Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Let me tell you a story about our family, the human family. This story belongs to all of us, because this story tells what is true about all of us.
Once upon a time you were an enemy of God. You were born into a family of rebels who long ago broke away from God. They hated Him and had a proud history going back many centuries of opposing His leadership in their lives. But by your own actions many times over you proved that you rejected God's way of life and His right to rule over you just as vehemently as any other human ever has. (And some of you still do.)
But God, it turns out, is a King like no other. Instead of squashing this feeble rebellion, which He could have easily done, God's heart reached out in love to reclaim His rebellious subjects. He sent His Son to die for them and through the death of His Son, He has brought back to the former state of loving harmony those who believe on His Son's name.
Now God has a plan for these repentant rebels, these prodigals. At the end of time when He presides in judgment for good or ill over all His creation, He will present those whom He reconciled by His Son as trophies for His glory. He will keep them unblemished by this world. Their holiness will be above suspicion. They will showcase His great love and grace towards those who previously rebelled against Him, if they persevere in their reconciled state. You see, if they are to fulfill God's purpose for them, then these redeemed ones must continue established and immovable in their faith in the Son. They must not trade in the hope they have found in Him for some other supposed means of reconciliation to God.
This is the battle that those who accept the Son face, to stay true to their faith even as they live in a world that constantly tries to tear them away from Him. They face temptation on every side. Temptation to embrace evil and temptation to move their hope from Jesus to some other counterfeit option. If they are to bring glory to His name on that last day, then by His power at work in them they must persevere in the faith. The true mark of genuine salvation has always been that it perseveres to the end.
Where do you see yourself in this story? Are you still opposed to God, hating and opposing His leadership over your life? If so, then look closely at the loving sacrifice of Jesus and allow it to change your view of this God (John 19). Are you one of the prodigals reconciled by the blood of the Lamb? If so, be on your guard. Stand firm in the faith to the end, so that your faith will not have been in vain, so that you may be found blameless on that final day. Cling to the cross of Jesus. Hold fast to the gospel of grace for in it alone lies your salvation and no one can snatch you out of His hand (John 10:27-30).
For further reading...
- John 19- Read the crucifixion story and be reminded of the price of your salvation.
- Matt 10:22, Matt 13:20-21, Matt 24:12-14, John 10:27-30, 2 Tim 2:11-13, & Heb 6:4-8- Check out these passages which speak of true salvation enduring to the end. Admittedly this biblical teaching can be confusing, however I do not understand these passages to teach that a true believer can lose their salvation. Rather I understand them to teach that true salvation is proven true by the fact that it perseveres to the end. As always I stand before God and His Word ready to be corrected if I am wrong.