Eternal Security

As evangelicals debate the merits of Calvinism and Arminianism, the one point where proponents of either side often abandon their system is in the area of eternal security.  However, evangelicals are not all in agreement over this issue, and even those who affirm that one cannot lose their salvation due to sinful actions may nevertheless believe that one can lose their salvation due to apostasy (a willful rejection of faith in Christ). 

Even though we are made in the image of God, we sin and are alienated from God. Romans 3:23 tells us that, “For ‘ALL’ have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 10:3, “As it is written: None is righteous, no, not one;” and “we are all as an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;” as Isaiah 64:6a states. No one can live a sinless life and we can do nothing to earn our salvation. The only way to obtain salvation is through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. (John 14:6) It would be logical to conclude that God would not give something, only to take it away because we are unworthy. We will always be unworthy. “Our salvation is secured in Christ, and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom 8:31–39); yet our response to this truth brings our assurance. Eternal security is an objective truth, but our response to it is experiential and subjective. It is based on the work of Christ (Heb 7:25), the witness of the Spirit (Rom 8:14–17), and our obedience (1 John 5:11–13). God has promised to keep us from stumbling (Jude 24), having sealed us until the day of redemption (Eph 4:30). Thus, we are responsible to persevere and hold on to God. Ultimately our security in Christ comes because He has a hold on us (John 10:28–30).”[1]

We are sealed according to Ephesians 4:30 tells us, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” When a letter is mailed, one person seals the letter and the recipient is the only person allowed to open the letter. “In our case, God is both sender and recipient, so only God could break that seal; and He has promised to deliver us safely to heaven.”[2]

When a person truly accepts Christ, people will know by the fruit that they bare. (Matthew 7:16) Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8) (Repentance means to turn from our sin, never to return.) Apostates claim to know Jesus but are not willing to make the necessary sacrifices such as repentance or bearing fruit. One may argue that all Christians return to certain sins, but there is a difference in trying to keep away from sin with Jesus and giving in to sin, continuing to live in sin without Jesus. Therefore, apostasy is not a loss of salvation; it indicates that salvation was never secured to begin with.

In conclusion, if we believe our salvation is taken away every time we sin, and we turn around and become “saved” again, that would be crucifying Jesus repeatedly. Romans 6:10 says, “For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.”

Bibliography

Dockery, D. S, T. C Butler, C. L Church, L. L Scott, M. A Ellis Smith, and J. E. White. Holman Bible Handbook. Nashville, 1992.

Ryrie, C. C. A Survey of Bible Doctrine. Chicago, 1972.


[1] D. S. Dockery, Butler, T. C., Church, C. L., Scott, L. L., Ellis Smith, M. A., White, J. E., & Holman Bible Publishers (Nashville, T. (1992). Holman Bible Handbook (833). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] C. C. Ryrie, (1972). A survey of Bible doctrine. Chicago: Moody Press.

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2 Responses to Eternal Security

  1. THE POSSIBILITY OF APOSTASY?

    Perseverance of the saints, commonly referred to as, once saved always saved, is a major tenet of Calvinism. The question is can a Christian fall from God’s grace and be lost?

    APOSTASY, IS IT POSSIBLE?

    John 15:2-6…..If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up, and they gather them, cast them into the fire and they are burned.

    Being cast into a fire does not sound like, once saved always saved.

    Hebrews 2:1-3 For this reason we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift from it….3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation……

    Why would the writer of Hebrews warn of drifting from salvation if it was an impossibility?

    Galatians 5:1-4 It was for freedom that Christ set us free….4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

    The apostle Paul said that some Christians had fallen from grace. Falling from grace was a reality for them.

    Colossians 1:22-23 yet He has reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—23 if you indeed continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul was made a minister.

    The apostle Paul said the Colossians would be holy and blameless on the condition that they continued in the faith. Paul said nothing of “once in grace always in grace.”

    Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

    Blood bought Christians were warned to, not, stop believing. Apostasy means, to cease to believe.

    Hebrews 6:4-6 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

    If Christians fall away (deny the gospel), they will not repent. Those Christians who deny the benefits of the shed blood of Christ simply will not repent; not because God prevents them. They have just lost the will and desire to repent.

    1 Timothy 4:1-4 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons….

    The Holy Spirit says some will fall away. Calvinism teaches apostasy is impossible. Who do you believe the Holy Spirit or the professors of Calvinism?

    Galatians 1:2-9….To the churches of Galatia…6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel….9….if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

    Paul stated that some of the Galatian Christians were falling away. They were practicing the teachings of the Judaizers. Some of the Jewish Christians were perverting the gospel by incorporating the Old Testament ceremonial practices with in gospel of Christ.

    PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS IS A MAN-MADE DOCTRINE.

    Two things have to occur in order to convince men that the doctrine of, once in grace always in grace, is a Biblical truth.
    1. You need a willing student.
    2. A skilled professional is needed, with a doctorate in MAN-MADE TRADITIONS.

    What is impossible? It is impossible to prayerfully search the Scriptures for the truth and still hold the view that apostasy is impossible.

    A TULIP NOTE: Some say, “I believe in the doctrine of ,Perseverance of the Saints, however, I reject the other four points of Calvinism.”

    1. T–Total Depravity
    2. U–Unconditional Election
    3. L–Limited Atonement
    4. I–Irresistible Grace
    5. P–Perseverance of the Saints

    You cannot separate any of the five points of Calvinism and keep the tulip from wilting. You you either believe them all or none of them.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>> steve finnell a christian view

  2. pastorrobbm says:

    Thank you for your well written response and courtesy.

    My goal is not to confuse anyone, but I do request to who ever reads to pray and search the scriptures as myself and Mr. Finnell have done.

    In my response, I think it is important to understand two things. First, the Bible is clear that there is only two types of religious individuals. Believers and Unbelievers, therefore there is no in between. Second, is that apostasy means, someone who has abandoned their faith.

    Apostates is strongly mentioned throughout the Bible. They make professions of faith but never really accept Him. Sometimes they can be referred to as pretend believers. They turn away for Jesus but never trusted Him to begin with as 1 John 2:19 says,

    19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

    Matthew 13:24-30, gives us an illustration as such as in the same field there are wheat and false wheat. At first the difference could not be seen, but as time went on their true colors were shown. In churches today the same thing is seen. True born again believers right beside pretenders who sing, enjoy messages and such. Therefore, to the human eye they look the same, but God knows as only He can see the heart. Matthew 13:1-9 is another illustration of apostasy.

    The reason the Bible warns against apostasy as you have shown, is because of those two types of religious individuals as mentioned before, believers and unbelievers. As we all know and can understand, claiming with with our mouths we are Christians does not make us a true Christian, it is our hearts. As Matthew 7:21-23 shows us, it is possible to go to church, go through the motions, and even serve in the ministry and still be unsaved.

    Isaiah 29:13, And the Lord said:
    “Because this people draw near with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    while their hearts are far from me,
    and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,

    Mark 7:6, And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,“ ‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;

    Apostasy is warned against to have everyone to be sure of their salvation as Paul has warned us in 2 Corinthians 13:5. Also apostasy is warned against to help the church identify apostates.

    2 Peter 2:1–3

    2 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

    Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-29 are warnings to pretending believers to examine themselves before they are too late. Matthew 7:22-23 shows those who are rejected on Judgment Day are rejected not because they lost faith, rather because the Lord did not know them.
    Apostates make a profession, but never have the possessions. Therefore, apostasy is not loss of salvation, rather it is evidence of past pretension.

    Perseverance of Saints is not a man made doctrine if it is Biblically backed which has been shown.

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