November 20, 2023 – Monday
Luke 18:17 NKJV
17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.
Last week I received a question from a reader (thank you William) about salvation. He wished to know my thoughts about “Once Saved Always Saved” and my thoughts abot the teaching in an article he attached. The article was “Did the primitive church preach the doctrine of once saved always saved?” I read it in detail and thought about it for some time. Today’s verse and a few others lead to my answer/thoughts about Once Saved Always Saved.
Consider these verses from Matthew 18 when Jesus is answering a question, Who is the greatest in heaven? Of course, they knew God was THE greatest, but they were asking about themselves and other believers. Jesus answered as follows, 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Now I am going to ask you a very “difficult” question or rather a series of “difficult” questions. Did you ever believe in Santa Claus? Did you ever believe in the Tooth Fairy? Did you ever believe in the Easter Bunny? Or from my own childhood, Did you ever believe in The Lone Ranger (tv series)? Did you ever believe in Superman (tv series)? Add your own questions from your own childhood. By now you are probably wondering what all these questions have to do with anything.
Before answering that let’s go to John 20:25-29, Thomas, one of the disciples was not with the rest when Jesus had appeared to them after His resurrection, 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Now let’s return to our verse for today in context, 15 Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” The New English Translation (NET) has the following note about as a little child, The point has more to do with a child’s trusting spirit and willingness to be dependent and receive from others than any inherent humility the child might possess. Thus, my questions about what you believed as a child or a youth – as I believed in Santa Claus until I was 9 or 10 or 11.
So, what do I think about “Once Saved Always Saved”? I believe scripture truly shows that once you are saved, you are permanently saved. The question should be, were you really saved to begin with? Thomas could not believe until he saw the resurrected Jesus. We don’t get to see Him as Thomas did, except through scripture or if He appears to you in a vision or a dream.
Really, we must understand the difficulty of believing a man crucified rose from the dead on the third day. Somehow, someway we have to become like a child again and simply believe with great trust and faith. There will be those who claim they believe and maybe they do from an intellectual point of view, but do they really believe? Jesus knows the difference.
Bottom Line: Look into your heart and ask yourself if you truly believe in the risen Christ. If you don’t like the answer, ask God for help. He will help.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to not only believe, but believe with the faith and trust of a child. –In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God