 2:13 "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"

Ephesians 1:4-14 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (9) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (10) That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

  • God chose before the beginning of the world that those who were Gentiles could be adopted into the family of God. (V.5)
  • Predestined to be adopted into Christ.
  • We have not yet received our final salvation.( v.14) We have received the Holy Spirit, the security deposit, or promise, of our future redemption.
  • Our adoption has net yet occurred. Romans 8:23 "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."

1 Thessalonians 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

  • This was written to Gentiles referring to God electing them as Gentiles.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-15 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

  • If we take verse 13 out of context we would come to the conclusion that man does not have a choice in whether he is saved or not, that God chose from the beginning of the world who would be saved.
  • Verse 10 states that many will not receive salvation because of their choice to reject a love of the truth. Verse 12 states that they will receive eternal punishment because they believed not the truth. It was their choice not to believe the truth. It does not state that it was God’s choice that some men do not believe the truth.
  • God "called" again, indicating that man has to respond to God’s call. (V.14)

1 Timothy 2:1-6 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

  • It is God’s will that everyone in the whole world would be saved, not only a few who were predestined, and the rest excluded. Calvin’s narrow theory of predestination does not fit this verse.
  • Jesus died for everyone, so that any one could receive salvation.
  • There are those who try to twist this passage and say that "all" does not mean everyone but only "all" Christians. The context of referring to the world governments (when this was first written Rome, not a Christian nation, was the controlling government), makes the "all men" mean everyone in the world.

2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

  • "Called" G2564 to "call" (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise): - bid, call (forth), (whose, whose sur-) name (was [called]). Strong’s Greek Dictionary
  • "calling" G2821an invitation (figuratively): - calling. Strong’s Greek Dictionary
  • Here again God called us, He gave us an invitation which required our response. By the very words used it is clear that God did not force predestination to salvation on us.
  • This does not specifically state that the calling is to individuals only or that the saving was chosen only for a few before the world began.
  • What God tells us here is that He chose before the world began to give us salvation through Jesus. It was not a plan that He had to come up with after Adam and Eve sinned and gave everyone in the world a sin nature.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

  • At first glance one could take it to mean that God has to enable a person to have repentance and a person has no choice in the matter. However, the very next sentence says that "they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil." Each person has to make a choice to reject sin and Satan for themselves and accept Christ. That is why we must not be argumentative, but be gentle, patient, and teach all men.
  • It is God’s will that everyone be saved and that we do all we can to point them to Christ. V.24

1 Peter 1:2-9 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

  • God knows beforehand who will receive Christ by faith and who will not.

2 Peter 1:1-11 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • Being called and elected by God does not make our salvation sure or else God would not command us to make it sure.
  • It is possible, according to this verse, for those who are called and elected by God to fall and not go to Heaven.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

  • God’s will is that everyone would be saved and not perish in hell.
  • Salvation is predestined by God to be available for all, both Jews and Gentiles.
  • Repentance for sin, a choice that man must make himself is necessary for salvation. Calvin’s theory of predestination eliminates the need of repentance for salvation and contradicts this verse.

1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

  • God tells us clearly that Jesus died not only for the sins of Christians but for the sins of everyone in the whole world.

Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.

  • Called #2822 invited, that is, appointed, or (specifically) a saint: - called. Strong’s Greek Dictionary

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

  • Called #2822 invited, that is, appointed, or (specifically) a saint: - called. Strong’s Greek Dictionary

In the OT God chose the Jews to be His chosen people. However, He did not forbid or prevent other people or races from believing on Him. There are numerous examples of people other than Jews believing in God. At the same time there were many Jews who did not believe in God and received the punishment for their disobedience and rejection of God. In the same way in the NT, God has chosen the Gentiles to be saved, but not all Gentiles receive Christ.

Predestination and the will

There is much written about the will of God and the will of man. Those who hold to the theory of predestination believe that because God is Sovereign, His will is imposed on us and we have to respond to God’s will much like robots. One of the verses used to support this teaching is: Romans 9:16 "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."

The following passages show that God does not force His will on us.

Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

  • Not everyone who thinks they are a Christian, does God’s will.
  • God tells us in this passage that some people think that they are Christians but on Judgment day will go to hell because they did not do God’s will. This passage makes it clear that God does not force us to do His will.

Matthew 18:2-14 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh! 8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. 10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. 11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 12 How think ye? if a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

  • If God imposed His will on us and we did not have a choice in whether we were saved or not, then everyone would be saved because it is God’s will that no child should perish. Everyone begins as a child. If God’s will were imposed upon us because He is sovereign, then every person in the world would become a Christian as a child because God’s will is that no child should perish.

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

  • The word "if" indicates that we a human beings have a choice of whether we do God’s will or not. Doing God’s will is not forced upon us.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

  • It is God’s will that in everything Christians give thanks. We know that not all Christians follow God’s will in giving thanks like this in every circumstance. We as Christians have the choice of doing God’s will or not doing God’s will in giving thanks in difficult circumstances. God’s will is not imposed upon us, forcing us to give thanks. If we had no choice in giving thanks, it would not be true gratitude, but an automatic, knee jerk response like a doll that says "I love you, Mommy" when it is squeezed, hit, or stepped on.

1 Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

  • It is the will of God that Christians silence the ignorant comments of foolish men by the good deeds that the Christians do. We know, however, that not all Christians silence foolish men by what they do. Some Christians are able to silence foolish men by what they do, and some Christians, by what they do give the foolish men ammunition to continue their foolishness.

Repentance is an essential part of becoming a Christian. Becoming a Christian is more than having a desire to have a relationship with Jesus and asking Him to come into one's heart. One also needs to have sorrow for his or her sins and ask God to forgive them and cleanse him from all unrighteousness.

Easton's Bible Dictionary says this about repentance:

"There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1.) The verb 'metamelomai' is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Mat. 27:3). (2.) Metanoeo, meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with (3.) the cognate noun 'metanoia', is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.

"Evangelical repentance consists of (1.) a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; (2.) an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; (3.) an actual hatred of sin (Psa. 119:128; Job 42:5-6; 2Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4.) a persistent endeavor after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments."

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

  • Repent, (Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

1. To feel pain, sorrow or regret for something done or spoken; as, to repent that we have lost much time in idleness or sensual pleasure; to repent that we have injured or wounded the feelings of a friend. A person repents only of what he himself has done or said.

2. In theology, to sorrow or be pained for sin, as a violation of God's holy law, a dishonor to his character and government, and the foulest ingratitude to a Being of infinite benevolence.

Matthew 9:12-13 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

(Also Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32)

  • Jesus made it clear that we need to call sinners to repentance. We are not to just focus on the righteous but also be evangelistic.
  • The Pharisees did not associate with the publicans and sinners and did not want to have any friendship with them. Jesus saw the publicans and sinners as people needing the Savior and needing to repent of their sins.

Mark 1:14,15 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

  • God tells us here what the gospel message of His kingdom is – that Christ has come, repent of your sins and believe on Jesus.

Mark 6:10-12 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into a house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city. 12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

Luke 13:2-5 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

  • Everyone needs to repent of their sins, not just those who seem to have committed worse sins.
  • A person who does not repent of their sins will perish in hell.

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

  • There is much joy in Heaven when a sinner repents of their sins.

Luke 24:46-47 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

  • Evangelism is telling others that they need to repent of their sins and Jesus will forgive their sins.

Acts 2:37-38 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

  • Repentance and baptism are essential parts of becoming a Christian and having one's sins forgiven.

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 5:30-31 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

  • Repentance - (subjectively) compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication reversal (of [another’s] decision): - repentance. Strong’s Greek Dictionary
  • This does not mean that Jesus gives a person the ability to repent of their sins, but that He changes the judgment decision that was previously given because of their sin.

Acts 8:20-23 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

  • Simon in this passage was a believer, but he still needed to repent of the sin he committed.
  • Christians need to repent of the sins that they commit after they become a Christian and ask God to forgive the sin.

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

  • Here again, as in Acts 5:31, repentance means that God changes the judgment decision that was previously given because of their sin and forgives their sins.

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.

  • Repentance is not an option. God commands everyone to repent of their sins.

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Repentance is toward God in becoming a Christian. It is against God that we have sinned.

Acts 26:19-20 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 20 But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

  • This passage tells us that there are three parts of repentance:
    1. Repenting of your sin
    2. Turning to God and not going your own way
    3. Showing by what you do, that you are truly sorry for your sins and do not want to continue sinning.

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

  • There are two types of sorrow. There is the sorrow of the world that regrets the consequences of sin, but is not sorry for the sin itself. There is also the godly sorrow for having sinned because it separates us from God.
  • Godly sorrow for sin results in the person repenting of their sin. They do not regret repenting of their sin.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.

  • It is important that a person moves on in their relationship with Christ after they become a Christian, and not dwell on their conversion experience. Sometimes a person who was saved from a very wicked sinful life, such as an ex-prisoner, is asked to tell their conversion story over and over for years after he or she becomes a Christian. That person is hindered in their Christian life because the Church does not let them go beyond their foundation of repentance from sin.

Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

  • A person who was once a Christian, who turns his back on Christ and totally rejects Him, it is impossible for that person to come again to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

  • God's will is that every man, woman, and child, in the entire world come to repentance and receive salvation.
  • It is not God's will (desire) that any person go to Hell, but that everyone be saved. God is patient and gives us time to repent. He does not get angry and impatient with us and quickly remove us from the earth.
  • Some have tried to rewrite this verse because it does not fit their theory of predestination and make it say something different than the plain words say.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

  • In repenting of our sins, we need to confess our sins. There is something significant about confessing with our mouth, verbally saying the words, that is important in repenting of sin. When a person confesses their sin with their mouth, they acknowledge their own responsibility for their sin.

Revelation 2:4-5 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

  • Even Christians who have previously repented of their sins need to repent of sins that they have committed after they became a Christian.
  • If a Christian does not repent of the sins that they have committed after they become a Christian, they will go to Hell.
  • Repentance is more than saying I'm sorry for my sin, what one does needs to go along with the repentance. There has to be a change in the person's life and the sin not be repeated.

Revelation 3:2-3 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

  • A Christian will miss out on his salvation if he does not repent of the sin that he has committed.

Revelation 3:19-21 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Matthew 12:24-32 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. 31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Luke 12:8-10 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. 10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.

Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

  • A Christian can commit an unpardonable sin.

Hebrews 10:26-31 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  • A Christian can commit an unpardonable sin.

This is an important puzzle piece because one needs to know what they are saved from. If we were not saved from something, then it could not be called salvation. Some have attempted to redefine what Hell is, and how awful a place it is. But you will see in the following passages what a blessing it is that we can be saved from Hell.

Psalms 9:16-17 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. 17 The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God.

  • Hell is a place of punishment for the wicked and those who forget God.

Matthew 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

  • The fire in Hell will never stop and cannot be put out.
  • Hell will be HOT.

Matthew 5:29-30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

  • We need to do whatever is necessary, even if it is as radical as cutting off our hand or taking out our eye, to keep from going to Hell. Hell is that awful.

Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at:

  • God describes Hell as a place of destruction.
  • Hell is a place where many are going to end up. There is no safety in following what most people are doing or believing.

Matthew 8:11-12 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  • There will be many Jews that will go to Hell.
  • Hell will be total blackness - obscurity.
  • The sounds in Hell will be wailing and grinding of teeth because of the pain and regret.

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

  • The destruction that happens in Hell will happen to the body and soul. Those who are in Hell will have a body because they will be grinding their teeth. They will be able to feel pain and to express their feelings and pain.

Matthew 13:37-42 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  • Those in the church (Christ’s kingdom) that offend God will be cast into Hell.
  • Those in the church that do iniquity, (follow their own will, and desires rather than doing God’s will) will be cast into Hell.
  • Hell is a huge furnace of fire.
  • Hell will be HOT.
  • People will be wailing and expressing their pain and feelings.
  • The pain and anguish will be so great that they will clench their teeth and grind them.

Matthew 13:47-50 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  • The wicked will be separated from the true Christians and cast into Hell at the end of the world.
  • Hell is again described as a furnace of fire.
  • Hell will be HOT.
  • This is the third time in the book of Matthew that Jesus tells us that there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth in Hell. It is important that we understand the intensity of the pain and anguish that will be Hell.

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

  • Hell has an entrance with gates.
  • Gates prevent people leaving and/or entering.

Matthew 18:8-9 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

  • This is the second time that Jesus said this in Matthew. When God repeats something in the Bible we need to take note because it is given to get our attention.
  • We need to take whatever steps of action are necessary so that we do not sin. If a person has a problem with pornography or lusting at immodest women and he can not stop, it is better to put out an eye than to go to Hell.
  • If a person has a habit that he can’t stop that is sin, it would be better for him to cut off the hand that he uses to do it than to go to Hell for eternity.
  • God tells us that we must control ourselves so that we do not continue to sin and go to Hell.
  • Hell will be HOT.

Matthew 22:11-14 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

  • This is the fourth time in the book of Matthew that Jesus tells us that Hell will be filled with crying and gnashing of teeth.
  • Hell will be complete darkness. It will not be a place where people can socialize with their friends, nor will they be able to see who is around them.
  • There will be more people in Hell than in Heaven.

Matthew 24:50-51 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  • Jesus will return to judge the world on a day that we do not expect.
  • Hell is where all hypocrites will go.
  • This is the fifth time in the book of Matthew that Jesus tells us that Hell will be filled with crying and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  • This is the sixth time in the book of Matthew that Jesus tells us that Hell will be filled with crying and gnashing of teeth.
  • Hell is a place of total darkness.

Matthew 25:41-46 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  • Hell was designed for Satan and his angels.
  • The ultimate curse is to spend eternity in Hell.
  • Hell will be a furnace of fire that will never cease. The fire will last for all eternity.
  • Jesus will judge people by what they do for Him as to whether they enter Heaven or Hell, not just whether they have accepted Jesus as their Savior.
  • Hell is eternal punishment that will never stop.

Mark 9:43-48 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

  • Worm – #4663 a grub, maggot or earthworm: - worm. Strong's Greek Dictionary
  • It sounds like people in Hell will have maggots crawling on them and eating them for all eternity.
  • In Hell a person’s "life", their existence, will never end. A person cannot escape reality by committing suicide. Suicide will usher a person into even greater pain, suffering, torment and feelings of rejection.
  • The fire, and heat in Hell will never end. Hell will be HOT.

Luke 3:17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

  • There is nothing that can quench or put out the fire of Hell.

Luke 13:24-28 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

  • Many will want to go into Heaven but will not be able to. They will beg to be let in but will not be able to.
  • Many in Hell will be those who thought that they were Christians and ate and drank of communion in church and thought that Jesus knew them.

Luke 16:22-28 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

  • Part if the torture in Hell will be looking into heaven and seeing how good heaven is.
  • God will make it so that it is impossible for someone in heaven to go to Hell or someone from Hell to go to heaven.
  • Wealth does not save a person from Hell. Instead, wealth distracts from the most important thing, a relationship with Jesus.
  • A person will have constant thirst in Hell and will want water but there will be no water to drink.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

  • The punishment is flaming fire. Hell is banishment from the presence of God and the glory of His power, but it is more than that. Hell will never end.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

  • The darkness in Hell will be like chains. It will be so dark that people cannot deliver themselves or find their way around.

2 Peter 2:20-21 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

  • There are varying degrees of punishment in Hell.
  • When a person accepts Jesus as their Savior an then does not obey Jesus’ commands, their punishment in Hell is worse than if they had never heard about Jesus, or if they had never accepted Jesus as their Savior.
  • The Church has ignored the fact that the punishment in Hell for backsliding Christians will be worse than if they had never accepted Jesus as their Savior. Instead the Church has focused numbers, on church growth and getting as many as possible to accept Jesus as Savior whether they follow through or not.
  • This passage has serious implications for the Church and evangelism. There are millions of former Christians who would have been better off in Hell if the Church had not told them about Christ. Surveys show that less than 5% of those who accept Jesus as their Savior follow through. Evangelists and the altar calls in churches have done most people more harm than good. This is serious. I wonder what the consequences will be in eternity for the pastors and evangelists that have led people into worse sin (not obeying Christ after becoming a Christian) then what they were previously involved in?
  • The Church needs to warn people to make sure that they want to become a Christian before they become a Christian. The people need to be warned that they need to obey Christ’s commands or their punishment in Hell will be worse than if they never accepted Christ. This is the Fear of the Lord.
  • The Church’s evangelism message and methods have to change. The current evangelism methods are awful because of the increased punishment that results for many in Hell!

Jude 1:6-7 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

  • Even angels who rebelled against God were cast into Hell.

Revelation 9:1-11 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. 6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. 7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

  • Hell is locked and is a prison.
  • Satan is the king of Hell.
  • It is interesting that the infatuation that non-Christians have with the things of Hell.
    1. Hell is filled with smoke. In the same way people like to fill their bodies with smoke from cigarettes, cigars, drugs, etc.
    2. The scorpions from Hell had hair like women. Some men like to have long hair, especially men in rock music groups and men who are in rebellion.

Revelation 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

  • Hell may be in the center of the earth because the beast will ascend out of the bottomless pit.
  • It is possible that the center of the earth is the bottomless pit, because going any direction from center would be going up, not down.

Revelation 14:9-11 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

  • Hell is a place of torment, in which a person will be able to see Jesus and the angels.
  • Hell is filled with fire, brimstone, and smoke that will never stop forever and ever.
  • There is no rest day or night
  • Anyone who receives the mark of the beast’s name on his or her forehead or hand will spend eternity in Hell.

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

  • The beast will perform miracles to deceive people.
  • Hell is a lake of fire.

Revelation 20:10-15 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

  • Everyone whose name is not found in the book of life will be cast into Hell, which is a lake of fire.
  • No one can escape Hell by being buried in the bottom of the sea or by being cremated.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

  • The second death is eternity in Hell, a lake of fire and brimstone.
  • Those who will go to Hell are:
    1. Fearful
    2. Unbelieving
    3. Abominable – those who do things that are an abomination to God.
    4. Murderers
    5. Whoremongers
    6. Sorcerers
    7. Idolaters
    8. All liars

This puzzle piece describes what our full salvation will be like. We need to know how wonderful Heaven will be so that we remain faithful in our Christian life.

Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

  • There will not be marriage in Heaven except for the marriage of Christ and the Church. Marriage is only a thing of this earth. There will not be male and female in the sense of reproduction. There will not be individual families. We will be all one big happy family.

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

  • Heaven has been prepared for us from the foundation of the world. It is not a new invention or a second idea that God had after man sinned.
  • Our inheritance from our Heavenly Father is Heaven.

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

  • Heaven is where we will live for all eternity – forever, and ever, and ever.

Luke 20:34-36 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

  • Not everyone on earth will be worthy to obtain Heaven.
  • Couples will not be married or get married in Heaven. There will not be any need for marriage or raising children in Heaven.
  • No one will die in Heaven. There will not be any funerals.

John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

  • Mansions – The Greek word can be translated abode, dwelling or mansion.
  • Heaven is not just one building, but is a city made up of many mansions. When we see the description of the building materials of Heaven, we can only imagine a little bit of what the mansions will be like. They will be so much nicer than anything we can imagine here on earth.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

  • Heaven is somewhere above the earth, out in space.

Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

  • Adam and Eve before the fall were without sin. At that point they could have eaten of the tree of life. After their sin, God prevented them from eating of the tree of life. The tree of life is still alive and we will be able to eat of it in Heaven.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

  • God the Father and Jesus will each have a throne. However, it will not be like it is here on earth with a king where the subjects cannot approach the throne. In Heaven, Jesus will invite us, as a close friend, to sit with Him in His throne.

Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

  • Music will be and important part of Heaven. God likes new songs that were composed just for Him. This is stated over and over in Scripture. In Heaven we will learn a lot of new songs.

Revelation 7:9-17 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

  • Heaven will be filled with a great multitude of people from every part of the world.
  • Everyone will wear white in Heaven symbolizing purity and separation from sin.
  • In Heaven there will not be hunger, thirst, or crying.

Revelation 15:2-3 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

  • What a musical performance! A choir in white, standing on what appears to be glass with fire burning around them.
  • God has musical instruments in Heaven. It will be interesting to hear the sound that they make because it will probably be nothing like anything we have ever heard before.
  • We will also sing songs that were sung here on earth. Here the song of Moses is mentioned.

Revelation 21:1-5 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

  • The earth will be totally new with only land and without any oceans.
  • New Jerusalem will be built in Heaven and will descend to earth.
  • There will be no death, sorrow, crying, or pain.

Revelation 21:9-27 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17 And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

  • Jasper – "The mineral takes a high polish and is used as a gemstone. It is usually stained by impurities and occurs in various colors, such as red, green, yellow, and blue. When the colors are arranged in bands, the mineral is called riband jasper; a variety containing alternating bands of red and green is known as Siberian jasper. Mottled yellow or brown varieties of jasper are called Egyptian jasper." Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2005 © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
  • However, the jasper in Heaven will be clear as crystal. The gold will be like clear glass.
  • The New Jerusalem will be like a crystal city, but instead of being made of glass, it will be made of gold and precious stones.
  • There will be no night in Heaven, so time will end. We will not have to stop because we are tired nor will we need to get rest so that we can enjoy the next day.
  • There will be perfect security in Heaven from enemy attacks.
  • There will not be any evil, lying, or wicked action in Heaven.

Revelation 22:1-5 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.

  • The city will be clear as crystal, and so is the water.
  • The tree of life is still alive and will be in Heaven.
  • With the buildings made of transparent materials, there will not need to be any lights inside the mansions.
  • Heaven will last forever and ever. It will not end.

This puzzle piece is an important part of the subject of Salvation because it helps give us a fear of the Lord that the Bible tells us is so important for the Christian to have.

Matthew 12:36-37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Matthew 13:47-50 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Matthew 25:29-46 For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Acts 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Hebrews 10:26-31 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

2 Peter 2:1-9 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds); 9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

2 Peter 3:7-12 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Jude 1:14-16 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

Revelation 20:10-15 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Luke 12:4-5 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Romans 11:18-25 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold 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. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.

2 Corinthians 5:1-11 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Philippians 2:10-12 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Hebrews 12:25-29 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Conclusion

The Calvinist position has several salvation puzzle pieces, and the Arminian position has several different salvation puzzle pieces. In addition, there are a number of additional puzzle pieces that neither group has that are needed to complete the salvation picture. When we take all of the puzzle pieces and put them together, we are able to see a much more complete salvation picture.

The Catholic church, in an attempt to make people Christians, baptized babies to make them "Christians". The Protestant church today has recognized the error of baptizing babies to attempt to save them and make them Christians. However, the majority of churches today have adopted a similar method but with a different element than baptism. They get people to say the right words to accept Jesus as their Savior and then pronounce the person a Christian and tell them that they will go to Heaven (regardless of what they do or what sins they continue to commit – Once Saved Always Saved, Eternal Security). It is the same error that the Catholic church preaches in a different package.

The Great Commission has two parts: evangelism and discipleship. It is important that we witness to people and help them accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. After they accept Christ, it is equally important that we teach them to do everything that Jesus has commanded us in the Bible to do. We need to teach them to remain faithful, and live in obedience to Christ the rest of their lives so that they are ready to meet Christ when He comes to take them home.




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The Missing Key to Spiritual Maturity

In the fall of 2007, Willow Creek church released the results of their three million dollar research into the effectiveness of their church program and 30 other churches. They were shocked to find that they were not bringing people to spiritual maturity. What they thought would produce spiritual maturity was not. They believed that the more people participated in church programs the greater spiritual maturity it would produce. They found that the amount of involvement in church programs had no correlation with the depth of someone’s spiritual maturity. What makes this mistake so significant is that Willow Creek is a church that has 12,000 churches in their Willow Creek Association, and has taught thousands of pastors how to “do church” to produce church growth. To some degree, Willow Creek Church has influenced how most churches today “do church”. “And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14)


What is the answer to helping people come to maturity in Christ? Take another look at the Great Commission. The answer is there. We have been focusing on the first part of the commission – evangelism – and have overlooked the second half thinking we know what it is saying. But look again at what Jesus says in giving us the Great Commission: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19) The missing key to spiritual maturity is teaching others Christ’s commands in the New Testament and teaching them to follow the commands. An excellent subject for Bible study is to take each of Christ’s commands and study them. There is a list of Christ’s commands on this website.



Discipleship, Spiritual Maturity, and Christ’s Commands

Jesus defines a disciple as one who follows His commands. A person who is spiritually mature is one who knows Christ’s teachings in the New Testament and who follows them with all his or her heart, soul, mind and strength. The following passages of Scripture over and over stress the importance of doing what Jesus says to do:


Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.


Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.


John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.


John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.


John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.


1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.


2 Corinthians 2:9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.


Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion [cometh] not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.


Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.


1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort [you] by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, [so] ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.


1 Timothy 6:14 That thou keep [this] commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:


Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.


Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;


James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.


See Also

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Study for yourself what the Bible says about turning the hearts of the fathers to their children.

How to Turn the Hearts of the Fathers to the Children
The key for lasting revival. Many fathers feel inadequate in knowing how to turn the hearts of their children to them. Here is the answer from the Bible.

The NIV Report
The most significant subject facing the Church: The Bible and what has been removed, added and changed in modern translations in the name of scholarship. When two different translations say different things, which one is truth?

God Does Not Dwell in a Temple Made With Hands
A number of passages of Scripture that drive this point home. A church building is not needed for us to meet God, nor is it needed for the center of church life.

The NIV Report (Condensed)
The most significant subject facing the Church: The Bible and what has been removed, added and changed in modern translations in the name of scholarship. When two different translations say different things, which one is truth?

Home 'Sunday Schooling'
The answer for the Spiritual education of our children in the home church. In the House church we have the freedom to look at what God’s design is for the spiritual education of the children and implement that rather than feeling like we have to make our home church a small replica of the conventional Sunday school.

Totally Rethinking Church Part 2: Sheep - a Key to Understanding God's Design for the Church
Lessons learned from how sheep feed, will totally reshape your understanding of God’s design for the house church and how people are fed spiritually.

Myths About the Headcovering
There are a lot of false teachings about the head covering, false teachings that have been passed from commentary to commentary, from professor to student, from pastor to lay person. We have heard them so often many believe them to be true, but research shows clearly that they are false.

Is Music Amoral?
There is a debate among Christians: Is music itself amoral? That question, while appropriate to ask, is actually viewing music from the wrong perspective, or more specifically from too limited a perspective. It is amazing how much of the debate centers around the opinions of people and very little is based on the Bible.

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