Few issues vex the Christian like the matter of eternal security. It confuses many believers and haunts them with unresolved questions:
- Can I be sure that I won’t lose my salvation? - What if a sin is committed that’s too big to be ignored by an all-seeing God? - What if there’s a point where too much worldliness creeps into my life? - Is it possible that I might arrive at the great day of judgment only to find my name crossed out of the Book of Life?
Such thoughts rob too many Christians of the peace and joy they should enjoy as God’s adopted children.
When I first heard John MacArthur’s sermon, “The Perseverance of the Saints, Part 1,”I was one of those people who needed answers. And in one hour of teaching, Pastor John illuminated my mind and erased many years of confusion. For the first time I was able to understand that God is fully sovereign in both spiritual regeneration and preservation—profound truths explained simply and clearly from God’s Word.
John begins the message by explaining the doctrine of perseverance—that God’s chosen people will persevere in the faith. He shows irrefutable biblical testimony that no one can snatch God’s redeemed from His eternal safekeeping (John 10:27–29).
Even more helpful was that John anticipated every objection I had and provided biblical answers to each one. He did this in large part by spending a significant amount of time explaining what perseverance does not mean, as he pastorally steered between the erroneous ditches of perfectionism and libertinism. An enduring faith requires God’s preservation as much as it does His instigation. John says:
The grace is from God and so is the faith. And what kind of faith does he give you, a temporary faith? If saving faith is a gift from God, then what kind of gift would God give you? He would not give you a temporary gift of faith. And if your salvation depends upon a human faith, I will promise you that it will die. If we could lose our salvation, we would lose it (emphasis added).
Pastor John concludes by examining the life of Peter—a wonderful portrait of someone who persevered through many failures to the end of his earthly days and even wrote Scripture on the subject.
“The Perseverance of the Saints, Part 1” is a sermon that is both convicting and comforting. It will convict those who take their salvation for granted and comfort those who need the blessed rest of assurance.