“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent in making your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.”
for if you do these things
“These things” are the character qualities of verses 5-7. These words occur five times in verses that follow verse seven. They always refer to the list in verses 5-7.
“Do” means to practice. We must practice our salvation (Jos 1:8; Jn 13:17; Jas 1:22). God expects us to do the things listed in verses 5-7. It takes work to inculcate the character qualities of those verses.
Do you work at those virtues for your life? We must get in shape spiritually. It takes exercise to develop spiritual muscle. Many Christian carry a tremendous amount of spiritual flab. They cannot run the Christian life very well. They cannot gain momentum.
you will never stumble
“Stumble” is literally fall. We will not become wretched Christians if we keep the character qualities of verses 5-7. The New Testament often uses “stumble” for the carnal Christian. “Stumble” means to “fall” out of fellowship. God makes every provision to keep His children from failing. God will keep us from stumbling spiritually when we make our salvation real.
1 Co 10:12-13, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Jude 24-25, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
There is no need to constantly stumble in our spiritual lives because God will provide for us if we appropriate His grace.
The “fall” of this verse is not the fall from salvation. That is a religious distortion. We cannot fall out of salvation. We can fall from a reward. This has to do with falling into sin. Christians can fall into disrepute. We can bring the case of Christ into criticism. We can be a liability to the cause of Christ instead of an asset. We can fall out of fellowship. When we do, we bring into play the chastening of God upon our lives. God will take us to the woodshed. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
Everyone who starts the Christian life will finish in heaven. How we finish is the true question. Will we finish stronger than we began? We finish fine when we get a prize at the end. If we receive no rewards, then we will not finish fine. What will be your status in heaven?
Some Christians sprawl out in spiritual shipwreck for most of their Christian lives. They have not lost their salvation, but they lost effectiveness in their spiritual lives. There is no need to stumble constantly.
We will surely stumble if we look at other Christians. When we tailgate cars ahead of us, eventually, we will smash into the car ahead of us. We will crash into their weaknesses when we follow other Christians too closely. We will rear-end their failures. Inevitably, we will get hurt if we follow other Christians too closely. They may stop suddenly spiritually. Other Christians are frail and fall just like us.
Re. 2:5, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”