Why do you keep stressing the need for endurance? (Part 1)


This is a good question, and it is an important issue that needs attention as it can have eternal consequences when it is not rightly understood.   It can be misleading for those who believe the concept that “once saved, always saved” is biblical.

One commentator, promulgating this erroneous concept states that, “If salvation can be lost, this requires a reversal of regeneration. This means the born again must become unborn again. And if they subsequently repent, then they must become born again again. Can a man also be born again again again? Where does it end? Is regeneration really so transient?”

The simple basic flaw in this argument is that its supporters believe that they are born again now.   It is also often the case that such a belief goes hand in hand with going to heaven at death.

The true Church of God has consistently taught that we are begotten in this life and will be born again at the resurrection.

It is interesting to note that, many years ago, a well-known British entertainer said that when he became a Christian, he asked what this would entail.   He was told that he would not have to change anything in his life but to just believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Many have been fed that lie over the years, and it goes hand in hand with the “once saved always saved” approach.

We have consistently written about what becoming a true Christian really entails.   When someone “gives his heart to the Lord,” there is usually no reference to Acts 2:38 which states: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’  Repentance, baptism by immersion and receipt of the Holy Spirit are the beginnings of conversion, plus living the rest of one’s life pleasing in the sight of God by keeping His Commandments.

Interestingly, Mr Michael Link wrote an editorial, “Once Saved, Always Saved” in 2014, and he made these very relevant comments about staying faithful to the end of our lives or Christ’s return:

“And in Revelation 2:10 Christ tells us to ‘be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.’

“What is given to us can also be taken away.  When we turn back, we will lose what had been offered to us. Only when we overcome until the end, will we be saved (Matthew 24:13; Revelation 2:26).  This is a lifelong process that God requires of us: to be faithful continuously, to pray continuously, to be vigilant and strong continuously, to give comfort and love to one another continuously, to put ALL trust and confidence in Him continuously, and to obey Him continuously.  When we continue to do all of that until the end, then we will be saved.” 

In addition, we published a two-part series a few years ago showing that the “Once Saved Always Saved” concept believed by many in mainstream Christianity is a false erroneous belief.  We will quote briefly as appropriate from these Q&A’s, and they can be retrieved and reviewed in full via the following links:

https://www.eternalgod.org/q-is-it-correct-to-say-once-saved-always-saved-or-can-true-christians-lose-their-salvation-part-1/   and 


We give this explanation: 

1.  We are saved now.   After we repent and are baptised, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).   At that point, we are saved from the penalty of death from our past sins.   However, it doesn’t mean that we are finally saved and that we could not lose the salvation which we did receive.

2.      We are being saved – it is a process of growing in grace and knowledge.

3.      To be finally saved, we must endure to the end.

For very good reason, we continue to stress the necessity to remain faithful to “The Way” to which we have been called to live to the end of our lives, or to the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.   Nothing less will do.  Matthew 24:13 is a very important verse that some may feel is not particularly relevant as they believe that once someone is “saved,” they are “always saved”.   Nevertheless, this is vital information that we ignore at our peril: “ But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

However, there is a consideration which we will also address in part three of this series about when dementia strikes and many can lose their memory and don’t recognize any longer their calling.

In Revelation 3:11, is further evidence that we must not give up on our calling: “Behold, I come quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” This verse clearly shows that we can lose out and can lose our crown.

It has been said that pain is temporary but quitting lasts forever.   Never could this be more so than in the life of a true Christian.   Doesn’t that truly sum up what we have to avoid at all costs? 

Everyone reading this Q&A will, no doubt,  have had their fair share of trials in life; perhaps many are still struggling with difficulties, maybe some life-threatening problems, but we know that God will not test us more than we are able to bear as it states in 1 Corinthians 10:13 which reads in full: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

What does quitting mean, and why is it something that so many have done down through the ages?   Doesn’t that truly sum up what we have to avoid at all costs?   Quitting lasts forever, especially in the Christian life!  This has happened to those who have been baptised in the Church of God right down through the ages and we may all have seen this in more recent times.  But however low we may feel at any time, quitting this Way of Life is not the answer.

Discouragement at times happened to some of the great men in the Old Testament, for example, Moses, Job, Elijah, David, Jonah and Jeremiah.  Such discouragement was temporary, something that we can all feel at times, but they all picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and got on with it, as we must do if we ever find ourselves in such a situation.

In Matthew 26:55-56 we read that “In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “’Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” Not just some of the disciples but ALL of them fled.   They must have been massively discouraged, but the Scriptures show that this was temporary and that they didn’t quit. Perhaps in their heart of hearts, they fully understood that quitting does indeed last forever.  It was not the disciples’ finest hour but they regrouped to do the Work that was laid out before them, and didn’t quit.

These examples were about temporary discouragement that we can all feel, but they realised that this was the way to go, and they spent the rest of their lives thoroughly involved with the Work that they were instructed to pursue.

We just cannot afford to quit, whatever our circumstances.   Let us review just some of the verses that show that if we do quit, we can lose our opportunity in the Kingdom of God.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, we read a passage of Scripture where Paul shows that he could miss out or be disqualified:

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

The sub-heading of this passage in some Bibles is “striving for a crown,” showing that the apostle Paul was still striving until the end of his life and did not intend to quit before the finish line.   This shows that he knew the reward was an eternal gift that was worth all of the effort needed now.

This clearly shows that we are in a race, but it is not a sprint or a short race. It is more like a marathon where we spend the rest of our lives, from genuine repentance and baptism at the outset, to passing the winning post at the end of our lives in order to receive an imperishable crown. 

Putting this in comparison with our calling, athletes give themselves completely to their physical race as we should do with our spiritual race.  The analogies, that is a comparison of two otherwise unlike things based on resemblance of a particular aspect, can be helpful and serve as an aid in understanding and comprehension of any given situation.  It is certainly an excellent comparison that is reliable to all of us.

We have to live the Way of Life to which we have been called, renouncing the world and its ways and not being diverted in any way from our chosen path.   As athletes untiringly pursued their course, so must we.   We must not grow weary over the years; particularly, when we have the winning line in our sights.

We read further about this giant, Paul, in the New Testament in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 with the sub-heading this time in some Bibles being “Paul’s Valedictory” which means “bidding farewell”:

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Paul said that he had finished the race. He had been faithful to the end. He had made it, showing that it was necessary to do these things throughout his life – even to the very end.

(To be continued)

Lead Writer: Brian Gale

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