T H E S I S # 15
The Bible is a disclosure of the character of God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Scripture is an account of the fall of man into sin, his need for a redeemer, the promise of a redeemer, and the coming of the promised redeemer.
We are redeemed because a) our God is a Redeemer, and b) we entered into His redemption. Had we not entered we would be where we were, on the other side of good, submerged in spiritual darkness, outside of His kingdom.
Some believe all will eventually be included in God’s kingdom, most entering after many years of imprisonment in hell. And yet it seems clear Judas, Christ’s betrayer, is eternally lost. (“It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”)
God redeems, but not all. Satan has no redeemer, nor his rebel angels. But we escaped eternal wrath though they did not. Thanks be to our God!
We have a Redeemer! We have a Redeemer! We have a Redeemer! Praise be to our God, we have a Redeemer!
Many (most?) within evangelicalism are of the opinion the redeemed can never become un-redeemed; once saved always saved. Such a thought is called ‘eternal security’. Born-agains will never (can never!) lose their salvation, no matter how they live out their lives, no matter what choices they make. And yet….
Back to Judas. If Judas really was a follower of Christ (a christian), and if he ended up in eternal hell (the NIV translates Jesus calling him “the one doomed to destruction”), is that not an indication every christian could fall from grace and join Judas in that horrible place?
But was Judas really a christian?
We know Judas was chosen by the Lord Jesus to be an apostle; does the Lord choose non-christians to be apostles? Also, we know Judas betrayed our Lord (only a friend can betray, and Jesus did call him, “Friend”); one might ask how a non-christian, a non-friend, could betray Christ. Also, Jesus said to His Father, “Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition”. Isn’t this proof Judas was once in the kingdom of God?
Certainly many could counter this logic with another to support ‘eternal security’. But perhaps it’s sufficient to say the one flirting with sin, the one drifting from the protection of our very Good Shepherd, is dumber than that guy who sold his birthright to his brother for some stew.
What is more precious to us than our redemption? Perhaps the majority of evangelicals are right when they say we can never lose our salvation. And perhaps not. Why risk it?
If we were whole we would live out our lives in awe and appreciation of our priceless redemption, never forgetting. When we arrive in heaven we will at last be entire and entirely grateful. The greatness of our redemption demonstrates the greatness of our Redeemer. Both are beyond our ability to comprehend.
The Old Testament and the New are disclosures of the character of our God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We have three “pearl[s] of great price”. All Three are alike. There are three like our Christ, and all are ours. We are extremely wealthy.
Lord Jesus added much revelation of the heart and character of our God when He became the man we are.
Many mistakenly think the stern God of the Old Testament is different than the loving God of the New. God changed somewhere between Malachi and Matthew. And yet “Jesus of Galilee” was plenty stern. And the ‘Old’ God was plenty loving.
God is love and God is holy and God is justice. What does a blending of love and holiness and justice look like? It looks like Jesus.
What does the blending of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22) look like? It looks like Jesus. And it looks like the Father. And it looks like the Holy Spirit.