In this final lesson lets look at two scriptures used by those who try and uphold the doctrine of "once saved, always saved". First lets consider John 10:27-29. Verse 28 of this section of scripture is what I want to focus in on first. Jesus makes a statement there concerning his sheep that "they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand". Now, those who teach that its impossible for a child of God to be lost, point out the words, "they shall never perish," and that God is big enough to keep us in his hand. That is what the Bible teaches, as long as we are one of his sheep or children and stay within the sheepfold. But the Bible teaches its possible for the sheep to go astray, Matt. 18:11-14, and much rejoicing occurs when the sheep is found. Why does the rejoicing occur? Because a sheep was lost, but then it was found. The application of this parable is that Christians are the sheep and can go astray and be lost by not living as God directs.
As far as God being big enough to keep us in his hand, HE IS, and he is also big enough to remove us from his hand if we dont follow his teachings. It does make a difference how we live as children of God. Remember Pauls statement to the Galatian Christians in Gal. 6:7. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap".
In Acts 8 there is one named Simon who had obeyed the Lords command as stated in Mark 16:16, when Jesus said, "he that believeth and baptized shall be saved". Verse 13 of Acts 8 says Simon believed and was baptized, making him a child of God. But because of his conduct, listen to what Peter said to this Christian. In verses 21-23, Peter said to this child of God "thy heart is not right in the sight of God". Peter said also "For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity". Peter told him to "Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee". This is a clear example of an erring child of God who was lost and needed to repent and pray in order to be restored.
In 1 John 3:9 is another verse that is sometimes used to teach a child of God cannot be lost due to the fact he "cannot sin". But cannot does not mean impossible, for in 1 John 2:1 it says "My little children, these things write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous". If a Christian cannot sin, then why did John tell them to sin not? If a Christian cannot sin, then why is there a need for an advocate with the Father? What John is saying here, is that a child of God does not practice sin. The child of God living his life as God directs, cannot at the same time live a life of sin. That is what is impossible to do, for "no man can serve two masters" Matt. 6:24.
Now concerning Rev. 3:5, I think
everyone would agree that if a persons name is written in
the book of life, he is saved. Its says, "He that overcometh,
the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot
his name out of the book of life". But what if he doesnt overcome, is there any
doubt as to what will take place? In order not to have our names
blotted out of the book of life we must be "faithful unto
death", then Jesus will give us "a crown of life",
2:10. Concerning God the Father, 1
Peter 1:17 says "who without respect
of persons judgeth according to every mans work, pass the
time of your sojourning here in fear". "He that hath an
ear, let him hear........".
If your name is in the book of life, you are certainly one who has been saved. But Rev. 3:5 implies that your name can be blotted out of the book of life. Therefore, since, one's name can be blotted out of the book of life, one needs to daily overcome the temptations in life. Only by overcoming daily these temptations, can one expect to remain in the book of life, or the fold of God.