As they sometimes say, it’s not how you start but how you finish. That can be said about our relationship with Christ. Some people seem to start off with Christ but with time their apparent relationship with Him dies. The question is, what is the eternal status of such a person?
I know that is a loaded question. Be it far from me to try and discern true believers from those who are not. That is the Lord’s business and His alone. But we know that not everyone who claims to be or even appears to be a believer is a true believer. I believe the biblical perspective is that in order to be saved, one must endure until the end.
Consider these words found in the book of Hebrews: “For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (Hebrews 3:14). According to this verse, genuine partakers of Christ endure until the end. This does not mean true believers can’t get off course along the way. Sometimes, they do. But if and when they stray from the way, they don’t cast off their faith. A true believer’s convictions about Christ are neither wishy-washy nor seasonal.
When we became born again, something miraculous happened to us. Through this divinely imparted work of the Holy Spirit, we became partakers of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. One quality of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is faith (see Galatians 5:22). This supernatural faith is transformative. Every genuine believer has it. And since the Holy Spirit remains with us until we depart this life, so does this quality of the fruit of the Spirit called faith. It is this faith that enables us to endure until the end.
We must be careful to not judge another person through the lens of our own experience. Each one of us is on a journey with God. No two persons’ journeys are exactly the same. Sometimes, it may appear to us that a person is not a true believer. It may seem as if they are always struggling. They never seem to get the upper hand in life. But perhaps—just perhaps–if we were in that person’s shoes, we wouldn’t handle the situation nearly as well as they do.
We are not saved by works but by grace through our faith in Christ. None of us can dot every “i” and cross every “t” in our walk with Christ. But again, that is not the requirement for salvation. We are called to live by faith–not by works. And it is those who endure until the end who shall be saved.
Copyright © 2018 by Frank King. All rights reserved.