The believer cannot fall away from GRACE.
We read this passage and think that believers will fall away from the faith.
Matthew 24 “9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 AT THAT TIME many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. “
This was a period that already happened during the destruction of Jerusalem in the 1st Century as Jesus said:
Matthew 24 “Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”…..34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened”
It was during the generation / lifetime of the 12 Apostles.
What was so special during that time?
The Law still existed in that time.
Jesus said that not one bit of law would pass away until heaven and earth passed away (Matthew 5).
The context was about the commandments of the law.
On the cross, the commandments were abolished (Ephesians 2).
But the law would pass away when the Temple was destroyed.
Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
In the Law, their Temple was the bridge between God in heaven and man on earth.
The Temple represented heaven on earth because God’s presence was in the most Holy place in the Temple separated from man by the Law.
That Jewish “heaven and earth” passed away in AD70 when their temple was destroyed after Jesus died on the cross.
Their old covenant ended.Jesus was making all things New because God lives in the believer by the Spirit and not in the Temple anymore.
The Old Covenant had not yet disappeared until Israel was judged and the Temple was destroyed in AD70.
At that time, Paul warned believers to not get circumcised, otherwise they would fall away from Grace and Christ would be of no use to them.
Galatians 5 “2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”
In those days, they were being persecuted by the Jews in all nations and these Judaizers were trying to force Gentiles to get circumcised. If a person tried to get circumcised for salvation, that meant that they had to obey the 613 commandments of the law for salvation. They had to be perfect in their works.
This is why they could fall from grace into the law.
The 40-year period from the Cross until AD70 was the only time in history where a person could fall from grace into the law because the law was still in effect until the temple and sacrifices was destroyed.
Hebrews 8:13 “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”The Law was obsolete on the cross but it was going to disappear “soon” in their lifetime.As long as the temple stood, the sacrifices of the law were still being practiced. This is why the Jewish believers still kept the law in Acts 21.Hebrews 9:1 “Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. ….8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.”
If a person rejected Christ and went back to the law, then there was a raging judgment to come against them when Israel was judged.
Hebrews 10 “26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?”
That was the meaning of falling away from Grace.
If a person went back to the Covenant of Law, then they were rejecting Christ and would not be saved.Today it is impossible for a person to fall from Grace into law.
It is because the Old Covenant does not exist anymore.
The Law of Moses passed away in the 1st Century.
The New Covenant of Grace has been fully revealed with Grace upon Grace.
A believer may stumble in faith but he will always remain in Grace.
Remember how Abraham stumbled before the law came and God still showed grace to him.
A believer cannot fall outside grace today.A believer may temporarily deny Christ but Jesus always restores the believer.
Believers may at times stumble into trying to please God by works, but the Grace of God always brings them back.
The last verse of the Bible shows us that Grace always wins.
Revelation 22:21 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”