Of Perseverance of the Saints.
Chapter 17, Paragraph 3.
“… hurt, and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves: yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end.”
2 Samuel 12:14
Sin has consequences. It is not simply a “me and Jesus” thing. Not only does it grieve God and harm yourself, sin has the ability to wound others physically and spiritually. Temporal judgments may result due to your sin, for the Lord disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6).
God has been very severe with his people when they have sinned; it has cost them dear….Repentance is a costly thing. It is disgrace, sorrow and pain to a man, even though it is a grace and duty.
-Ralph Venning, The Sinfulness of Sin
When those who profess Christ fall, it is so easy to dismiss them as never truly believing. Scripture tells us, though, that those whom God has accepted in the beloved can fall badly, and fall for a time, and yet will renew their repentance and persevere to the end. When we hear of fallen Christians, we may automatically assume they were never truly regenerate. “If they were real Christians”, we think, “They would’ve known better”. Our standards are higher for our brothers and sisters in Christ than for unregenerate people – and well they should be – but we must be ready to admit that although Christians should not do “x” sin, it is possible to be a Christian and do said sin. There are those who profess Christ right now who are in gross sin. Are they truly saved? We do not know. Only when they repent is there hope that they are regenerated and will persevere.
Watch the news and view a litany of sin. All of that is possible for a believer to fall into. Currently white supremacists are receiving attention by the media. Some of these who think such vile thoughts claim to be Christians. Surely no true Christian commits such a sin as hate? Yet one would think that true believers would never commit premeditated murder. Or deny Jesus. David, a “man after God’s own heart,” deliberately put Uriah on the front line of battle. Peter vehemently denied knowing Jesus. Their repentance was accompanied by much weeping. What makes those of us who believe any different? May we soberly pray that we may be kept from sin!
Brethren, there is no guarantee that any one of us will not fall into such sins apart from perpetual watchfulness. -Samuel E. Waldron
We should weep for those believers who fall into sin, and tremble that we could fall into that same sin. Flee sin, and be quick to repent. Thankfully, our greatest comfort is that we belong to Jesus. Through Him only shall we persevere to the end.
Questions to Consider
- Have you ever considered the link between perseverance and repentance?