I love the apostle Paul and I love the way that he preached the word of God. One thing that I know for sure is that the apostle Paul deserved nothing but the lowest part of Hell before he came to know Jesus Christ. Paul was an unsaved Jew who was a fierce and consistent opponent of Jesus Christ and all of his followers. You can read about his conversion experience in Acts chapter 9 and Acts chapter 26 but I will not go into that right now. The following verses are very familiar to us:
“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.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
You cannot earn your way into Heaven ladies and gentlemen. Salvation is something that was paid for by Jesus Christ.
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” (1 Timothy 1:12-16)
I love that passage of scripture because it talks about the mercy of God toward that man Paul. If God can be merciful toward Paul then he can be merciful to people like me and you also.
“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Colossians 1:21-23)
Do not miss what this beautiful apostle of grace said there in verse 23. Paul first talked about the believer being reconciled because of what Jesus did in the body of his flesh through DEATH so that WE might be presented HOLY, UNBLAMEABLE and UNREPROVEABLE in his sight. That is the standing of the believer folks. I have the righteousness of Jesus Christ because of what HE did for ME upon that cross. BUT that same apostle used the word IF and he used the word CONTINUE when he was talking about their FAITH in God. Paul talked about being solid and grounded. Paul warned about being moved away from the hope of the gospel. Why did he warn us about these things? Because people can turn away from the Lord and give up on the hope of the gospel.
Did the apostle Paul believe that he could fall away from the faith? The Bible speaks for itself and here are a few scriptures from Paul, (the apostle of GRACE) himself:
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a CASTAWAY. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
The apostle Paul made a very clear statement, and he was very concerned about his own soul. Paul wanted the people to know that he did not want to become a CASTAWAY himself after having preached to others. So here you have this apostle of GRACE telling the people that it was a possibility that he could become a castaway! Remember that these are the words which are found in the scriptures!
The Greek word used to translate the word CASTAWAY is ADOKIMOS which means [unapproved, rejected; by implication, worthless (literally or morally):–castaway, rejected, reprobate.
Could it be any clearer than that? Paul was saying (according to the scriptures) that he was concerned that he could become, unapproved, rejected, worthless, a castaway or reprobate, AFTER having preached to others. It is kind of funny because there are millions who use Paul as their “leader” in this “age of Grace” that we are living in, and they are constantly twisting the scriptures to fit their own false theology.
That same apostle Paul told us by the Holy Spirit that some would depart from the faith in the last days, after they were seduced by doctrines of devils!
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1 Timothy 4:1)
If the Holy Spirit spoke something then it is one hundred percent truth. If a person DEPARTS from the faith, then it means that they were IN the faith at one point in time. As I have said in previous posts the Devil has no need to SEDUCE those people who were NOT in the FAITH to begin with. The Devil and his seducing spirits go after those who are already IN the faith, and the Holy Spirit who LOVES us wants us to be aware of that! Thank You Lord for your LOVE toward us!
A person CANNOT depart from a place that they were never in to begin with. We look at our train or airline schedules and we take a look at the DEPARTURE times. When we board that train or plane, it DEPARTS from that location to another location. That is so simple and clear, that a child could understand that.
The Greek word used to translate the word DEPART in the passage that Paul wrote is the word APHISTEMI and it means this: [instigate to revolt; usually (reflexively) to desist, desert, etc.:–depart, draw (fall) away, refrain, withdraw self. ]
So Paul, the “apostle of GRACE” declared that the Holy Spirit (of truth) said that some would revolt, desist, desert, depart, fall away and withdraw themselves from the faith in the last days.
There is no need to argue with the scriptures here. This is simply what the Bible teaches, and it came from Paul, the “apostle of GRACE” himself! Paul also told us to examine our own hearts to see IF we are IN the faith.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be REPROBATES? (GREEK=ADOKIMOS) (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Paul knew that this walk with the Lord was a spiritual fight, BUT he also knew that God was faithful, and he knew that he was “going through” all the way until the end.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. (2 Timothy 4:7-10)
Three different times, Paul, the “apostle of GRACE” used the word “I” and he would have been accused by many today of “earning” his salvation, because he thinks that he had something to do with it. Please notice the man named Demas who forsook Paul because he LOVED this present world. Demas was a man who was on the front lines with Paul and you will even find his name mentioned in other passages in the Bible. (Colossians 4:14, Philemon 1:24) Did Demas LOSE his salvation? What does the Bible have to say about those who LOVE the world?
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:15-16)
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)
Paul told us that Demas forsook him because he “loved this present world”! Jesus Christ himself said that if a person loves the world, then the love of the father is not in that person. James declared that a person is an “enemy of God” IF they are a “friend of the world.”!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (1 Peter 1:3-7)
The apostle Paul spoke about a crown that was waiting for him and others who loved the appearing of Jesus Christ. This is what Jesus Christ said in the book of Revelation.
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” (Revelation 3:10-12)