Is it possible to turn from your faith?

Daily Reading: (Matthew 24:9-10):

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.”

The question of “Is it possible to turn from your faith?”, has been asked in various forms, such as, “is it possible to lose your salvation?” Some try and justify the answer as yes by taking a singular verse without any context to the verse at all.

“At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other” (Matthew 24:10-11).

If this is all you read of what Jesus said you would be inclined to believe that it is possible to turn away from the faith and lose your salvation. This is a flawed understanding of what has happened to a believer at salvation, and who is the One who upholds our salvation. If the New Covenant was struck between you and God then most certainly you could lose your salvation, in fact, we all would, and then what would make that different from the Old Covenant? What would the purpose of the cross be if Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins did not remove our present or future sins too? But if the New Covenant is between God the Father and Jesus the Son (which it is), and Jesus upholds this Covenant then we are simply beneficiaries of this will or Covenant because we are a part of the family of God. This is explicitly what Hebrews 9:15-17 says. It is the wrong question to ask, “can you lose your salvation?” because you were not the author of your own salvation, it was by grace through faith that you were saved, this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). So, the question one must ask is, “is your salvation secure in Christ?”

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other” (Matthew 24:9-10).

So, there are a few things to note here: Barnes Notes on the Bible says the following: “Not that real Christians would do this, but those who had professed to be such would then show that they were not His true followers and would hate one another.”[1]

If someone goes to a church worship service does that make them a Christian? If someone says they identify themselves as being a Christian based on the good works they do in the name of the Lord does that make them a Christian either? The answer to both of these questions is no.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:15, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Some of the people who are attached to the church will not be God’s sheep, they aren’t saved, they never were, and they have pretended to be something they are not. In the last days, they will turn Christians in to be put to death, we learn this from Matthew 24. This is happening even now, in other countries outside of America. This shouldn’t surprise us as we are living in the last days and this will only increase. So, we established that not all who belong to a church are saved.  Let’s continue:

Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’”

This passage of Scripture has terrified many, and led to the question that even the disciples had for Jesus at another time, “who then can be saved” (Matthew 19:25)? “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26b). You can’t save yourself with your good works, so stop trying. Go back to Ephesians 2:8 and see that salvation is a gift of God. “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, (grace) that whoever believes in Him (faith) shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

John would write the following, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). John had to reassure a group of churches where “false prophets,” denounced as Antichrist, denied the Incarnation of Jesus, and had believers worried about their own salvation. He wrote to assure them that they “have eternal life”.

Looking again to Matthew 24:10 which says, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other” (Matthew 24:10). In the original Greek manuscript, it does not say “turn away from the faith.”The English Standard Version of the Bible and several other translations record this correctly: “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.”

This Greek word here is (skandalizō) and it means to put something in the way that causes one to fall, it is an enticement to sin.[2]

The sin Jesus is talking about will be found in the next Greek word used for “betray” (paradidōmi) to deliver one up to be put to death.[3] This ties directly into what Jesus just said would happen in verse 9 of Matthew 24. 

A correct Greek translation of Matthew 24:9-10:

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will stumble and be enticed to sin to deliver “believers” to be put to death because they despise one another” (Matthew 24:9-10).

When people cast doubt on a believer’s salvation, it reveals how they do not accurately value the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. They are also making light of what our Lord Jesus suffered at Calvary for our salvation, forgiveness, and redemption. Christians who are secure in the Father’s love will be transformed by the renewing of their minds with the power of God’s amazing grace. Born-again believers established in His grace want to live lives that glorify His holy name in every area of their lives. Why? Because grace isn’t teaching, doctrine, or formula. Grace is a person and His name is Jesus!

[1] Barnes Notes on the Bible.




Raptured to Attend the Marriage Feast

Raptured to Attend the Marriage Feast  

Daily Reading: (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17):

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

What is the Rapture? The Rapture is the time when the Lord will come down from Heaven and a trumpet call will precede the rise of “the dead in Christ” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Thereafter, “we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

The term “Rapture” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible. But don’t get hung up on this fact as some denominations have. “Rapture” the term, was created to describe this future event that Paul writes about that will happen in the last days written about in 1 Thessalonians 4. You can call this event what you’d like, the grand meeting in the sky, the Rapture, just don’t get hung up on the term itself.

“For the Lord himself will come down from Heaven”, many have referred to this as the Second Coming of Christ.  It is clear Jesus doesn’t return to Earth, “we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

This is not the Second Coming, this is the Rapture. The Second Coming is a different event written about in Revelation 19.

So to find out why we are Raptured and what happens next we have to go to the book of Revelation chapter 19:

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people). Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God” [Revelation 19:6-9].

The reason for the Rapture is because Jesus is taking His bride (the church) and the friends of the bridegroom (Old Testament Saints) to the wedding.

Now Jesus Second Coming is not to welcome the bride because the bride is already with Him. Jesus is coming back to wage war on evil wickedness on the earth.

Revelation 19:11-14: “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. This is the bride of Christ the church already with Jesus. Revelation 19:8 just before this tells us so: Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”

The wedding feast happens first and then we return with Christ at His Second Coming (Revelation 19:11-14).

Jesus said in Matthew 24:30, speaking of His Second Coming- At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

Why would all the nations mourn? If believers were here on the earth waiting for Jesus’ return wouldn’t this be a mixed reaction? Happiness, joy, excitement for believers and mourning for those who are not believers? There would be only one reaction if the believers were already taken before Jesus’ Second Coming.