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Assurance of Salvation (Vol 05) - Promises about Salvation

Sunday English Service - 20 OCT 19

Transcript

For the last few weeks, we've been talking about the assurance of salvation. That is, every believer should be sure about their salvation. It's one thing to be saved, it's another thing to be sure that you are saved, and that you are safe for ever. Some people are saved and they are safe, but they don't know it. They're not sure. They’re in two minds about it. And this happens to a lot of believers. When doubts arise in our minds about our salvation, we need to know what to do with it. We need to be able to know how to deal with it. Doubts do come. To many believers, doubts come they won't even reveal it, but they just keep it inside. They'll hide it but doubts come. You got to know what to do with it, how to deal with it. We have been talking about what to do with it and how to deal with it. Remember what we said? When doubts come where should you go first? The Gospel. You go back to the gospel. You go back to the basic gospel, and you consider it and you look at the basic gospel and you examine it, and meditate on it until the doubts leave and you get the assurance.

The second place you go to is? The first place is the gospel. That's what we've seen for the last two weeks. Two weeks we went back to the gospel so that our doubts may leave and we may get true assurance of salvation. Go back to the cross. The second source of assurance is the promises of God in the scriptures. If you get doubts, what do you do? You go to the promises of God. And today that's what we're going to do. We're going to talk about the promises. We're going to look at promises from the Bible that will give us true assurance of salvation. All right.

Now, before I begin, let me say that this teaching will be extremely useful for those who have doubts but it will be also useful for those who say, “I don't have doubts.” For many reasons, but let me give you one reason, even if you don't have doubts right now, or even if you are sure about your salvation, you can always be more sure. You can always grow in your assurance. You can always grow in your confidence of your salvation, the assurance of your salvation. And it's very important to grow. When you grow in your assurance of salvation, what happens is, without you realizing, the side benefit is, you grow in your general faith in God and His promises. If you grow in your assurance of salvation, without you realizing what will happen is, you will grow in your faith towards God and His promises in every area of your life. Without you realizing, when you become more sure of your salvation, what happens is, you become more sure of everything when it comes to God. You become more sure that He's with you, you become more sure that you will succeed in your work, He will help you in your work, you become more sure that He will help you in your family. And it is very important to become more sure. It's very important to grow in our faith.

And so, even if a person says, “I'm a believer, and I'm sure and I don't need this.” No, this will help you because if you become more sure, if you grow in your assurance, it will end up growing your faith in general towards God in every area of your life. So, I do believe this will be useful for you on several levels and in several ways. Some of the things we say today will apply in general because no matter what your problem is, as a believer, if you got a problem, you know what the solution is? Go back to the gospel. Go back to the promises. This is a general solution. Your problem may be 100 different problems, solution is what? Go back to the gospel, go back to the promises of God. It's all there. The answer is right there. If you need healing, you go back to the cross. Cross gives healing. You need something else, go back to the cross.

Whatever you need, it is related to the finished work on the cross. You may need to come out of debt, you may need a job but let me tell you, it's still related to the finished work on the cross. I hope you know how. A lot of people don't even know how. They don't even believe that our practical problems are solved by Jesus' death on the cross. Whatever your need be, it is related to the finished work on the cross. You go back and you meditate on it until you believe in it and then you will receive the answer for it. Same with the promises. Whatever your problem be, you go to the promise that addresses your need. You know what happens? People are in problems and needs and they lament about the needs or they worry about their problems, they are burdened with their problems. That is not going to do us any good. Being burdened and worried and just so tense, stressed out, is not going to do you any good. Your health will get worse as a result of it. Nothing will improve as a result of stress. Instead of that, you go to the promise that matches your need. Do you know there is a promise that matches your every need? Because there are thousands of promises here. I don't think we have thousands of problems.

There is more than a promise for our every need. Google it. Bible verse for this problem. Google it at least. Use Google in that way. And go to that promise, take it and read it and meditate on it and confess it with your mouth and start thinking about it instead of your problem and you watch what happens. These things are general solutions. As a Christian, as a believer, our general approach to solving problems must be what? Not meddle with the problem, not think about the problem, not lament about the problem, but rather go back to the gospel and the promises of God. And so, that's what we're going to do today. When there is a problem of assurance of salvation, when doubts arise about salvation, we go to the promises of God. Now, if you go to the promises, there are too many promises. All right. Even about this particular topic, there are too many promises.

Today, we're going to look at just few samples but particularly, we're going to look at two categories of promises. The first category is God’s promises about the beginning of our salvation. That's the first category of promises. What do I mean by that? In the Bible, again and again, God has promised to save everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. If you believe in Jesus Christ, He has promised to save that person. That's where salvation begins. You believe in Jesus Christ and you get saved. So, we'll look at those kinds of promises. And then we'll also look at the promises that have to do with the end of our salvation. In other words, God has promised to preserve all those who are truly saved until the very end. So, He's made some promises about the beginning of salvation and he has made promises about the end of our salvation. And if you cover the beginning and the end, it's pretty much all covered. I mean, yeah, there’s a lot that happens between, we’ll even talk about that next week. But today we're looking at the beginning and the end.

Let me say a word before we begin looking at the promises. In this world, promises are taken very lightly. People make promises and it's not fulfilled. Somebody says, “I promise,” it doesn't mean a lot these days because there are warranties and guarantees that don't mean anything. You go and find out finally, the warranty doesn't cover anything and the guarantee is useless and the “I promise” is gone.  So, we live in a world where promises really don't hold much value. And perhaps that is one reason why believers find it hard to believe the promises of God. But you got to remember God is different. The Bible says, God cannot lie. Not just He won't lie, but He cannot lie. Why? Because if He says something, His word carries such power that whatever He says will come to pass. Imagine that. He will never play this joke on you. He'll never say, “I said it simply.” Like in Tamil they say, chumma sonean. I just said it for fun. He can never play that kind of joke on anybody.

I do think God has a lot of humor. You look at Jesus, He has a great sense of humor, but not this kind of humor. Saying something, “I just said it for fun.” No, He can't say anything like that. Because if He says something, it'll happen. If He opens His mouth and if He gives a promise, or if He says a word, whatever He says will come to pass. His word is the thing that created the world and sustains the world. It is very powerful. And so, when He says something, don't look at it with the mindset of the world. His promise is extremely valuable, because He cannot lie. And heaven and earth may pass away but His Word will not pass away. The word that is here in our laps is so great and so amazing. Every promise inside this, you can count on, my friend.

Maybe one reason why you are dejected is, you have believed in some promise but it hasn't come to pass. Don't give up, my friend. Time is a big factor for us, it’s nothing big for Him. That's why we get impatient sometimes. We want Him to come in our timeframe kind of. But He's outside time and he's not so bothered by time. And so, sometimes things take longer than we expect. But don't give up, my friend. Heaven and earth may pass away but His word will not pass away. You keep holding on to the promise. As we look at these promises today, I want you to come with the approach that this is God's word, this is God's promise, this is God looking at you and saying, “I promise to do this,” and take it seriously and see what happens. Your assurance will grow.

Let's look at the first category of promises, the beginning of our salvation. God has promised to save us everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. Let's go to John chapter 3. Get ready to see a lot of Bible verses today. We're talking about promises. We're going to see a lot of Bible promises. We're going to that famous passage, John 3:16. Everybody knows it.  God so loved the world. Whenever you go to a familiar passage, you got to be careful because you got to work extra hard to benefit from it. Because your mind says, “You already know it.” Your mind says, “Why is the preacher even taking this. I know it by heart, backwards.”  That's when you got to be extra careful, and work extra hard to benefit from it. Now, we're going to look at not just John 3:16, but we're going to look at John 3 verse 14 to 18. That's the context there.

And let's begin verse 14. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. Jesus is saying, why must He be lifted up on the cross? So that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. Who's saying these words? Jesus is saying these words. Whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. I want you to notice that ‘whoever’. Everybody say, whoever. Whoever means everyone. Everyone who believes in Jesus may have eternal life. Now, as we read, keep watching for that ‘everyone’ or ‘whoever.’ Verse 16. This is the verse we got to watch out. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Do you see the ‘whoever’ again? Whoever believes in Him. Again, in the next verse, look at verse 17. God did not send his Son into the world. Jesus brings this word into this discussion: ‘world’. God didn't send His Son into the world. God so loved the world. The Son did not come into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Why is He saying, “World, world”? Because He's trying to stress the ‘whoever’. Whoever it is, anybody in the world, if they would simply believe in Him, they will not perish, but they will have eternal life. It can be anybody.

Jesus is not the God of one group called Christians or something. No. He came to save the world. He entered this world as the savior of this world, and He offers His salvation to anyone in this world. Rich are poor, educated or uneducated, high-standing or low-standing, it doesn't matter because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And now Jesus says, “I came not that the world might be condemned, but that the world might be saved through Me.” Anybody who believes, whoever, everyone who believes, anybody in the world. Somebody may say, “But what if I'm a very terrible person?” I say, you are the best candidate to come to Jesus and receive His salvation.

You remember Jesus in His earthly ministry He said, “The people who are well, don't need a physician. Only the sick need the physician. Because the Pharisees were acting like they don't need any help. “We're fine. We're perfect.” Jesus said, “I didn't come for you. Don't worry. You're fine? Don't worry. I came for the people who are sick, the people who are needy, people who are suffering. People who are going through problems. People who say, ‘I have no hope.’” Jesus came for people especially like that. and He says to you, “No matter who you are, whoever you are, all you got to do is believe in Jesus and you will receive eternal life.” It's a powerful promise, my friend. All they got to do is believe in Jesus. And no matter how that person lived or what their background is, they will be saved, they will receive eternal life, they will not perish. Look at how many times Jesus says, “They should not perish,” in verse 16, “they should not perish but have eternal life.” I think in English it comes 16 and then it comes as they should not be condemned verse 17, verse 18, “They should not be condemned, but they should have eternal life. They should be saved.”

One man came to a preacher and said, “I got saved some years back but I don't have any assurance now. I’m fully doubting, I have no peace.” The preacher said, “Do you know John 3:16?” He said, “Yeah, I know John 3:16. I know it by heart. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten...” Preacher said, “Stop. Open your Bible. Go back there and read it word by word and stop after every word.” “For. God. So. Loved. The. World. That. He. Gave. His. Only. Begotten. Son. That. Whoever. Believes. In. Him,” Preacher stopped and said, “Now, what did you just read?” “Whoever believes in Him.” “Now, who's there in the ‘whoever’?” The guy didn't get it. So, he said, “Read it again.” He kept making him read again and again, “Whoever believes in Him.” And finally, the guy got it, it seems. “Wow, it's me. Whoever believes in Him, that includes me.” The light has to turn on inside like that. That includes you. Everybody say, that includes me. Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. And the guy immediately got up and said, “My, that includes me. I have eternal life. I won't perish, Jesus said it. That's it. Done. Finished.” Just one promise. If the light turns on about one promise, we’ll get assurance.

May God turn on the light. Jesus Himself says these words, my friend. Let me ask you, do you believe in Jesus? If you say, I do, then you will not perish. You will not be condemned. Now itself you are not condemned. Now itself you have eternal life. Look at John chapter 6, another Jesus’ promise. John chapter 6 verse 40. “This is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Just look at the first portion of the verse. “This is the will of My Father.” Whose will? Father's will. What is His will? That whoever who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life. It's not difficult. You just have to look on the Son, look at Jesus and believe in Jesus. Look at Jesus means what? Look at who Jesus is and what He has done. Look at the basic gospel and believe in it. Look at Jesus and believe in Him. You should get eternal life. This is the Father's will. Everybody say, Father's will.

It's not only the Father's will, it is also the Son’s guarantee. Look at verse 47 in the same chapter, just a few verses down. John 6:47. The Son gives the guarantee you look at this. And again, Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. Whoever believes in Me has eternal life. Why do I say guarantee? You see the ‘truly, truly’, you see the ‘verily, verily’, you see the ‘most assuredly’, that is the guarantee. There is no need for Jesus to say truly, truly. But He knows He has come into a world where promises don't hold much value and the world doesn't. Everybody lies left and right. So, He said, “No, this is not a lie. Now, listen. Everything I say is true. But let Me emphasize it more now. Truly. Not one time, second time truly. Truly, truly I say to you, whoever believes in Me has eternal life.” Not you will get eternal life one day, you already have it. Everybody say, I already have eternal life. Well, I hope you do. If you believe in Jesus, you already have eternal life. “Whoever believes in Me.” Do you believe in Jesus now? That means you have eternal life now.

This is the Son’s guarantee. This is the guarantee given by Jesus Himself. It's the will of the Father. Will is a very strong term in the Bible. It's not like just desire. It's not just like, the Father wants it. No, no. It’s more than wanting it. It's more than desiring it. When Jesus says, “This is the Father's will,” He means to say, “This will happen, believe it. This is the Father's will. And I'm guaranteeing it. Truly, truly I say to you, if you believe in Me, whoever you are, you have eternal life now.” What more do we need, my friend? We have the will of the Father; we have the guarantee of the Son. Simply believe it. Whoever, everyone who believes. Believe it until you get the assurance, believe it until you get that light turned on inside and say, “That's me. I have eternal life.” Eternal life is not just living forever and ever. Eternal life is the God kind of life. It's a different kind of life. It's a kind of life that the world does not have, that only believers. It's a very special kind of life and you have it, my friend, because you have believed in Jesus.

Now, some people have a doubt about this. And they say, “Well, I don't know whether I believed properly, brother.” Their doubt is, “I don't know if I'm believing correctly. I agree with everything you’re saying. Jesus is super. He died on the cross and did all this. And then the Father also is nice, only. Okay, I understand. And then the word also says whoever believes has eternal life. But that is where my doubt comes from, brother. I don't know whether I believe.” Some people have that kind of doubt. What happens is, after some years, due to some other reasons, they start thinking and think back to their past, the moment they first believed in Jesus, and they begin doubting that. They begin replaying it in their mind. So, the doubt sometimes people have about their past faith, when they first believed in Jesus, and they say, “I don't know whether I believe properly.” That's the reason people ask Jesus into their heart 100 times, 200 times, 300 times. Why? They don't know whether He came in the first time so they replay it back to the first time. They say, “Well, I don't know whether I believe properly. I don't know whether I repented properly. I don't know whether my faith was enough.”

How do you deal with those kinds of issues? Well, let's talk about that. How do you deal with doubts about your past faith? I'll give you the solution and then I'll explain it. The solution is this, your present faith is better proof of your salvation than your past faith. Let me say that again. Your present faith is better proof of your salvation than your past faith. Don't look at your past faith, look at your present faith. You want to know whether you’re really saved? Look at your present faith. Let me explain this by describing what happens when a person gets saved. I'm just going to describe it. Just imagine it like a picture. So, when we first get saved, how do we come to Jesus? We just come like this, “Jesus, I need your help. Please help me.” What does Jesus do? He takes a hold of us and He carries us into His arms. Can you just imagine that? Picture that. You come empty handed to Jesus and say, “Jesus, I need your help, please save me.” What does He do? He catches you and He carries you into His arms and you are leaning on His shoulders. That describes what happened at salvation.

Some time goes by, and after some time, what happens? You begin to doubt whether you are really saved. Now, how do you deal with that doubt? You can think back to the first time you came to Jesus with your hands like this, saying, “Jesus, please help me.” But that's not necessary. You can simply look at where you are right now. Leaning on His shoulders, in His arms. What do I mean to say? Simply look at whether you are believing in Him now. Leaning on Him means what? Believing in him. Do you believe in Jesus now? Are you leaning on Jesus now?  Are you trusting in Jesus and His cross and His promises, now? Are you leaning on Him now? If you are believing in Jesus now, that is what is most important. Your present faith is better proof of your salvation than your past faith.

I’ll give you another example. You're sitting in the chair right now. You're all sitting in the chair. When did you sit? Most of you stood up for the singing. After the singing got over you sat down, around 11:30-ish. Now, I'm looking at you, all of you are sitting down. I'm going to ask you a question. What is the proof that you sat down before this? What is the proof that you sat down sometime back? We're sitting now. Exactly. The answer came like that.  The proof that you sat down before is that you are sitting down now. Right. Now, here's how you will not answer me. You won't say, “At 11:29 brother, I just came down towards the chair and made sure everything is right and then sat down.” That won’t be your answer. That's fine. You did sit down around 11:29-ish, but the fact that you're sitting now is proof enough that you sat down in the past. It's even possible that when you first sat down, you didn't sit down very properly. You almost missed it. You almost missed that chair. And you barely made it and then just sat down. All right. Some people will get saved like that. It's like they barely made it.

Think about when we get saved. When we first believe in Jesus, we don't know much about Jesus.  We have not even tasted and seen Jesus. From what little we hear, the gospel, to the best of our ability at the moment, we simply believe and we say, “Jesus, help me.” Nobody can claim that they had perfect faith at the time of their salvation, that they believed perfectly, that they repented perfectly. Nobody can claim that. In a less than perfect manner only most people go through that first experience. But then what happens? Slowly they begin believing in Jesus more and more. You may not have sat down properly but now you are sitting down. And if you're sitting down properly now, that's what counts. If you're believing in Jesus now, that's what counts. That is enough. You don’t have to rake up the past. The problem is, you can hardly remember it and you try to remember all this. No, no. Your present faith is better proof. Do you believe in Jesus now? Are you trusting in Jesus now?

In fact, let me say this. If a person says, “I believed in Jesus 10 years ago, and the moment I first believed in Him, it was amazing. Peace and joy flooded my heart and I had these tears coming down my cheeks.” All that is great. But then if they say, “But now, I don't believe in Jesus at all.” If somebody says that, I will not give them assurance. What is better proof? Present faith, not past faith. If a person says, “I believed in Jesus but now I have no faith in Jesus. Zero faith, I don't believe in Jesus at all.” I will not give that person assurance. That person, I'm doubting whether they really got saved. What is the experience they had? It's not just the tears. It's not just whatever feeling or emotion you have at the time. People put a lot of emphasis on that. The question is, what is happening now? If it was a faith that saved you, it will be a faith that perseveres and it will be a continuing faith in the Lord Jesus. Yeah, faith will have its ups and downs sometimes. It will be high sometimes, it may be low, but the person will keep believing in Jesus. In fact, what's your name? Your name is believer. My name is what? Believer. That's who I am. I'm a believer.

What’s a believer? Have you ever thought about what is a believer? Why are we called believers? Believers are people who believe, not people who believed once. Exactly. The continual believing. Believers are people who believe continually. They start believing at a certain point, and they continue to believe. And usually their belief grows, their faith grows. The overall trajectory of their faith keeps going up. That's why in the Bible, all the verses I read, they are in the present tense. Did you notice that? Most of the times when it talks about believing in the Bible, it's in the present tense. Whoever believes, everyone who believes. Some other examples I can give you. It's in the present tense. 1 John 5:13. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God. Not, you who once believed, you who believe. We must keep believing. I write these things to you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 4:14. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again. Not just once we believed, we continue to believe Jesus died and rose again.

So, if a person says, “I don't believe anymore,” I think what that person needs is not assurance but salvation. I don't know if they really got saved. Let them believe now first then later I'll give them assurance. What you need, my friend, if you say you don't believe in Jesus right now, you believe, please. Believe in Jesus. What matters is your present faith. Now, let me ask you, how's your present faith? Are you believing in Jesus? Now, even when I raised that question, that itself will bring doubts for people. “Brother, I don't know whether I'm believing properly. Now, let me talk about how to deal with that. Now, to deal with this, you got to understand something very basic about the nature of faith. Sometimes we forget the basics. Let me remind you something very basic to the nature of faith. If you are having doubts about your present faith, “I don't know if I'm believing enough in Jesus. I don't know if my faith is strong enough. I don't know if my faith is good enough now, in the present. I don't know if my faith is pure enough now in the present.” Well, listen to this. The first and most important thing when it comes to your faith is not how strong or good or pure your faith is, but who or what your faith is in. That’s the first most important thing.

First, what is important? Who or what do you believe? Second only, how strongly do you believe. Now, let me try to explain that with an illustration. Faith is like a hand that grasps something. If it's an empty hand, it's not faith. When you take a hold of something, that's faith. Some people take a hold and grasp and believe in money, riches. Some people believe in status, power. All kinds of things people believe in. Faith is like that hand that grasps something. Now, let's say you are about to slip and fall, you got to hold on to something. Now, it's not enough if you just hold on tightly, more importantly, you got to hold on to the right thing or right person. If you're about to slip and fall, you want to grasp somebody very strong, a strong man. If you grasp a strong man, what will he do? Even if your grasping is not very tight, he will quickly catch you. But if you're about to slip and fall and you hold on to a small child, you are going to fall and the child is also going to fall. You can't say, “But I held on tightly to the child.” Strong faith in the wrong person or thing is useless. Weak faith in the right person counts for something.

Let me complete it. This is related to salvation. When it comes to salvation, there are many people who hold on strongly to their own good works. How do you know you're saved? How do you know you're going to heaven? “Don’t you know I've helped so many poor people. I've done this and that.” Like that New York Mayor who said, “If ever there is a God and if there is a heaven, they’ll let me in and without asking me any questions because I've done so much for the people.” He's holding on to his good works, his merit. People hold on to all kinds of things. People hold on to the fact that they are the 10th generation Christian. “What do you mean am I going to heaven? Of course, I'm going to heaven. I'm a 10th generation Christian.” What are they holding on to? 10 generations they've been Christian. That's the object of their faith. That's what they're holding on to. Some people hold on to their sacraments. There's a whole group holding on to the sacraments, and saying that. People who hold on strongly to the wrong things, it will not save them no matter how strong they hold on to it.

But take Jesus now. Now, listen, Jesus is different. He's like that strong person. If you just hold on to Him a little bit, He catches you like that. The weakest faith in Christ saves. The strongest faith in the wrong thing or person will never save. That's why Jesus said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain itself.” What a shocking statement. Have you seen a mustard seed? I remember a preacher distributed mustard seeds once when I was in the church in another country. He said, “Look at how small it is.” You remember when Jesus said that? When the disciples came to Him and said, “Lord, increase our faith,” in Matthew chapter 20, and then Luke 17, you can find it. The disciples say, “Lord, increase our faith.” They look at Jesus. They thought, “My problem is the faith. I don't have enough faith.” And they came to Jesus and said, “Lord, increase our faith, Lord. We need more faith.” Jesus said, “No, man, you don't need more faith. If you have faith in the smallest level, the mustard seed level, the minimum faith in Me, if you have minimum faith in the word, if you have minimum faith, that itself will move the mountain.”

The first thing about your faith is not how strong it is, who it is in. Now, let me ask you, who is your faith in? Is it in Jesus? If you say, “I have only mustard seed level faith in Jesus,” my friend, that faith is enough to save you. The weakest faith in Christ saves. It's not your faith that saves, it’s Christ who saves. Your faith is like the hand which holds on to Christ but He held on to you much stronger. Now that's how salvation happens. You see. Now, are there different levels of faith? Of course, there are different levels of faith. There is weak faith and there is strong faith. Even mustard-weak faith will bring great results but we don't want to remain there itself. We do want to grow in our level of faith because as you grow in your level of faith, you will see more victory in your life. In fact, let me say it like this. As you grow in your level of faith, you will experience more assurance of salvation.

You know why we don't have assurance sometimes? Because our faith is very weak. Our grasp of Jesus is very weak. We have salvation, His grasp makes sure your salvation is intact, but our grasp is weak and so, assurance is lacking. So, when you grow in your level of faith, it is very beneficial because you will grow in your victory, you will grow in your assurance, you will grow in your peace and joy and every good thing in your life. So, it's good that we grow and we should grow, we should want to grow but in the matter of salvation, you need to realize that the weakest faith in Christ saves because Christ is such a great Savior. How do you grow in faith? So, you realize you have weak faith but you're saved but you want to grow in faith. How do you grow in faith? You don't grow in faith by lamenting your weak faith. “Oh, I don't have enough faith.” You don't grow in your faith by focusing directly on your faith. You grow in faith by focusing on the object of your faith. Who's the object of your faith? Jesus. You grow in your faith by focusing on the object of your faith. Jesus, the promises, the word and so on. You grow in your faith by putting your focus there.

Now, let me describe it with another illustration. I think the illustrations help to understand, bring things together. Let me describe again what happens in salvation and then take it from there. Now, imagine that we are all on an island, fully surrounded by water, and we get the news one day that, “This island is going to drown. You better get off this island.” And same time you get another news. What is the news? “There is only one way out of this island. That is, there is a big bridge. The bridge is nothing like you have ever seen. You can't even imagine how big it is. Just imagine it is wider than you've ever seen or imagined. And it is taller than you've imagined. And it is longer. There's such a massive bridge.” And you hear the news, other people also hear the news. But somehow you believe it enough to go. And you don't know much. But you believe, “Okay, if I stay here, this island is going to drown. So, I better go on to the bridge.” And you run onto the bridge. That's what happens in salvation.

We got the news. What news? That without Jesus nobody stands a chance. You're not safe without Jesus. We heard that news. And then we heard the news that, “If you go to Jesus, He will save you.” And just with that news, we didn't know much about Jesus, we didn't know much about everything but we just ran to Him with minimum faith. And we run to Jesus, that's like going on to the bridge. The fact that you went on to the bridge means you had minimum faith to come. If you did not even have the minimum faith, you would have not even got on the bridge. You would have looked there and said, “I don't know whether that will stand. I don't know if that's the right way to go.” Yeah, you may have had doubts but you had enough faith to simply rush onto the bridge. That's how we came to Jesus. We had minimum faith to just run to Him and said, “Lord save me. I trust in You. What little I know and what little I can I trust in You,” and we got onto Jesus. We got onto the bridge.

Now, we're on the bridge. Now, remember, don't think bridge like how have you see in Chennai, please. Wider than you can imagine, higher than you can imagine and longer. How long? Goes all the way to heaven. And you're walking on that bridge. You’re fine at first but then suddenly, you look at the water. Remember, there's water everywhere, and the waters are raging. And you look at other things. Some things don't look so good and then you get doubts, and then you get doubts about your doubts. This is what happens to people having doubts about salvation. They look at external circumstances, that bring the first doubt, then they get doubts about their doubts, and they’re overanalyzing the doubts. How do you solve this? While you're on the bridge only, you’re walking on the bridge only, albeit slowly, but you are walking full of doubt.

Your doubt is not going to go if you keep looking at the water outside. Your doubt is not going to go if you keep thinking about the doubt itself. What's the only way the doubt will go? You look at the bridge only. Block out everything from your sight and look at the bridge only. Remember, the bridge is massive. So, you can look only at the bridge only. Just keep that within your sights. You’ve forgotten how high the bridge is. When you look at the water, it seems like the water will come on the bridge but when you look at the bridge you realize this is too high, the water can never reach up here. When you look at the waters raging, it looks like the bridge may be shaken. But then when you look at the pillars and the beams on which the bridge is standing, you realize nothing can shake this. It’s not even moving one inch. Forget one inch, not even moving one whatever. No movement. No matter what happens it is solid. The more you look at the bridge, you realize, “I'm in a safe place, nothing can harm me.” And without you realizing what happened, the doubts went away. Do you realize that? You don't make the doubts go away by focusing on the doubts. You make the doubts go away by focusing on Jesus. Who's the bridge? Jesus is the bridge. He is that high rock on whom we are perched. He is the immovable foundation on whom we stand. Look at His power. Look at His goodness, look at His mercy. Look at His kindness. Look at His promises. “Truly, truly I say unto you, whoever believes in Me has eternal life and I will raise Him up on the last day.”

The more you look at that, without you even realizing the doubt went away. This is the way you deal with doubts, my friend. Not by directly attacking the doubt, but by indirectly attacking by directly focusing on Jesus. How do you focus on Jesus? How do you look at Jesus? How do you see His glory, His greatness, His goodness, His Majesty? You don't just close your eyes and look. You don't just look at a picture of Jesus and look. How do you look at Jesus? This is the only way you can look at Jesus. I know Jesus sometimes shows Himself in a vision. But usually, have you noticed, it's people who don't have access mostly to these kinds of things? Have you noticed that? In places where the gospel does not go in, nobody's allowed to go in, Jesus appears there. He says, “You guys won’t let this go in. I’ll go. Fine.” But then where this is, He says, “You look at this now first.” And where the church is, He says, “Now, you go to the church and you hear the preacher.” The way to look at Jesus is by looking at His word. This is his word, my friend. These are his promises. This is what He spoke. Look at this.

And when you look at it, look at it like a little child looks at it. What do I mean? When you come to the promises, look at the promises the way a little child looks at it. When a child hears, “I promise”, from his or her father, they just believe it like that. Children just believe it just like that without thinking much. The preacher, I think it's Ironside, who said, some little boy, he asked him what faith is. And the little boy said, “It seems faith is believing God without asking questions or believing God's word without asking questions.” Look at that child's definition of faith. Faith is believing God's word without asking any questions. That's the height of faith, actually. The height of faith is to have faith like a little child. Believing God without asking questions. So, when you come to the word to look at Jesus’ glory, come with an approach like a little child. “If you say it, I'll believe it, and I'll accept it, that's it. I may have 100 questions in my mind. I may have 100 doubts, but I'll give one whack to that because You said it.”

Yeah, we have doubts, and in time, God will answer many of our doubts. Some of them will say, “You're not God. So, just keep quiet. Later on, we’ll see.” But many times, God will answer our doubts if you give Him enough time. But the first thing you need to do, approach the promises with this kind of mindset, “Whatever You say, I will accept, oh Lord.” And when you approach it like that, just by going to the promises, your faith will grow. Your faith will grow, my friend. Faith cometh how? By hearing the word of God. So, when you hear the word of God, when you look at the promise, when you look at what Jesus said about salvation, and you just believe it like a little child without arguments and without these things and say, “Lord, okay, I'll push that away for later, Lord. I'll just believe what you tell me.” My friend, you will be surprised how much assurance you'll get immediately. Your faith will grow without you realizing. And as a result, you will get assurance. That's how you grow in faith. Not by lamenting your lack of faith, not by dwelling on it, not by directly trying to grow your faith, but by looking at Jesus through His word, looking at the promises, hearing the word of God. And as that keeps going, as you're preoccupied with the word and His promises, and with Jesus, your faith grows.

Now, to the second category of promise. First category is, if you come to Jesus, He will save you. Guaranteed, if you believe in Jesus. Second category is, if you are saved, if God has truly saved you, if you are truly saved, then God has promised that He will preserve you until the very end. God has promised that he will preserve the truly saved until the very end. This is also something God has promised. Let's look at those promises. Now, this is very important because people think that, “Oh, we got saved, brother. Praise God. That's by the grace of God. Jesus died for me and I got saved very super, excellent. But now it's up to us to maintain our salvation.” Have you heard that kind of talk? I know there's things we do and all that, we’ll come to that later.  We got to go in order. That's not where you begin. In the beginning, you can't say it's up to us. No. The Bible does not teach that. Is it up to us to maintain ourselves? People have this kind of idea that God saved us in the beginning then it's up to us to maintain our salvation and make sure we are safe when we reach the judgment seat or something like that.

People think the responsibility is ours. Wrong. The Bible teaches, God has promised so many places that He keeps us. He maintains us. Yeah, there are things we do, but it's all by His grace, and He takes the responsibility to keep us and maintain our salvation. God has promised to keep us, preserve us. Let's look at a little bit of those promises. John 6:39 and 40. Already seen but look at the second half of the verse, here. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but I should raise it up at the last day. Next verse. This is verse 40. “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jesus is saying, “Everyone who sees the Son and believes may have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” He combines the beginning and the end of salvation in one swoop. People may look at me and say today, “How can you combine beginning’s promises and end’s promises just like that in one message? Doesn’t so much happen between the time you're saved and the time you go to heaven?” Yeah, a lot happens. I got the idea to combine it from Him only. Look at what He's doing. He’s saying, “Those who look on the Son and believe in Him may have eternal life.” With one simple ‘and’ he went off to the end now. “And I will raise him up at the last day.” He’s saying, “I'll take care of the beginning and the end. This is the Father's will, man.” “And I will raise him up on the last day.” He’s saying, “I'll keep that person safe. Whoever it is, they believe, I’ll keep them safe. Not only will they receive eternal life, I'll keep them safe and I'll raise him up on the last day.”

Why does Jesus talk like this? Think about it, my friend. It is to give us the assurance. People don't like talk like this. They say, “No, don't give too much assurance. If you give too much assurance, they'll go sinning and they'll live a bad life.” Why does Jesus talk like this? It is to give assurance. Well, what is happening in John 17? In John 6, it was the Father's will. Our initial salvation and our final salvation are the Father's will. And Jesus is saying, “I’ll execute the will.” In John 6, we see the Father's will. In John 17, we see the Son’s prayer. What is happening? This entire chapter Jesus is praying. A lot of people don't even think about the fact that Jesus prayed. They can't believe it. Did Jesus pray? Why did He pray? He doesn't need anything. But Jesus prayed a lot. And this is His greatest prayer on earth. Not the Lord's Prayer, this is the supreme prayer of His on earth. It's called the high priestly prayer. It's the prayer He prayed before He entered the garden of Gethsemane in that night, when He was going to be arrested. And His disciples heard Him pray this prayer and they've written it down for our benefit.

Now, who is He praying for here in John 17? He's praying for His disciples and also all believers in all times and all places. He’s praying for all believers in all times, in all places. In other words, He prayed for you. Don't you want to know what Jesus prayed for? That's what we're teaching on Tuesday evenings. Okay? Don't you believe in the power of Jesus’ prayer? Let's look at what He prayed for. Quickly, I'll show you. Look at verse 9. Let's look at who He prayed for first. “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me.” He’s saying, “I'm not praying for everybody, not for the world. But for those whom You have given Me.” He’s saying, “I'm praying for true believers. I'm praying for all the believers.”

Now, if you think that's only the disciples, no, it applies to all believers, because He says explicitly in verse 20, “I'm praying not just for these.” Look at verse 20. “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.” He’s saying, “I don't pray for these 11 disciples alone, but also for those who one day in the future will believe in Me through their word.” He’s making sure we understand this prayer applies to all believers in all times and all places, which means you. Now, what is He praying for? Look at verse 11. I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, I come to you. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are one. Look at the words, keep them through Your name. Preserve them through Your name. What does He pray for? He prays for protection. What kind of protection? All kinds of protection, but specifically, there is a big emphasis on spiritual protection. Keep them, preserve them through Your name means there's a lot of things in that.

I've been teaching on Tuesdays, but let me just quickly say it means a lot of things. It means, keep them by Your power. Keep them through Your name is keep them through Your power. Keep them through Your name also means keep them in Your truth. I don't have time to explain all this. Keep them through Your name also means keep them Yourself. With everything You are, keep them. I've explained all of this in Tuesday evenings. In Your name means by Your power. Just take that one thing, by Your power. What does Jesus pray? Protect them by whose power? God's power. How do I know He's praying for spiritual protection? There is a greater emphasis on spiritual things in this prayer. Look at verse 15. He says, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” Then come down to verse 24. Look at how the prayer ends. It's not just spiritual, but it is a heavier emphasis on the spiritual. For example, verse 17, says, “Sanctify them.” Look at verse 24, where the prayer ends. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am.” What is He praying for? You. He’s saying, “Father, I want them, the believers, to be with Me where I am.” Where is He? “That they may behold My glory which You have given Me.” He is talking about heaven, my friend. He’s saying, “Father, I pray that they will be with Me in heaven where I am, and see My glory forever and ever.” He's praying that you will make it to heaven. Did you see that? He starts by praying, “Protect them by Your power,” and then He ends where? “Bring them all the way here so they can be with Me forever and ever and see My glory.”

Can you see Jesus prayed for you on that night, my friend? When He was about to be arrested, He thought about you and He prayed for your protection. And not only on that night but I believe, according to the word that He's praying for you, even after that for your protection. Look at Hebrews chapter 7 verse 25. He's praying so that you will be finally saved. He's praying so that you will make it all the way till the end safely. First of all, do you know that Jesus is praying even after He rose again? Do you know? The Bible says that He makes intercession. In Tamil, it comes out as makes petition, venduthal segirar.

Look at Hebrews 7:25. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession. What is Jesus doing today? He did not retire. Jesus didn't retire, my friend. He sat down, yeah. But He's still doing some ministry work. He’s ministering to His people. One of the ways, is He makes intercession. Yeah. Last week we saw He's an advocate. This week we're saying He makes intercession. He prays for us, simply speaking. He prays. Look at what Hebrews 7:25 is saying. It's comparing Him to the other high priests. The other high priests, if you read the context, you'll see this. High priest is like the chief pastor. High priest is like the senior pastor. Senior pastor of this church, is my father, Pastor Sam Chelladurai. But in the Bible, you see, Peter, when he talks about it, he says, “We are all under shepherds. The bishop and the overseer of our souls is Jesus,” he says. In one way, senior pastor for all believers is who? Jesus. Everybody else is associate to Him. Okay?

Now, let me ask you, you believe in the prayer of great men of God, right? We all believe in the prayer of great men of God. That's why we go to the man of God. We have a doubt whether God will hear us when we pray. So, what do we do? We go to the man of God. We believe, if he prays something, will happen. Now, Hebrews is saying, this person Jesus is our high priest. He’s like our senior pastor. And in the Old Testament, the chief pastors, the high priests, did not last forever. They would live and then they would go when the next high priest would come. So, you kept having a problem there. In the New Testament, there is only one High Priest and He lives forever and ever. And therefore, because He lives forever and ever, what good does it do to us? Look at this. He is able to save to the uttermost. To the uttermost means to the very end, those who come to God through Him. Jesus is able to save until the very end to the last point those who come to God through Him. Why? Since He always lives to make intercession for them. Why is He able to save till the very end? Because He's always praying for them.

I believe Jesus is praying for us something similar to what He prayed in John chapter 17. That's why you got to go and read that. He's praying for your protection, my friend, spiritual protection. He’s praying that you will make it all the way till the end. He's praying that whatever transformation that needs to happen will happen. Do you believe in the power of His prayer? I believe in the power of His prayer. I think if Jesus prays it's as good as it's done. Even great men of God sometimes pray like that with great confidence and conviction. I read a story where Billy Graham, he was in one of his planning meetings, he was having a big crusade in a big Stadium in America. And the day before the meeting, he was in a planning meeting, it seems and there was a lot of people gathered for the planning meeting and he was speaking in the microphone in the stadium. And that time only, they realized there's a lot of planes flying back and forth over the stadium because the airport is somewhere nearby. And so, as he was speaking, he kept getting interrupted by the planes. So, at one point, he couldn't stand it. He just stopped there and he thought that he just loudly in the mic he said, “Oh, God, tomorrow, I pray that you will stop these planes from flying overhead.” The person telling that, he was in the meeting, it seems. He says, the next day it came in the news that in those many hours, no planes were allowed to fly in that direction because the wind direction changed drastically.

That's Billy Graham, but that's still a man. Compared to the God-man, Jesus Christ. Jesus didn't just pray for some planes to stop, He prayed that you will make it safe all the way till the end. All the way. I don't know about you but I'm more ready to believe in the power of His prayer. And He's praying constantly. He lives continually to make intercession for us. Peter believed in the power of His prayer. That's why Peter talks like this. Look at 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 5. Peter knows the power of Jesus’ prayer very much. And he knows about God's preserving grace, God's keeping grace. Not just saving grace, but preserving grace. Look at how he talks about it. He looks at ordinary believers and he's writing like this, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. What is he talking about salvation? Not the initial salvation, he's talking about final salvation, salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. So, he's saying, “How are we kept for that? How are we preserved for that? We are preserved by the power of God.” Everybody say, power of God. Not my own power. People say, “It's my responsibility to maintain my salvation.” If it is, and if it depends on my power, I'm finished and so are you and so is everybody else who thinks like that.

Peter says, “Who are kept by the power of God.” This is God's power that preserves us all the way till the end. He says, another thing, look at that. You are kept by the power of God through faith. Did you see that word? Through faith. What does that mean? It means God's power is there, your faith is also there. God won't preserve you without your faith. Some people say, “Can we live however we want and we’ll be preserved?” No, I never said that. This preserving is done in such a way where God preserves your faith also. God causes you to grow in faith and guards your faith. You are kept by God's power, but your faith is also there. Ultimately, who do you have to credit first? Not your faith, His power. In fact, my faith works only because of His power. My faith works only because of His grace. It is His grace, His power that builds of my faith. Peter knows very well faith is important. But he knows very well that his faith would have long been gone if not for the fact that Jesus prayed for him.

Do you know Jesus prayed for Peter’s faith? Peter is a guy who denied Jesus three times. That's the guy talking here with so much assurance. You’d think he'd have doubts. Three times he denied Jesus. Talking about people who have denied Jesus in the early church, there have been some who said, “We should never take them back. If they denied Jesus, we should never take them back into the church.” But Jesus took Peter back. Jesus forgave Peter, even though he denied Him. I mean, he denied by cursing Jesus out. This is not an ordinary denial. But you know what? Jesus, before Peter denied, He predicted that Peter will deny. Remember? But He also did something else. He told Peter, “Peter, don't worry, I have prayed for you.” Go to Luke 22:31. Before Peter denied, He said, “Peter, I have prayed for you.” Look at that. This is where Jesus predicts the denial. And He says, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat.” “Satan wants to play with your life, destroy you.” “But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” That day, in the midst of so much tension, so many things happening, Jesus took some time to pray for Peter. Specifically, what? That his faith will not fail.

Look at Jesus’ words. “And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter denied Jesus three times. He could have lost his faith. He could have been totally dejected. He could have become like Judas, lost all hope that Jesus will take him back. He could have told himself, “There's no way Jesus will take me back.” But he didn't lose his faith. You know why? I think he remembered, “No matter what has happened, Jesus said, ‘I have prayed for you that your faith will not fail. And when you return’,” look at the way Jesus is saying, “When you return,” no question of if you will return, “when you will return and when you do you strengthen others.” Peter remembered that Jesus prayed for him and I think that is what gave him the faith. That is what guarded his faith. That is what kept him from losing his faith.

A lot of bad things may have happened to some people, bad circumstances on the outside, but don't let it make you lose your faith, my friend. Don't lose your faith because of it. I'm not just talking about like salvation, in general, don't lose your faith in Christ because of circumstances that are happening to you. Don't lose your faith in Christ because of bad things you did. I don't know. There could be people who said, “Bad things have happened to me and this is causing me to doubt my faith.” Your faith is most important, my friend. Guard it at all costs. You may say, “I've done terrible things. This is causing me to lose my faith in Christ.” Your faith in Jesus is the most valuable treasure you have. It is more valuable than your very life. Guard it. But let me tell you the good news. Jesus, I think, has prayed for every believer that they will not lose their faith. The battle in the Christian life is the battle for guarding and growing in our faith.

The devil's strategy, the devil's target, is not just to give us some trouble. The devil is not just interested in coming and troubling our life and family and work and whatever finances. No, no, no. He has a higher goal. Those are all lower goals. His main goal, through problems, through circumstances, through making us sin and things like that, he wants us to give up our faith. He wants us to lose our faith in Christ, faith in the word, faith in the promises. Our faith you see, that is his main target. I am teaching on this a lot on Tuesdays. But that is his main goal. Realize that and you guard your faith overall. But let me tell you the good news is, Jesus has already prayed for your faith. And that is the thing that will keep your faith going, safe, intact, preserved but also growing. It’ll keep it going and growing until the very end. That’s your most valuable treasure, my friend.

God does not preserve believers until the very end without their faith. No, He helps them to keep their faith no matter what comes against them. If you just stand in faith, ultimately, you will see the victory. Ultimately, you are the winner. Don't give up my friend. Maybe you've been believing on the promises of God. And it looks like it'll never come to pass. Don't give up your faith, my friend. Let the Holy Spirit strengthen you. Let this thought be in you that Jesus has prayed that your faith will not fail.

Look at Paul's assurance. 2nd Timothy chapter 4 verse 17. Paul is in prison at the end of his life and he knows it's the end of his life. He says in verse 6, “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, the time of my departure has come.” That's it. He knows the end has come. He's not that old. Probably he knows he's going to be martyred, going to be killed. Nero's the Emperor, and he's sitting in jail writing these probably his last words. Look at the way he writes. 2nd Timothy chapter 4 verse 17. But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. He’s talking as everything is fine. He's actually in jail. Said, “I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.” Look at verse 18. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.

You see where his confidence is? He didn't say, “I am sure to make it to heaven because after all, I'm the greatest apostle. I've preached to the most number of people. I've preached the gospel to the Gentiles. I mean, look at my ministry. I'm sure to get there.” No, he said, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed.” Every evil deed. What is he thinking about? He's not just thinking about physical matters. When we go on a journey or something like that, we pray for what? Physical protection. “God, as we go from this town to that town, protect us. Let Your angels watch over us.” Physical protection. That seems so valuable to us. How many of us pray for spiritual protection? For the guarding of our souls? Thank God, Jesus prayed for it. Otherwise, I would have been finished because I didn't think enough to pray for that.

Jesus prayed for our all kinds of protection. Spiritual protection, our soul will be guarded, our faith will be guarded. And Paul is saying, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed,” includes every evil, both physical, spiritual, whatever it is, “and bring me,” because His goal is what? “Safely into His heavenly kingdom.” He's not afraid of anything. He's about to lose his life. He's about to be killed. He's not afraid of anything. He knows, no matter what happens, God will bring him safely into that heavenly kingdom. Look at the assurance. And then he says, “To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” This is how he goes out.

I just want you to get a sense of how many passages there are. There’s not just a few. I’m giving you a sample only. Just receive the promise of God like a little child, my friend. Believe it without asking questions. I know there's questions. In time, some of them will be answered. Jude 24. “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault, and with great joy. To the only God our Savior, be glory and majesty.” Who is able to keep you from falling? God is able. God is able to keep me from falling. You cannot say, you can live however and God will keep up you. No, no. God keeps you in a way where He keeps you from falling and He leads you in a way where He presents you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy. That's the kind of keeping we're talking about.

What does it mean when it says ‘without falling’? It doesn't mean the believer will never fall. Nobody's perfect. We covered that last week. Believers do sin, believers have sin. They need continual cleansing. All that is there. But believers will never fall into a point where they never get up again. Believers will never fall to a point of no return. Spurgeon put it like this, “The believer is like a man on the ship. He may fall again and again on the deck, but he will never fall overboard.” The believer may fall again and again within the ship. And even sometimes you get hurt because of whatever he does. Believers fall sometimes. But he will never fall overboard because God is able to keep him from that falling. God is able to keep him from falling. The Bible itself puts it like this, “The righteous may fall seven times but he rises up again.” He will keep getting up. God is able to keep you from falling and to present you without fault before His glorious presence. That's very strong, isn’t it? Present you perfect, blameless.

Now, you may ask, “How is that possible?” Don't ask me. Just receive it. It is God's promise, my friend. Just take it. You don't understand it, you have questions, put aside the questions, believe it's true first. God is able to present me faultless before His glorious presence. God will do this and He will do this with joy, it seems. That means what? We won’t just scrape into heaven. Some people have that idea. “No matter what happens in the end, even if the gates are closed, I'll just like scrape through under the gates like how the dog scrapes through.” No, no, that's not the kind of keeping the Bible promises. Jude is saying, “God will keep you from falling. Present you perfect.” ‘With joy’ means what? The whole way you will go with joy. The whole way you will be filled with peace and joy and you will be going cheerfully and the gates will be wide opened for you. Why? God is able. Everybody say, God is able.

Do you believe in His power? Believe in His power for this. Finally, one verse and then I promise to close, John chapter 10, verse 27, onwards. Jesus' words, amazing words. I want to end with this. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. He talks about His believers as His sheep. Verse 28. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. How brother? That's what He said, “They shall never.” Not only He gives them eternal life, they will never. Everybody say, never. What He means by it, never is a very strong term there. It means both in time and reason. ‘They will never’ means, never at any time will they perish, and it means, never for any reason will they perish. They will never perish.

Then look what comes after that. Neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. You have to picture this. You are inside the hands of Jesus. Last time, I said you are holding onto the hand of Jesus. No, no, but that's not enough. Jesus is saying, “No, no. Picture it like this. You are inside My hand.” And His hand is closed like this and you are inside. Who can snatch you out of His hand, let me ask you? Can anybody snatch you out of His hand, my friend? Can the demons do it? Can the devil do it? Can all of hell do it? Can your circumstances do it, out of the hand of Jesus, they have to snatch you? He says, “Neither will anyone snatch them out of My hand.” As if this is not enough, He goes on to say, next verse, look at this. “My father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.” I thought we were in Jesus’ hand. Well, I think what happened is something like this, perhaps the Father’s hand is over this now.

Two hands. Jesus is saying, “On top of My hand is the Father's hand, and Father is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of My Father's hand.” Who can snatch you out of His hand, my friend? Believe the promise, accept with humility and receive your assurance. Some people will say, “But what if we come out, brother?” How can you get that out of that verse? How can you possibly get that? You know what I mean? There are those who have doubts and there are those who bring doubts. Who will slip through His fingers, you think? The image is so powerful that Jesus never finished. That's why He said already, “They shall never perish.” Go home with this picture. You are in the hands of Jesus, in the hands of the Father. Two hands. Some of the other questions we’ll answer but just receive this and go home. Next week, we'll talk about our transformed life. And it's not a preservation without transformation. Of course, there is transformation but believe in the preservation first. Amen.

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