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[Hebrews 10:37-39]  (Keep this passage marked, as we will be returning to it.)

The words, "any man," have been introduced by the King James translators as the subject of "draw back," but the "just man" is the subject.  An unbeliever cannot draw back from living for the Lord, but a saved man can.  An unbeliever cannot live for self and lose his rewards, but a saved man can.  An unbeliever cannot appear at the judgment seat of Christ without any good works (works of gold, silver, or precious stones), an unbeliever cannot suffer loss, and an unbeliever cannot be saved as though by fire; but a saved person can.  The drawing back to destruction is not to everlasting damnation but is to the loss of the soul, which is plainly revealed in [Matthew 16:24-27].

When Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior returns for those who are his, those who have chosen to lose their souls, or lives, for His sake shall receive rewards; but those who have chosen to save their lives, or souls, for self shall lose their rewards.  A Christian cannot lose his salvation, but he can lose his rewards.  [Romans 8:38-39:  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.]

The saving of the soul is something future and is conditioned upon the behavior of you yourself.  Everlasting, or spiritual salvation is the gift of God and can never, under any circumstances be lost or forfeited; but the saving of the soul is distinctly set forth in the Bible, not as a gift, but as a reward to be earned by diligence, faithfulness, and obedience to His commands.

Failure to distinguish between soul and spirit has caused a lot of people a lot of problems; it has caused many people to err and make shipwreck of their faith; it’s not that they are lost, but that they may experience the tragedy of having their spirits and bodies saved but their souls lost.  You may ask, “Aren’t the soul and the spirit the same?”  Absolutely not!  That is the teaching of natural evolutionists.  The Bible teaches us that the soul is the natural life of the man; it’s the self-life.  It is the sum total of the experiences that pertain to the man himself; it’s his own separate personality.  It is the life he lives daily after he is saved.  He can live for the Lord or he can live for the world, the flesh, and the devil.  The way you live your life can result in rewards or losses.

[1 Peter 1:5, 9]  The salvation that is to be revealed in the end time is that of the soul; it has to do with rewards.  [1 Peter 1:17; so that you may be behaving properly at the end of the verse]  The fear of the Lord is what determines your walk.  Do you fear the Lord?  2 Corinthians 5:11 says, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men [to watch and be found faithful].”  This fear will be manifested at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  [1 Peter 2:11, 12]

I want us to look at some unfaithful servants.  They are in terrible plights, but the important thing to remember is that they are all servants of the Lord, and not lost people:

  1. [Matthew 5:20]  One whose righteousness does not exceed that of the Pharisees.
  2. [Matthew 22:1-14]  One who was at the wedding feast but had no wedding garment.
  3. [Matthew 25:1-13]  The five who had no oil in their lamps; they were careless and did not carry an extra supply.
  4. [Matthew 25:14-30]  The one who appeared at the Judgment Seat but had done nothing for the Lord.
  5. [Luke 12:42-49]  The servant who knew his master’s will but did not do it.
  6. [Galatians 5:17-21]  Those who yield to works of the flesh instead of being led by the Spirit.

These are all representing saved people.  These are righteous people, although their righteousness does not exceed that of the Pharisees.  One who was at the wedding feast; he had no wedding garment, but he was there!  Virgins; do you think God refers to the lost as virgins?  Virgins are pure.  The lost are going to hell!  One who appeared at the Judgment Seat; do the lost appear at the Judgment Seat?  A servant, who belongs to the master.  These are not lost people!

Do not make the common mistake of confusing the Kingdom with common salvation; they are different.  The Kingdom, refers to the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ!  All of the warnings and exhortations and promises that we looked at in the previous passages pertain to Christians!  And they pertain only to Christians!  They pertain to those who in this lifetime are granted the opportunity to qualify for a position or place in the Kingdom by living a faithful and obedient life.  Do you want a position of honor in the coming Kingdom?

The full and proper impact of these passages is completely obliterated by preachers and teachers who apply them to a group that they like to call “professors, not possessors”.  There’s no such thing in the Bible!  These passages are clearly and plainly addressed to those who have accepted Jesus the Christ as their Savior.  I often shudder to think of their responsibility at the Judgment Seat of Christ because they have promoted a laxity of life by teaching and encouraging Christians to disregard the multiplied warnings given by God!  Many people today teach that all Christians will be treated exactly the same; no matter how you live, you will be rewarded!  That’s what they teach, and that’s teaching a license to sin, and it simply flies in the face of Scriptures!

[Hebrews 10:37-39]  This passage of Scripture is speaking of the saving of the soul.  1 Peter 1:9, which we looked at a moment ago is also speaking of the saving of the soul.  It says, “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”  [James 1:21] is also speaking of the saving of the soul.  It seems strange that it is necessary to call a Christian’s attention to the fact that the spirit and the soul are not the same.  Teaching that man is a dichotomous, or two-part, being is a fairly new teaching and is the result of evolutionary teaching.  Natural evolution is unwittingly being taught from many pulpits today!

Man is a trichotomous being; he has three parts, not two.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul is speaking and he says, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Hebrews 4:12 describes the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit by the Word of God.  It says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The salvation of the spirit takes place immediately and for the rest of eternity the moment you believe in the Lord Jesus as your personal savior.  You believe once, and you’re saved forever!  But, Romans 8:23 tells us that our bodies will not be redeemed until the resurrection and translation.

The salvation of the soul involves rewards for a life that is lived in obedience unto the honor and glory of the Lord.  That life can be lost, even though your spirit and body are saved.  Don’t take my word for it; I want you to see it in your Bible:

  1. [1 Corinthians 3:15]  You can be saved as through fire, but suffer loss because your life was not lived unto the Lord.
  2. [Revelation 16:15]  You can lose your garments if you are not faithful in keeping your garments.  You won’t have anything to wear to the feast!
  3. [Revelation 3:11]  You can lose your crown; if there is no crown, there can be no reigning with the Lord.
  4. [Matthew 25:28]  This tells of the loss of the talent by the one who did not use it and therefore does not enter into the joy of the Lord as he reigns.  Be sure and note that in verse 14, this servant with one talent is called “his own”; he’s a Christian!
  5. [Luke 19:24]  The servant of the Lord who did not use his pound forfeited the pound and therefore was not appointed to reign over any cities.  Reigning over a city has nothing to do with salvation at all.  Otherwise, some of these servants are saved 10 times and some are being saved five times.  Reigning over a city has to do with rewards for faithfulness!

[Hebrews 10:37-39]  I want to point out that the one who is being discussed here is the just one; he’s a believer who is living a just life.  What does it mean to live a just life?  Luke 1:6, which is talking about Zechariah and Elizabeth says about them, “And they were both righteous (just) before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”  A just person walks in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.  A lost person cannot live a just life!  Here, God says that if the just one (who is a believer) draws back, the Lord’s soul has no pleasure in him.  In verse 39, you see that if the just draws back, it is unto destruction.  It’s talking about the loss of the soul or the life in the age to come.  This cannot be the destruction of the spirit, it cannot be the loss of salvation, and it has nothing to do with the body; it must therefore be the soul that is under discussion in this passage.

Look in the closing part of [verse 39:  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition [destruction]; but of them that believe [faith; noun] to the saving of the soul].  The just one, who is a believer, can be faithful; he can live an obedient life to the saving of his soul.  You cannot draw back from spiritual salvation, but you can draw back from living a faithful and obedient life; you can live a carnal life, such as the Holy Spirit describes in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3; in other words, you can choose to be a spiritual infant all your life.

The key expression in the book of Hebrews is, “Let us go on to perfection”; let us go on to maturity; let us become full grown adults in Christ, not feeding continually on milk, but go on to the meat of the Word.  The meat of the Word in the book of Hebrews, and for that matter everywhere in the Bible, is the teaching pertaining to the Kingdom and the possibility of ruling and reigning with the Lord.  The sincere milk of the Word has to do with the simple gospel message; the sincere milk of the Word makes you wise unto salvation; the sincere milk of the Word is the food for babes in Christ.  The meat of the Word will enable you to qualify for a position of honor; for ruling and reigning in the coming Kingdom of our Lord.  The meat of the Word will let you grow up!

Now, I want you to keep in mind that in the Kingdom, there will be sovereigns and there will be subjects.  The sovereigns will be those who have won crowns; they have run a successful race.  The subjects will be those who are saved as though by fire, as it says in 1 Corinthians 3:15.  Many people teach that we will all rule and reign in the coming Kingdom.  Well, if we all rule and reign, who do we rule and reign over?  When my cousins and I would fight over who was going to lead a game, my great-grandfather would say, “We can’t all be chiefs”.  The Bible clearly teaches that there will be rulers and there will be subjects!  And I don’t think we’re going to rule and reign over those who are in the lake of fire.

[Matthew 16]  Spiritual salvation is taught as an event.  But, once you’re saved, every place in Scripture that the salvation of the soul is mentioned, it is referred to as a future event.  It’s a future event that is conditioned upon your life here in the flesh.  [Matthew 16:24-27]  “Whosoever will.”  The saving of the life or the soul is determined by whether or not you will it.  This applies to any Christian.  The word “man” in verse 24 is in italics, which indicates to us that it is not in the original text; this word was added by the translators in order to clarify something, but as so often is the case, it muddies things up.  In this verse, the people under discussion are the disciples.  So, if word “man” should be omitted, and if a word needs to be supplied, then that word should be “disciple”.  “If any disciple will come after me.”  Remember, a disciple is a saved person.  A disciple is someone who completely embraces the teachings of the one whom he is the disciple of.  This is talking about a saved person, and it says, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man disciple will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

As you read over this passage, you can clearly see that the result of the loss or saving of the soul has to do with rewards, as it says in verse 27.  Is our spiritual salvation a reward?  No, it’s a gift!  The word that is translated as “life” in verse 25 and “soul” in verse 26 is the same Greek word (psuche).  Spiritual salvation is a gift of God and can never, under any circumstances be lost, forfeited, given up, or taken away.  However, salvation of the soul is dependent upon the individual; it’s dependent upon you.  The salvation of the soul comes at the end of your Christian life, not at the beginning; spiritual salvation is at the beginning of your Christian life; it’s called “being born from above”.  One of the goals of living a faithful life; on of the goals of faith in Jesus is the salvation of the soul, as we saw in 1 Peter 1:9.  “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 

Peter was writing of the saving of the soul to those who had already been begotten again, as we saw in 1 Peter 1:3.  James writes in 1:21 of the saving of the souls of those who have already been begotten by the word of truth, as we saw in 1:18.  Being born from above is a past experience for every individual who has believed on the Lord Jesus as his personal savior!  The saving of the soul, which results in rewards, is a future experience, which will be determined at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

[2 Peter]  In Philippians 2:12, Christians are urged, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”.  Do you have to work out your spiritual salvation?  Are you afraid that you’re not saved?  By working out your salvation with fear and trembling, you will guarantee the salvation of your soul and you will receive rewards.  In 2 Peter 1:10, we’re told, [2 Peter 1:10].  Give diligence to make your calling and election sure.  Why?  So you will not stumble and lose your rewards.  Do you have to give diligence to make sure you’re saved?  That would be a salvation by works.  Give diligence so you will not stumble, and [2 Peter 1:11].

The salvation of your soul will guarantee unto you a place of honor, glory, crowns, and rewards in the coming Kingdom of our Lord.  The loss of your soul will not result in banishment from the heavens; your position there is guaranteed by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; the loss of your soul will result in you being a subject rather than a sovereign.

“Oh, just so that I get to heaven, that’s good enough for me.”  I’ve heard that said by many people; they are simply seeking a fire insurance policy.  We’re told to esteem the mind of Christ.  We’re told to esteem knowledge.  We’re told to esteem his commandments.  We’re told to esteem the salvation of our souls.  We’re commanded to esteem life in the coming age.

We’re told that if you don’t esteem life in the coming age, then you don’t esteem the Son; if you don’t esteem the Son, then you don’t esteem the Father.  Brother, don’t turn up your nose at what God has commanded you to esteem.  Esteem the Son, esteem the Father, and esteem the salvation of your soul.

If it is important to God, it should be important to you.  If you esteem these things, then you have to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

If you’re a Christian and you haven’t turned your life over to God, won’t you do so today?  If there’s a man, boy, woman, or girl here today who has never accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, won’t you do so today?[1]

[1] For further study see also Luke 12:42-48.  The last word in vs. 46, “unbeliever” should be literally translated “unfaithful”.  Also see Luke 13:30 and Luke 14:1-11.