Can We Be Sure of Salvation from Hell?

Do you care where you will be after death? It is a mighty subject, forsaken by most, despised by some and never even considered by those that are young. Lied to by schools, universities and the medias, people do not recognise they are not the same as animals – humans are made in the image of God, with intellect, imagination, the ability to reason and an ability to know God. They have a soul that can enjoy an afterlife in heaven or hell. Where will you be after death?

There is a Hell – those that do not believe on God will spend their after-life in Hell. What about those that do believe – can they be sure that God will indeed save them, and they will be taken to Heaven? Are we to live a life of continual uncertainty? Or may we know here and now that Heaven is our destiny, and be absolutely certain of the fact?

Queen Victoria wanted to be sure. After attending a service at St. Paul's Cathedral, she asked her Chaplain, "Can one be absolutely sure in this life of eternal safety?" But he knew of no way to be certain.

The Court News published these remarks and so they became widely circulated throughout the land. Moved by what he read in a copy that he happened to come across, a quiet and unassuming evangelist by the name of John Townsend began to think and pray about answering her himself. Finally he sent the following letter to the Queen;

"To her Gracious Majesty, our beloved Queen Victoria, from one of her most humble subjects:

With trembling hands, but heartfelt love, and because I know that we can be absolutely sure now of our eternal life in the Home that Jesus went to prepare, may I ask your Most Gracious Majesty to read the following passages of Scripture: John 3:16; Romans 10:9,10?

These passages prove that there is full assurance of salvation by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ for those who believe and accept His finished work.

I sign myself, your servant for Jesus' sake, John Townsend"

The two verses that Mr Townsend had commended were:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.(Romans 10:9-10)

John Townsend brought many into his confidence and told them about the letter to the Queen. Many prayers from earnest believers went up to God over about two weeks when he received a modest-looking envelope in which was the following letter;

"To John Townsend

Your letter of recent date I received and in reply would state that I have carefully and prayerfully read the portions of Scripture referred to. I believe in the finished work of Christ for me, and trust by God's grace to meet you in that Home of which He said, "I go to prepare a place for you."

(signed) Victoria Guelph"

The Bible is very clear on the assurance of Salvation – I know, and you can know, that I will be in heaven when God’s number of my days has been fulfilled. The one that receives the Lord Jesus Christ into their heart by simple faith will be saved.

These [things] are written [the Bible] that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. (John 5:25)

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 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. (John 10:28-29)

David L Simon
17 May 2020


Man of Sorrows! What a name

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Phillip P Bliss (1875)
12 Apr 2020


Jesus Loves Even Me!

I am so glad that our Father in Heav’n
Tells of His love in the Book He has giv’n;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see,
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.

I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me;
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

Tho' I forget Him and wander away,
Still He doth love me wherever I stray;
Back to His dear loving arms would I flee,
When I remember that Jesus loves me.

Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song through eternity be,
“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”

Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him;
Love brought Him down my poor soul to redeem;
Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree;
Oh, I am certain that Jesus loves me!

If one should ask of me, how can I tell?
Glory to Jesus, I know very well!
God’s Holy Spirit with mine doth agree,
Constantly witnessing Jesus loves me.

In this assurance I find sweetest rest,
Trusting in Jesus, I know I am blest;
Satan, dismayed, from my soul now doth flee,
When I just tell him that Jesus loves me.

Phillip P Bliss (1875)
09 Apr 2020


God is our refuge and strength

“God is our refuge and strength.” Not our armies, or our fortresses. Israel's boast is in Jehovah, the only living and true God. Others vaunt their impregnable castles, placed on inaccessible rocks and secured with gates of iron, but God is a far better refuge from distress than all these: and when the time comes to carry the war into the enemy's territories, the Lord stands his people in better stead than all the valour of legions or the boasted strength of chariot and horse. Soldiers of the cross, remember this, and count yourselves safe, and make yourselves strong in God.

Forget not the personal possessive word “our;” make sure each one of your portion in God, that you may say, “He is my refuge and strength.” Neither forget the fact that God is our refuge just now, in the immediate present, as truly as when David penned the word. God alone is our all in all. All other refuges are refuges of lies, all other strength is weakness, for power belongeth unto God: but as God is all-sufficient, our defence and might are equal to all emergencies. “A very present help in trouble,” or in distresses he has so been found, he has been tried and proved by his people. He never withdraws himself from his afflicted. He is their help, truly, effectually, constantly; he is present or near them, close at their side and ready for their succour, and this is emphasised by the word “very” in our version, he is more present than friend or relative can be, yea, more nearly present than even the trouble itself. To all this comfortable truth is added the consideration that his assistance comes at the needed time. He is not as the swallows that leave us in the winter; he is a friend in need and a friend indeed.

C H Spurgeon
Treasury of David Psalm 46
29 Mar 2020


Jesus Christ is the light of the world

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 8:12

When we think of light it conjures up much to the imagination. Who can but behold the feel of standing in a small patch of sun, out of the wind, on a cold frosty morning, with the warming rays on the back. The rays that penetrates even to the heart, warming the blood.

Just think of the sun and you can visualize the sun’s rays dancing through the leaves on a warm spring day, feel its warmth and sweetness. The sun passing through a gap in the clouds, brightening a dull day, into a brilliance that hurts the eyes. The sun that blinds you when you walk from a dark room into the sunshine of the day.

Seeing a child wonder at the sun passing through a small hole into a darkened room causing the dust particles to twinkle in the sunbeam.

It is light that rids the darkness around us: divides the darkness into two. The joy at seeing the first glimpse of the morning radiance after a night of storms, after much weeping and wailing, the sun heralded by the bright and morning star which brings light to darkness. The light that shows the storm is over, and day dawns.

Can we be a David and say The Lord is my light and my salvation, Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?  (Ps 27:1).

It is the light that strengthens us, the light the lifts the heart, lightens the burden, gives peace to the soul. It is light that divides darkness, for God divided the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:4).

But a far greater light than the sun has come, the Son of Man. He came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). He is a light far sweeter than the sun (Ecclesiastes 11:7) , far more radiant, far more everlasting, far more discerning.

Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. (John 3:19).

Light reveals the eternal things. It exposes the transience of the unrepentant soul. It shows the way unto salvation.  The light ministers to our immortal natures. It can do no better. Our wretchedness is declared for what it is. Light shone on a uneven, dirty surfaces shows it up for what it is. But with man, he does not comprehend it.

The Light allows us to behold sin in its true colours. For you were once [in] darkness, but now you are light in the Lord (Ephesians 5:8). For it one wishes to expose something, to show it up, to view it, one shines a light on it. Everything exposed by the light becomes visible, hence "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

The preacher [Solomon] found that light excels darkness. Darkness cannot hold back light. Yet it is the fool that walks in darkness. Man is foolish. He loves darkness rather than light. All his days he also eats in darkness, And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger. (Ecclesiastes 5:17).

If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he—for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. (Ecclesiastes 6:3)

Wickedness is darkness. How much of our drunkenness, sexual immorality, idolatry – for all this is wickedness – takes place after dark. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil (Proverbs 2:13).

The Light has come. But beware, men may stand in the most bright of all lights and not see. There are two aspects to John 8:12. Paul, who calls himself the greatest of sinners was walking from darkness to darkness, when he was surrounded by a great light. What happened to him? He become blind. He could not see even though the light was very bright. We learn this in Acts 26. Note the great lesson we learn from this passage. Paul, now blind, stands in the presence of the Light. And what is Paul told? What was God’s mission for Paul?

"to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me". Acts 26:18.

Which people – the Gentiles – see verse 17.

In order to see the light our eyes must be opened. The Children of Israel had God dwelling in their midst. God’s glory filled the tabernacle. But did they see? No! The Children of Israel were blind.  "His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber". Isaiah 56:10. What powerful words. How salient they are today.

We must have our eyes opened.

You may ask, how?

He (GOD) will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. (Isaiah 35:5)

The Jews were to be a blessing to the world. What of us? What of the gentiles. Indeed God says, I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’" (Isaiah 49:6).

That day has come.

"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12) said Jesus. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1).

The light separates darkness. Turn to the Light and He will save you. For This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). No effort on your part will diminish the darkness. Darkness can only be done away with by light. God is the LORD which hath shown us light (Psalm 118:27).

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
(Colossians 1:13)

What light you say. Your wretched miserable body – the flesh – is still with you. But your inner soul can be at peace. Your heart is warmed with the Truth. The Light is with us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, it indwells us. Just as the Glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle so does the Holy Spirit fill every believer. Do you allow Him to shine out? Remember, He has delivered us from the power of darkness!

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (Romans 13:12). The Light of the Lord is no fleeting ray of sunshine between storms: put on the whole armour. It protects us. It guides us. It gives inner peace. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4).

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. In the Light comes Life. Without Light there is no life. A plant cannot survive for long in darkness. The tender shoots arising from a seed quickly seeks earnestly the light. Jesus is that light to us. As John could further record Jesus "was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world".

Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness. Put aside that heavy burden. Pass it to Him.

The children of the day need to be sober, honest, and bold in the Lords work (Spg).

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8). Sin needs to be dealt with. Temptation needs to be defeated – in the power of God to salvation.

Jesus come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Jesus should not abide in darkness. John 12:46.

David L Simon, CCC, Nov 2003
Gospel John\The Gospel of John 8_12 (The Light of the World)
Edited 2020 March 29

Jesus Saves!

We have heard the joyful sound:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around;
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land,
Climb the steeps and cross the waves;
Onward! 'tis our Lord's command;
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Waft it on the rolling tide;
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Tell to sinners far and wide:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Sing, ye islands of the sea;
Echo back, ye ocean caves;
Earth shall keep her jubilee:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Sing above the battle strife,
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
By His death and endless life,
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Sing it softly through the gloom,
When the heart for mercy craves;
Sing in triumph o'er the tomb-
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Give the winds a mighty voice,
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Let the nations now rejoice-
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Shout salvation full and free,
Highest hills and deepest caves;
This our song of victory-
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Priscilla J Owens, William J Kirkpatrick
01 Mar 2020


Life is But the Weaving

 My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him

Corrie Ten Boom
Author of the The Hiding Place
30 Mar 2020


I Know Whom I Have Believed - My Assurance in Christ

I know whom I have believed!

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2 Timothy 1:12 (KJV)

Who can we trust?

Do you wonder who you can trust to day? Ever heard the old adage "safe as the bank"? Not any more, a quick look at the headlines suggests that it is not the banks we can trust.  "Royal Bank of Scotland reports largest ever annual loss of $34 billion dollars" screams the headline[2]. Imagine that – 34 billion dollars lost - that is $1500 for every Australian!  We see one bad headline after the other: "profits slump", "job cuts deepen", "crisis spreads beyond banks". Now that’s a worry, because up to now it’s been the other way around – businesses go bust before banks, but it’s now the banks going bust. Or "Money man says half of world’s wealth gone[3]". Now, this is not some joke – the chief executive of a private equity company Blackstone Group suggested to Reuters that about 40% of the world’s earth had been destroyed in the global economic crisis? However, who is the "money man" and is he trustworthy. Is this some cover up and more is lost than indicated?

Some of this is a bit far removed from us – our banks are safe – or are they? The ABC[4] reported on Friday "ANZ to cut 500 jobs, send them to India" – why – to save money! What about the headline; "Tens of thousands of Australians are heading for a superannuation crisis" from Business Sunday?[5] Or "A superannuation crisis of faith: Australians have taken to superannuation like ducks to water and it's now the largest household asset after the family home. But the recent shock of losing billions of dollars from super balances has left many people afraid and untrusting" stated the Herald Sun on 23rd February 2009[6]. A crisis of faith! What does this mean? Or "Mitsubishi shuts is doors in Adelaide and 500 employees loose their jobs (March 2008)".

What about individuals. In 2008 a Reader’s Digest survey found that Australians trusted Fiona Wood, a prominent doctor in the field of burns treatment, more than any other prominent Australian. Ian Frazer, also a prominent medical researcher, came in second. In 2005 Olivia Newton-John came second. We can understand why someone who develops a treatment that saves life can be trusted – there is clearly evidence of their trust. What about a singer and actor. I suspect the latter is based more on feelings than reality. Olivia Newton-John may be a nice person, but why trust her? What evidence do we have that she is trustworthy except she has suffered from breast cancer and we feel compassion plus she has a warm and friendly face and appears to speak well[7]. Wayne Carey (anyone remember him?) and Rodney Alder were placed 99th and 100th. Of professions, the ambulance officer and fire fighter were placed first and second, teachers 11th with politicians and telemarketers the least trusted![8] In 2005 interestingly mothers were placed third. Fathers were placed after doctors and pharmacists at eighth[9]. Australians clearly don’t trust banks with St George being the first on the list and ranked 101 in 2005. Nor could I find God or Jesus Christ on the list.

Trusting Self

The problem with trust is that things fail. Everone we trust will fail some time. We trust as long as we believe we can derive a benefit from that trust. A broken trust is difficult to bridge: ask any marriage councillor dealing with dishonesty in marriage. Some turn to trusting themselves only, however, Solomon calls these a fool.

"He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool" (Proverbs 28:26). Why? Because the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9).

Does this mean you cannot trust yourself? No, but it is saying one needs to listen to the conscience, not the feeling. One needs to trust evidence not false hopes. One needs to trust truth not futility. Reality is truth and truth is reality.  Gut feeling works well on TV but in real life, the conscious needs to be listened to. Gut feelings is really faith in faith, not faith in the evidence of things unseen.

What do we trust?

We have clearly become more sceptical as a nation or at least express scepticism, but on the other hand we embrace the sceptical. Many would prefer to trust Google than their local doctor. Indeed, it is something educational institutions, especially schools need to grapple with. The average child can tell the difference between real and the pretend, or nearly so. They trust the news but understand that the movie following is made up. But then they google a topic and trust what is says. And adults do exactly the same. The internet makes prominent what it wants you to know and hides what it does not want you to see. Providers such as Google, News or even the ABC will give you the latest news, but should we trust these. The trust is not so much in the content, but in whether there are other important events occurring that are not being made prominent. As the editor of NZ Net Australia said a while ago "..[what] Google has never said is [how it] (what it that: sic) qualifies information for inclusion. Anyone who claims to serve up news has to be open about this"[10]. And of course Australians are more likely to believe if you shake up some molecules for a few billion years a human being will jump out than to trust that God created the heavens and the earth.

The heart cannot be trusted

A heart that can be trusted is prudent (Proverbs 16:21) and trusts in God. Now, the word prudent is really old fashion, something the world of finance discarded, but wishes it had not. A prudent heart does not listen to its own understanding – it seeks that which is wiser than him- or her-self to gain insight. David when his credentials were read to Samuel included the words "prudent in matters" [11]. I think that this means he was not loud and boastful – had knowledge but was not a know-it-all (A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness. Proverbs 12:23 (KJV)). David understood where he was going and clearly had a clear picture of the world around him, although he was so young. He had clearly sought and received wisdom from God; he had his eyes looking up, not down. Proverbs also explains that a prudent man does not believe everything he hears [12] – he examines carefully the words and weighs them up with evidence. This the early church also did – the Bereans checked everything Peter said against Scripture in order to determine their truthfulness[13]

Are we prudent?

Do we do this? A prudent man seeks knowledge – not knowledge for knowledge sake, but knowledge for the purpose of making wise decisions[14]. Proverbs also exhorts the prudent person to listen to his or her parents[15], something the modern child fights against. But this requires the household to be righteous as Proverbs 15:5 points out – children know hypocrisy – the parents need to walk the talk. Note however even the most prudent goes nowhere unless he seeks God. First Corinthians points out that the wisdom of the world cannot save – it is that which is considered foolish by man that saves – the death of Jesus Christ at the cross that saves.. And this is what Paul alludes to in 2nd Timothy.

Evidence of things unseen

Note that faith is evidence based – gut feelings are likely to be based on unsound and changeable feelings. God never expects you to trust in something without evidence. The nature of the Bible is that it is a conclusive and complete archive of evidence of the very nature of God. It provides more than abundant evidence and overwhelmingly points to the fact we can trust him. This is what Paul is essentially saying in verse 12. Although Paul is about to die, he knows the Christ will deliver what he promised.

Paul’s circumstance when writing to Timothy

We all know and love the letters Paul wrote to the pastors Timothy, Titus and Philemon. However, there is a vast difference between the circumstances of Paul when he wrote the first compared with the last time he wrote to Timothy. Paul has been arrested, perhaps in Troas[16] and is imprisoned in Rome by the time he writes the second epistle. His preliminary hearing has not gone well, and he awaits the final trial which Paul has little hope of surviving (2 Tim 4:7-8). Prison is hard and difficult, perhaps creating great stress on his health. Some have abandoned him (4:10) while others have come and ministered to him (1:16-18). Some of the churches have gone from bad to worse (1:15-18), travelling as he had predicted.

The Bible provides evidence of the trustful nature of God

We cannot see or even feel God, but his character is revealed in Christ Jesus. The Bible therefore reveals God as he is, in Christ Jesus, and by reading carefully the narrative and sayings of Jesus Christ and the writings of those the knew him and understood him, be can build a picture of the one who we are called to trust. Proverbs 28:26 goes on and says, but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be deliveredTrust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding Proverbs 3:5 (KJV). Malcolm, over the past month or so, has examined a number of events that Jesus was the centre of. In every case these provided evidence that Jesus is not only a trustworthy friend, but he will always deliver what he promises. This is the key to understanding verse 12. Jesus loved us so much he was willing to pay the ultimate price – become sin for our sake and die on the accursed tree.

The reason for the second letter to Timothy

The letter is clearly urgent and Paul attempts to encourage Timothy. This he does by writing in a style that is one of confidence. Although Paul is in dire straits, he is up- beat in his attitude and writes so as to indicate that what comes next will be far better. It is in this letter we read these famous words:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7, 8 (NKJV)

Why can he do this? He clearly cannot trust the legal system to protect his rights to freedom of religion. He cannot trust the churches as they are one by one abandoning him. He cannot trust individuals they are turning upon him (1:15). BUT, he writes "I know whom I have believed".

Who does Paul believe?

Who is he talking of? The answer is in verse 8 and 9. Indeed, it goes back to verse 6 where Paul reminds Timothy of his first love – that which the Ephesian church had lost (Rev 2) – the love of God.  But at verse eight he reminds Timothy that although to the world the things of God are considered shameful they are not to God. He shows in verse nine the fact that we have been saved by grace and are all called, not to our purpose but to the purpose of God. We are not to be ashamed to this.

The tension between my purpose and God’s purpose

This is the tension we all have. God has saved us to his works, but we still have the "I" within us that wants to do according to our works (9). This tension will remain until we retire self, and surrender to Christ. We in the western world little understand what surrender is. The slave of old did. He was a possession of the master, to do according to the owner twenty four hours a day. He or she worked and laboured for the master’s best interest, put his interest always before their own, and satisfied his interest before their own, if ever they satisfied theirs.

We also are a purchased possession of God – not purchased with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ[17]. Only by understanding this will we comprehend the depth of surrender in the words Paul penned to the Corinthians "I die daily"[18].

An illustration of surrender in Abraham

An illustration of surrender can be found in Abraham. Abraham left all that he had and went to Canaan – he did not question God, he did not look back as Lot did sometime later: After God’s command Scripture says: "So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him" – wonderful words of obedience[19]. This is trust, which is repeated in its highest form on Mount Moriah[20], and demonstrates the absolute abandonment God requires – abandonment of self, and surrender to God. This is trust.

What is our benefit in trusting the Lord

But you say Abraham had a promise – a benefit from his trust in God – he left his land with a promised of wealth and majesty. What about us? Our trust in Christ is not without reward. Paul reiterates the rewards in 1:10 and again in 4:8, speaking of the abolishing of death, eternal life with Christ and a crown of righteousness that is laid up for him. Trust in God is not empty. The surrender to God is not without foundation or reward. For these things Paul is willing to suffer. He knows Christ and through his communion with Christ has learnt, indeed, persuaded, that Christ is able to deliver. And in any case merely being with Christ is reward enough!

Paul encourages Timothy to persevere

Paul is encouraging Timothy to persevere because Paul knows the end is far better. Perseverance in our walk is not just hanging on, but it is an effort from the mind body and soul in order to move forward. Paul often alludes to the athlete, having been to Athens and seen the effort and perseverance these men put into their sport. Perseverance is made ever so much easier when we abandon those things that hinder us – and there is much in the world that hinders us. Satan spends considerable resources hindering us, making us ineffective and worthless vessel to Christ.

Over the past month the third chapter of Revelation has come to my mind – it is the focus of our study this semester at college. It is the church of Laodicea that comes to mind when one ponders hindrances to the Christians. The essential problem with this church was pride – it thought that it is good when it was merely vomit – strong words indeed!. AW Tozer wrote:

The proud and lofty man or woman cannot worship God any more acceptably than the proud devil himself. There must be humility in the heart of the person who would worship God in spirit and in truth[21].

Furthermore a proud and lofty man or woman cannot serve God. The problem I believe starts with the wrong notion about God. AW Tozer again:

Perverted notions about God soon rot the religion in which they appear. The long career of Israel demonstrates this clearly enough, and the history of the Church confirms it. So necessary to the Church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards decline along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.[22]

Oswald Chambers really punches this idea home:

What line of thinking do my thoughts take? Do I turn to what God says or to my own fears? Am I simply repeating what God says, or am I learning to truly hear Him and then to respond after I have heard what He says? "For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ " (Hebrews 13:5–6).[23]

What else can we do to be amendable to surrender to God?

What else can we do to be amendable to surrender to God, and God alone? Continuing on from the Hebrews passage quoted by Oswald Chambers, above:

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5, 6 (NKJV)

Covetousness is essentially idolatry[24] - and idolatry has the same effect on the relationship you have God as you would have on your husband, wife or friend, if you had a sexual relationship with a prostitute. The problem with idolatry is that destroys the relationship in the same way as fornication does. This graphically described by Hosea who suffered this indecency when his wife became unfaithful. The rich and outwardly prosperous house of Hosea mimicked that of Israel, which was bankrupt morally and spiritually.

The only thing that makes us amendable to surrendering is obedience – obedience to the word of God, obedience to the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.

The reason we can trust God is because he will never leave or forsake us.  He will not break that relationship and like Hosea, who is a type or figure of the Messiah, he takes his wife Gomer back, even after she bears a child to another man.

The Assurance of Christ’s Salvation[25]

Again I quote Chambers:

"I will never leave you …" - not for any reason; not my sin, selfishness, stubbornness, nor waywardness. Have I really let God say to me that He will never leave me? If I have not truly heard this assurance of God, then let me listen again.

"I will never … forsake you." Sometimes it is not the difficulty of life but the drudgery of it that makes me think God will forsake me. When there is no major difficulty to overcome, no vision from God, nothing wonderful or beautiful—just the everyday activities of life—do I hear God’s assurance even in these?

The idea of God leaving his chosen people never enters his head. Indeed, it was so part of God’s nature that it is repeated in the Law, not once, but twice, two verses apart:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

What greater hymn could be found in Scripture that that which expresses the solidness of the faithfulness of God. It is full of figures of speech, but not something anyone could miss. Habakkuk writes:

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17, 18.


Let us close with the Hymn "I know whom I have believed" by Daniel Whittle.

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.


But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.


[1] All internet sites were accessed on 14 March 2009, and may not be available after this date.



[4] For our US friends ABC is the Australian Broadcasting Commissions, a government funded media outlet. – see







[11] 1 Samuel 16:18

[12] Proverbs 14:15

[13] Acts 17:10

[14] Proverbs 12:23, 14:18,18:15,

[15] Proverbs 15:5

[16] Fee,G.D. (1988) 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, New International Biblical Commentary, Hendrickson Publishers, USA, pg 12.

[17] 1 Peter 1:19

[18] 1 Cor 15:31

[19] Genesis 12:4

[20] Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice, in obedience to God. At the last minute, God provides a substitute ram to be offered instead.

[21] AW Tozer (1992) Worship: The Missing Jewel, Christian Publications, pp 4,5.

[22] A.W. Tozer, (1961) The Knowledge of the Holy, Harper Collins: USA, p. 4.

[23] O Chambers (1935) My Utmost for the Highest, originally by Dood Mead & Co, then Oswald Chambers Publications (1963), also on line at pg "June 4".

[24] Colossians 3:5

[25] O Chambers ilid

David L Simon (GBC – Salem 15 March 2009, Edited 22 March 2020)
\Pastoral Epistles\I know whom I have believed (2 Tim 1 v 6 to 12)

Using this website

The weakness of any Christian website is the failure of the author to truly know the mind of God. His weakness due to sin (and there will be weaknesses) can always be revealed if checked against the Bible. Therefore, it is urged that anyone using this website must check the information against the Holy Scriptures - for the test of any such information, by any person, is measruing it against the Canon. For this reason the Canon is called simply that - deriving its name from 'cane' meaning measuring stick. Even the early Christians checked what the Apostle Paul had spoken against Scripture in order to test its veracity. You need to do the same.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

Furthermore, we must test all things:

Test [prove] all things; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:22

11 Feb 2017