Honestly, I have to confess that there was a period in my life in my upper college and seminary time when I had a difficult time with doubt and questions about the eternal security of salvation. . That period of time was very rough, but also led eventually to a much more solid affirmation of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I want to share briefly a bit of my testimony in order to more clearly define my devotional here.
I was born into a marvelous Christian family, an only child. When I was seven, on the last night of a revival, I asked jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior.
Drilled in the Word of God through church, though our family devotions, and in high school through Youth for Christ, I had felt the call of God to go into missions, but that’s a time for another devotion! Following college, I went to Seminary, met my husband, and there ran into a professor who shall remain unnamed. I graduated from college in 1970 and during those college years, the “God is Dead” theology was rampant, even in my Baptist college. (By the way, I’m so glad to see the “God is NOT Dead books and movies coming out! I wish they had back then!) By the time I met that seminary professor, satan (I refuse to capitalize his name), had been doing a lot of work on my assurance. “Did you really know what you were doing when you said you received Jesus? Did God really save you?” OK, you get the picture. It’s only when you ARE a believer that the devil begins his attacks! Well, that professor said that one could be saved, and lost, and if so, never saved again. UGH! And he said so with such seriousness that I just really got it that he really thought so.
One of the Scriptures that professor used was Hebrews 6:1-8. If you don’t really carefully study that Scripture, it almost looks as though he could have been right, so Hebrews was not one of my favorite books in the Bible for a long time. One of the phrases that almost threw me was in verse 4 “and have partakers of the Holy Spirit) . But my hubby-pastor and other wonderful Christian leaders really helped me understand differently. I became quite confident through such Scriptures as John 3:16, John 10:28-29, Romans 8:1, and 1 John 5:13. But I not-so-smartly tried to avoid Hebrews until last year.
My Sunday School class material was on Hebrews. I team teach a ladies’ class, teaching once a month. Guess which Scripture I was to teach? You got it! Hebrews 6. Dr. David Jeremiah was was the General of the material. He had also preached two series of sermons on Hebrews in his TV ministry. Somehow, this all came together! Basically, those first 8 verses are warning us not to drift away from the Lord’s offer of salvation. Unfortunately, today too many preachers are peaching a message that salvation is far too simple. Salvation comes when one is made aware of one’s sins and realizes that he/she is in need of Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior. It involves repentance, which is much like a military “About Face!” command. One turns from following his/her will and not only expresses godly sorrow for his/her sins, but turns from them in humble acceptance that what Jesus did when He died of the cross is for them. It is a commitment to a fresh and intimate relationship with God Almighty through his Son Jesus.
I’m reminded of the parable of the sower when I say that not all who initially come looking for salvation go far enough. It’s easy to not truly get sufficiently grounded in salvation, to not realize the depth of commitment that salvation calls for. Back to those words in verse 4 “and have been made partakers of the Holy Ghost”. Many have even gotten a taste of the Holy Spirit (note the difference between just “partaking” or “tasting” of the Holy Spirit and truly so committing to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior that they are filled and overflowing with the power of the Holy Spirit, who seals the true believer unto the Day of Judgement. But here’s where the rest of chapter 6 of Hebrews, and indeed, the rest of the book of Hebrews gives a true believer real confidence! Here’s the Scripture and then my comments furth.
9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Hebrews 6:9-20 (KJV)
These Scriptures tell us that there are two ways in which God uses God’s call to Abraham that He would bless him and that he would become the father of many nations is an example that when God promises something, it WILL happen! So, God’s PROMISES are to be believed!
But then, God confirms His promise with an oath, a swearing, if you will, that He will keep that promise. God’s promise that “whosoever believeth in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” is backed by the crucifixion and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. God ‘s character is love and truth. He cannot lie. (John 14:6). He could not swear by anyone higher, so He swears by Himself that all He promises will come to be! So by both His PROMISES and HIS oath, we can have an assurance of salvation so strong that even satan cannot pull us from God’s Almighty righteous right hand! Hebrews goes on to share how Jesus Christ is the ultimate High Priest, the only one who can ever forgive, cleanse and make us right with His Father. If you truly come to Him in genuine repentance, the salvation He gives can and will be an anchor to your soul even in the roughest seas of life. Anchoring our souls in faith on the Rock of Ages is the key to eternal life with God in Christ. The Holy Spirit does seal those who truly come to Christ until the Day of Judgement. Friends, as the old hymn says, “my anchor holds and grips the solid rock. I pray yours does, too.
If you have come to know Him, go on to deepen that intimate relationship you have with Jesus through prayer, through study of His Word, through being active in a Bible-believing church and fellowship with other believers. Hang on! Your anchor, your salvation in Jesus is totally anchored and secure, if you have truly come to Him in repentance and faith. If not now’s a great time for you to get on board!