Monday, February 25, 2013

Can A Sheep of Christ Ever Perish? Part 1

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I andMy Father are one (John 10:27-30).

These words of our Lord Jesus give us full assurance that His sheep cannot perish. But one must be a sheep, a true believer in Jesus Christ. One who claims to be a Christian but has little or no though for God's claims on his life may not be a sheep at all. The Shepherd thinks too much of His sheep to loseeven one. The Father gave them to the His Son and He gave His life for them. They have eternal life. It would not be eternal life if they were saved for only a period of time and then lost again; it would be temporary life life!

It is true that the child of God might fail the Lord who bought him, but that is a discipline matter between the Father and His child. The believer-sheep is a child of God whom He loves. he deals with His children as sons and daughters, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son (Hebrews 12:6 NIV). 

Fellowship versus Safety
When a child of God sins, his fellowship is broken but not his relationship. Is a child of earthly parents afraid of losing his relationship if he is disobeient? Do parents say, "If you don't behave yourself, you are not my child anymore"? Must parents threaten their child with a broken relationship to obtain obedience? The heavenly family is not unlike an earthly family: the more a relationship is experienced and enjoyed, the greater will be the communion nad desire to please our loving Gof and Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who bought us and to whom we belong.

We should not think we must work to keep saved any more then we must work to be saved. The security of the believer does not depend upon himself, but on the perfect work of the Savior. It is not a question of our holding on to Him but His holding on to us. All believers are equally saved, although not all have equal peace and spiritual and emotional contentment. Our prayer life and our right response to His words are essential to a life of communion with Him. But our eternal safety is the Good Shepherd's responsibility. With His persistent love He seeks, preserves and finally presents to Himself every believer spotless and glorified (jude 24). We must carefully distinguish the truths about fellowship and safety.

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