God hid various spiritual truths in Scripture because He knew they would really trouble
some people. He desired that they keep a positive attitude and not lose hope of heaven,
which would also make them be better citizens of the world!
Re: conflicting doctrines in Scripture … God has not lied to us, tried to deceive us, etc.
But He has phrased His words so ingeniously, one almost has to be a “word meister” to
unravel what is really being said, which is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit.
Concerning who will attain salvation, I have a few things for you to consider …
God gives His free gift of grace-faith to some, causing them to become believers
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
But, please understand that a gift can be thrown away, rejected, or even destroyed.
A person can choose to ignore God’s gift, return to habitual sin, fall from grace, etc.
God’s grace is NOT promised to last forever
“You have become estranged from Christ … you have fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4)
“… looking carefully lest anyone fall short of (reject) the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15)
God’s grace can be rejected, removed, etc. … so therefore it can be received in vain.
“We then, as workers together with Him, also plead with you
to not receive the grace of God in vain.” (2 Corinthians 6:1)
Remember, Jesus warned believers to first count the cost of being His disciples,
and the way which leads to eternal life is narrow and difficult, and few find it.
This was never intended to be a casual walk in the park.
It appears that born-again Christians are promised everything
But, such verses apply only to God’s especially-chosen “elect”, described here …
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,
… whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified;
and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
Please note that Paul was writing only to the “faithful” saints in Ephesus (Eph 1:1).
The Key is … no one knows for sure who these “elect” are!
But, we are very sure that the “elect” will be cleaned up, i.e. made ready for heaven.
God’s elect will co-operate with being conformed into the image of God’s Son.
How God’s “elect” are transformed from sinners into holiness
Through co-operating with God’s sanctification process, God’s “elect” learn obedience
leading to righteousness, leading to holiness, and leading to eternal life (Romans 6).
They are to be slaves … of God, of obedience, of righteousness, and of holiness!
"For as many as are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." (Romans 8:14)
God’s elect choose wisely as to whose slaves they will be
“we should no longer be slaves of sin … Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal
body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instru-
ments of unrighteousness to sin … to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey,
you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether (slaves) of sin leading to death,
OR (slaves) of obedience leading to righteousness … For the wages of sin is death”
God’s elect choose to be slaves of obedience
“If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15)
“But if you want to enter into (eternal) life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17)
“He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9)
“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 John 2:3)
“present yourselves slaves … of obedience leading to righteousness” (Romans 6:16)
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to
the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14)
God’s elect choose to be slaves of righteousness
“present yourselves to God … as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6:13)
“present your members as slaves of righteousness …” (Romans 6:19)
“Do not be deceived … Awake to righteousness, and do not sin;
for some do not have the knowledge (of this truth) of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)
God’s elect choose to live holy lives
“Pursue … holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14)
“present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness” (Romans 6:19)
“slaves of God … holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” (Romans 6:22)
“let us cleanse ourselves … perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)
“but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
“present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God,
which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
“to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight --
if indeed you continue in the faith …” (Colossians 1:22)
God’s elect choose to be overcomers
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will NOT blot out his
name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father” (Rev 3:5)
“He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” (Revelation 2:11)
Overcome by … overcoming Satan and our flesh, and their influence on us to sin.
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne,
as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:21)
Note: Jesus did not overcome by believing that He is the Son of God (re: 1 John 5:5).
It’s all about … obedience >>> righteousness >>> holiness >>> to gain eternal life.
But, God knows the heart …
surely it’s in the sincere trying and repenting, and not so much in being perfect.