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Perseverance of the Saints: What does the Bible teach about Remaining a Christian?. Alex Chen Austin Chinese Church. Acknowledgments. Systematic Theology textbook by Wayne Grudem Various sermons and books by Paul Washer (missionary) and Ray Comfort. Perseverance of the Saints.

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perseverance of the saints what does the bible teach about remaining a christian

Perseverance of the Saints:What does the Bible teach about Remaining a Christian?

Alex Chen

Austin Chinese Church

acknowledgments
Acknowledgments
  • Systematic Theology textbook by Wayne Grudem
  • Various sermons and books by Paul Washer (missionary) and Ray Comfort
perseverance of the saints
Perseverance of the Saints

“What percentage of children raised in evangelical homes leave the church at age 18 never to return?”

  • 30%
  • 60%
  • 90%
perseverance of the saints4
Perseverance of the Saints

Doctrine will answer these 2 questions:

  • Can true Christians lose their salvation?
  • How can we know if we are truly born again?
can true christians lose their salvation
Can true Christians lose their salvation?

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me; And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:38-40)

can true christians lose their salvation6
Can true Christians lose their salvation?

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me; And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:38-40)

can true christians lose their salvation7
Can true Christians lose their salvation?

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1)

  • Completely rescued from law of sin and death
  • Losing salvation implies going back into condemnation
can true christians lose their salvation8
Can true Christians lose their salvation?

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will 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 the Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

can true christians lose their salvation9
Can true Christians lose their salvation?

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will 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 the Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

can true christians lose their salvation10
Can true Christians lose their salvation?

God describes His purposes in salvation as an unending chain of events that cannot be broken

“And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

  • All of these apply or none of them
  • Those who were justified (now), were also predestined and called (past)
  • Those who were justified (now) he also glorified (future)
  • “Glorified” is used in the past tense because it’s a certainty!
can true christians lose their salvation11
Can true Christians lose their salvation?
  • “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
  • The saved are those, “Who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:5)
    • The God who saves someone will keep that person saved
but we need to examine ourselves
But, we need to examine ourselves
  • “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” (2 Cor. 13:5)
  • If the Bible teaches that those who are truly saved
    • have eternal life
    • will never perish
    • are justified, glorified
    • guarded by God’s power
    • will be sustained until the day of Christ

… why does the Bible teach us to

examine ourselves?

many people are deceived about their salvation
Many people are deceived about their salvation

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?‘

And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”

- Matthew 7:21-23

many people are deceived about their salvation14
Many people are deceived about their salvation
  • Some who call Jesus “Lord” were never saved
    • “I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23)
  • Many who are part of the church are not truly saved
    • “False teachers” (2 Pet 2:1)
    • “False prophets” (Matt. 7:15)
    • “False brothers” (Gal. 2:4)
some have an appearance of conversion for awhile
Some have an Appearance of Conversion for Awhile

Not always obvious who has genuine saving faith and who only has head-knowledge

  • Jesus said, “One of you will betray me”
  • Disciples suspected themselves rather than Judas:
    • “They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, "Is it I?" (Mark 14:19)
  • Judas was a false convert
    • “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil." (John 6:70)
some have an appearance of conversion for awhile16
Some have an Appearance of Conversion for Awhile

Parable of the Sower

  • “And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away” (Mark 4:16-17)
    • Show some signs of conversion
    • But when tribulation or persecution comes, nowhere to be found
    • Tribulation/tribulation/difficulty revealed the true condition of their heart (they were never saved to begin with)
some have an appearance of conversion for awhile17
Some have an Appearance of Conversion for Awhile

“They [false converts] promise them freedom but they themselves are slaves of corruption…

For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

What the true proverb says has happened to them: "The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire."

- 2 Peter 2:21-22

some have an appearance of conversion for awhile18
Some have an Appearance of Conversion for Awhile

“They [false converts] promise them freedom but they themselves are slaves of corruption…

For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

What the true proverb says has happened to them: "The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire."

- 2 Peter 2:21-22

many people are deceived about their salvation19
Many people are deceived about their salvation

Doctrine of True and False Conversion explains why the “Church” is no different from the world

  • “62% of Americans claim to have a “relationship with Jesus Christ that is meaningful to them”

But only “10% are a “breed apart”

- Gallup Poll

  • Divorce rate is higher for “believers” than non-believers
    • Divorce rate for “born-again" Christians: 27%
    • Divorce rate for those not "born again”: 24%

- Baptist Standard (January 2000)

http://www.baptiststandard.com/2000/1_12/pages/divorce.html

many people are deceived about their salvation20
Many people are deceived about their salvation
  • “75% of "born-again" Christians lie regularly - conscious, premeditated lies.”

- Save America Ministries

http://www.saveus.org/sam/lighthouse.htm

  • “More Christian teens watch MTV each week (42%) than non-Christians (33%)”

- Youth Leader Magazine (December 1995)

many people are deceived about their salvation21
Many people are deceived about their salvation

How do you explain these statistics on American Christians?

  • Only “10% are a “breed apart”
  • Higher divorce rate
  • 75% lie regularly
  • MTV viewing
many people are deceived about their salvation22
Many people are deceived about their salvation

Two Possible Conclusions

  • Becoming a Christian makes you more sinful and rebellious
    • Knowing God makes you a worse person
  • The vast majority of those who profess to know Christ are false converts
many people are deceived about their salvation23
Many people are deceived about their salvation

“The vast majority of people who are members of churches in America today are not Christians. I say this without the slightest fear of contradiction. I base it on empirical evidence of 24 years of examining thousands of people”

- Dr. D James Kennedy (Coral Ridge Ministries)

many people are deceived about their salvation24
Many people are deceived about their salvation
  • How can we know if we are truly born again?
  • We must go to scripture to determine our salvation because human heart is deceitful

“The heart is deceitful above all things,

and desperately sick;

who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

how can we know if we are truly born again
How can we know if we are truly born again?
  • Do I have a continuing trust in Christ for salvation?
  • Jesus will “present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard” (Col 1:22-23)
  • “For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” (Heb. 3:14)
  • “The one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt 10:22)
how can we know if we are truly born again26
How can we know if we are truly born again?
  • God’s Spirit gives us assurance that we belong to Him
  • “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:16)
  • “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (Eph. 1:13)
how can we know if we are truly born again27
How can we know if we are truly born again?
  • Bearing Good Fruits
  • “Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matt 7:17-20)
    • Bearing good fruit is evidence of being a good tree (saved person)
    • Bearing bad fruit is evidence of being a bad tree (unsaved person)
how can we know if we are truly born again28
How can we know if we are truly born again?
  • Fruit of sinful flesh: sexual immorality, impurity idolatry hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, envy, drunkenness, etc….
  • Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
  • Question is not: “Do I perfectly display the Fruit of the Spirit?
  • Question is: “Are these a general pattern in my life?
tests of assurance in 1 john
Tests of Assurance in 1 John

Book of 1 John Written so that Christians may have Biblical assurance of salvation

“I write these things 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

tests of assurance in 1 john30
Tests of Assurance in 1 John
  • Sensitivity to sin:
    • “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10)
    • God’s discipline (e.g. bringing conviction of sin) is evidence of being God’s child
      • “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons…If you are left without discipline…then you are illegitimate children and not sons” (Heb 12)
tests of assurance in 1 john31
Tests of Assurance in 1 John
  • Conformity to God’s will:
  • “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3)
  • “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (1 John 2:5)
    • Video camera illustration
  • “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” (1 John 3:6)
tests of assurance in 1 john32
Tests of Assurance in 1 John
  • Continuation in the Faith
  • “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.” (1 John 2:24)
  • Relationship with Believers
  • “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” (1 John 2:19)
  • “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers” (1 John 3:13)
tests of assurance in 1 john33
Tests of Assurance in 1 John
  • Relationship with God
  • “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12)
  • God calls us to embrace Jesus Christ for all that He is (Savior, King, Lord…)
  • We are to deny ourselves, take up the cross, and follow Him.
perseverance of the saints34
Perseverance of the Saints

“What percentage of children raised in evangelical homes leave the church at age 18 never to return?”

  • 30%
  • 60%
  • 90%
perseverance of the saints35
Perseverance of the Saints

“88% of children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of eighteen never to return.”

- 2002 report by Southern Baptist Council on Family Life

  • Why do 90% of children in Christian homes “leave” the church?
  • What is our responsibility as a church to make sure this doesn’t happen?
application
Application
  • Examine ourselves on a regular basis
    • Those who are saved: Seek God more so that we can grow in our love and knowledge of Him and bear more fruit for His glory
    • Those who are unsaved: Turn from sins and trust in Jesus Christ to save you and change you
  • Not to judge others
    • Parable of the Wheat vs. Weeds (Matt 13:24-30)
  • Stay faithful to the Biblical Gospel
    • Repentance and faith, NOT a decision
    • Repentance is impossible w/o a Biblical understanding of sin
      • “Sin is transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4)
application37
Application
  • Teach others what are the marks of a true Christian
    • Don’t want to lead others into a false hope
    • “You don’t tell men they are saved; you tell men how to be saved- God tells them they are saved” (Paul Washer)
application38
Application
  • Praise God because salvation is ultimately dependent on Him, not us
    • “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.” (Jude 24-25)
    • “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
big idea
Big Idea

The Perseverance of the saints means that

  • All who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power AND
  • The evidence for being born again is a changed life and persevering until the end
additional resources
Additional Resources
  • Study the Gospels and Parables for more insight into True vs. False conversion
    • Good tree vs. bad tree (Matt 7)
    • Wise vs. foolish virgins (Matt 25)
    • Good fish vs. bad fish (Matt 13)
    • Faithful servants vs. unfaithful servants (Matt. 24)
    • Wheat vs. weeds (Matt 13)
    • Good soil vs. bad soil (parable of sower) (Mark 4, Luke 8)
  • Study the book of 1 John for better understanding of Biblical Assurance
additional resources41
Additional Resources
  • “True and False Conversion” sermon
  • “Examine Yourself” sermon
  • Books
    • How to Bring Your Children to Christ
      • Biblical principles for leading children into a lifelong commitment to Jesus Christ
    • The Way of the Master
      • What does the Bible teach about repentance and faith? Why is this so important in preventing false conversions?
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