“Wait for the Lord. Behave yourself manfully, and be of good courage. Do not be faithless, but stay in your place and do not turn back.” – Thomas a Kempis
“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.” – George Mueller
We live in a very pressurized time. There are so many things pushing us to conform. Conform to the “new sexuality”. Conform to new standards of marriage. Conform to the newest theory about God. We are facing trials of faith and we must stand strong. Jesus saw a time coming like the one we live in:
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
“Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.
“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” (Matthew 24:4-26)
Why is this all so important? Because in the Bible we have two doctrines that create tension. One doctrine, pushed by Calvinism, is that once you are saved, you will always be saved and God knows who is going to be saved. This had led some Calvinists to stop doing altar calls. They reason that whoever is going to get saved will get saved. There are other denominations that believe you can lose your salvation. This is seen in the extreme beliefs of the Armenians—we are moments from slipping into hell.
If you read the Bible with a clear eye, you will see that the Bible suggests both things. You can be saved forever, yet you can lose it. So, let’s not spend our time arguing which one is right—they are both right. I say, let’s not lose it. Let’s work on living a life that is marked by what Thomas a Kempis says: “Wait for the Lord. Behave yourself manfully, and be of good courage. Do not be faithless, but stay in your place and do not turn back.”
Your salvation is gift and this is through the grace of Christ in the heavenlies. The Holy Ghost power that I am walking is the power that will rule eternity well past this present age. We get glimpses of the glory we are going to live for eternity in the next world. “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” (C. S. Lewis) The closer we come to the end of time, the more frequent and the more intense the expressions are. You have the same Holy Ghost in you that created the universe, that raised Christ from the dead, you have the same Holy Ghost in you.
I believe that backsliders can come back to Christ. I also believe that people can become so indifferent or so deceived or so indifferent to their need that they can’t come back, that their faith dwindles to nothing.