Fight for what’s Worth Fighting For!
Penned by: Kevin K O’Connor
Date penned: Aug 02, 2017
Thought: To examine what being an overcomer looks like
Scriptural Springboard: Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Gen 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
Gen 32:25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
Gen 32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
The one phrase that the Lord repeated to each of the 7 churches that He addresses in Rev 2 & 3 “To him that overcometh”
While obtaining the ‘gift’ of salvation is given to whosoever receives it freely WITHOUT it being earned, keeping that Gift is a whole differently story. For, what each one of us has earned by birthright is not life, but death due to our initial Mom & Dad, Adam & Eve. But, thanks be to God and Him alone for His goodness Who loved us while we were yet broken and lost in our sins Who gave us Jesus Who bore the punishment for our sins. Those that not only confess Him as Lord but who also believe in their heart Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. That is the key ‘belief from the heart’ for anyone can confess Jesus is Lord, but it’s only those that believe from the heart which are the ones that bear fruit and prove that they are truly His and are not just wanna bees. God makes that clear in this parable of the talents Matt 25:14-30 as well as in Jesus description of the Vine and branches in John 15:1-8. To be given a sugar pill and not the real deal may make people comfortable, but by doing so, those that are doing this are giving people a false understanding of what God is expecting from those who claim His Son as Lord of their lives. So, God gives us these scripture references that make it clear, but how many times have heard these preached from the pulpit? Not much, but you will hear how free God’s Gift is, but not HOW you can tell who is truly His, those that are reciprocating because their faith is from the heart, not just their mouths. Two great scripture references for this Truth is given to us in; Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Jas 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. AND IN Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. So, in a way the phrase of ‘once saved, always saved’ is true ONLY IF it is of the faith that bears fruit as God’s Word states, NO if it doesn’t. For TRUE FAITH is more than words, its words that ‘agree with’ or ‘is in alignment with’ God’s Word. Thus Jesus is warning His churches in Rev 2 & 3 that are straying from the path of ‘TRUE FAITH’ in Him due to disobedience to His Word. And, He makes it clear that “To him that overcometh…” These are the ones that will TRULY make it into Eternal Bliss with Him, not those who are naming and claiming Him, but those who by faithful obedience are truly reflecting that they HAVE TRUE FAITH in Him ‘FROM THE HEART!’.
So, I’d have to be honest and say, if God’s Word was preached more that ONLY those whose lives are ‘accurately reflecting by bearing fruit’ what they’re confessing with their mouths ‘faith in Jesus’ will be saved, AND, with that kind of faith, it is ‘once saved, always saved’. For that kind of faith, is not a show and tell kind of faith, it’s a faith from the heart from start to finish as is portrayed in the good soil our Lord references here in; Mat 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. So, one could say in reference to the ‘once saved, always saved’ scenario that ‘once good soil, always good soil’. BUT, that truly isn’t realized until the person breathes their last breath for good soil is good from the first to the last and not just a temporary expression as the soil which had rocks or shallowness. Hence, you have Jesus admonishing the churches in Rev 2 & 3 to help them realize WHO would Truly be His and enjoy eternal bliss with Him “to him that overcometh”. This is the ‘balanced’ type of teaching our Lord is yearning for from those that are responsible for His sheep not the lopsided type that emphasizes faith and then doesn’t describe what True Faith, truly is.
So then, keeping that Gift of Life involves ‘proof of faith’ which is fruit! With the ONLY exception being those who are mentally unable to understand or due to age and not reaching the age of accountability OR those receiving that ‘gift’ on their death beds and are not able to produce the fruit that reflects their conversion. Picture it like this, each person born, didn’t will themselves into existence along with each animal or plant, BUT, if once being born or sprouting a root, that life doesn’t eat or the roots don’t reach down for the life giving water, that item which was initially given life due to NO effort of its own, if it doesn’t fight for its continual existence, will die. And, I’ve heard that even in conception with the millions of sperm trying to fertilize the egg, only one of those working to do so, actually is successful. Those that don’t even try, never even become what they could have been.
And, God reminds us that it’s only in the act of giving, that receiving is to be enjoyed. And, the four scriptural references for this Truth are;
2Co_9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Gal_6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal_6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Gal_6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Life and Life Eternal, is God’s Gift to us, what we do with it, is our gift to Him. Those that learn the joy of reciprocating enter into His Joy, those that hoard His Gift without bearing fruit will lose what little they started with. And, a good scripture reference for said Truth is as follows; Mat 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: Mat 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. Mat 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Mat 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Mat 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. Mat 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And, from the following scripture we see more of the story and why the master was so upset with this servant; Mat 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. Mat 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Notice that the master ‘delivered unto them’ or gave unto them. Just as the verse shows the giving nature of the master as noted here which reflects his kindness, notice how something is expected in return. Fruit is always expected when a fruit tree is given life and cared for. In the same way, those given life and especially eternal Life by Faith in Christ, are receiving gifts which are NOT earned, --- BUT --- the actions that follow that Gift are what display the heart of the one receiving it. Those that accept the Gift and respond in Love, enter into the Spirit of obedience and thus ‘prove’ themselves to be the children of God. Those that use the gift for their own selfish interests prove themselves to be children of satan no matter what they think or confess. Some GREAT scripture references for this thought are as follows; Matthew 25:31-46 which is where those that were focusing on loving Jesus were by nature doing the things He would do, but those who were focusing only on their works of righteousness, didn’t even know Him. And another good one is here in; Mat 7:21 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. Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
So, ‘once saved, always saved’ IF that Faith is as God’s Word says it is, fruitful from beginning to end, not just a temporary naming Him and claiming Him! A temporary faith is NOT from the heart but is a shallow soil type of confession. This is the kind of preaching that should be spoken from the pulpits in accordance with our Father’s heart, NOT in accordance with the pocket books of those speaking.
Heavenly Father, may those called to speak Your Heart, speak with a passion that ignites each hearer to enter into the Fire of obedience that totally consumes them unto Your Glory, Honor, and Praise. For it’s in the Everlasting, Glorious Name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
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