What did Jesus mean when He tells the saints in Sardis that the one who experiences victory will be dressed in white robes and I will never, no, never erase your name from the Book of Life? On the surface this can seem to be a very horrific statement and I have heard it taught in horror.
The question is, can you lose your salvation if you are born again, or a child of God? The answer is NO! NO! NO! NO! So relax, Jesus is not about to disown you because you committed a sin. You belong to Him and He promised to never leave you, and never to forsake you.
In His letter to the saints in Sardis He is addressing a church who had a reputation of being alive, but they were actually dead. This means they professed to be Christians and had very good works but, in His eyes, they were not of His family – they were not born again or born of God. This is the crux of the letter. You can have a form of godliness (Christianity) and not know its power to transform and change your whole life.
And please do not go witch hunting for some denomination that you think this is applicable too. This letter was written to all the churches as a warning, not just Sardis. In every denomination there are those who are truly born again and those who are not. I know of a man who had been an elder in his church for many years. He had an issue arise in his life and went to see his pastor. While talking to his pastor the Lord told the pastor that this man is not born again. He asked him if he had ever accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour and whether he believed what the Scripture said concerning salvation. To their surprise he had never done this. There an then he accepted Christ as his Saviour and had the most radical encounter with Jesus. It changed his life.
This is the issue Jesus is addressing. He is working at getting their attention, and what better way than to be rather firm and even harsh. This statement should make anyone sit up and think about their eternal condition and whether their name has been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Being born again is something you know. You don’t have to question it because you know, just like you know your name. If you have any question concerning your name being written in heaven, then you need to get before the Lord and sort it out. Don’t ignore this. Your eternal life depends on it. (Contact me if you need to.)
Delightfully loved friends, don’t trust every spirit, but carefully examine what they say to determine if they are of God, because many false prophets have mingled into the world. Here’s the test for those with the genuine Spirit of God: they will confess Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh. Everyone who does not acknowledge that Jesus is from God has the spirit of antichrist, which you heard was coming and is already active in the world. Little children, you can be certain that you belong to God and have conquered them, for the One who is living in you is far greater than the one who is in the world. They belong to this world and they articulate the spirit of this world, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and whoever truly knows God listens to us. Those who refuse to listen to us do not belong to God. That is how we can know the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit. Those who are loved by God, let his love continually pour from you to one another, because God is love. Everyone who loves is fathered by God and experiences an intimate knowledge of him. The one who doesn’t love has yet to know God, for God is love. The light of God’s love shined within us when he sent his matchless Son into the world so that we might live through him. This is love: He loved us long before we loved him. It was his love, not ours. He proved it by sending his Son to be the pleasing sacrificial offering to take away our sins. (1 Jn 4:1-10)
As His child you need never fear that He will remove you from Himself. He will not. He is faithful and true and knows how to keep and protect you from the works of the evil one.
You are deeply loved.
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