NEW believers may have many fears troubling their minds when they first come to Christ; they may be afraid they will not be able to persevere to the end. I have heard other new Believers say: "If I were to give my heart and soul to CHRIST and then later on I find myself becoming indifferent, and hesitant about my new faith in Christ what shall happen to me then? Will I be strong enough to overcome my fears and finish my race to enter into the Glory of Heaven itself? Or will I fall to the wayside and return to my former ways of the world and be left behind swallowed up by the world and unable to recover all that I believed to be true about Christ, and God’s Holy Word? Isn't it true that our self-righteousness is like the morning cloud, and as the early dew, which comes suddenly, lasts for a season, promises much, and vanishes! It appears that the fear of falling away for new Christians has often been the cause of those who have been afraid to trust in Christ for everything for all eternity, and they have failed because they had a temporary faith, which was never solidly grounded in the Truths of God’s Holy Word! They started out trusting in Jesus to some degree, but went astray trusting In their own abilities and perseverance for their heavenward journey; therefore they started out confident in themselves and as a natural result made the fatal error of returning to trusting in themselves to continue forward! Even as Christians, who rest in Christ for our salvation, we shall fail if we trust in our strength for anything. For it is impossible for a length of CHAIN to ever be any stronger than its WEAKEST link! If Jesus is our greatest hope for everything, except ONE THING! then we shall utterly come to disaster because of THAT ONE THING! I have no doubts that a misunderstanding about the perseverance of the saints has derailed many who did run well for a season! What stopped them that they could not continue to run the race set before them? Their fatal error was they went astray the moment they first trusted in themselves and not in Christ, therefore they stopped short because they trusted in their own works! If you look to Christ for the beginning of your works, be sure you are NOT looking to yourself for the final finish of your Works!! Christ is The Alpha and The Omega! When you began in the Spirit you must never hope to be made perfect in Christ by your own works. Oh, that God, by the Holy Spirit, may give us a clear understanding by which we shall be preserved until the day of our Lord's appearing!
Paul spoke about this subject of falling away when he wrote to the Corinthians: [Our Lord Jesus Christ], who shall also confirm you unto the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Christ our Lord!] This language tells us that it is provided in whatever manner the Lord makes a provision, and we can be sure that there will be a need for it! What God has provided we shall surely need. Between this hour and the Ending of all things, every promise of God and every provision of the covenant of grace will be brought into place. The urgent need of the believing soul is confirmation, continuing on, final perseverance, and preservation to the end. This is the great necessity of the most advanced believers, for Paul was writing to the saints at Corinth, who were men of a high esteem , of whom he could say, "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given to you by Jesus Christ." Such men are the very persons who most assuredly know that they must have a daily need of new grace if they are to hold on, and hold out, and continue to be conquerors to the last hour of their journey . If you were not saints you would have no grace, and you would feel no need of more grace; but because you are men of God, therefore you feel the urgency for the daily demands of your spiritual life.
A marble statue of a man requires no food, bread or water; but the living man hungers and thirsts, and he rejoices that his bread and his water are made sure to him, or else he would certainly faint along the way. The believer's personal needs makes it mandatory that he should daily draw from that great source of all supplies; for what would he do if he could not look to his Holy God for remedy? This is true of the most gifted of the saints--of those men at Corinth who were enriched with all utterance and with all knowledge. They needed to be confirmed to the end, or else their gifts and attainments would prove to be their ruin. If we had the tongues of men and of angels, if we did not receive fresh grace, where would we be? If we had all experience and were fathers in the church and we had been taught of God so as to understand all mysteries--yet we could not live a single day without the divine life of Christ flowing into us in the power of the Holy Spirit! How could we hope to hold on for a single hour, to say nothing of a lifetime, unless the Lord should hold us? He who began the good work in us must perform it unto that day of Christ, or it will be a painful failure. This great necessity comes very much from our own hearts. In some there is a painful fear that they shall not persevere in grace because they know their own fickleness!
Some men are constitutionally unstable. Other men are by nature conservative; and others are as naturally variable and volatile as the butterflies who flutter from flower to flower, until they visit all the beauties of the garden, and settle upon none of them. They are never there long enough in one place to do any good; not even in their business nor in their intellectual pursuits. Such persons may be afraid that after, twenty, thirty, forty, perhaps fifty years of continuous religious watchfulness will be a great deal too much for them. We see men joining first one church and then another, until they themselves realize they walk in circles . Such men have a deep abiding and meaningful need to pray that they may be divinely confirmed, All of us, even if we have no inherent temptation to fickleness, we must acknowledge our own weakness if we are to be sincerely quickened by HIS HOLY SPIRIT. Isn’t it true that we find enough in any one single day to make each of us to stumble? There is that within our hearts which should make us watchful and humble before God. If HE does not confirm us, we are so weak that we shall stumble and fall; and become overtaken by our own carelessness! Lord, be our strength. We are weakness itself.
Besides that, there is the weariness which comes with a long life. When we begin our Christian profession we mount up with wings as eagles, further on we run without weariness; but in ourbest and truest days we walk without fainting. Our race may seem slower, but it is more stable and better sustained. I pray God that the energy of our youth may continue with us so far as it is the manifest power of the Spirit and not the mere working of our proud flesh. He that has long been on the road to Heaven finds that there was good reason why it was promised that his shoes should be iron and brass, for the road is rough and we discover there are Hills of Difficulty and Valleys of Humiliation; and there is a Valley of Death, and, worse still, a Vanity Fair--and all these are part of our journey . If there be Desirable Mountains (and, thankGod, there are,) there are also Castles with a high standard of what a Christian should be! Haven't you found it true that If we were to lock ourselves up in the Most secure Prison cell of a mighty fortress, we can still be confident that temptation will follow us; for as long as we cannot escape from ourselves and we cannot escape from our depraved nature with which we all are born with ! Lord, be our strength. We are weakness itself. Besides that, there is the weariness which comes of a long life. When we begin our Christian profession of faith we mount up with wings as eagles, and further on we run without weariness; but in our best and truest days we walk without fainting but our pace becomes slower, but it is more useful and better retained.
I pray God that the energy of our youth may continue with us so far as it is the energy of the Spirit and not the mere Workings of our fallen nature. He that has for a long time been on the road to Heaven finds that there was good reason why it was promised that his shoes should be iron and brass, for the road is rough and rocky and he will discover that there are Hills of Difficulty and Valleys of Humiliation; and that there is a Valley of Death and, worse still, a Vanity Fair and all these challenges will assault us!. If there be Mountains of great pastures of peace and rest (and, thank God, there are,) there are also Castles of Despair, the inside of which pilgrims have too often seen. Considering all things, those who hold out to the end in the journey of holiness will be "men wondered at." For the days of a Christian's life are like so many Colors of mercy threaded upon the golden string of divine faithfulness. In Heaven we shall speak of the angels, and principalities, and powers, the unsearchable riches of Christ which were spent upon us, and enjoyed by us while we were here on earth! We have been kept alive on the brink of death and Our spiritual life has been a flame burning in the midst of the sea, a stone that has remained suspended in the air. It will amaze the heavenly host to see us enter through the pearly gates, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ!
We should be full of grateful wonder if we are kept for an hour; and I trust we will be. If this were all there would still be enough cause for anxiety; but there is far more. We have to think of what this world which we live in. The world is a howling wilderness to many of God's people. Some of us are greatly given unto the providence of God, but others have a fight of it. We begin our day with prayer, and we hear the voice of holy song often in our houses; and yet many good people have scarcely risen from their knees in the morning before they are assaulted with blasphemy. They go out to work, and all day long they are vexed and challenged with filthy conversation as righteous Lot in Sodom. Can you today even walk the open streets without your ears being Ringing with foul language? Your world is no friend to Grace! The best we can do with this world is to get through it as quickly as we can, for we dwell in the enemy’s country as strangers from another country whose builder and maker is God Himself! A criminal lurks behind every bush. Everywhere we need to travel with a "drawn sword" in our hand, or at least with that weapon which is called constant prayer ever at our side; for we have to contend for every inch of our way. Make no mistake about this, or you will be rudely shaken out of your deceptive delusion. O God, help us, and confirm us to the end, or where shall we be? True religion is supernatural at its beginning, supernatural in its continuance, and supernatural in its ending. It is the work of God from first to last.
There is great need that the hand of the Lord should be stretched out still: that need I know my reader is feeling now, and I am glad that he should feel it; for now he will look for his own preservation to be the Lord who alone is able to keep us from failing and to present us faultless before the presence of His Glory with exceeding Joy! - End, by a Church Member