Monday, November 24, 2014

On-and-off Salvation---Max Lucado

On-and-off salvation never appears in the Bible. Salvation is not a repeated phenomenon. Scripture contains no example of a person who was saved, then lost, then resaved, then lost again.

Where there is no assurance of salvation, there is no peace. No peace means no joy. No joy results in fear-based lives. Is this the life God creates? No. Grace creates a confident soul who declares, "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day" (2 Tim. 1:12 NIV).

Of all we don't know in life, we know this: we hold a boarding pass. "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13). Trust God's hold on you more than your hold on God. His faithfulness does not depend on yours. His performance is not predicated on yours. His love is not contingent on your own. Your candle may flicker, but it will not expire.

Do you find such a promise hard to believe? The disciples did.

On the night before his death, Jesus made this announcement: "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee" (Matt. 26:31–32).

The promise was lost on Peter. "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble" (v. 33).

Satan would attack and test Peter. But Satan would never claim Peter. Why? Because Peter was strong? No, because Jesus was. "I have prayed for you."

Jesus' prayers hamstring Satan. Jesus prays for you as well: "Holy Father, keep them and care for them – all those you have given me – so that they will be united just as we are. I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony" (John17:11, 20 NLT).

Will God hear the intercessory pleas of his Son? Of course he will. Like Peter, we may be sifted like wheat. Our faith will wane, our resolve waver, but we will not fall away. We are "kept by Jesus" (Jude v. 1 NIV) and "shielded by God's power" (1 Peter 1:5 NIV). And that is no small power. It is the power of a living and ever-persistent Savior.

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