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Home arrow Writers arrow David Montgomery arrow Doctrine for Dummies--Part 3
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Written by David Montgomery   

Of The Preservation of the Saints


When God gives spiritual life to totally depraved sinners in the process known as regeneration, He preserves them forever in that spiritual life. In short, they cannot fall from grace, or as the old saying goes, “Once saved—always saved.” I am glad this is the case for otherwise, we would be in a world of hurt. Consider the following...

What good would it do to save a person from a burning house and then toss them into another burning house? What good would it do to save a person who can't swim from drowning a river and then throw them into the middle of the ocean? What good would it do to save a person from hell and then leave them in a position to where they could fall right back into sin again? The answers to these questions are the same—it wouldn't do any good at all. Zero. Zippo. Zilch. Nil. Nada.

Years ago, I was sick and stayed home from work. I tried to take my mind off my illness by watching soap operas and talk shows. It didn’t work...in fact I felt worse than before. (I am convinced that in hell the poor inhabitants spend eternity standing in line to eat hominy while big screen TV's play daytime television. It is a terrible place and I do not want to go there). Anyway, after hours of Luke and Laura falling in and out of love, the wicked shenanigans of Erica and endless banality from Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Romper Room (the horrible precursor to Barney), the doorbell rang and there were two nicely dressed young ladies standing at the door. They introduced themselves and said that they were in the neighborhood spreading the Word of God. I will not tell you what religion they were but will just say that they were "witnessing for Jehovah." Well, they witnessed all right. They talked about the end of time and getting right with God, that the Rapture cometh and ya don't wanna miss it and they had the stuff that would ensure I didn’t miss it, etc. I listened politely and then told them of my beliefs. After a while Buffy (I think that was the name) interrupted and said, “Euuuww, you're one of those people that believes in once saved always saved!”

Excuse me????????

Since when did the best news you'll ever hear become “euuuww?” What is the matter, Buffy? I love the doctrine of preservation! If my eternal destiny rested in my hands, I would mess the whole thing up and wind up in hell where they serve hominy and wait in lines, etc. What about my kids? If their eternal destiny rested in my parenting skills and ability to convince them of the gospel, I know where they would end up...and it aint in heaven. But when I hear the following Scriptures, I can sleep peacefully at night.

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 10:28-30 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

Romans 8:33-39 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

I have heard some people say, “God loves us and wants us to be saved.” I agree with that statement. He wanted us to be saved so badly that He fixed it where we had no choice in the matter and that we couldn’t lose that salvation even if we wanted to. It’s like my mother used to say, “You’ll eat that asparagus and like it!” By George, she was right; I ate it and liked it. I still like asparagus to this day (she never did this with hominy though). Her will was irresistible and if you don’t believe me then you have not met my mother. Well, God’s will is even more irresistible. If He determines to save, then buddy, you are saved and once saved…always saved. How could it be otherwise? Why would anyone want it to be otherwise?

One hundred and fifty four years ago, when I was a child, my mother would make fruit preserves. Oh, they were so wonderful. She would make cherry, apricot, peach and plum preserves…plum preserves are plumb good! We would eat up one jar and then go to the pantry and hastily open another one. Sometimes, when we opened the lid, we were greeted by a terrible smell. The seal on the lid had not “took” and the fruit had spoiled. The preserves were not preserved were they? Thankfully, God is much better at preserving than we are.

“Not one shall perish, nor be lost.
His blood has bought them, dear they cost.”

Please allow me to summarize and comment on what I have written so far in these essays. We have examined totally depraved sinners, who through no effort on their own (because they were dead), have been given divine spiritual life through the process of Regeneration, and these individuals are positioned to where they can never fall from that blessed state again. Dear reader, if you can understand this concept, then you are well on your way to understanding the doctrines of grace.

One final analogy: Let’s say that you had lived a good life, went to church, helped the poor, etc. Wouldn’t it be the worst thing imaginable to discover that five seconds before you died that you had sinned, had no time for repentance and were thus sent to hell for that one unrepented sin? That would be pretty horrible. Some may say, “Aw that’s an extreme case. Get real!” Well looky here, if your doctrine does not cover ALL the extreme cases, then you might reconsider your doctrine. Preservation of the Saints covers all the extreme cases and that’s good news to me. As one of my favorite hymns proclaims:

“Enough my gracious Lord,
Let faith triumphant cry,
My soul that on this promise lives,
Can on this promise die!”

Thank you,
David Montgomery

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 April 2009 )
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.