Course: The Attributes of God
The Faithfulness of God
The author inserts personal comments when quoting Scripture which are indicated by square brackets. All biblical references are quoted from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
Turn to Psalm 89 on the faithfulness of God.
1 I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.
2 For I have said, “Mercy shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens.”
8 O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty like You, O LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You.
20 I have found My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him,
24 But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, and in My name his horn shall be exalted.
25 Also I will set his hand over the sea, and his right hand over the rivers.
26 He shall cry to Me, “You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.”
27 Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
28 My mercy I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall stand firm with him.
29 His seed also I will make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
30 If his sons forsake My law and do not walk in My judgments,
31 If they break My statutes and do not keep My commandments,
32 Then I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
33 Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, nor allow My faithfulness to fail.
34 My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.
35 Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David:
36 His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me;
37 It shall be established forever like the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky.
Some believe that “faithful witness” in verse 37 is simply the planetary bodies, whether it is sun or moon or stars. Others believe it is referring to the rainbow. God gave the rainbow as a sign of a covenant and a promise He made that He would never destroy the world again with a flood, as He did long ago. Like the faithful witness in the sky, you can count on one thing: God is surrounded, as the psalmist said, with faithfulness. You can depend on Him and you can count on Him.
Let’s look to the Lord in prayer.
Father, in this study as we look at Your word about faithfulness, help us to see that Your character is behind all of the blessings of our life. Thank You that You are a faithful God. We see so much unfaithfulness in society today. Thank You that You are the God who does not change. You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank You. Help us to see, Lord, the impact upon on our own lives of Your faithfulness to us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Proverbs 20:6 reminds us of the unfaithfulness of man when it says: “Who can find a faithful man?” In Proverbs 25:19 it says, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in a time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot out of joint.”
There is one man in the Bible, outside of the Lord, who is called faithful. Nehemiah 7:2. He is rather insignificant, his name is Hananiah. The Bible says he was a faithful man and feared God more than many in his generation.
It is Jesus Christ, though, that is emphasized in the Bible as being faithful. He is called a “merciful and faithful high priest” in Hebrews 2:17. In Hebrews 3:2 it says, “He is faithful to Him who appointed Him as a priest.” He is called the “Faithful Witness” in Revelation 1:5. The “Faithful and True Witness” in Revelation 3:14. And when He comes again in power and great glory at the second coming of Christ in Revelation 19, He has a name and it is called, “Faithful and True.”
Isaiah 11:5 says of the Messiah that “faithfulness is the belt of His waist, holding everything together.” The Bible says that “His commandments are faithful,” in Psalm 119. In Psalm 36:5, it says that “God’s faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” And in Psalm 119:90 it says that “God’s faithfulness endures to all generations.”
I like to tell folks about the Hebrew word. The Hebrew word for faithful is aman, from which we get “amen.” Amen is talking about “faithful” and anytime you want to say an “amen” it would be okay by me. Aman or amen means faithful. When you hear something from the Word of God and you know it is reliable then you say, “Amen, I agree with that!” That is faithful. That is reliable. You can depend on it.
I want to share with you on the faithfulness of God and to put it in a vernacular; we are talking about how we can depend on Him. This means that you can count on God when you cannot count on anybody else. Have you ever had your kids say to you, “You don’t trust me.”? Now parents, you know that there are different ways to handle that. You can spend a lot of emotional time just trying to explain how you do trust them, in a way. But it would be better to say, “You got that right!” The Bible says, “Have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). Why? It is because man is unfaithful.
Our confidence is in the living God who is always faithful to us. You can depend on Him for the following seven things. Take your Bible and turn to Deuteronomy 7, the most obvious one we would come up with if we just tried to think about it ourselves. We can depend on God to keep His Word. When you talk about faithfulness in people, you are talking about how you can trust them to keep their word, to keep their promise.
6 For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.
7 The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;
8 but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
9 Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant.
You see, God keeps His word. You can rely on Him.
Turn to Hebrews 6 to see the importance of keeping your word. Proverbs 14:5 says that “a faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies.” There is an example given in the book of Proverbs of somebody who has given you a secret or a confidence and you wind up telling somebody when you shouldn’t. It says, “A tale bearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter” (Proverbs 11:13).
God will keep His word. In Hebrews 6:13, look at these words:
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,
14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”
15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.
Now God is simply recognizing here, something that is in society. When you go into a courtroom they want you to swear that you are telling the truth. There is something Freudian about that which I do not like. Why do we have to say, I swear on a stack of Bibles that I am telling you the truth?” Does that mean when you don’t do that, then we cannot trust you to tell the truth? The Bible says, “Swear not at all; neither by heaven, nor by earth, nor His footstool” (James 5:12, paraphrased). Do not swear by anything. Let your yes be yes, and your no, no. You should always tell the truth.
Put your hand on the Bible. Hey, isn’t it amusing, that many of the people who put their hand on the Bible have not even read the Bible? If they knew what the Bible said, they would not be putting their hand on the Bible to swear by it. You may say, “Well you are supposed to do it.” You do not have to do it. Just look at them straight in the eye and say, “I promise you that I am going to try and tell the truth, the best I can.” “Why, don’t you swear on the Bible?” “No, I would not want to offend God.” Man is unfaithful. God is faithful. But I am going to try to say the truth every time I speak. So, we are saying, “let our yes be yes and our no, no.” We ought to count on you no matter what. Not when you bring God up. “I swear by God, that I’m telling you the truth!” What does that mean? When you don’t swear by God, you are not telling the truth? It is interesting, isn’t it?
So here God recognizes that for all of us, if you make an oath, that settles it. There is satire here, my dear friends. Oaths and covenants and agreements and contracts that have been made between corporations and people and nations have been broken continually.
Now pick it up again in Hebrews 6:17. Knowing this background and the satire of the passage, you will appreciate what God is saying—that He is in great contrast to all of us.
17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,
18 that by two immutable things, [Things that don’t change, namely God and His own word] in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, [or encouragement, comfort] who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
What the passage is saying is that you can count on what God said. When you think of God’s faithfulness, you understand the basic meaning is that He will keep His word. Therefore all the hope I have in the future and in all that God promises to me is based on His faithfulness. If God is not faithful, then how can I depend on His promise to me? I have great confidence about the future. So much so that people think I am “whacko” in the present. But I really do have confidence about the future. I am not at all worried about it whatsoever. Are we in a mess in our world? You bet—but I do not worry about it at all. I know how it turns out. I have read the book.
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul is sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19). Do you feel anchored today? Do you feel steadfast and secure? It is based on the faithfulness of God that He will keep His word.
Look at Hebrews 10:23. It says,
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, [Don’t doubt it. Why?] for He who promised is [What does it say?] faithful.
You see the faithfulness of God that He will keep His word, causes me to realize that what I believe and what I hope in is actually going to take place.
Look at Hebrews 11:11. You talk about faithfulness, how about Sarah who was barren all of her life and at age eighty-nine she is told she is going to have a child?
11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him [what?] faithful who had promised.
You see, the character of God is faithfulness. He is behind what He says and He keeps His word.
Now turn to Lamentations 3. You ask, “Where is that?” You have Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lamentations is right before the book of Ezekiel. In the Hebrew Bible, Lamentations is with the Book of Jeremiah. Lamentations deals with people crying in the nation of Israel over what happened to their city and their temple. It was destroyed by Babylon in 586 BC and they are now in captivity. They had seventy years of captivity in Babylon and a lot of them began to wonder whether anything would ever change. In Lamentations 3, we have these dear people crying out to God and appealing to His faithfulness. You can depend on God to keep His word, number one; and number two, to extend His compassion to you when you do not deserve it. Aren’t you glad for God’s compassion? Boy, is He merciful. God will extend His compassion to you when you do not deserve it because He is faithful. Look at Lamentations 3:22.
22 Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning; great is Your [What?] faithfulness.
24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
Jump down to verse 31 to get the idea here.
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.
32 Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.
33 For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.
Look down at verse 40.
40 Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the LORD;
41 Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.
19 You, O LORD, remain forever; Your throne from generation to generation. [That’s describing a faithful God.]
20 Why do You forget us forever, and forsake us for so long a time?
21 Turn us back to You, O LORD, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old,
22 Unless You have utterly rejected us, and are very angry with us!
They are putting two and two together. “We have been here for a long time. Is this You, Lord—the One who promised us so many wonderful things? Lord, because Your compassions fail not, because Your faithfulness is great, You cannot keep doing this.” And they were right. God extends His compassion to us and, boy, we do not deserve it.
Have you ever seen somebody who has been so rotten that in your heart you say, “Lord, do it to him.” Do you know what I mean? Have you ever felt that way? I mean, in your carnal moments? But you know, you sometimes conclude that somebody is being blessed too much. And in your heart you think, “Why doesn’t God hit them a little bit?” And then sometimes when you get hit you think, “Well what did I do to deserve this?” And you really should not ask that because if you got what you deserved, you would be in hell. So it is a miracle that you are alive.
We have a misunderstanding of who we are and who God is, don’t we? God is a faithful God and because of that He will extend compassion to you even when you do not deserve it. I like to say, “He gives you a long rope.” Maybe there is somebody who has never really made a commitment to Jesus Christ but has hung around enough to know something about Christianity. God has been merciful to you and He has been compassionate. You should not presume upon it too much. The Bible says in Psalm 19, “Keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins.” Thank God for His mercy and that He has been very tolerant toward a lot of gross people in this world. God is a God of mercy and He is a God of compassion, but that does not mean He will not judge us. He will.
You can depend on God to keep His word, number one. And you can depend on God to extend His compassion to you when you do not deserve it, number two. And for number three, turn to Isaiah 49. I like this. You can depend on God to restore His people through His chosen servant, the Messiah. Do you believe in restoration? Look at Isaiah 49:5. I just finished writing a very small section of a book on restoration. A lot of Christian leaders across America were asked to write in this book. It is going to come out in the summer. I had a very small part. But anyway, we were all writing on restoration. Do we believe in restoration? Boy, I sure do. As a matter of fact, I do not think we could go on another day without it.
Look at Isaiah 49:5–13. It says,
5 And now the LORD says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, [This is the Messiah talking, the Servant of the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant] to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him (for I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and My God shall be My strength),
6 Indeed He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
We are all the beneficiaries of that today. The Messiah not only has restored Israel, He has also been a light to the Gentiles.
7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, to Him [namely the Messiah] whom man despises, [and they did and still do] to Him whom the nation abhors, to the Servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD who is [what?] faithful, the Holy One of Israel; and He has chosen You.”
8 Thus says the LORD: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages;
9 That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ They shall feed along the roads, and their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.
10 They shall neither hunger nor thirst, neither heat nor sun
shall strike them; for He who has mercy on them will lead them, even by the springs of water He will guide them.
11 I will make each of My mountains a road, and My highways shall be elevated.
12 Surely these shall come from afar; look! Those from the north and the west, and these from the land of Sinim.
13 Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted.
Aren’t you glad that God is a God of restoration? I hear a lot of stuff that makes me wonder if we believe in it. Have you ever heard somebody say, “We can’t use him! I remember ten years ago what he did.” Hey, I just want you to know that God uses even rocks if He needs to. The Bible says He can use stones and make them cry out. He can use little babies and infants if He wants to. He used Balaam’s donkey once. I like that story. If He used him, He can use me—amen?
I tell you that God will use anything, man. So, stop being enamored with yourself or anybody who is used. Be enamored with the living God, the faithful God who can restore. He can take all the broken pieces of somebody’s life and put them all back together and say, “I will use them.” You are not a throw-away. You are not a meaningless thing. No matter what tragedy has happened to you, no matter what sin has corrupted your life, no matter what problems or struggles you have, our God is a faithful God and He will restore. I like that. I depend upon that and so do you. The key is that it is the Lord who is faithful.
Turn to 2 Thessalonians 3. You can not only depend upon God to keep His word and to extend His compassion to you when you do not deserve it, and to restore us through His chosen Servant the Messiah, but you can also depend on God to protect you from the enemy. He protects you from the enemy. In 2 Thessalonians 3, Paul wrote to this new church and said this:
Finally, brethren pray for us that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, just as it is with you. And that we might be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is [What does it say?] faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:1–3)
It came to my attention recently, that an individual was living in an environment of satanic oppression and demonism. And because of the situation it was impossible to geographically relocate out of it. This person is a believer and is really scared about what impact the enemy could have in their life. And I read the individual this passage from 2 Thessalonians 3, “Our Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” What a wonderful passage that is. Nothing is going to happen to you that God does not want to happen. That is what God’s protection is all about.
Take the case of Job. Here is a man who walked with God in his generation and boy, did he get blasted! He lost everything he had. He was a wealthy man. He lost his family. He had boils and sores all over his body, from the top of his head down to his foot. He had three friends who came by and tried to tell him why it all happened. And he finally concluded: “Miserable comforters are you all.” They did not know and neither did Job know. His own wife said to Job, “Why don’t you curse God and die? I mean, how can you keep on with this? Look at what is happening.” Job said, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Do we receive good from the hand of God and not receive evil?” (Job 2:9–10). The Bible says that in all of this, Job did not sin. Job did not understand it. He had a lot of questions just like anybody else, but they were deeper with him. He was being affected. But he finally came to the conclusion, on the basis of who God is, he said, “Though He slay me, I will trust Him” (Job 13:15).
Is that what the faithfulness of God means to you? “If He decides to take my life, I will trust Him. I will never turn my back on Him.” You can depend on who He is; He is a faithful God. Yet a lot of us cop out or bomb out for the silliest things, we are out of here! And it is because our trust is not in the faithful God.
How about you? In discussing this with God, Satan argued, “Look God, he only trusts you because everything is going great. Take it all away and then we will see.” God even said he would put a hedge around Job and the devil could not do any more than God permitted.
My dear friends do not let anyone tell you any differently. The Bible says, “He will give His angels charge over you lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:12). God has promised protection to the believer. And if something awful and tragic happens to you, understand that God knows all about it and wants it to occur for His own purpose and His glory. Relax.
The good things are not in this life. Did you know that? Doesn’t it seem a little difficult to understand how Christians want to go to heaven so badly, but they do everything to keep out of the place? You know what I mean? It just kind of bothers me. Paul said, “I have a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:23). We say, “I have a desire to stay here. I want to go home when I die, okay. But I want to stay here now. Give me some more years.” Really? Hey, the good times are not here, folks. The good times are in glory. “In His presence there is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
Our God is faithful. He is faithful to protect us from the enemy.
Turn to 1 Corinthians 10. We can depend on God, not only to keep His word, and to extend His compassion to us when we do not deserve it, and to restore us through His chosen Servant the Messiah even when we have bombed out so badly, and to protect us from the enemy; but number five, we can depend on God to help us in times of temptation and suffering. Because God is faithful, He is not going to leave you alone. He will help you in times of temptation and suffering.
In 1 Corinthians 10:11 it says,
11 Now all these things happened to them [the nation of Israel] as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man.
Sometimes people say, “Well you do not know what I am going through.” Well, I may not now, but I probably will. Like the fellow who came up to me one day after I had preached a sermon on suffering. This young man in his twenties said, “I don’t think I have ever suffered.” I said, “Cheer up, you will. It is only a question of time.”
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; [But who is faithful?] but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Have you ever said, “This is too great, I cannot handle this anymore. I cannot cope with it anymore. It is greater than I can bear.” No, it is not. No, it is not! Do you know why God sometimes does not bring any relief? It is because He knows that you are struggling against this. You are still fighting it. You have not admitted that you cannot do it. When you finally say, “I’ve had it!” God says, “Amen. Praise God. Now maybe we can do something.”
See, a lot of us down deep, whether we know it or not in our human nature, we are fighters. Boy, we are real fighters! We hang in there even in the midst of despair and depression. And we are fighting it because we believe we can handle it. And then there is some counselor who comes along and tells us that we can. You can do it! I say, “Why don’t you just realize that you cannot do it. You will be happier.” I say, “Let’s give up earlier.” Why don’t we start with our depravity and the fact that we cannot handle this. Great, maybe you will call on the name of the Lord and stop trusting yourself and even your words, saying that you cannot handle it. This is like a smoke screen, for you are still fighting, aren’t you? You still think somehow, even maybe by your crying out, that somebody will come up with a solution. Listen, if you get on your knees and trust God then you might see some things change. God knows us better than we know ourselves. Maybe it would be better if we recognized that we cannot handle it at all to begin with and that we need the Lord.
Turn to 1 Peter 4, where you will see much of the same thing. God is faithful and I can depend upon Him to help me in my time of temptation and suffering, which will come.
In 1 Peter 4:12 it says,
12 Beloved, do not think it strange [Don’t think it’s weird or unusual] concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; [Don’t say to your friends, “Boy, I don’t understand why that happened.”]
13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part [of course] He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters.
[If you do that, you deserve what you’re getting.]
16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, [Just because of what you believe and your commitment to Christ. It says,] let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
It is a miracle that any of us are going to be in heaven. Why are we complaining? Think of what is going to happen to those who do not believe in Christ. The whole point of this passage is: why are we so bent out of shape over suffering? The big deal is not what is happening now.
Part of the depression and discouragement that a lot of us feel is because what is big to us is what is happening now. Hey, it is not important, okay. “Well, it’s important to me.” Well, it is not important. Look, if you die in the next minute, who cares? “Well, I know that.” Why don’t you live in the light of it? Why don’t you live in the light of the fact that this might be the last breath you take? A part of us lives in the past, and a part of us worries about the future. The truth is the only time you have is right now. And even that moment is gone.
Look at the conclusion, in the light of all this. Understand the consequences of the gospel and even though you are a believer who is suffering, understand that because you are a believer you are not going to suffer the judgment of the ungodly. You are not going to be in hell. You are going to be in heaven. So why are you so discouraged?
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to [what kind of a Creator? What does it say?] a faithful Creator. (1 Peter 4:19)
You see, because God is faithful you can count on Him to help you in times of temptation and suffering.
Turn over to 1 John 1:9, please. We can depend on God to keep His word, to extend His compassion to us though we do not deserve it, to restore us through His chosen Servant, the Messiah, to protect us from the enemy, and to help us in times of temptation and suffering. And also—I like this—to forgive our sins.
In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins.” The Greek word, “confession” means to say the same thing. It means to agree with God about your sin. You do not say, “I made a little boo-boo.” You do not say, “I did this thing.” You tell God what God says is your sin.
“If we confess our sins”—notice the word “sins” is plural, not singular. People say, “You know I have this fault.” No, you do not. You have a lot of them. “You know, I’ve got this one sin.” No, you have so many of them and that is a smoke screen for your other stuff.
“If we confess our sins [He is what?] He is faithful and just [or righteous] to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is because of what Jesus did at the cross that God is faithful. The moment you confess your sins He says, “Hey, forgiven. Cleansed.”
It is too easy. It depends on your viewpoint. Once you learn about what He did, you realize the sacrifice from our heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Salvation is not of man or his performance. It is based on who God is because He is faithful.
One last thing. Turn to 1 Corinthians 1. You can also depend on God to preserve you blameless at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Boy, we do enough to prove the opposite, don’t we? How in the world would we be preserved blameless unto the coming of Jesus Christ?
In 1 Corinthians 1:4–9 it says,
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,
5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,
6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you,
7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is [what?] faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
It is the faithfulness of God that will cause me to be preserved blameless at the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Turn to 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24. He says it more than once. You can depend on God to preserve you blameless at the coming of Jesus Christ, even though all of your present circumstances may cause people to blame you for something. God can be counted on. He is faithful. He will preserve you blameless until the second coming of Christ.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 it says,
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 He who calls you is [what?] faithful, who also will do it.
It is not you who does it. It is not your performance. It is God who does it. Philippians 1:6 says,
Being confident of this very thing that He who has begun a good work in you, He will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Now I have had people say, as I did last week to a guy who just received Christ.
He said, “Boy, I sure hope I can hang on.”
I said, “To what?”
“Well,” he said, “I want to make sure I don’t go back on what I’m doing here.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, I, you know, I want to, you know, really be a Christian. And I want it to last.”
I said, “Well, if you really are a Christian, it will last.”
“Well, you know, if you believe it.”
I said, “No, no. It’s not dependent on that.”
“Well, what if I don’t believe it?”
“Well, do you believe it now? Have you come to a belief that Jesus Christ died on a cross?”
“You believe He rose again from the dead?”
“You received Jesus Christ as your Savior. You’ve got eternal life.”
“Well, then it is going to last.”
“Well, how can you be so sure?”
I love to talk to people like this. It is fun. It is so much fun. I said, “Because the Bible says so.”
Turn to 2 Timothy 2, please. There are some of you out there who are not quite sure you can hang on. Well, God is not going to waste much time trying to prove whether you can hang on or not. He never depends on you to hang on from the start. You see, God knows you better than you know yourself.
In 2 Timothy 2:11–12 it says,
11 This is a faithful saying: [something you can rely on] for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.
12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
This is a statement of fact about an unbeliever. Understand He will deny you. There are consequences to denial and unbelief. Is that talking about a believer who already knows the Lord and then denies Him? No. That is in the next verse.
13 If we are faithless, he remains [what?] faithful; he cannot deny Himself.
Now I have seen this in life, people. I have seen people who have known the Lord and walked with God for years, and all of a sudden, they had a physical tragedy happen to them which affected their minds. Their personalities changed and they are not the same person we once knew. And you have to use your memory system to remember what they once were like, so you do not get bent out of shape over what they are now. I have seen young people who have had accidents and literally lost their ability even to remember or understand what it means to believe in Christ. I saw that happen to a friend of mine who turned into a mentally handicapped person. And you would never have known that he was once on the ball for God and loved God with all of his heart. Listen, God knows all about that. Even if you become faithless, He remains faithful. He will not deny Himself. Stop worrying about it. Salvation is of God and not of man.
Boy, I am thankful that God is faithful, aren’t you? Let’s close with prayer.
Thank You, Lord, for Your love for us and for Your faithfulness to us when we’re so unfaithful. The pattern of our life demonstrates we don’t deserve anything from you. And Lord, we need to know Your character and Your faithfulness. I pray for those in our audience who know that they need You desperately right now. God, don’t allow other things to crowd out their need or to confuse them or to block their minds from getting the truth. God, help them to know that You are the faithful God. You will forgive them. You will extend compassion to them. You will restore them. Some of us are so messed up that we wonder if restoration could ever take place. God, thank You for Your love and Your grace and Your mercy. Because You are a faithful God, we can count on You to keep Your word and we can trust You. You said if we believe in You, if we put our trust in Jesus Christ, then we would be saved and have everlasting life. Thank You that we can count on Your Word; that the hope we have in Christ is an anchor of our soul. It keeps us steady and stable in a society that is the exact opposite. Lord, I pray for those who are in our audience that are not sure if they died now whether they would be in heaven. God, help them in this moment to know that they must put their trust and their faith in Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Savior. He is the only One who can take care of the questions of sin and death and hell. He is the only One who can give us eternal life. Help us to come to Him before it is too late. Thank You that You are a compassionate, merciful God. Though some of us have ignored You for a long time now, You are so merciful and so compassionate. You never fail, Your faithfulness is so great. Help us not to presume that it will go on another day. For You are a righteous God. Oh God, help us to make the commitments we know we ought to make before it is too late. We thank You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.