The Christian life is like a marathon race set out before us. There is a reward in running well, but particularly in finishing. Christians agree that this is a consistent pattern of New Testament teaching. However, is the prize a reward for having finished well? Or is the prize salvation itself - and can it be lost? Is everyone who started the race guaranteed a share in the prize? Do the warnings in Scripture tell believers that it is up to them to succeed or fail in the race? If so, is there no assurance of salvation? Or can we affirm that 'once saved, always saved', and that only a difference in rewards awaits us?
Thomas R. Schreiner's study, based on his lectures at the Twelfth Oak Hill Annual School of Theology, explores the nature of admonitions and warnings in New Testament theology, their role in relation to perseverance and assurance in practical Christian living, and their pastoral implications. He offers clarification of some controversial issues, and responds to misunderstandings.