“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Once saved, always saved. This is what Scripture indicates. The reason we have a problem with this is because we see people who claim that they are saved but who in no way act like they are saved. The doctrine is known as “perseverance of the saints.” And the best way to define this doctrine is to say that those who persevere ARE the true saints of God. Those who do not persevere, who do not continue to walk in the ways of the Lord, who are not offended by their own sinfulness – are NOT saints (sinners saved by grace).
This is what Paul is saying here in this passage. Despite the difficulties, the beatings, the slander, Paul has stayed true to the faith and maintained a rigorous love for God and His Word and His mission. Now, as he approaches the end of his life he is looking forward to That Day.
- That Day when He will see his Lord and Savior.
- That Day when He will be done with earthly travails.
- That Day when he will enjoy the fruit of all his laboring for the gospel.
- That Day when hope becomes reality.
- That Day when eternal life takes on a whole new dimension.
- That Day when heaven becomes his home.
- That Day when victory over sin is celebrated.
- That Day when God’s glory is revered.
- That Day when grace and peace can be enjoyed.
- That Day when he will receive his reward for faithfulness.
Paul was able to live a faithful life despite all the hardships he endured because he kept the end in mind. And now with the end in sight he approaches it not with reluctance or with regret but with eager anticipation and joy.
What about us?