Works Are Relevant to the Eternal Security of Believers!

When we fall into God’s hands in judgment, we will be weighed in the balance of His whole Word. We will truly see it in its balanced light on that day! In that awful balance we will either stand or fall in judgment! No wonder we are admonished to “work out” our own salvation with fear and trembling! How do we work it out? By always obeying His Word in all details! God wants to work in us “both to will and to do of His good pleasure,” but our responsibility in seeing that His work gets done is to continually submit ourselves in obedience to His Word. The attitude of His own Son, the Author and Finisher of our salvation, must become ours also: “Not my will, but Thine be done.” This is the part of our faith that maintains our eternal life and salvation–the part that, if we draw back from, God will have no pleasure in us, and we will go into perdition (Heb. 10:38-39). “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” James 2:21-24.

This is the kind of faith we must have also if we would have righteousness imputed to us and be counted as “Abraham’s seed,” and an heir according to the promise. What would have happened to Abraham if he had said “no” to God when God asked him to offer up his son, Isaac? From a logical human perspective, what God was asking was not even reasonable. But would Abraham have remained “justified” if he had chosen to draw back from this requirement and disobey? Would he have remained “the Friend of God?” Would he have remained “the father of the faithful?” Also, what would have been Job’s outcome if he had taken the counsel of his wife and cursed God for allowing what happened to him? (See Job 2:9-10.) Do any of us Christians today have the right at any time or point of our earthly pilgrimage to draw back from allowing God to work in and through us both to will and to do of His good pleasure? Can we draw back from following Christ at any point and remain justified? Can you show me one scriptural example of any man who ever did and came out a winner? When it comes to our faith in following and obeying the Lord, may we be as the lyrics of a song says; “When your Spirit speaks to me, with my whole heart I’ll agree, and my answer will be ‘Yes, Lord, yes.”

It seems that many professors of modern day Christianity have endorsed the idea of cheap grace (or maybe I should say, lazy grace). They focus on Eph. 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” But here again, they seek to apply these passages in an unbalanced way, insinuating that works are totally outside the realm of grace, and have no relevance to eternal security and salvation. They ought to also take into consideration verse 10 of this same chapter of Ephesians. It says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Genesis 6:8 says, “…Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” How did Noah find grace, and how was Noah saved? Hebrews 11:7 gives us a clear answer: “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

In order to become an “heir of the righteousness which is by faith” and to save himself and his household, Noah had A LOT OF WORK TO DO!!! And he “moved with fear” and got it done! He didn’t sit around with a dead faith, hoping that grace, without works, was going to save him. No, he went to work with great diligence, precisely carrying out all of God’s instructions. Gen. 6:9 says, “…Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” This was how he found grace in the eyes of the LORD. And God requires no less on our part if we desire to find grace in His eyes IN THIS GENERATION! Another quote from Brother Leslie Busbee fits in very well here. Think about this:

Just as Noah was a good example of faith and obedience to God, we can do the same in our day. 2 Pet. 2:5 speaks how God ‘… spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.’ It is evident that while Noah and his sons worked on building and preparing the ark, they spoke to those around about, declaring what was coming and warning them to turn from their sinful ways to seek the mercy and pleasure of God. Thus Noah was a preacher of righteousness. Noah did according to all that God commanded him to do (see Gen. 6:22). Sad to say, there were no converts to his preaching. Noah and his wife and their three sons and their wives were the only ones who entered the ark along with all the animals and birds that also went in.

“Today we are living in the last and final days of time. Jesus will soon come from the Heavens to bring this world to eternal judgment and damnation. It is for us to take diligent heed to His Word of warning found in the New Testament and prepare our hearts to meet the Savior in the air and be accounted worthy to share with Him His eternal glory!

“We would all be wise to consider the challenge and responsibility that faced Noah in comparison with what we are facing today. We are living in an age much like what Noah lived in, if not a worse one. We are persuaded by the Holy Scriptures that Jesus will come again in power and great glory and accomplish the utter destruction of this present heavens and earth (see 2 Pet. 3:10-12). He will gather all mankind to face Him in a great judgment bar. And just as the flood destroyed the ungodly multitudes in Noah’s day, even so will God Almighty send to eternal damnation all who are not obedient to the faith of His Son Jesus Christ. … It will pay us a great reward to be diligent in our faith and obedience to Christ and to the will of God in preparation of that great and awful day. Personally, I have deep convictions that the time is very close at hand.May God bless and help us all to take heed and be prepared to meet that day with victory.” May God bless and help us all to take heed and be prepared to meet that day with victory.”

These are words worth pondering! Also, consider this: in the sixth chapter of Genesis, God gave Noah specific instructions of just how to build the ark for the saving of himself and his family, etc. But what would have happened if Noah had decided those instructions were a little too tedious and then decided to take a few “shortcuts?” What would have happened if Noah had neglected some little detail, and then there had been a leak in the ark, after the rain started coming? It would have been too late to do anything about it then! All the preparatory WORKS had to be completed before the judgment rains descended on the earth! It is the same with us today. All our preparatory works must be completed BEFORE the coming of the Lord if we would find mercy and grace in that day. It is a serious thought!

Consider also the responsibilities that God places on His priesthood. Revelation 1:5c- 6a tells us that Christ “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father.” Peter also states the fact that believers are a “holy priesthood” and they are expected “to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5). In Old Testament times, after the priest had made the proper sacrifices and offerings, “there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat.” Lev. 9:24a. The LORD responded to Moses and Aaron’s obedience to His Word by sending “holy fire” upon the sacrifice that was offered. But the LORD also gave this commandment: “And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” Lev. 6:12-13.

We get a glimpse here of part of the responsibilities and “works” required of priests! Remember, “faith without works is dead” (see James 2:14-26). Just as Old Testament priests had to work to keep the “holy fire” burning on God’s altar at all times, day and night, so the New Testament priesthood of believers also have to work to keep the fire of God burning on the altars of their hearts at all times. God Himself initially sends the holy fire when we offer our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to Him (Rom. 12:1). But it is our responsibility to keep the holy fire burning by daily fueling it with sacrifices of devotion, praise, and prayer, etc., in obedience to His Word. Paul exhorted that “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” (1 Tim. 2:1). This is a daily duty of all New Testament priests – all saved people.

In Leviticus 10:1-6 we read the story of how two Old Testament priests, Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, “offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” Also, in Acts 5:1-11, we read the story of how two New Testament believers, Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, priests of God in the New Testament sense, brought an unacceptable offering before the Lord and they too fell dead before Him! If you are one who has endorsed the idea that works are irrelevant to a believer’s eternal security and salvation, please, for your own soul’s safety, STOP, AND THINK AGAIN! Forget about the theology you may have been taught and dig deeper into the Word of God. It is by the Word that we shall all be judged in the last day, and our judgment will be according to our WORKS! No “dead works” (see Heb. 6:1; 9:14) will be rewarded with eternal life! We must be purged from all dead works [works of the flesh] “to serve the living God,” and we must faithfully serve Him “in holiness and righteousness … all the days of our life” (see Luke 1:74-75).

Jesus said in Rev. 22:12: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” And in verse 14 of the same chapter, it says, “Blessed are they that DO his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” This is equivalent to a declaration that any who fail or neglect to DO His commandments will have no right to the tree of life and shall not enter into the city [Heaven]. Christ judged all seven churches of Asia (Revelation chapters 2-3) according to their works. And do you remember what He said to the church at Sardis? (See Rev. 3:2, 3 and 5) “…I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. … He that overcometh … I will not blot out his name out of the book of life…” To overcome and keep our name from being blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life requires works of faith and obedience in doing God’s will. Jesus also said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 7:21. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46.

John said, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Rev. 20:11-12.

Peter said, “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear [in profound respect for God and strict obedience to His Word]: … Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” 1 Pet. 1: 17, 22-25; 2:1-2.

The disobedience of the man of God we read about in 1 Kings, chapter 13, seems like a rather minor thing, but remember: he lost his life for it! And again, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Luke 17:32. This warning comes from Jesus Himself! God originally saved Lot’s wife from the destruction of Sodom, but for just one subsequent act of disobedience she lost her salvation! (See Gen. 19:17, 26.) Is eternal salvation not contingent upon perpetually following and obeying the counsel of God’s Word? Can you give one example from the scriptures where anyone ever came out a winner [saved] whose life on earth ended in a state of disobedience or in noncompliance with God’s Word?

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition [warning], upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:11-12.

“Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, IF thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” Rom. 11:22.