“To develop the endurance that we need we must have faith and our faith must become strong. If not we will cross the finish line but barely, and in that group of stragglers at the tail end of the race. Yes they finish and will get a ribbon that says they finished but don’t you want to be one of the top finishers? I want you to be one of the top finishers because we know that while all believers will enjoy eternal life with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ some will receive greater rewards than others. Those receiving the greater rewards will be those with the strongest faith and having the strongest finish in the race. On my website I give promises of God that help us increase and strengthen our faith.”
Once you ask Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior and you really give your life over to him in confession, your salvation is guaranteed.
Romans 10:8-11 (NKJV)8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
I know that sounds amazing but once God makes a decision He doesn’t change (see Change Is A Fact Of Life But God Never Changes and Does God Ever Change His Mind?) , and scripture is clear about “once saved, always saved”
John 10:28-30 (NKJV)28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.30 I and My Father are one."
Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV)37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Let's admit that after we make that confession, and are saved, we still sin. Our life doesn’t continue to a life of sin but we do still sin which is disobedience. Why does God keep His promise of eternal salvation? He does it because of His sustaining grace.
Sustaining grace is given at special times of need, especially during adversity or suffering. God's sustaining grace is His power in us to keep going, to keep running this life marathon.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV) And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
James 4:6 (NKJV) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
God’s Power to Keep Going
By Rick Warren
“God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished” (Philippians 1:6 NLT).
The Bible tells us that God always finishes what he starts: “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished” (Philippians 1:6 NLT). It doesn’t say, “God might finish it.” It doesn’t say, “God hopes to finish it.” It says God will finish it. What does that mean?
It means if you have really given your life to Jesus Christ — if you’ve opened yourself up to God and said, “Christ, be number one in my life” — you are going to make it to heaven. There’s no doubt about it. Case closed. Done deal. You are going to make it across the finish line because it doesn’t depend upon your performance; it depends upon God’s sustaining grace. The only question is how you finish the race. You know as well as I do that some people finish a race poorly while other people finish a race well.
I don’t want you to just get into heaven. I don’t want you to just get across the finish line. I want to help you finish the race of life well. I want you to enjoy life, the abundant life — to figure out what God made you for and then do it.
How can you be sure you’re going to finish the race of life? Because of God’s sustaining grace. God doesn’t want to just save you. He wants to sustain you through life. He wants you to make it.
What is sustaining grace?
Sustaining grace is the power to keep on going when you feel like giving up. It’s the power to do the right thing when you don’t feel like doing the right thing.
There are many pitfalls in the marathon race of life. But regardless of what you go through, no matter what you face this year, you can count on God’s sustaining grace.
“My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace” (1 Peter 5:12 NLT).