|Today’s Scripture: Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:10-13|
|One of the Scriptures that many people use to “prove” that you can lose your salvation is 2 Timothy 2:12. At first look, that’s what it seems to indicate. The first half of the verse seems to indicate that if we suffer for Christ, we will be rewarded and reign with him, but the second half shows the opposite – that if we deny Him, He will deny us entry into Heaven. The problem is they use that verse and completely ignore the next verse that contradicts their theory.
The next verse takes it a step further. Instead of stopping where we deny Christ like Peter did when he was accused of knowing Christ at His trial, this verse goes so far as to say we stop believing. God tells us that even if we get to the point where we don’t believe, He will remain faithful. Why? He cannot deny Himself. You may ask, “What does that mean? How does that affect my eternal security?”
The answer lies in the character of God. God has offered salvation to “whosoever”. He said that “whosoever believeth on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) This is a promise – anyone that believes should not perish but have everlasting life. 1 John 2:25 tells us about God’s promise, “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” God cannot lie. (Numbers 23:19) Therefore, what He says must come to pass. He cannot promise eternal life to someone, and then back out of His promise because one of His creatures changed his mind. We don’t have the power to make God’s Word void. Our denial of Christ cannot cause God to forsake us. We are stuck in His hand, and “no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:29) THAT INCLUDES OURSELVES!
If we are secure in Christ, what is 2 Timothy 2:12 talking about? The answer lies in the context. Paul is telling Timothy that he is enduring persecution for the sake of Christ. First, Paul tells Timothy that if we are dead in Christ, we will live with Him in eternity – this is a faithful saying. We can face persecution knowing that in the end, we will be with Christ. Second, if we suffer for Christ, then we will receive rewards in Heaven for staying faithful through it. However, if we cave in under the pressure, we will be denied those rewards we could have received. Lastly, in verse 13, Paul again explains that our eternity in Heaven is secure, even if we not only deny Christ, but actually, in our heart turn away from Him. We can rest secure in our salvation because God cannot deny himself.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.