ECHO Devotional: Day 6 – What Happens if I Quit?

What Happens if I Quit?

“For you have need for endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”  (Hebrews 10:36, ESV)

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”  (Hebrews 10:39, ESV)

When my son Hayden was a small child we wrestled, would play fight, would bounce on the trampoline, and do all kinds of rambunctious things together.  I would throw him in the air and catch him.  He was a very active and really fun little guy.

One particular game we would play was a battle wherein Hayden would get trapped by me when I would python grip him between my knees, and I would squeeze him anytime he tried to escape.  Many times I would let him go, acting like he was stronger than me, saying, “Good job, buddy!  You’re so strong!”

The truth is if I wanted to hold him, even against his will, I could, right? 

Well, sort of.  As long as there wasn’t a force stronger than me pulling him away, he would be safe and secure in my grip.

I often ask people, “Can a person lose their salvation?”.  The three typical responses fall into these categories:

  1. No:  Once saved, always saved.  If a person is truly saved then they’ll continue in the faith and will not quit.  If a person does quit or if they never really change, then they weren’t really ever truly saved in the first place.
  2. Yes:  If a person doesn’t continue in following Christ, walking in the light, then they will lose their salvation.  They will not be glorified to live with him in Heaven forever.
  3. I Don’t Know:  It seems like there are a lot of Bible verses that warn against sinning and falling away, and there are equally a lot of verses that address our security and the power of God’s promises to glorify all whom he justifies.  I don’t really know how it all works out, I’m just hoping for the best.

Dear friends, you absolutely MUST get a strong personal conviction about how powerful the grip of God’s grace and love is to hold His children.

No one should go through life wondering about this steadfast sovereignty.  The Word of God is very clear in what it says about truly knowing God and your personal salvation.  Understanding this is key, as is recognizing what it means if you or a person you love quits the faith.

IF YOU ARE TRULY SAVED…

1.  God will finish what He started in you.  He will give you all the help you need to endure until the end.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 1:6, ESV)

“…who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful . . . “  (I Corinthians 1:8-9, ESV)

2.  He keeps you saved. When you commit your life to Jesus Christ, and from your heart believe in Him, then He is powerful to keep you in His grace; He will continually cover you and save you until the end.

“I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.”  (II Timothy 1:2, NLT)

3.  Jesus Keeps You From Falling Away.  The Bible refers to sin as stumbling.  We all stumble, and ultimately stumbling is termed “falling away”.  If you are saved, you don’t have to fear falling away.  Jesus is powerfully working in you to keep you from falling away.

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.”  (Jude 1:24, ESV)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF A PERSON QUITS?

  1. The measure of belief held was not actually saving faith; saving faith holds on

“I want to remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.”  (I Corinthians 15:1-2, ESV)

It is possible to hear the message of Jesus, believe the story it relates, and not hold on to it.  If a person doesn’t hold on to it—that is, let it become there own deep, personal standard of truth—then they were never saved.  If they hold firmly to it, then they are truly saved. 

2. They were never truly saved; being truly saved is evidenced by continuing

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us.  But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”  (I John 2:19, ESV)

God’s grace is powerful enough to keep close to Him the people who are truly saved. In quitting, it is evidenced that this mighty power is not present in the quitter’s life.

3.  They never were known by Jesus

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  … I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you; away from me, you evildoers.”  (Matthew 7:21, 23, NIV)

Knowing God requires being known by Jesus through relationship with Him.  This means there is genuine submission to His will and His way of life. He must be Lord.

What about You? 

Is there evidence in your life of true repentance of ongoing and willful sin?  Are you playing with fire by just casually hanging around God and claiming His ways to better your life without genuine faith, worship and surrender to Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?

If so, you can change right now.  Repent.  Turn your heart.  Open up your life completely to the power and work of the Holy Spirit.  Today is a brand new day.  Praise God for all the ways He has kept you from quitting and all the ways He keeps winning you over with His kindness and love.

QUESTIONS

Have you ever noticed all the times you have actually tried to quit, but something kept bringing you back?  What do you think that something is?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What works best with keeping you engaged in walking out your faith— warnings? pain? hard times? kindness? loving compassion?  How would you explain this?  When was a time God broke through as you were perhaps checking out or already checked out?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What is a typical catalyst event or situation that causes you to drift or want to quit faith?  Is it an ongoing addiction or habit, doubt, unbelief, or lack of know-how?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Getting God’s word and love rooted deeply requires removing stones from your soil and getting all of the competing voices and drives out of your heart.  What are several things you can do to help deepen your walk with Christ and allow God’s word to root in deeply into your life?  ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

PRAYER

Thank you, Father for always coming through.  You always turn the light on at just the right time.  You always protect me and your love keeps me even when I drift so far from you.  Lord, I want to be close and stay close to you.  Thank you for choosing me.  Lead me in my next steps and empower me to follow through.  I need your help, God.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

NEXT STEPS

  • ONE-ON-ONE DISCIPLESHIP – Do you have someone who is actively pouring into your life and helping you grow?  If not, you need to seek out relationship with someone who can help you over the long haul.  Start by connecting with an Anchor Group at www.myanchorchurch.com/groups.
  • BAPTISM – if you have never been baptized after receiving salvation, go to myanchorchurch.com/baptism and register for baptism today.
  • GROWTH TRACK – register today for Step 1, 2 or 3 in the Growth Track at www.myanchorchurch.com/growthtrack.  Then tell someone about what is happening in your journey to Know God.

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