For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For none of us lives to himself alone, and none of us dies to himself alone.
1 Corinthians 3:22
whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. All of them belong to you,
far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been perfected, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Verses 38, 39. – For I am persuaded that no powers or circumstances whatever, external to ourselves, will ever separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, or consequently bar our attainment of our final inheritance. Additional Note on ver. 29, seq. The view given above of St. Paul’s intention and meaning is by no means meant as ignoring the essential mystery of predestination, however regarded. Divine omnipotence combined with omniscience on the one hand, and human free-will on the other, seem indeed to human reason to be incompatible ideas; yet we are compelled to entertain both – the one on the ground, not only of scriptural teaching, but also of our conception of the Divine Being; the other on the ground, not only of our conception of Divine justice, but also of our own irresistible consciousness, and of scriptural teaching too. Such difficulty of reconciliation between two apparently necessary ideas is not peculiar to theology; philosophy has it too; and there are necessitarians among philosophers, as well as predestinarians among theologians, equally contradicting man’s irresistible consciousness of having the power of choice. We can only regard the conflicting conceptions as partial apprehensions of a great truth which as a whole is beyond us. The apparent contradiction between them may be due to the failure of finite beings to comprehend infinity. They have been compared to two parallel straight lines, which, according to geometrical definition, can never meet, and yet, according to the higher mathematical theory, meet in infinity; or we may take the illustration of an asymptote, which from a finite point of view can never possibly touch a curve, and yet, in analytical geometry, is found to cross it at an infinite distance. For the practical purposes of life both ideas may be entertained; and it is only human attempts to reconcile them in theory, or to escape the difficulty by denying free-will altogether, that have given rise to the endless controversies on the subject. It is important to observe how St. Paul, though he distinctly intimates both conceptions (as he must needs do as a preacher of God’s truth in all its aspects), and though his allusions to predestination have been made a main support of Calvinistic views, never really propounds a theory. When he alludes to the subject, it is with a practical purpose; and when (as in this chapter) he speaks of God’s predestination of believers to glory, his purpose is to encourage them to persevere in holiness on the ground of their assurance of God’s eternal purpose concerning them, the essential human conditions being all along supposed to be fulfilled (see also note on Hebrews 6:16-20, in ‘Pulpit Commentary’).
From Hebrews 6
Predestination and free-will may be to human reason theoretically irreconcilable, though reason, as well as theology, may compel us to acknowledge both. The problem may properly be left unsolved, as among the many deep things of God. But it is of importance to observe how the doctrine of-predestination is practically applied in Scripture as bearing upon human conduct.
None can take Christ from the believer: none can take the believer from Him; and that is enough. All other hazards signify nothing. Alas, poor sinners! though you abound with the possessions of this world, what vain things are they! Can you say of any of them, Who shall separate us? You may be removed from pleasant dwellings, and friends, and estates. You may even live to see and seek your parting. At last you must part, for you must die. Then farewell, all this world accounts most valuable. And what hast thou left, poor soul, who hast not Christ, but that which thou wouldest gladly part with, and canst not; the condemning guilt of all thy sins! But the soul that is in Christ, when other things are pulled away, cleaves to Christ, and these separations pain him not. Yea, when death comes, that breaks all other unions, even that of the soul and body, it carries the believer’s soul into the nearest union with its beloved Lord Jesus, and the full enjoyment of him for ever.
We should take great comfort know no outside force apart from God can do our relationship and eternal promise of God any long term harm. Great is our Lord and His love is immense.
So from outside influence we are clearly protected yet we read many, many stern warnings to check ourselves. We no doubt have to align our free will to God’s call. We have to receive the precious gift of salvation while not trashing nor ignoring it.
For we read in this passage from Hebrews 10 and similar in others:
“35Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37For,
“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
39But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
Yes, we do not shrink back because we love God. Where else would we want to go? To hang with Satan? No way. That is like s dog returning to eat his vomit lay in waste.
Onward and upward we march. We trust and obey for there is no other way.
God, You of all know i was born a beautiful mess. Without Your intervention, i would still and remain forever lost. But You tapped my shoulder, extended Your hand and when I responded in kind gave me a sweet spiritual kiss and warm hug. Help me heed the lesson of the Prodigal so to stay close by Your side, forever we are one.