ETERNAL SECURITY

The issue here is one of who accomplishes our salvation. The Scriptures are quite clear. It is God who saves us. We are powerless to save ourselves.

Paul describes us in our lost condition as being "foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another" (Titus 3:3). It was at such a time that God came and saved us. "But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 HE SAVED US, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:4-5).

It stands to reason that if I cannot save myself, then I cannot keep myself saved. "So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy" (Romans 9:16).

Jesus gives words of assurance to all who follow Him when He says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Fatherís hand." (John 10:27-29). Notice the double assurance that is given. He says that no one shall be able to snatch them out of His hand. But that is not all. He also says that no one shall be able to snatch them out of the Fatherís hand.

What shall we say about the person who comes and makes a profession of faith and who, for a time, exhibits all of the characteristics of a Christian, but who then leaves and who rejects Christ?

John describes this sort of person. "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us" (1 John 2:19). Notice what John does not say. He does not say that they lost their salvation. Rather he says in essence, "By the very fact that they left, they showed that they were not saved in the first place."

Here is the point. When God saves a person, a process begins that will continue throughout his entire life. Paul says, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).

Sanctification is not an option in Christianity. It is for this reason that 1 John can describe a Christian as one who is continually...

For this reason, I believe in the eternal security of the believer, but the eternal insecurity of the make-believer as illustrated in the following chart.

Eternal Security

A Biblical Balance

Loss of Salvation

Once a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, they will be saved no matter whether or not they continue to believe.

It is possible for one to experience a faith for a time that is not saving faith. Such a one often falls away after a time.

A person might come to Christ and be saved and then, because of sin or unbelief, might lose that salvation and be lost.

Reads the parable of the sower and believes that only the first one is lost while the others merely suffer "loss of rewards."

The parable of the sower pictures some who initially experience a measure of spiritual growth, but who ultimately fall away and are not saved.

The parable of the sower tells of some who were initially saved but who lost their salvation because they did not endure.

Once saved, always saved; no matter what.

The perseverance of Godís elect is guaranteed by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Salvation is a matter of enduring to the end.


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