John MacArthur has a sermon on Grace To You in which he reveals his answer when someone tells him, “I’m not sure I’m saved.” While some will ask questions like, “Did you say the prayer?” or “Do you love Jesus?” MacArthur will say, “Maybe you’re not!”
For some that may seem harsh. Where’s the grace to you in that answer?
Quick aside: I think MacArthur’s ministry refers to God’s Grace, not MacArthur’s.
But this is an important question: Should we question our salvation? Aren’t we saved and kept by the power of God? Isn’t His grip sure? He keeps His sheep and will not lose a one?
Except he did lose one of his sheep, didn’t He? The son of perdition.
MacArthur notes this exception in his sermon, too. Judas was one who hung out with Jesus, followed His teaching and helped with the accounting for the group during 3 years of Jesus’ earthly ministry. None of the disciples pointed fingers at Judas when Jesus revealed that one of them would betray Him at the last supper.
Rather, all the true sheep questioned themselves, knowing they had the potential to deny Christ.
Well, Peter boasted that he would never deny Christ … which was then proven false later that night.
The difference here is that Peter probably knew he could deny Jesus and was angry at himself, resorting to his physical strength to reject such a possibility.
Judas didn’t blink. He went out to do what he intended to do. He rejected Jesus because He wasn’t the Christ whom Judas had envisioned. This lowly peasant, despite the miracles, was not the savior of Israel. He would die, sooner or later, and never oust the Roman occupation.
None of the association with Jesus rescued Judas from his lack of faith. He was considered a friend by Jesus, who offered him the choice morsel at that fateful supper. He called Judas friend.
But Judas sold the firstborn birthright for financial gain. In his own mind, he was doing everyone a favor, turning this fraud in to the religious leaders who could judge Him.
Is it possible that those who go to church faithfully, believe in God, affirm a sound creed of the faith could be found disqualified in the end for lack of faith? Is it possible that the Israelites who were led from captivity in Egypt, passed through the Red Sea, ate the bread from heaven and the water from the rock … then failed to enter God’s Rest due to unbelief?
This isn’t a matter of losing one’s salvation. It’s a matter of never having repented and accepting the Lord as one’s Lord and Savior to begin with.
Paul, the great Apostle, said that he disciplined his body to keep it under control, lest after preaching the gospel, he be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27).
Paul then says in Philippians 2:12 that we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
MacArthur notes that the purpose of examining ourselves before taking the bread and drink at communion is to inspect our faith and obedience to the Lordship of Christ to confirm we’re declared righteous by Jesus’ sacrifice and worthy of taking the elements.
How many take communion in an unworthy manner, i.e. as rebels who have yet to repent?