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(All quotations from the New King James translation unless stated otherwise).
We won’t know that we have eternal life until we actually have it. We won’t actually have it until Jesus returns.
Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
We don’t have eternal life until we are made immortal. What we have after belief and baptism into Christ is the hope of eternal life.
Romans 8:24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
Those who are baptised into Christ will be judged on how they have shown the love of Christ to others while they lived.
Matthew 25:40 "And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Matthew 25:45 "Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
For this reason Paul advises us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
While we live we can still fall away from the truth. Even those in the first century who had the gifts of the Holy Spirit could still fall away.
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Paul himself recognised that he could fall away.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Philippians 3:11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
It was not until the end of his life that Paul had confidence that he would attain the prize.
2 Timothy 4:8 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.
It is only those who endure to the end of their lives that will be given eternal life.
Matthew 10:22 "And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Matthew 24:13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
‘Once saved always saved’ is not a doctrine found in the Bible. If after baptism we ‘hide our talent in the earth’ we will be rejected.
Matthew 25:28 ‘Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 ‘And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
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