Well, as for us, we will continue to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” (Heb. 10:23), “spur one another on to love and good deeds” (v. 24), “aim for perfection” (2 Cor. 13:11) –as any conscientious “brain surgeon” or teacher of ETERNAL destinies should do, and we will “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest IF we do not give up.”  (Gal. 6:9)

For as 1 Peter 1:6-9 tells us, it is the “grief and trials” we suffer that “prove our faith genuine” (or not), so that if it’s found to be genuine, we will receive “the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls.”

Therefore, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize…”  (Phil. 3:13,14)

The prize is not for the lazy, the cowardly, the self-indulgent, the wicked, the disobedient, or the unbelieving…  They will never make it, because instead of “advancing boldly” (Matt. 11:12) into The Kingdom of Truth, they choose to sit around having their ears tickled (2 Tim. 4:3), claiming to know God, but denying Him by their actions (Titus 1:16) –walking in darkness, though claiming fellowship with Him (1 John 1:6), refusing to love the truth, but instead delighting in wickedness (2 Thes. 2:10-12), “suppressing the truth by their wickedness… even while knowing God” (Rom. 1:18-21), and refusing to preach the gospel that proclaims “that all nations might believe and OBEY Him” as Rom. 16:25-26 states.  –Even though they can read such Scriptures as “…judgment [will] be for those who do not obey the gospel of God” (1 Peter 4:17), and “He became the source of eternal salvation for all who OBEY Him.”  (Heb. 5:9)

But we –we must continue to preach truth and preach about the power –which we whom the Holy Spirit indwells certainly DO have for utmost holiness!  (1 Cor. 4:20, Eph. 1:19)  Humans CAN perish from ignorance.  (Hosea 4:6)  But “knowledge of the truth… leads to godliness” (Titus 1:1), escape from evil desires (2 Peter 1:4), escape from the wages of sin / disobedience (Rom. 6:23/Eph. 5:6), and thus escape from God’s wrath (1 Thes. 1:10) and eternal death (James 1:15, 2 Thes. 1:9).  For as 2 Peter 1:3,4 informs us:  “We do have everything we need for life and godliness –through our knowledge of Him and His promises– for the participation in the divine nature.”  (my paraphrase)  If the OSAS (“once saved–always saved”) group cannot participate in the divine nature, but instead want to hang onto the sinful nature, it is because they are of whom Jude speaks of in v. 19 –“These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.”  They are “scoffers who follow their own ungodly desires” (v. 18) and “for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.”  (v. 13)

Truly, most definitely, obvious to those of us who know The Truth, the OSAS adherents have changed the way of salvation!  They do this by “changing the grace of God into a license for immorality” (Jude 1:4), stating that God’s grace covers those who willfully sin –even when pages and pages of Scripture are devoted to teaching the exact opposite!  –Such as “If we deliberately keep on sinning after having a knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only… judgment and raging fire…”  (Heb. 10:26,27)  They refuse to believe that this also includes those who once were “sanctified” (v.29), but who decide to “turn away from the faith” (Matt. 24:10), and thus “crucify the Son of God all over again, subjecting Him to public disgrace.”  (See Heb. 6:6)

But again, as they suppress the truth, not “carefully considering how they listen… [to] God’s Word and putting it into practice” (see Luke 8:18, 21), they only fall further and further away… so that they will “be ever hearing, but never understanding” (Luke 8:10, Isa. 6:9), “‘…ever seeing but never perceiving.’  For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.  Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn and I would heal them.”  (Acts 28:26,27)  Is that spiritual healing a meaningless offer by God?  Absolutely not!  He wants ALL to turn to Him in repentance.  (2 Peter 3:9)  But they are “not willing”!  (Matt. 23:37)

In Matt. 13:10-17, when Jesus’ disciples asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.”  (And He also quoted that Isaiah passage –“ever hearing but never….”)  Why is this?  Because those who do not SEEK the Lord with all their effort, those who do not LOVE the Lord with all their effort, those who do not SERVE the Lord with all their effort… –ALL these will fall to deceptions, false teachings, false gospels, lies and delusions.  They will travel further from the truth, and thus not repenting of their evil deeds, evil intentions, greed, immoralities, idolatries, falsehoods and rebellion… they will perish.  For as Jesus says in Luke 13:3, “Unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  (Let’s see… what does repent mean…?  It means:  A broken, contrite heart toward God (Ps. 51:17), weeping bitterly over your sin (Luke 22:32,62) –for any sin– little as it may seem –like eating a forbidden fruit in a Garden… for sin is absolute rebellion toward God.  And no, repentance is not just a change of mind!  It’s a change of ACTIONS! ! ! ! !)

Compare that last statement I quoted from Jesus in Luke 13:3 with what He also says in John 12:48, “There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not accept My words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.”

It’s truly heart-wrenching that a mind can become so blinded to truth, a heart can become so calloused to love for God, a life can become so captive to sin, and an attitude can become so “stiff-necked, uncircumcised, and resistant to the Holy Spirit” (see Acts 7:51) that one cannot allow oneself to be guided by Him into all truth.  (John 16:13)  As Jesus says in John 8:47, “The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”  For God’s Word is crystal clear:  “No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning… [for] he who does what is sinful is of the devil.”  (1 John 3:6,8)

But we are different!  Our “love will [NOT] grow cold” for we shall “stand firm to the end and be saved.”  (Matt. 24:12,13)  We shall “overcome and not be hurt at all by the second death.”  (Rev. 2:11)  As James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test [the Greek says, “because once he has become approved”] he will receive the crown of life [study of the Greek reveals this can read, “the crown [of victory] which is eternal life”] that God promised to those who love Him.”  (And we know that Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.”  Not sometimes, or when it’s convenient, but ALL of the time.)

As Eph. 6:24 says, “Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”  –Those are the ones who are under God’s grace.

So may we “teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  [Being it said of us also] You aren’t swayed by men, because You pay no attention to who they are.” (Matt. 22:16)  “We are not trying to please men, but God, who tests our hearts.”  (1 Thes. 2:4)  Because those “entrusted with the gospel” are to “speak as men approved by God.”  (same verse)  This is not to say that a new Christian should not immediately start evangelizing.  He should, because the Holy Spirit in him will come to his aid and give him the right words.  (Luke 21:13-15, Mark 13:11, Matt. 10:19,20)  But at the same time, that Christian needs to be studying and seeking truth with great effort, not from some hireling, but from the Word Himself, who is Jesus.  For as 1 Peter 4:11 also commands, “If anyone speaks [as an authority of God’s Word], he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.”

Love in Him,

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