One of the biggest game changers in NFL history was the Patriots’ interception in the end zone to stop the Seahawks’ almost-certain victory, with only 20 seconds left in Superbowl 49. For die-hard Patriot fans, grief turned to lasting joy in a moment. I’d like to share with you the second of four “spiritual game changers” I have come up with based on my experience as a pastor—four truths that you can receive to bring the joy of victory into your life. The first game-changing spiritual truth was to realize your immortality; today’s is to accept eternal security.
Eternal security is closely related to immortality, but our enemy loves for us to doubt our salvation. The fear that there is no afterlife or that you can lose your salvation is a one-two punch combination that he tries to use against our peace of mind in Christ, so I am listing those separately.
What we commonly refer to as salvation, God chooses to call salvation “eternal life” throughout the New Testament. Stop worrying about losing your eternal life! “Eternal” means without beginning or end. So when John wrote “And this is what He promised us—eternal life.” (1 John 2:25 NIV) it simply cannot mean that He promised us life that He just might cut short because of something we do wrong. As a matter of fact, the very essence of the gospel, the good news, is that Jesus offers us grace. We receive salvation by grace and not by anything we did to deserve it. Grace means it was earned for us by Jesus. So if it wasn’t earned by good works, then it cannot be lost by bad works. God says, “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:22-24 NIV) Yet people still are shackled with worry, expressing sentiments such as “but you don’t know what I’ve done,” or “That can’t include me.” Oh, the arrogance of thinking that you can out sin the grace of God once you have received His Son’s offer of grace…. That you are the exception to “eternal” life! Losing your salvation with bad behavior goes against the very concept of grace.
So if you must worry about something, my brothers and sisters, find something worthwhile to worry about…you know, something that hasn’t already been sealed by the grace of God. Worry about the Dallas Cowboys’ success in the next NFL draft, for example. That makes more sense, doesn’t it? If you ARE in Christ, you HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. Accept it; embrace it and let the peace and joy flow.