Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Eternal peace or insecurity?

My husband is writing a paper on the idea of "once saved, always saved," an issue that seems contentious at worst, confusing at best. How nice to have a theologian in the house - his work and passion to know God inspire me to a closer walk with God, too.

I read Scripture this morning, still mulling over last night's conversation about some theologians who want to give us peace in following Jesus. They so passionately want us not to fear that we'll "lose our salvation" that they are willing to say, "If you've ever made a commitment to Christ, you're safe, no matter how badly you behave thereafter." ("Hell be damned, I'm gonna live like the devil because I'm in!") Other teachers are so worried of us sinning that they say, "If we fall away, we deceived ourselves and were actually never saved in the first place." ("Holy insecurity!")

Yet I read in God's Word:
         Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father-to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him.  So shall it be! Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:4-8 NIV

Here's what I understand:
  • God, holy and magnificent above what we can grasp, is utterly terrifying to humanity.
  • Our Maker restored the possibility of a relationship between us, based not on our merits or works, but on his amazing provision through a Sacrifice that satisfies his justice and demonstrates his love.
  • Woohoo! We are free; we live in harmony and beauty; we are pardoned from anything we have done or will do. (Yeah, my heart is dancing with joy!)
  • When he comes back, we will understand the past, present, and future grace and peace he extends to us. THAT will be a celebration unlike any other for those who love him. (In contrast, the realization will be an unthinkable horror for those who rejected him.)
  • It's an honor to live as God's kings and priests among our fellows, inviting them by words and by peaceful, moral, exuberant lives, into relationship with our God.
  • God will examine how we lived and reward us in absolute justice, according to our choice to live in him or spurn his friendship.
Am I insecure? Can I lose intimacy with God like a letter I drop on the way to the post office? Nope, I'm safe in the hands of a mighty Lord who keeps me. However, he expects me to press in, to align with his character, and to serve him and others as his emissary. He also lovingly allows me to walk away and reject him, even when that means I deliberately choose to end our relationship.

We choose Life! To THE ONE, who was, is, and is to come, be glory, honor, power, dominion, authority, praise... over all, and in you and me... as we worship with right living and joyful retelling of his goodness. AMEN.