2014 Conference Session 5 - Perseverance of the Saints
The Final Session of Our conference was during Sunday morning worship, and Pastor Parsons preached on:
Who God Starts, He Finishes (Hebrews 12:1-17)
While we may think of our day-to-day life with Christ as “walk” of faith, God calls it a race! What do Christians share in common with runners? We don’t give up. We don’t quit. We don’t go back to the Law. If that sounds difficult, here’s some great news: Our course has been set, and the one who set us on this course will be with us until the end. We will finish.
This doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles along the way! Sometimes our greatest enemy is ourselves. We let sin entangle us and trip us up. We take our eyes off the finish line. We make the grave mistake of comparing ourselves with each other instead of helping each other. In the five points of Calvinism, we speak of the “perseverance” of the saints although some would refer to it as the “preservation” of the saints. Preservation is a good word, but when it comes to racing, remember that we can persevere because God has done the work.
Our focus on Jesus, the “author and finisher of our faith” keeps us on the right path. This word “author” in the Greek is a combination of two words, one meaning “leader” and the other “from the beginning.” Jesus is the captain or leader who goes in front of us. He is not like some earthly leaders who wait behind the battle lines and keep themselves from the messiness of the fray, sending their troops on before. No, Jesus is rather like our Chief Shepherd (John 10) who goes before us.
Do you want more proof that God is caring for you and keeping you safe? It might surprise you, but the discipline of our Heavenly Father is yet another confirmation that He is holding us close, protecting us, and loving us. Not one of His children can be snatched from His hand. We can count on it.