This program is a rebroadcast from November 16, 2019.
Can Christians lose their salvation? The Bible says when we become believers in Jesus the Messiah we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). God’s free gift of salvation cannot be taken away. It is not a conditional gift. God’s Word also says that our flesh is at war with this new creation (Romans 7). The struggle with our desires happens whether you have been a believer in Jesus for 10 minutes or 80 years. But we will learn today that we will always struggle on this side of heaven, but that struggle cannot touch the work God did in saving you.
There is a peace we can have as believers, knowing that God holds our salvation in His hands. If you are a genuine believer in Jesus, there is nothing you can do to be separated from Him. This fact does not mean we have a license to live our life the way we want, but instead it should put us in a state of thankfulness. The God of the universe chose us, wretched sinners, to become His sons and daughters through no work of our own, but instead through the work Jesus the Messiah did on the cross.
Steve Conover: Welcome to the Friends of Israel Today. I'm Steve Conover, with me is our host and teacher Chris Katulka. Despite the ups and downs of the Christian life, God's faithfulness to us remains constant. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God cannot let you go. This Scriptural truth is called eternal security and this is what Chris is going to teach about today.
But first in the news, The Times of Israel reports that Turkey has agreed to return to Israel an ancient inscription from Jerusalem, currently housed in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. The gesture comes amid a warming relationship between Israel and Turkey and was discussed during the landmark visit of President Isaac Herzog to Ankara, said a senior official in the Israeli entourage.
Chris Katulka: Here’s my take: Israel has long sought the return of the so-called Siloam Inscription, a 2,700-year-old ancient Hebrew text that provides concrete historical support for the biblical account of the construction of Hezekiah’s tunnel which brought water from the Pool of Siloam to the City of David during Assyria’s siege in Jerusalem. An inscription that supports the account found in the Bible.
Chris Katulka: I've been a born again believer since seventh grade. When I was 13, I heard the testimony of a famous football player named Miles McPherson at the church my parents were going to and still go to to this day. And after Miles McPherson shared, our pastor took the opportunity to have an altar call, and he challenged anyone who isn't a believer in the Lord Jesus to come forward, that if they were feeling a tug in their heart to go forward, that God might be calling them. And as a 13-year-old, I can remember going forward knowing that I'm a sinner, knowing that there was a broken relationship between me and God and Jesus is the only one who can make me right before a Holy God through His sacrifice. I recited a prayer of repentance and salvation and then I started growing in the Lord. And I've been regenerated. I've been justified and I stand blameless before God. I'm a new creation, the Scriptures say. But you know what? I'm still in the flesh.
I'm definitely not perfect. Never claim to be. You can just ask my wife and kids. That's why when I read the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 7, I feel like he's talking right to me. As I've been journeying through my Christian walk from the time I was 13 to today, this journey I've been on has not been a perfect journey. It's full of ups and downs, and that's why I relate with what Paul is saying here in Romans 7:15-25.
It says this, "For I don't understand what I'm doing. For I do not do what I want. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I do what I don't want, I agree that the law is good, but now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me that is in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want. Now, if I do what I do not want, it's no longer me doing it, but still sin that lives in me. So I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God in my inner being, but I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that's in my members. Wretched man that I am who will rescue me from this body of death. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh, I serve the law of sin."
You know, even the apostle Paul wrestled in the Christian life, he said, "For I do not do what I want. Instead, I do what I hate." I believe Paul is saying that as a born again believer in Jesus, he struggles between the war of his flesh and his spirit. And even as we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, the flesh has the capacity to take over. Sometimes someone's personal sin may never be heard about by others, only the Lord knows about it. But then there are also those occasions where Christians, even Christian leaders who have influence, their sin is laid bare for everyone to read about, for everyone to hear about.
And here's the question. This is important. Does sin alter a born again believer's position before God? If a Christian falls into sin, can God decide, "I'm through with this guy. I'm through with him. He's no longer saved." Can God change his mind? This is important. Can God change his mind on you? Paul rightfully said that there's nothing good in us. Can God change his mind on you? Can you have assurance that God will remain faithful to you even when we can be unfaithful to him? And this is what I want to talk about today.
I've been a believer in Jesus for almost 25 years. How can I know? How can the person that's been a believer for one week or 80 years know that their relationship with God is assured? There is actually a theological term for assurance. It's called eternal security. World renowned theologian, Dr. Charles Ryrie says this about eternal security. He says, "Eternal security is the work of God that guarantees that the gift of salvation once received is forever and cannot be lost. The concept of eternal security emphasizes God's activity in guaranteeing the eternal possession of the gift of eternal life. It relates to those the Holy Spirit regenerates and its veracity does not rest on feelings or experience."
This is a powerful statement here. See, Dr. Ryrie is saying this: When you repented and you turned to God, several things happened. By God's grace through faith in the work of Jesus Christ, you were saved from God's ultimate judgment. And at that time of your turning to God, you were justified, which means that you were made right and blameless before God. He sees you the way that he sees Christ. You've been covered in the righteousness of Christ. You are regenerated, which means you've been changed from the inside. You are reconciled to God, which means you and God have a right relationship now. And you were promised eternal life. But see, you still have to live this life as long as the Lord tarries. So between your salvation and the gift of eternal life, you have to live this life. And Dr. Ryrie is saying that the promise of eternal security as a part of the gift of salvation guarantees that the one who has genuinely placed their faith in Jesus through the ups and downs of the Christian walk is guaranteed the eternal life God promised them.
And it's no coincidence that after Paul writes in Romans 7 when he says in verse 24, "Wretched man that I am, who will rescue me from this body of death. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord”, that Paul closes Romans chapter 8 with a message of eternal security. It's a series of verses that I know you're probably very familiar with and it begins in verse 35. It says this, "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written, for your sake, we encounter death all day long. We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all things, we have complete victory through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." That's the way Paul ends Romans chapter 8.
My friends, if you're a genuine believer, there is nothing that can separate you from the love of Christ. Eternal security is another act of God's grace on us, his children. So why would God do this for us?
Well, I believe it's in God's nature to be completely faithful and to fulfill what he promised. In Romans chapter 8:30, it says this, "And those he predestined, he also called. And those he called, he also justified. And those he justified, he also glorified." If you're listening to this broadcast and you've placed your trust in Christ, what God has established in the past, he has seen through to this very day by calling you and justifying you, and that there's a day coming where you will be completely glorified. God must see your salvation through because he promised it. An eternal security is wrapped up in God's faithfulness. Even Jesus promised in John 6:40, "For this is the will of my Father, for everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him to have eternal life, I will raise him up at the last day." Even Jesus is promising eternal security. Belief in Christ now assures our resurrection in the future. Eternal life. That's what Jesus is promising. The one who believes in him will definitely see eternal life. That's what Jesus is saying.
When we come back, I want us to look at the defining aspect of eternal security. Because when you become a believer, not only were you forgiven, justified, and reconciled, you are also indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and this has major ramifications for our eternal security. It's something you're not going to want to miss, so be sure to stick around.
Steve Conover: We've been learning today about eternal security, an important doctrine about God's faithfulness to those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. The word doctrine can come across as heavy or maybe something only pastors or Sunday school teachers should concern themselves with, but in reality, every Christian is a theologian. Chris, we offer an excellent book on theology here at The Friends of Israel. Why is it important for Christians to have a good systematic theology in their library?
Chris Katulka: Yeah, because the truth is this, everybody has thoughts about God and that's called theology. It's the way you think about God. But the real question in mind is whether or not those thoughts about God actually meet up and match with what God's Word says about him. They have to be true or else that's just called sloppy theology. And that's why this book Basic Theology that we're selling here at The Friends of Israel by Dr. Charles Ryrie is a fantastic book for any Christian to have on their shelf. Because your thoughts about God should match up with what the Scriptures say. And Dr. Ryrie does a fantastic job of taking these sometimes difficult complex issues, and boiling them down into terms and understandings that we can just simply read and connect with our thoughts with God's Word and see, "Lord, is this true about who you are in your Scriptures?" And Dr. Ryrie covers everything from salvation all the way through to the last day. So I really think this is a great book for believers to have on their shelves as they learn more about God's Word.
Steve Conover: It's an excellent resource. To purchase your copy of Basic Theology by Dr. Charles Ryrie. Visit us at foiradio.org. That's foiradio.org. We'll have the link on our homepage. Or you can call our listener line at (888) 343-6940 and someone will return your call during our regular business hours. Again, that's (888) 343-6940. In Canada, call (888) 664-2584. Again, in Canada, that's (888) 664-2584.
Chris Katulka: Welcome back everyone. We've been talking about the doctrine, the theology of eternal security. My friends, take a deep breath and rest in the fact that God's love isn't conditional. It doesn't come with strings attached. God's love is faithful. Rest assured that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Listen, the Christian life isn't perfect. No one's perfect, only Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God was completely innocent and perfect. And yet, even though we sin, and even though we can walk away from God, we can remain confident that if you've genuinely placed your faith in Christ Jesus, you are secure in the Lord. And how is this possible?
Well, here's the amazing thing. The moment you placed your faith in Christ, you were indwelt with the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit happens for the very important reason in relationship to this concept we've been learning about, eternal security. It's God's way of showing that we can remain confident in his faithfulness.
Just listen to what Paul writes in Ephesians 1:13-14. He says, "And when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, when you believed in Christ, you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance until the redemption of God's own possession to the praise of his glory." This is everything that we've been talking about wrapped up in one verse. My friends, you've been sealed by the Holy Spirit when you believed. That word sealed in Greek actually means that you've been marked with a seal as a means of identification, so that the marker seal you receive shows who the owner is and also carries with it the protection of the owner. So the Holy Spirit marks you as the Lord.
And then look what it says. It says this, "The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance until the redemption of God's own possession." This is so important. The Holy Spirit that's dwelling in you is also your down payment toward eternal life. That Greek word for down payment is [arrabón 00:16:03], which is commonly used in reference in Greek for business and trade. The word actually refers to a payment deposited by the purchaser to secure a property or article that was being bought. For instance, if you were to go to Walmart and put a down payment on a product, you secured it for yourself, but it's not completely yours yet. You can't take it home, but that money secures that the product is yours. There's something greater that's still coming. You're still going to take that thing home one day, but it is technically yours at that moment. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God's down payment for your eternal life. God sealed you and even secured you with the Holy Spirit, promising that he's not going to let you go.
Now, here's the thing, my friends, eternal security shouldn't give us the license to feel like we can do whatever we want. We shouldn't feel like, "Oh, I'm secure so I can sin and God has to let me into heaven because of eternal security." Remember, I always tried to preface that eternal security is given for the genuine believers. Believers aren't perfect. They're going to sin, but a believer should never take advantage of God's grace by acting in sin because they feel as though they have a free ticket to heaven.
God's faithfulness to us, even in our unfaithfulness to him should actually do something completely opposite. It should humble us. It should cause us to worship him. It should actually cause us to live a life of devotion to him. His assurance to us should give us the confidence and also change us to be more faithful to him, that we actually want to be like him. As he is faithful to us, we want to be faithful to him because of what Jesus Christ has done.
Eternal security is a gracious gift from a merciful God. It's a spiritual blessing we definitely don't deserve. And that's why I love the way Paul ends Romans chapter 7, "Wretched man that I am, who will rescue me from this body of death. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord."
Steve Conover: Israel, on the verge of becoming a state, a teenage Holocaust survivor arrives on her shores alone. His name is Zvi Kalisher. Little did he know his search for a new life in the Holy Land would lead him to the Messiah. Zvi, Enthusiastic to share his faith, engaged others in spiritual conversations many of which can be found in our magazine Israel My Glory. While Zvi is now in the presence of his Savior, his collective writings from well over 50 years of ministry continue to encourage believers worldwide. Now, Apples of Gold, a dramatic reading from the life of Zvi.
Mike Kellogg: After living in Israel for 36 years, many know me. Some greet me with, "Shalom." Others say something like, "Are you still alive? People like you should be dead." When I received one such greeting recently, I reply, "No, my dear, that is not so. It is written, I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord," Psalm 118:17. "What can you, a Christian, possibly tell me about the Lord?" He asked. I said, "The Lord has given me salvation, love, and peace in my heart through the Holy Spirit. That is why the Lord has kept me alive through the Holocaust and four wars here in Israel so that I can tell others of his mighty deeds." He then said, "You want me to accept this new faith that you believe in, your Jesus?" I responded, "The Lord Jesus did not come to make a new faith. He came to give us everlasting life through his suffering."
"I knew all about suffering," he said sarcastically. I then asked, "Would you like me to read about his suffering?" He agreed. So I read Isaiah 53, the forbidden chapter for Jewish people. Suddenly this man who was so sure of himself was now interested in hearing about the Lord. Such people have spent their entire lives listening only to the revered rabbis and reading many books of tradition. So when I present facts from the Bible, they become curious and want to hear more. It is important to articulate that Christians do not believe in a new faith, but in the one true God.
People walked by as we conversed and one man said, "Israel is not the right place for a Christian. If you want to speak about Jesus, go somewhere else, but do not do it here." I had never met people with such deep hatred for those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus. They kept repeating, "Jesus came to make a new faith and because you believe in him, you have left the faith of your fathers." I told him, "If you would read the Bible instead of your books of tradition, you would see this is untrue." One said, "You were talking about the New Testament, but that does not belong to our Holy Bible." I told him, "Jeremiah 31:31 says, 'Behold, the days are coming when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.'" The term New Testament is actually the Hebrew B’rit Hadashah. Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."
Surprisingly all were listening closely. So I asked, "Do you still think Jesus came to make a new faith or do you realize he came to fulfill the Hebrew Scriptures? We must have faith in him or we will be lost forever." One replied, "Reluctantly, we must admit you're right." I told them, "Now through the love of the Lord, we can speak together as friends, strive to learn more about the Lord and his great love for all people and you'll be able to stand against the false teachers who are bound in our midst." They all responded, "Amen."
Chris Katulka: The impact of Zvi's life and ministry in Israel. It didn’t end when he went home to be with the Lord. In fact, Zvi’s legacy lives on. Our Friends of Israel Ministry representatives continue to share the gospel in Jerusalem, Israel, and really all throughout the world. We also serve Holocaust survivors and their families, we provide free food, medicine and clothing, and we even promote the safety and security of the state of Israel and the Jewish people everywhere.
When you give to The Friends of Israel, your donation allows us to advance the gospel of our Messiah, Jesus. You can give online by visiting foiradio.org, that's FOIradio.org, and you can click right on our donate link. Also, be sure to let us know where you're listening when you contact us.
Steve Conover: Thank you for joining us for the program today. We’d like to ask you to reach out to us. We want to create content that we know is enriching your life, growing you closer to the Lord and a deeper understanding of his Word, and God’s program for Israel. You can reach out to us on our contact form at foiradio.org. Again that’s at foiradio.org. Reach out and let us know how we’re doing.
Chris Katulka: Hey, and our podcast listeners on Apple, would you take the time to rate our program? Your comments and ratings will expose the Friends of Israel Today to a new audience. So if you believe it's important to teach about Israel and the Jewish people, please leave a comment so that others can benefit from the Friends of Israel Today as well.
Steve Conover: Our host and teacher is Chris Katulka. Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione. Our theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong. Mike Kellogg read Apples of Gold. I'm Steve Conover, executive producer.
Our mailing address is FOI Radio PO Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey 09099. Again, that's FOI Radio PO Box Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. And another quick reminder to visit us at foiradio.org.
The Friends of Israel Today is a production of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide evangelical ministry proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.
Does theology sound too daunting to pursue? Then this is the book for you! With easy-to-understand writing, this guide explains the tenets of the Bible with simplicity so you can understand the nature of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, the church, Satan, sin, salvation, man, angels, demons, and the end times. You’ll have no reason to fear the challenge of understanding the Bible as you come to know God in a deeper way with this book.
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Apples of Gold: How Can We Believe in Jesus and Still Say We are Jews?
After living in Israel for 36 years, Zvi could walk down the street and be recognized by many. Some greeted him warmly, others greeted him with scorn and ridicule. One man stopped and looked at him in shock and said, “Are you still alive? People like you should be dead!” When Zvi replied by sharing his faith in Jesus, the man accused him of believing in a new religion. With a crowd around him, Zvi explained to them that believing in Jesus was not something new but something God talked about in the Hebrew Scriptures.
The Friends of Israel Today theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong.
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