We are The Temple: Outer Court Part 1-b Saved, Or Not
As we look at our being God’s Temple and Priest, we see our first duty is to take those who enter our outer court area to the cross of Calvary, where sin is defeated and sinner is redeemed. That leads me to answer questions recently raised in a conversation with some who believe we can lose our salvation. It leads me to answer the questions, “Who are truly saved? And can that salvation be lost?”
I don’t pretend to have all the answers. There are many passages that appear to say salvation can be lost; and there are many that say, “No way!” I give my opinion, and I encourage you to be like the men of Berea and search it out for yourself.
The following passage is one that many use to prove salvation can be lost to us:
“… in the case of those who HAVE ONCE BEEN ENLIGHTENED and have TASTED of the heavenly gift and have BEEN MADE PARTAKERS of the Holy Spirit, and have TASTED THE GOOD WORD OF GOD AND THE POWERS OF THE AGE TO COME, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame..” (Hebrews 6:1-8 NASB)
There are three words we must understand to find the message here: enlightened, tasted (X2), and partakers.
Enlightened – having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook; spiritually aware; handed light; introduced to truth; made aware; made or enabled to see.
Enlightened says they heard and saw, and they may have even believed, but it does not say that they chose to receive and profess it as their reality. It did not become their who.
Tasted – to perceive or experience the flavor of; to eat so as to experience.
To me this speaks of curiosity: to get a feel for the flavor, try it out, see if it is desirable. They may have tried it out, but this seems to indicate that they did not take to it so as to make it their source of nourishment and life. They again did not choose it as their own.
Partakers (partake) – To take or have a part or share; participate; sharers; partners; companions.
All of these speak to me of a trial period, a participation and companionship that does not prove wholehearted commitment. They may have been sincere in desire to be part of the group, but their motive, intent, and purpose was not true – set on the same mark.
“…For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God…”
This part of our passage speaks of those who are committed and true. They bear vegetation that is useful to God because they received the Seed and the care that makes for growth. They are proven true of faith, believers with committed purpose, fruit bearing trees.
“…but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.”
These are people who were sown with Seed from God, but they held to the seed of this world and produced the crop that proved alliance with the ungodly. This says they are “close to being cursed.” That says to me that the true Seed was still there, though dormant. These can still choose to receive that Seed and the nourishment needed to produce proof of a true salvation. I see this in people who are in love with this world and refuse to give it up. If they continue to refuse the true Seed, they will be burned with the rest of the thorns and thistles.
I believe the truth we must focus on in this debate on the loss of salvation requires a true measuring stick in determining who is saved. For that, we look at The Seed (Read Mark 4:2-9 NASB and 4:13-23 NASB)
“”Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow…”
The Seed is the Word of God, the Truth, which technically is wrapped up and made evident in Jesus. The sower of the Word is God. He uses us most of the time, but He can get the Word to people without our help.
“…as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up….”
The birds are Satan. These were given a taste of God’s Word, but they have no chance to decide they want to have it as their eternal nourishment as the enemy of God robs it away from their understanding.
“…Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. …”
These tasted, but their hearts were infertile and unable to do anything to sustain the seed. They had no depth of understanding, and no real desire for the commitment required. They may hear the Good News with joy, but they don’t want to be nourished so as to live by it. So the seed dies and they walk away.
“…Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. …”
These, too, may receive the Word with joy, and the Seed May even be able to put down some roots, but, as Jesus explains it, “the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” These May even stay with us, but they won’t truly be one with us, because their roots are shallow and their commitment is divided. They are a fruitless tree.
“…Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” …”
Here, The Seed finds good soil and will grow to produce much Fruit. They may have times of struggle, but it only leads to more growth. They may stumble, they may even be a prodigal for a time, but they always return home, and they never stop producing fruit.
This verse says some will produce 30 fold; some 60; and some 100. From my personal experience, as well as seeing and hearing the experience of others, we will most likely go through seasons of 30, then a hundred, then 60, and so on: but the fruit of a true and growing relationship with the Sower is always there. God’s desire is that we set ourselves to grow 100%, trusting Him for even the smallest of produce.
For this reason, speaking of knowing the difference between those who are true and those who are false, Jesus said, “So then, you will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-23 NASB).
If we are bearing fruit in keeping with righteousness, He who lives in us, keeps us and makes us stand as belonging to Him. No one and nothing can take us from His hand.
“…And He was saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.””
Thus you have the reason I believe that one who is true in God cannot lose their salvation. Only the true are truly saved.
Realize, too, Beloved, that God made us to be people who bear fruit with its Seed in it. When we bear forth and drop fruit, the Seeds are planted in the soil sown.
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:18-20 NASB)
Beloved, we are not called of God to go and sow seeds to save souls. Too often I see people who live by the philosophy that we are in the business of saving souls, walk away and leave the Seed untended. We are not called to save souls – only God can do that. We are called to “MAKE DISCIPLES!”
Disciples are people taught to feed on the Word and grow strong in following that Word so as to bear fruit in keeping with the righteousness found there. An Evangelist, called to spread the gospel, must be careful to work with groups they know will be faithful to water and fertilize that Seed sown until disciples sprout forth. Never leave your Seed untended. Remember the wisdom of Paul who said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7 NASB)
Romans 8:37-39 NASB
Romans 14:4 NASB