(Section from the book titled Which direction is the Church going to?)
This section can download in PDF form here: Can we lose salvation
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God calls us, but we must endure to the end of our lives so we don’t become unworthy in some way, because
„But he that shall endure until the end, the same shall be saved.” (Mat. 24.13.)
There are serious temptations on the way which even apostle Paul could not spare for himself. He writes about them in the verses of 1 Co 9.24-27:
„Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one received the prize? So run, that you may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beaded the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
King Saul’s example, how he became unworthy
Let us have a good look at the type of dangers that threaten us, due to which we might become unworthy, even if God has called us.
We have an example to demonstrate it with and study it, which is the story of Saul, the first king of Israel. King Saul was called and anointed by God through the prophet Samuel. Saul prophesied with the prophets, however, he suffered defeat in the denial of the flesh, therefore God rejected him. Let us have a look at it in detail why and how it could happen:
„Samuel also said to Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint you to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore heed the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass…”.
„And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the LORD to Samuel, saying It repented me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and had not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.” (1Sa. 15. 1-12.)
Saul knew the will of God, but he didn’t perform according to that:
– Against the expressed will of God he did not listen to the word of the Lord. He spared Agag and the best of the animals because he wanted to please the people.
– He was impatient, could not wait for Samuel to come and showed the offering instead of him. (He performed the ministry of someone else.)
– He had an altar built for himself after the victory giving glory to himself.
Despite the exhortation of Samuel he began to make excuses instead of confessing his sin.
We know that though God had rejected him as king and had chosen David instead of him, who was dear in the sight of the lord, Saul still remained a king for many years. Similarly, a lot of people are ministering nowadays despite the fact that God has already rejected them.
The message of the story of king Saul
We surely identify a lot of problems of ours when reading the story of king Saul. Cases come into our minds when God showed us what to do but we did not obey fearing that people might get hurt or even leave the church.
We must ask ourselves the question: Where am I now? What has the Lord called me for? Have I taken the place which is for me or perhaps the place of somebody else?
Or perhaps the Lord has already found me unworthy without me noticing it? Is it that I do not dare to confess my sins and repent only make excuses instead?
What kind of altars have I built for myself? Our church (some pastors say: my church) is the best!
What ways do we ensure publicity for ourselves – taking glory away from the Lord? (flags, coat-of-arms, marching songs, T-shirts with the name of our church on, celebration of anniversaries, etc.)
I’m the best, most successful pastor or church leader! I’m the best worship leader! My preaching is what people like most! I’m the best solo singer or the best musician!
Are these questions and statements familiar to us? The letter to the Laodiceans says:
“I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Rev. 3.18-19.)
We can see how important it is to stand our place, be in our own ministry and fulfill the will of the Father for us.
What should we do then?
– turn away from our sins,
– get filled with the Holy Spirit again and again
– find the will of God for us and fulfill it without fail,
– desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but above all to prophecy (build not only ourselves, but the Church, too),
– bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit (show visible fruit in what we do),
What are these fruits?
– Love from God: as it is described in 1 Co 13.
– Joy: What is the source of our joy?
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.“ (Luk. 10.19-20.)
– Peace, forbearance:
Not the way the world gives them. Could we praise God in prison like Paul and Silas did closed in pillory? (Acts 16.23 – 25.)
– Goodness: Do good actions accompany our faith in all cases?
– Faithfulness: How much can we remain faithful to the will of the Father day by day? Despite all trials can we stick to the Lord, our church and our brothers and sisters?
– Gentleness: Jesus sent out his disciples saying to them:
„Be as gentle as pigeons … ”
Do we behave like pigeons, disciples sent to the world? Are we disciples at all in the biblical sense of the word having been empowered by God, or just church members?
– Moderation: We should not carry matters to the extremes, because it is childish behavior. We should ask for wisdom from God!
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We need to remember, God anointed king, Saul, who prophesied at the beginning of his ministry after his ejecting he
- was ovecame by evil spirit (1 Sa 18.9) end descended to pursue God anointed new king, David his whole life,
- went to necromancer women in Endor in order to ask advice from dead spirit, calling Samuel’s dead spirit, (1 Sa 28.7- 25)
- and after that he was defeated by Philistim committed suicide. (1 Sa 31.4.)
For he as God anointed king rebelled agains God finished his life at last on this way.
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The whole book can download in PDF form here: