The Wilderness of Testing: How to “Prove” Your Eternal Security

Many are Called … Few are Chosen

Below you will see the “identity” of a child of God:

Today while listening to the book of Exodus I was considering how God brought His people out of the land of Egypt, and then how He brought them through the wilderness, and finally brought them into the Promised Land. In the very same way, the child of God is also delivered from their “slavery” to sin by the blood of the Lamb, and then proceeds on into their “wilderness journey” through trial and testing, and finally into the Promised Land of heaven.

Let us consider this wilderness Journey we all go through: Paul, in writing to the Thessalonian church says, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers [and sisters] loved by God, that he has chosen you, BECAUSE our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full convictionAnd you became imitators of us and of the Lord, [for Christ suffered much, as did Paul and the other apostles] for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,…” (1 Thess. 1:2-6, emphasis mine). What proved their salvation? And what proved they were chosen or elect? It was proved by their “work of faith, labor of love, and steadfast hope in the midst of affliction with evidence of the Holy Spirit.”

This next verse can be a difficult one for some. But if I understand it correctly, it appears to be saying, that a person can be delivered from their sins and yet, later on, in the “wilderness of testing” reject their deliverance: “Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt [both the Old Testament and New Testament use “Egypt” as a meaning for sin or the world], afterward destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 1:5, emphasis mine). Who brought them out of sin? Jesus did. But later, in the wilderness, they rejected their faith. Also, recall with me that there were twelve spies which Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land in the book of Numbers. They all went into the Promised land (which is also used “typologically” in the Bible to mean heaven or Kingdom of God), but only two of them had faith and were allowed to return to the Promised Land forty years later (Num. 14:6-9). So, fear “doubt/unbelief” kept ten of them from entering the Promised Land.

So, let me encourage you, according to Peter, there is a key here to the process and confirmation of our salvation when he says ” … make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love … For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers [and sisters], be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (2 Peter 1:5-7,10)”.

Here, Luke in Acts seems, also like Peter, to be explaining the process and confirmation of salvation in writing, “When they [Paul and Barnabas] had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:21-22, emphasis mine).

I have an honest question then, I am curious “when” exactly it is that an individual receives the Holy Spirit? If it is at conversion, at their confession of faith, then is it possible that the Spirit “could” depart during the wilderness journey “if” their faith is tested and they reject the faith? Honestly, I am seeking to understand. Let me use a possible example. Jesus said in the parable of the “seeds”, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God … And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:11, 14-15, emphasis mine). I am wondering if this “seed” is related to the Holy Spirit at all? For faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. But no one can have faith apart from the Holy Spirit preaching the gospel to them. I am NOT trying to cause trouble. I have honest questions. Maybe you can help?

Next, I need to point out that Paul in his letters, whether it is Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, etc at the beginning of his letters makes it clear to “who” he is writing. He is writing to the “saints who are faithful, in Christ Jesus therefore read this with that in mind: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:1-5, emphasis mine). Do you see the wilderness journey here? Only when an individual’s faith has been tested and proven through suffering does it produce hope, with no shame (or fear at the coming of the Lord). Why? Because the Holy Spirit confirms with our spirit that we are children of God because we “evidence” the endurance of faith which gives us the “confidence” that we are His! Read that again slowly, if it helps. I really want this to be clear. Many people just skip over the address of these letters written to churches. Paul, John, Peter, and others are writing to encourage those who they know, by their fruit of love for God and for one another with endurance. Also, within these letters, they add warnings at times against rejecting their message of encouragement and exhortation. And if we evidence the fruit of our salvation through our “wilderness journey” by suffering and enduring to the Promised Land we can be sure that we are “sealed”, meaning marked with God’s stamp, by the Holy Spirit, being the downpayment of our inheritance!

A friend sent me a link to the Christian Post and I decided to add a couple things from that post to this post. They note that “A study of all biblical characters who were chosen by God shows that none of them escaped the furnace of affliction. The affliction of Christ who is our role model was so intense that He felt abandoned by the Father” (The Christian Post, 2022). Also, “God chooses the few in the furnace of affliction and it is only a few that can pass the affliction test. God spoke to Isaiah, saying, “See I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10)” (The Christian Post, 2022). These are interesting insights into our faith process. They may encourage or they may convict. But I hope they encourage.

So, let me end with this: God knows those who are His and I pray you also will know you are His. The proof of our salvation comes through the “wilderness journey” since all faith must be tested and proven genuine. Stand firm, therefore. Stay awake. And remember Paul’s exhortation, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13, emphasis mine).

Citation: Amaechina, Oscar. Affliction Separates the Chosen from the Called. The Christian Post. July 2, 2022.

Categories HOPE!, Last Days, Truth and ErrorTags ,

2 thoughts on “The Wilderness of Testing: How to “Prove” Your Eternal Security

  1. Jesus never felt abandoned by His Father. When he quoted psalm 22 “ why have you forsaken me”, He was using a common test rabbis used with their disciples. They would quote a verse which was also intended to point to the passages before and after to make a point. Disciples of the time had it memorized. When Jesus quoted that verse He was actually declaring the whole Psalm to make the point that He was the messiah. Read it in full. It was a declaration not an exasperation. The Father did not turn His back on His Son.


    1. Yes, I am familiar with that truth. I fully agree 👍


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