Before we explain the words above, let us establish that a true believer is saved forever. The Lord Jesus said in John 10:27-30, “27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give ETERNAL life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will 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 the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one” (NASB). The Lord Jesus also said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have ETERNAL life” (NASB). The life that God gives is eternal life, not eternal life until we sin.

We find the word stumble in Proverbs 3:23. We read in Proverbs 3:19-23, “The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath He established the heavens. By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not STUMBLE.” When we look to the Lord and His wisdom, He will keep us from stumbling and getting entangled in sin.

We find the word fall in 2 Peter 3:17. We read in 2 Peter 3:17-18, “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and FALL from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (NASB). As we keep our eyes on the Lord, He is able to keep us from falling into sin.

We find mention of a shipwrecked faith in 1 Timothy 1:19. We read in 1 Timothy 1:18-20, “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered SHIPWRECK IN REGARD TO THEIR FAITH. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme” (NASB).

Keep in mind that a shipwrecked faith is still faith. These verses in 1 Timothy are a warning for believers. Since believers still have the old nature, it is still possible for us to commit grievous sins. An example was given of Hymenaeus and Alexander who made blasphemous statements. Another example of a shipwrecked faith was the man in 1 Corinthians 5:1 who “should have his father’s wife.” By God-given, apostolic power the Apostle Paul handed Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan so that they would learn not to blaspheme. Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 5:4-5, “4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Yet another example of shipwrecked faith is that of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5.

Imagine a beautiful, well-built ship sailing tall and strong, whether the seas are calm or stormy. How useful the ship is with carrying people and supplies across the dangerous sea. What a shame it is when that ship is found shipwrecked on the rocks. So it is with a Christian’s faith. We are useful to the Lord and others when we keep our eyes on our Savior and abstain from sinning. However, it is a very sad thing when a Christian sins so severely that his testimony is crushed. Like Ananias and Sapphira, the Lord may even cause that believer to die and take him home to heaven if the Lord finds that necessary.

Oh, let us cling to our Lord and read His Word each day. As we read in Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” We need to spend time in the Word to keep our minds pure and keep us from sinning. However, we should not despair if we do sin. We read in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Dear believer, let us pray for each other to stay close to the Lord by reading His Word, praying, and fellowshipping with other believers. We live in a dark and evil world, but we can be a bright light for the Lord if we stay focused on our Savior.  (459.2)  (DJ)