Sign of Life #10--The True Believer Continues in the Faith to the End.

 

1. ETERNAL SECURITY means that the true believer is safe and secure in Christ forever. Eternal security is clearly taught in the book of Hebrews. Find the verses in Hebrews that teach us these facts about our eternal security in Christ (the chapter is given; you must find the verse):

Hebrews 5:_____ Salvation is forever ("eternal salvation").

Hebrews 7:_____ God is able to save completely ("to the uttermost").

Hebrews 7:_____ Christ never stops interceding for His own.

Hebrews 9:_____ Our redemption is forever ("eternal redemption").

Hebrews 9:_____ Our inheritance is forever ("eternal inheritance").

Hebrews 9:_____ Christ appears in God’s presence for us (on behalf of His children).

Hebrews 10:_____ Christ has perfected forever His saints.

Hebrews 12:____ God chastens (not condemns) His children.

Hebrews 13:____ Christ will never ever leave us and He will never ever forsake us!

Does the writer of the book of Hebrews teach that the true believer is safe and secure in Christ forever? _______

2. HEBREWS 3:6.     What is Christ’s house today (compare 1 Tim. 3:15 and Matt. 16:18)? __________________________. Christ is the Builder and the Head of this house. Who is Christ’s house today (Heb. 3:6)? _________________________ If a person does not "hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end" then what does this prove? ___________________________________________________________ Think of scaffolding which is erected around a building during times of construction or repair. Scaffolding is merely a temporary attachment. It is not a real and genuine part of the building. Proof of this is in the fact that the scaffolding does not continue with the building but rather it is taken down and removed. If a person is truly a part of Christ’s house, then what will that person do according to Hebrews 3:6? _______________________________________________________________________________     

3. HEBREWS 3:14. The verb "are made" is in the perfect tense, meaning that we have become partakers of Christ with the result that we are (and continue to be) partakers of Christ. A "partaker" is a partner, one who shares in common, participates with. A true believer is a partaker of Christ. He shares in Christ’s LIFE. He is united to Christ in a unique way. How many believers are partakers of Christ (Heb. 3:14), that is, how many believers have Christ and share in His LIFE (see 1 John 5:12; John 6:47)? ________ When did you become a partaker of Christ? THE MOMENT I __________________________________________

Will a true "partaker of Christ" ever stop being a partaker of Christ (compare Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:5; Rom. 8:38-39; etc.)? ______ If a person has truly become a partaker of Christ, then what will he do (Heb. 3:14)? _________________________________________________________________________ The word "hold" means "hold fast" (it is the same word as in Heb. 3:6). If a person does not "hold fast the beginning of his confidence stedfast unto the end" (see Heb. 3:14), then this indicates that this person never truly became a P___________________ of Christ. He was just a temporary attachment.

4. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:2. The expression "keep in memory" means "hold fast" (the same word as in Hebrews 3:6 and 3:14). If a person does not HOLD FAST to the gospel which Paul preached, then this would show us that the person was never really S_____________. In other words, this person did not believe to the _________________ of his ____________ (see Heb. 10:39), but he believed _____     ___________ (see 1 Cor. 15:2).  Is there a difference between genuine saving faith and a faith that is IN VAIN? _______ If a person really has saving faith, then he will HOLD FAST to the gospel that was ________________ unto him (1 Cor. 15:2). A person believes in Christ and is saved. Twenty or thirty years later, we should expect this person to say something like this: "I am still trusting my Lord Jesus Christ who died for me and rose again for me." On his deathbed (assuming he still has his mental faculties) he will still echo this truth: "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesusí blood and righteousness!" If he is trusting something or someone else, then something is drastically wrong.

5. COLOSSIANS 1:22-23. True or False: _______________ God will present EVERY BELIEVER holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight (Col. 1:22; see Jude 24-25). If a person does not "continue in the faith" (see Col. 1:23), then what does this indicate (circle the correct answer):

  1. The believer will lose his salvation.
  2. God is not able to keep the believer from falling away (see Jude 24).
  3. The person was never a true believer in the first place (just a temporary attachment) and this is why he did not continue in the faith.
  4. The person will stop being a saint.

Continuing in the faith is one of the marks of a true believer. There are certainly times when we fail and falter, when we waver and wander. Remember Peter who denied his Lord three times. But the Lord prayed for Peter that his faith would not F_________ (Luke 22:31-32). Peter’s faith certainly faltered, but he recovered, and ultimately his faith did not fail. He remained a faithful believer to the end of his life. This does not mean that believers need to keep themselves saved and only those believers with enough stamina and persistence will qualify for heaven. Even Peter knew that believers are "kept by the ______________ of ________" (1 Peter 1:5). The reason believers continue in the faith is because God keeps His believers faithful. Though we must hold fast to Him and cleave to Him always, yet it is not ultimately our hold upon Him, but His hold upon us that keeps us safe (see John 10:28-29).

6. LUKE 8:6,13. What is the one thing that is SIMILAR between the seed that fell on the rocky ground and the seed that fell on the good ground (compare verse 6 and verse 8)? _________________________________________________________________

Rocky Ground (verse 6)

corn2.gif (7868 bytes)

Goof Ground (verse 8)

If you were to walk by these two growing plants (the one on rocky ground and the other on good ground) would you notice any difference at first? _______ What one thing is needed before you would be able to tell the difference (circle the correct answer):

  1. Rain would be needed.
  2. Time would be needed.
  3. Fertilizer would be needed.

So it is with those who claim to be believers. At first, how do they receive the Word (see verse 13)?______________________  Do they CONTINUE to receive God’s Word even unto the end? _____ For how long do they believe (v.13)? ____________________ Is this genuine saving faith or is it merely temporary faith? _________________________ When things get rough and tough what do these so-called believers do?______________________________ Do they continue in the faith grounded (having deep roots) and settled (compare Col. 1:23)? _____ Would you say that their faith is "in vain" (1 Cor. 15:2)? _______ They lack deep roots!

Read Luke 8:15. Those on good soil not only hear the Word but they also _____________ it. This word "keep" (Greek-katecho) is the same word which we found in Hebrews 3:6 (HOLD FAST) and Hebrews 3:14 (HOLD) and 1 Corinthians 15:2 (KEEP IN MEMORY). The true believer hears God’s Word and KEEPS IT (holds fast to the Lord Jesus even to the end) even as the Corinthian believers HELD FAST to the gospel which Paul preached unto them (1 Cor. 15:2).

In John 3:16 (and numerous other passages) the verb “BELIEVETH" is in the present tense indicating that the action of the verb is continuous: "whosoever believeth (keeps on believing, continues to believe) in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." In light of this verse, circle the answers below that are true:

  1. If a true believer does not continue to believe, then he will lose his salvation (see John 10:28).
  2. A true believer will continue to believe. A true believer never stops being a believer. A true believer never becomes an unbeliever (although he may fail to trust God in many ways in his day by day walk). A true saint keeps on believing on Christ.
  3. A true believer takes hold of Christ, holds on to Christ and never lets go. He is anchored to the living God forever (Heb. 6:19).
  4. From the day he is saved to the day he breathes his last, the true believer must confess that Christ is his Saviour, God is his Father, the Holy Spirit is his Comforter and heaven is his home. There are times when he may not be spiritually healthy, indeed he may be quite carnal and fleshly, but he is able to tell you who his Saviour is. His hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!

Do the people described in Luke 8:13 continue to believe? _______ Are they true believers?______ Does a true believer draw back unto eternal destruction (Heb. 10:39)? _____ The writer of the book of Hebrews speaks for all true believers when he says, "We are ______ of them who _____________     ___________ unto _______________________" (Heb. 10:39), but on the contrary, the true saint is the person who believes to the "_________________ of his ____________." In Luke 8:15 the word "PATIENCE" means "endurance" (abiding and remaining faithful under the pressures and hardships and trials of life). Only the seed that was on the _____________ ground HELD FAST to the Word and ENDURED to the end. This brings us to point seven found in the following paragraph.

7. MATTHEW 24:13 (compare Matthew 10:22). Will the tribulation be a difficult time of testing and a severe time of trial for the true saints of God (Matthew 24:21-22)? ______ When the going gets rough, what happens to those who do not really have saving faith (Luke 8:13)? _________________________________________ If the church you attend were suddenly to come under the fires of persecution, do you think it would be more evident who the true believers really are? _____ Do you think you might notice a drop in attendance under conditions of persecution (if life and limb were threatened)? ______ If a person in the tribulation does not ENDURE (same word as in Luke 8:15–"patience") to the end, what does this indicate (Matthew 24:13)?  Circle the correct answer: a. His defection proved that he lost his salvation. b. His defection proved that he was never really saved in the first place. Those who are truly saints in the tribulation will do what (Matthew 24:13)? ______________________________________________________________________  
                 Answer the following True or False:

________ To be saved an unsaved person in the tribulation must endure to the end (see Acts 16:30-31).
________A saved tribulation saint will endure to the end. God will preserve him and carry him through.
________The reason a tribulation saint is able to endure to the end is because he is saved and kept by the power of God.
________ If a person claiming to be a believer does not endure to the end and decides instead to identify with the Antichrist and his system (by taking the mark, etc.), this proves that his profession was not a true possession.

Remember, enduring to the end is not something that a person does not be saved; it is something that a saved person does. It is an evidence of salvation not a condition of salvation.

8. THE SHIP OF FAITH illustration (ACTS 27:22-25,31,44).

The Ship of Acts 27

In Acts 27 we have the account of Paul and others in his ship being caught in a violent storm. From every indication it seemed that all the men would perish in the sea.  But God had other plans. How many of the crewmen would be lost (Acts 27:22)? __________How many would be saved (Acts 27:24)? ______ Who said so (Acts 27:25)? ________ Although the safety of all on board was promised by God, in verse 31 Paul warns them to ______________ in the ship. This warning was necessary because in verse 30 we learn that the crewmen were about to abandon ship. If they had left the ship, would they have been saved (verse 31)? _____ Did they ALL remain in the ship as Paul told them to do in verse 31? ______ Were they ALL saved (verse 44)?_______ ship1.gif (8595 bytes)

The Ship of Faith

Every believer is on the ship of faith (John 6:47; Acts 16:31). Will any of these believers be lost (John 10:28-30)? _____ Who said so? __________Even though the safety of all true believers is promised by God, yet God still gives strong WARNINGS to believers and tells them to TAKE HEED lest they should __________________ from the living God and become APOSTATES (Hebrews 3:12). God encourages believers to STAY IN THE SHIP (see Col. 1:23"_____________________ in the faith"; Acts13:43"__________________ in the grace of God"; Acts 14:22"___________________in the faith"). ship2.gif (8595 bytes)

Just as God used Paulís warning as a MEANS of keeping the crewmen safe, so God uses many warnings (such as we find in Hebrews 3:6,12,14; 1 Cor. 15:2; Heb. 10:38; etc.) as a MEANS of keeping the believer safe and secure in Christ forever. In a similar way, a loving parent may gave a young child very strong warnings about the dangers of walking out into the street. The purpose of these warnings is to keep the child safe. The parent could reassure the child by saying, "You will not be hit by a car if you stay off the road and donít even go near the road." It would be foolish to say, "You will not be hit by a car so you can go anywhere you want to go." Likewise God would never say, "Since you are saved and eternally secure, you can live any way you please and you can turn away from Christ and abandon the faith if you wish."

Think again of the illustration in Acts 27. Who was it that really kept the crewmen safe (circle the correct answer):

  1. The crewmen kept themselves safe because they remained in the ship (v.31).
  2. God kept the crewmen safe (v.24).

Now apply this to the believer and circle the correct answer:

  1. The believer keeps himself safe and secure in Christ by continuing in the faith.
  2. God keeps the believer safe and secure in Christ (1 Pet. 1:5; John 17:12).

Answer True or False:

_______ The true believer is like a man on a ship. He may fall again and again on the deck, but he will never fall overboard.
_______ Judas’ fall (betraying Christ) was fatal, thus proving that he was never a true believer.
_______ Peter’s fall (denying Christ) was fatal, thus proving that he was never a true believer.

Peter fell hard on the deck, as it were, but did he recover (Luke 22:31-32)? _______ Does God keep us apart from faith (whether we keep on believing in Him or not) or does God keep us through faith (1 Peter 1:5)? ___________________________________________________ God keeps us faithful!

9. JOHN 10:27-30. Who are the only ones who can claim the promises given in verses 28-30 (see verse 27)? _________________________________________ A true SHEEP does two things according to verse 27:  1) __________________________________________ 2)___________________________________ If a person does not listen to God’s Word and does not follow Christ, what must we conclude? ________________________________________________

10. PRACTICAL EXAMPLES.

A. "I was once a member of a young people’s gospel team. We were all saved, and we had some success in preaching the Gospel. But one member of the team got into worldly company. He married a very worldly girl. He denied his Christian profession of faith, and he died a drunkard. Now you see, he was a Christian; he went to heaven; but he was a carnal Christian and he did not have the reward of a spiritual Christian."  We know that only God knows the hearts of men, yet, in the light of our study, would you say that this person was probably saved (as the above paragraph claims) or probably unsaved? _____________________

Note: Were the Corinthian believers carnal (1 Cor. 3:1-4)? ______ Would these Corinthian believers continue in the faith unto the end (1 Cor. 1:8)? _________ Beware lest we use carnality as an excuse. Many who might claim to be carnal believers might be headed for eternal destruction. Paul assumed that the Corinthian believers were HOLDING FAST to the gospel that he preached to them (1 Cor. 15:2). Some who think that they are carnal and think they will be saved so as by fire will really be lost so as by fire (the lake of fire). Some who think they will be saved by the "skin of their teeth" will actually be lost in the lake of fire where there will be "weeping and gnashing" of their teeth.

B. A chapel speaker once said, "Dear young people, there are two ways to go to heaven, the spiritual way and the carnal way. It is so much better to take the spiritual way!" One young person thought to himself, "I am a Christian, but I do not mind sitting in the bleachers. I choose to go to heaven the carnal way!" In light of our study, do you think this is the attitude a true believer should have? _______

C. Many people profess to be Christians, but their daily lives do not differ from thousands of unbelievers all around them. They are rarely, if ever, found at the prayer meeting. They have no family worship; they seldom read the Scriptures; they will not talk with you about the things of God; their walk is thoroughly worldly; yet they are quite sure they are bound for heaven! You ask them how they know they are saved and they will tell you that many years ago they "accepted" Christ and "once saved always saved" is now their comfort. Are they really giving evidence that they are truly saved? ______It’s true that if a person is once saved, he will always be saved, but each person needs to make sure that he is really saved ONCE FOR ALL, FOREVER by the grace of God!

D. Thomas Cranmer was the moving force of the Protestant Reformation in the mid 16th century in England. In 1555 he was excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church in Rome. As pressures mounted Cranmer weakened and he even signed a statement in which he denied the Christian faith. Just before he was to be put to death by Queen Mary (who was strongly Catholic and who caused almost 300 people to be burned, thus earning for herself the name "BLOODY MARY") he renounced his denial, and once more and in the strongest terms declared his faith in Christ. In dramatic fashion he showed how he felt about his denial of the principles of the Reformation. The hand which had signed the denial he held firmly in the flames until it was burned to a crisp. Then the flames scorched his body, and he died the death of a martyr. Do you think you will someday see Thomas Cranmer in heaven (Rev. 2:10-11)? ___________.

Congratulations, you have complete the NEW BELIEVER NOTES.  You have looked up hundreds of verses and we trust that God has taught you precious truths from His Word.  If you send us these pages, we will be happy to correct them and return them to you.

George Zeller
Middletown Bible Church
349 East Street
Middletown, CT 06457

May you have and enjoy God's very best in Christ Jesus!


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