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Continuance is a Mark of a Disciple of Christ

Posted by donna on February 4, 2014

Hebrews 10:39: “We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved."

Last month we explored the topic of a disciple being one who is committed to be like their Master. The goal of the disciple is to be like Christ. These disciples are credible.

Now, we need to address the characteristic that can be called continuance. A true disciple is one that does not "shrink back" as the writer to the Hebrews teaches us in Hebrews 10: 23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”

Scripture teaches us that if we are truly saved then nothing can take us out of God's hands. Yet, the writer to the Hebrews warns us that "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted of the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted of the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace” (Hebrews 6: 4-6).

These are words of warning indicating that not all those who profess Christ walk as true disciples. Some have brought shame on Christ because they were never truly of Christ. They were as the Puritans referred to them “professors" of Christ, but not followers of the Master. They do not last. They shrink back and are lost. Like the seed cast on stony or shallow ground they spring to life but the heat and hardship and pleasures of this world pull them back and they die.

This is why the Great Commission commands us to go and make disciples not confessors.  Jesus put it this way, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46). The mark of a true disciple is that they persevere, they continue to the end.

Listen once more to the words of the writer to the Hebrews.

Hebrews 6:11-12:  "We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to be lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

May God bless you as you persevere in the strength of Christ,

Bill Fietje

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