04 Apr “Plymouth Rock or Solid Rock?” by Stephen Hutchins
Recently I’ve been exposed to a barrage of commercials for Plymouth Rock Assurance. Their tag line is, “More than just ‘insurance,’ Plymouth Rock ‘Assurance.’” The commercial makes a distinction between “insurance” and “assurance.” Whereas insurance is the “product” they’re selling, “assurance” is the peace of mind that comes from having bought the product from their company (Plymouth Rock). Hearing these particular spots got me thinking about the doctrine of eternal security. How so?
As you may know, our church teaches the doctrine of eternal security. That is, we believe the Bible teaches that once a person puts their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, that person can never lose their salvation. Article 8 of our church’s Articles of Faith puts it this way:
“We believe that Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification, and that we have the fullest assurance that those truly born of the Spirit and trusting in Christ shall never be lost, and that those who die in the Lord shall rise again to a glorious eternal life in the presence of God.”
Over the years I’ve encountered many Christians who’ve doubted their salvation at one time or another and in some cases have felt the necessity to make a new commitment to Jesus or get “re-saved.” Often this happens because they’re new in the Lord and just haven’t been discipled or grown in their knowledge of the Scriptures yet.
Others who’ve had this experience have it because they’ve stopped following Jesus in their daily lives and have grown cold to the things of God. In both cases, what they’ve lost is the assurance of their salvation. The remedy for the former is to get into God’s Word and discover His promises concerning salvation. People in the latter group need to turn back to their first love and start following Him again.
An illustration that Pastor Dave gave in a sermon many years ago on this topic still resonates with me. He compared it to when you take your car in for an oil change and they put that little sticker on the windshield to remind you when it’s time to get another one. That sticker can be a source of assurance for us with regard to the care of our cars. But what if the sticker falls off and we lose track of when our last service was? Are we way over the time limit for new maintenance thus endangering the life of the engine? Or we may have thousands of miles left to go before new service is needed. Either way, what we’ve lost in this scenario, whether our car needs service or not, is the assurance or peace of mind about that need.
In chapter 10 of the Book of John (verses 27-30) Jesus teaches that salvation can never be lost, but He also says that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. So if you’re not listening to Jesus or seeking to follow Him, doubting your salvation may be a present, even appropriate, struggle for you. If that’s the case, Jesus is calling you back to commune with Him (Rev. 3:20). Accept His invitation to come back into fellowship with Him. The rest of Article 8 reads as follows:
“In light of such assurance, it is the duty of all believers to give all diligence to make their calling and election sure, by sincere and loving obedience to the commands and teachings of His Word. (John 10:28; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:28-39; 4:25; 5:18; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 52, 53; 2 Peter 1:10)
Plymouth Rock wants to give you assurance along with their insurance—for a price. Jesus wants to give you the insurance of salvation along with the peace of assurance that comes from building your life on the Solid Rock- and He’s already paid the eternal premium.