Remaining Faithful to the End
Equally important to becoming saved is staying saved. In this article, we wish to examine how the word of God stresses the importance of remaining faithful to the Lord after one becomes a Christian.
To begin with, we wish to expose the false idea prevalent in the religious world that teaches "Once saved always saved". This idea has no Biblical foundation or merit. It simply is not so. A person can become a Christian but he can choose to quit following the Lord and become lost again. Peter says in 2 Peter 2:20-22 that after we have "escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ" (that is our initial salvation), we can become "again entangled in them (the pollutions we escaped in the first place), and the latter end is worse... than the beginning." Clearly, the apostle wouldn't have written this if it were not possible to fall back into sin. To do this is to be like a clean washed pig going back into the mud, or a dog returning to its own vomit (v.22). For other passages dealing with this topic, see Matthew 13:3-9,20-21; Galatians 5:4.
The New Testament provides for us an example of how the faith of first-century Christians grew and developed into real conviction. If they could fall away after being saved, then so can we. Notice these passages:
After the gospel was initially preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost, the 3,000 become Christians (v.41), they didn't just go back to their lives as they were before their conversion. Notice that v.42 says "they continued steadfastly..." Here were Christians who realized that they needed to continue to grow in their faith. They needed more teaching and fellowship with each other. Their faith would not survive without it. Our faith won't survive either if we don't continue and remain faithful.
Barnabas was instrumental in the growth of the first century church. He was especially helpful as he traveled from church to church, encouraging the believers to remain true to the Lord. Christians need to be encouraged in this way, for the danger to quit being faithful is always present.
The Lord said in Revelation 2:10, "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life". Victory is initially gained when we become a Christian. However, it is ultimately won because of our steadfast faithfulness to Him who saved us.