11/22/1998 6:00 PM
Hebrews 4:1, 2, 11
Referring to the people of Israel, many of those that left Egypt did not make it to the promised land. Why? because of unbelief. Many believe today that after they get salvation that everything will turn out fine... that the goal is made. "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief..." The beginning is not all there is to it. There is some effort and thought that needs to be put forth. There's a walk with God to be found.
Each one will give an account to God. We need to take care to our experience. We don't want to fall ourselves and we don't want to be an occasion of stumbling to our brother. It should be grievous to us to hear of anyone falling. Think about this... What do we expect the hearer to do with what we have to say? Stop and consider. Think before you speak. We should try to recover the fallen. Be careful that you aren't the cause of others' falling.
I Corinthians 10:11-13
We have much history to learn from. There are many examples of those that have started and not finished. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." We can stumble over ourselves if we aren't careful. Trust God and not yourself. The only difference between trusting yourself and trusting someone else is your relationship to the one you are trusting. God has made the way of escape, but you have to look for it. You don't have to fall, but you have to count on God to stand. God's grace is able to keep you from falling.
II Peter 1:5-11
"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, you shall never fall:" Be growing in God's grace; adding to your experience; do what you know to do; apply yourself; putting forth careful effort to make sure things are as they ought to be. Going to church on Sunday isn't what will keep you from falling (though it is good to go)... Taking your experience of salvation and building on it is what is important. Give attention to the things listed here. They will make your calling and election sure.
II Peter 3:17, 18
"...seeing ye know these things... beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." If you are drawing closer to God, you don't have to worry about falling away. Get busy growing. There's really no such thing as standing still... you are either going forward or backward. Keep increasing until you reach heaven. Salvation is an instant gift... keeping it requires some growth. Growth is the result of diligent application of the Word and Spirit of God.
"But ye, beloved, building up yourselves..." This does not mean to wait for someone else to do the building up for you. (And we aren't speaking of bragging here, but genuinely building up... adding to your experience.) Don't lose your focus. Keep yourself focused on the love of God. Keep determined. Keep in the right direction. We want to be careful how we go about helping others. You want to throw the line to the drowning man, but you don't want to jump in the lake with him. Reach out in such a way that you don't fall in your outreach. God is able to present you faultless before him. God will keep us if we will go his way. We need to take heed to the examples of those who have fallen. Walk with God, he'll bring you through it all.