We Take Nothing With Us When We Die

What are we doing here on earth that is making a Heavenly difference?.png

Ah, Black Friday. The day when thousands of people fight with and trample over others to get the latest, greatest deals. I have to wonder whose idea it was to crown the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday. It’s an oxymoron. We spend Thursday being thankful, then Friday being greedy and discontent. What’s up with that?

Please understand, I am not belittling anyone who goes shopping on Black Friday. I used to be among those who woke up early and stood in line waiting for the stores to open. But now, many stores have extended their Black Friday deals to their online stores, so I opt to shop from the comfort of my home. It’s safer that way.

It’s not the day or the shopping with which I have a problem. It’s the attitudes. Me first. Get out of my way. He who has the most toys wins. It’s sad and pathetic to see human beings treat one another with such disrespect. And for what? The latest fad? A new computer or phone? Is it worth it? After all, when we leave this earth, we won’t be able to take any of it with us.

Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.
— Psalm 49:16-17
As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.
— Ecclesiastes 5:15
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
— I Timothy 6:6-7

Would you believe me if I told you this “nothing” was the next one of my list? I couldn’t have chosen a better day than Black Friday to discuss this point. Yes, there are unbelievable deals today. Yes, it’s a great time to do some Christmas shopping. Yes, it can even be a fantastic opportunity to spend time with family. (Some of my fondest memories are Black Friday shopping with my mom and sister. My mom was there to shop. My sister and I were there to see how much we could aggravate my mom, in good fun, of course.) But as you go about the day, keep this in mind: we take nothing with us when we die. It all remains. All of it. No matter how good a deal we received, we can’t take it with us.

That being the case, how much is “stuff” really worth? Is it worth working extra hours at the office to afford the bigger television? Is it worth ignoring our family for hours on end playing with that awesome phone? In the end, we don’t even get to keep it.

But this particular nothing has an exception. Yes, I know if there is an exception to nothing, it would be something, but hear me out. When the Bible says we can take nothing with us when we die, it’s referring to stuff. Money, houses, toys, and gadgets are all left behind, and who knows what will happen to them when we’re gone? But there is one thing we can take with us to Heaven—another soul.

What would happen if we spent less time with our stuff and more time witnessing to others? How would the world change if we put down our phones, turned off our televisions, and used that time telling others about Christ? How would our conversations change if God was the topic instead of the latest and greatest sale? Our lives would make an everlasting difference! No, we can’t take our stuff with us, but we can be reunited with those who made it to Heaven because of our witness.

Again, I’m not condemning shopping or having nice things, but I am reminding all of us to make sure we have our priorities straight. This life—with all its stuff—is temporary. Heaven, on the other hand, is eternal. What are we doing here on earth that is making a Heavenly difference?

Can I Lose My Salvation? - Part Five

No one from outside of God’s grasp is getting in, and no one within God’s grasp is getting out..png

So far in this series on salvation, we’ve come to the following conclusions:

 • Everlasting life is without end.

 • Once one is born again, he cannot then be unborn.

 • We are saved and kept by faith, not works.

 • Certain aspects of salvation take place the moment we accept Christ as Lord and cannot be reversed.

I pray, by this point, you have a clear idea of what takes place during salvation and now have full assurance that once saved, you will always be saved. But, before we move on to other topics, I want to discuss one more argument some use to disprove eternal security, and that’s the idea that one can be pulled away from God’s grip. In two words, not happening! But, let’s see what the Bible has to say about the matter.

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 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. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
— John 6:37-40

I love this passage because it covers nearly all the bases concerning salvation. Notice, Jesus said those who come to Him, He will not cast out. He continues in the next verse by saying of all He has been given, He will lose nothing. And lastly, Jesus confirms salvation’s plan: he who believes will have everlasting life. In this one passage, we see God will not cast us out nor can we slip from His grasp because then He would “lose” us. God cannot take salvation from us; neither can we walk away from it. But, to drive the point home, let’s look at a few more verses.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 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.
— John 10:27-29

This is another comforting passage because it reminds us no one can pluck us from our Father’s hand. Notice the phrases: eternal life, never perish. And then, not once but twice Jesus declares no one can cause us to become unsaved—not even ourselves. Now, some may argue, “It doesn’t say that. It says no man can pluck me away, but it doesn’t say I can’t walk away if I want to.” Actually, it says exactly that. The phrase “no man” includes the believer himself. No one from outside of God’s grasp is getting in, and no one within God’s grasp is getting out. Why? Because God is greater than all, including the believer. Not only that but He’s also faithful to His promises.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
— Revelation 3:5

According to I John 5:4, whoever believes in Christ for salvation is an overcomer. Therefore, God promises believers will not have their names blotted out of the book of life. What is written there regarding the believer cannot be unwritten. There is a verse in Revelation 22 which speaks of God taking away a part out of the book of life for those who add to and subtract from the Word of God, but to whom is this verse speaking? Would true believers try to change the Word of God? I think not because when we accept Christ as Lord, we are accepting Him as the Living Word; therefore, it would go against our new nature (the Holy Spirit) to alter God’s inspired Word. Additionally, it does not say God will take his name out, but instead, he will take away a part. If a believer were to fall into this category of altering the Scriptures, perhaps the part that is taken away is a portion of his rewards. I cannot be sure, but Revelation 3:5 speaks clearly, and as we discussed at the beginning of this study, we must focus on the clear passages and base our doctrine around those rather than a few scattered verses that are obscure and could mean many things.

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
— II Timothy 1:12

Did you catch that? God can keep that which we’ve committed to Him. Well, what did we commit to Him? Our lives. Our salvation. When we accepted Christ as Lord, we turned our lives and souls over to Him for safekeeping, and God doesn’t take that lightly. He is able to keep them. If He weren’t, He wouldn’t be God, would He? God is all-powerful and is not willing that any should perish (II Peter 3:9), so let’s put two and two together.  

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
— Philippians 1:6

God has begun a good work in us, and He has promised to perform it until Christ returns to rule and reign. He won’t give up on us even when we give up on Him. The Bible is clear on this.

If you are struggling with your assurance of salvation, I encourage you to go back and study out the verses discussed in this study, and if you’re still uncertain, please contact me. I’d love to help you get it settled. Typically, those who struggle with the issue fall into one of two categories: (1) They’re saved, and Satan is fighting against them and causing them to doubt Christ’s saving power; (2) They once made a profession of faith but never accepted Christ as Lord. I will be the first to tell you that a believer doesn’t always “feel” saved, but if you have never experienced the peace and joy Christ offers, I urge you to check up on yourself. You don’t have to remember what day of the week it was or what time of the day it was when you called on God to save you, but you should be able to see some of the fruit of the Spirit in your life. Again, if you would like help in this area, I encourage you to contact me or someone else you trust in spiritual matters. Let us help you establish your assurance once and for all.

Can I Lose My Salvation? - Part Four

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When discussing eternal security, it’s vital we look at not only what salvation means to our future standing but also to our present status. While salvation promises us a future home in Heaven, there are aspects of salvation we experience the moment we surrender our lives to the Lord.

1) We are sealed.

From the moment we accept Christ as our Lord, we are sealed unto the day of redemption. That means not only are we marked by a seal (in the form of the Holy Spirit) that cannot be removed but we are also sealed in the sense of security. The seal cannot be broken nor can it be taken away.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. - Ephesians 4:30

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, - Ephesians 1:13

Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. - II Corinthians 1:21-22

2) We receive the earnest of the Holy Spirit.

An earnest is a portion of money or goods given as a pledge or down payment as an assurance that the full amount will be subsequently paid. But here’s the thing about an earnest: it’s nonrefundable. If you put down an earnest on a property and then back out of the deal, your earnest is not returned to you. At the moment of salvation, we believers receive the Holy Spirit as an earnest, a pledge that all of God’s promises concerning Heaven and everlasting life will be met in the future. Just as with any other earnest, the Holy Spirit cannot be returned and was never intended to be returned.

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. - II Corinthians 5:5

 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. - Ephesians 1:13-14

Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. - II Corinthians 1:21-22

3) We are seated in Heavenly places.

This one is a little trickier to wrap our brains around, but according to the Scriptures, when we are saved, we are seated in heavenly places in the spiritual sense. Yes, our bodies are still here on earth, but our spirits are at home in heaven with our Lord. One day, when the Lord returns, our bodies will be raised to meet him in the air, but until then, our spirits are seated there awaiting that reunion day. To lose our salvation would require that our spirits--after dwelling in heaven--be returned to us here on earth. Once again, this is impossible, and the Bible gives no claims to support this theory.

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: - Colossians 1:12-13

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:5-7

Each of these “events” takes place the moment of salvation—we become sealed with the Holy Spirit, we receive the earnest of the Holy Spirit, and we are spiritually translated to sit in heavenly places. To lose salvation, one would have to undo each of these points, which is impossible. Not only that but to even suggest that one can do such a thing is nothing short of calling God dishonest and untrustworthy. It is impunity to His honor. God is just and true, and once He has promised something, He will see it through.