Pitchers in baseball are broadly categorized as starters, relievers, and closers. Most starters do not pitch an entire game, even if superbly pitching, since it is more important to preserve their pitching arm, not risking any injury. Enter the reliever and closer. These specialized pitchers perform a critical function by preserving the lead and securing the win. To recognize their contribution, the term “save” is used when successful. Recently I was watching a baseball game and witnessed what I thought was a save by the closer. However, after a discussion with an aficionado of baseball, he questioned me, “Is it a save?” We realized that we both did not know the strict operational definition of a “save.” We soon found the answer.
- He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;
- He is not the winning pitcher;
- He is credited with at least ⅓ of an inning pitched; and
- He satisfies one of the following conditions:
In our case, this closer, although performing admirably, preserving the lead, and securing the win after pitching one inning, did not fulfill the criteria of a save because he entered the game with a lead of four runs. I was intrigued by this formal definition and the criteria that one needs to fulfill in order to be credited with a save. Sometimes a perceived save is not a save.
Could a Christian lose their salvation? I struggled with the security of my salvation for many years. Perhaps being saved is not truly saved? Was I simply deluding myself into believing that I was saved but never truly made a decisive decision? What if I committed a heinous sin, would God still forgive me?
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
John 10:27-30 (ESV)
It took many years of digging through the Bible and meditating upon the many verses discussing salvation. The verse quoted above is affirming the glorious Truth that once someone accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they are saved for eternity. No person, no action, not even Satan will ever cause a saved person to lose their security and sanctity of salvation with God. Once saved, always saved.
Is it a save?
Thanks be to Jesus Christ who died and was resurrected so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.