Job 1:8-12; Job 2:3-10; Job 19:25-27
The LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD…
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
A. W. PINK (1886-1952): In all ages this doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints has been opposed and denied. Satan himself believed in the apostasy of Job and had the effrontery to avow it unto Jehovah.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): The devil will also pervert the doctrine of final perseverance…he tries to pull and tear the poor soul on that great and comforting doctrine. The same nail on which a sinner must hang his hope the devil tries to drive into the very temples of his faith, that he may die like Sisera in the tent of Jael. “Look,” says Satan, “the children of God always hold on their way: they never leave off being holy; they persevere; their faith is like the path of the just, shining more and more unto the perfect day; and so would yours be if you were one of the Lord’s. But you will never be able to persevere―therefore, you cannot be one of the Lord’s.”
JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): Observe from Job’s way of answering, in granting what is true and denying what is false, that in every temptation readily there are two things: (1) A true ground; (2) A false conclusion from it. Satan will say, “You are in such a condition, therefore you are not a child of God.” Learn then with Job to grant the ground, but to deny the conclusion.
C. H. SPURGEON: Oh, poor soul, tell Satan that thy perseverance is not thine, but that God is the author of it; that however weak thou art thou knowest thy weakness, but that if God begins a good work He will never leave it unfinished.
RICHARD SIBBES (1577-1635): He that keeps heaven for us will give us necessary graces to bring us thither.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Let us defy the devil, because we are in the protection of our God, who is of invincible power, and because our Lord Jesus Christ has taken upon Him the charge of our salvation and promised to be a faithful keeper of our souls to the end. When we are once at that point, then we shall beat back the darts of the devil.
C. H. SPURGEON: There are in the world certain people who teach that Christ gives grace to men, and tells them, “Now, you shall be saved if you will persevere; but this must be left to yourself.”
A. W. PINK: These are what are known as Arminians, for James Arminius or Van Harmin, a Dutchman of the sixteenth century, was the first man of any prominence in orthodox circles who opposed the theology taught by John Calvin—opposed it covertly and slyly and contrary to the most solemn and particular promise and pledge which he gave to church governing bodies before he was installed as professor of divinity at Leyden in 1602. Since then, for the purpose of theological classification, non-Calvinists and anti-Calvinists have been termed “Arminians.” The one man who did more than any other to popularize and spread Arminianism in the English-speaking world was John Wesley.
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): The Calvinists hold that a true believer in Christ cannot possibly fall from grace. The Arminians hold that a true believer may “make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience;” that he may fall, not only foully, but finally, so as to perish forever.
C. H. SPURGEON: This reminds me of an old Puritanical illustration: “The Duke of Alva having given some prisoners their lives, they afterwards petitioned him for some food. His answer was that ‘he would grant them life but no meat.’ And they were famished to death.” The deniers of final perseverance represent the Deity in a similar view―“God promises eternal life to the saints if they endure to the end, but He will not secure to them the continuance of that grace without which eternal life cannot be had!”
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): God deals not as that cruel Duke of Alva did in the Netherlands, governor there for the Spaniard, infamous for his inhumanity. For he roasted some to death, and starved others. “These are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah…” Genesis 36:40. We had a Duke d’Alva in the Netherlands―this was a right Romish Edomite―sure I am, if they be not of the natural descent, they are of the spiritual.
A. W. PINK: We need not be surprised then to find that [Roman Catholicism] repudiates most vehemently this precious truth and pronounces accursed all who hold it. That Roman Catholics and Arminians walk hand in hand may be seen from the ‘decrees’ issued by the Council of Trent. Among the ‘decrees’ of the Council of Trent (1563), which is the avowed standard of Popery, we find the following: “If any one shall affirm with positive and absolute certainty, that he shall surely have the gift of perseverance to the end let him be accursed!’
C. H. SPURGEON: Our hope for the final perseverance of the believer lies in the final perseverance of believer’s God. If the Lord begins to build, and does not finish, it will not be to His honour.
A. W. PINK: One of the outstanding glories of the Gospel is its promise of eternal security to all who truly believe it…It proclaims no feeble Redeemer, but One who is “mighty to save:” though the world, the flesh and the Devil, combine against Him, He cannot be frustrated. He who triumphed over the grave cannot be thwarted by any feebleness or fickleness in His people. “He is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by Him,” Hebrews 7:25. Those whom He pardons He preserves. Therefore each one who trusts in Him, though conscious of his own weakness and wickedness, may confidently exclaim “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day,” 2 Timothy 1:12.
OCTAVIUS WINSLOW (1808-1878): Oh, what a crown of glory will Christ have in that day when He presents His people, whom He not only redeemed and bought with His precious blood, but kept by His power! We need as much the power of Christ to keep us, and finally to preserve us to eternal life, as we need the atonement of Christ to save us.