Preservation of the Saints

“I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus,” Philippians 1:6.

The other day a pastor friend told me the sad and shocking news that the one who was instrumental in bringing him to Christ, and discipling him, had washed out, and told him that he could no longer believe. Indeed, it is a dangerous journey. Will I make it to the Celestial City or will I be sidetracked into some broad and easy way and, like some, fall into the hands of a ‘Giant Despair’ leaving my bones to be a monument to Satan’s devices?

The apostle Paul here was entirely confident that the saints at Philippi would make it. Here are four reasons why the saints, the weakest saint, ‘shall win the day, though death and hell obstruct the way’:

1. The true Christian is a miracle, his conversion is “A WORK” of God. Creation, when God spoke the worlds into existence, is a work of God. Provision, His giving to all life, breath, and all things, is a wonderful work of God. But this is a work of salvation—the supreme demonstration of His wisdom, love, and power—and who can ward off His hand, Dan. 4:35, or nullify His counsel, Prov. 21:31? The saints will be preserved.

2. Salvation is a work “BEGUN” by God. God found me when an enemy, loving darkness rather than light, John 3:19. If He started a work in me when an enemy, surely I’ll make it now that I’m a friend of His, Rom. 5:10. The saints will be preserved.

3. The work of God in the heart of man is a “GOOD” work. It is good in its source for His goodness brought us to repentance, Rom. 2:4. It is good in its effect for it produced a “good conscience”, a “good heart”, the Christian is “created in Christ Jesus unto good works”, Ephesians 2:10, we have been brought under the “good word of God”, in company with “good men”, we have been called to fight the “good fight of faith”, we have been given “good hope”, and we know that God “works all things together for good”, for us. Yes, I’d call it a good work of God in turning a man from his sins. God will bring the evil to an end, but not the good. The saints will be preserved.

4. Salvation is a work of God “IN US”. Just as rot resistance is bred into plant varieties, so holiness is bred in the heart of the Christian. He is a new man, a “slave to righteousness”, Rom. 6. By nature he is holy. He can’t fall away. The saints will be preserved.

In a day of burn out, wear out, cop out, step out, what a boast has the saint, “who shall separate us from the love of God”! What a comfort has the saint, “I give them everlasting life and they shall never perish”! What security has the saint, “kept by the power of God”! What backing has the saint, “I have prayed for you that your faith fail not”! What a glory to God, “faithful is He who called you who will also bring it to pass”! Does this give confidence to the carnal to go on living loose with yet a hope of heaven? Never. It is just the opposite. If God ever truly began this “good work in you”, He won’t let you live in sin, He will continue perfecting you until the day. His work is perfect, Dt. 32:4. His salvation saves.

(1949 - 2012)
Bob Jennings began a pastoral ministry in Kirksville, Missouri in 1978 in the church that now meets at Lake Road Chapel. In 1983 he moved to Sedalia, Missouri to pastor a small flock which God had raised up in that city (now meeting at Highway M Chapel). Bob spoke at many conferences both in the United States and Eastern Europe. He also did evangelism outreach on various university campuses over the years. The Lord blessed Bob and his wife Terri with five children. Bob is respected as a godly man by all who knew him, perhaps most by his family. You can find encouragement from his many messages online, and also from his online journal which he kept during his days with cancer. Bob fell asleep in the Lord November of 2012.