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"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

 

Mar 1, 2018

In this episode Brother Jonathan discusses the most common arguments for the teaching of Eternal Security, the difference between Assurance of Salvation and ES, and Biblical Assurance of Salvation.

People who teach the doctrine of Eternal Security/Once Saved Always Saved/Perseverance of the Saints are unwittingly like men who take the warning signs down from an uncompleted bridge, and worse than that, they are waving people on through to continue as though it were finished. Eternal Security is a dangerous doctrine that must be confronted by all sincere believers.

The PDF form of the show notes is available on the main webpage below the episode title. Feel free to take it and distribute it to pastors and teachers. They may not listen, but you will have done what you could to open their eyes.

 

Bible Study: Eternal Security Arguments

S2EP4

Remnant Bible Fellowship

 

  1. Intro
    1. Plug for last two episodes
    2. Define “eternal security”
      1. The teaching that if someone is converted, regardless of what follows, they are guaranteed to go to heaven.
    3. The difference between “assurance of salvation” and “eternal security”.
      1. Assurance of salvation deals with the present. Whether or not you have eternal life now.
      2. Eternal security deals with the future. Whether or not you will have eternal life later.
  • If you confuse the two then you will skew your perspective on a lot of the NT. Even Calvinists like Paul Washer openly talk about the importance of not confusing the two notions. Assurance of salvation is an idea that is completely independent of eternal security. You can hold to assurance of salvation without believing eternal security.
  1. Testimony
    1. I was discipled as an Independent Fundamental Baptist. I had attended a Fundamentalist Bible Institute, and was enrolled in a Fundamentalist Bible College at the time I was corrected doctrinally. I was not looking for correction when I was corrected. I didn’t think that I was wrong. I had no reason to believe that I was—according to what I thought. I was not corrected by some preacher, or convinced by any one person. I didn’t read some paper arguing the point, and I didn’t read some theological book. I was corrected when I humbled myself to simply look at the scriptures to see what they say for themselves. I intentionally set aside what I was told, applied the hermeneutics that I was taught by Fundamentalists, and when I did I couldn’t come to the same conclusions that I was taught. I saw that the hermeneutics that I was taught—which were good—were being applied inconsistently, or wholly ignored at certain times in certain passages or books. I had been taught doctrine, and if I thought that a verse said something that contradicted that, or if I asked the wrong kind of question, it was simply dismissed without being addressed. I was taught to assume the teaching of eternal security when I came to the scriptures. Now, none of this is said that plainly usually; but every person who has ever been corrected like I was says the same thing.
  • It’s about Truth
    1. The Word of God is the truth. I believe that. It’s because the Word of God is true that I accept correction from it: no matter whom it comes from. If you believe that the Bible is the truth, then you should be ready and willing to listen to anyone who says that they can correct you from it. The only reason that you wouldn’t be willing is if the Bible is not your actual source for your beliefs.
    2. Most people who hold to eternal security were told it either right after they got saved, or soon after. Most were told that it was true, and was the only Biblically correct view of salvation, even before they read their entire Bible. And most others who came to believe it later did not do so because of a deep personal study of the scriptures. They did not labor in the scriptures seeking to make sure all the definitions of the terms used were being portrayed like the Bible uses them. They did not critically examine it: they accepted it.
    3. If you care more about the truth, about the Word of God, and about when you have to give an account face-to-face with Jesus Christ about these things then please continue listening. If you care more about your congregation’s acceptance, your comfort, your easy lifestyle, your reputation, your degree from a certain Bible college, your pastorate, or your family…then don’t bother to continue listening.
    4. We’re talking about false teaching here, and you really need to consider that. The Lord Jesus Himself, the Apostles, and the early Christians all warned that in the latter days—our time—there would be massive deception and delusion doctrinally. We’ve specifically been warned. Consider just two verses:
      1. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7-8)
      2. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1Jn. 3:7)
    5. Can I ask you, who is trying to deceive people that they don’t have to walk after the spirit of God—who is the Holy Spirit—in order to reap life everlasting? Or, who is trying to deceive you by saying, “God sees you as righteous no matter how you live practically!” According to two of the Apostles that person is lying to you. They may not know it, but according to two Apostles they are. We’re talking about truth. Do you want the truth, or do you want what allows you to walk carelessly in this world?
    6. I’m talking in very strong terms about this because I know what it’s like to live as a Christian who believes they’re eternally secure. I did for the first several years after I was converted. I know most don’t think about sin. I know most don’t really fear God. I know most don’t have the faintest idea of what it means to overcome sin. I know that most are not really concerned about being watchful. It’s not necessarily because they believe that they have a license to sin; but the careless lifestyle that doesn’t care about holiness, that doesn’t watch itself, that doesn’t press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, it is the natural result. Because they were inoculated against fearing God before most of them ever even read their Bible once through.
  1. Brief Recap
    1. The Gospels are Christian Doctrine
      1. You cannot take promises from the Gospels and leave out the conditions attached to them. You cannot say that certain portions are under the Law, or that certain portions are for a future dispensation, and still claim the promises mentioned in those passages. Stop claiming the promise from the Sermon on the Mount which says, “Ask and it shall be given you, Seek and ye shall find,” if you don’t also accept the passage which says, “if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.”
      2. Christ specifically told the Apostles to teach their disciples the exact same doctrine and teaching that He gave them in His earthly ministry. It’s called the Great Commission:
        1. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt. 28:19-20)
  • Notice that Christ specifically said, “…ALL things WHATSOEVER I have commanded YOU.” Every single thing that Christ instructed the Apostles is for Christians today.
  1. Also, Christ specifically told us that the Law of Moses ceased to be preached with John the Baptist in Luke 16:16. He says it is the Gospel of the Kingdom that it is preached. The same gospel of the Kingdom that He said would be preached in all the world until His return—which hasn’t happened yet—in Matthew 24:14.
  2. Stop blindly believing pastors, preachers, teachers, and commentaries and get your doctrine from the scriptures.
  1. The Book of Hebrews is for Christians
    1. Some people try to say that the book of Hebrews is not for Christians. You get a silly two sentence response when asked about it that goes something like this:
      1. “What’s the title of the book? Right, then leave it to the Jews.”
    2. I’m not joking. I have heard people dismiss the entire book for that silly explanation. In fact, I used to. Some people even state that the book was originally written to LOST Jews. Really? An entire book of the Bible was written to the people who were hunting down the believers and stoning them? Would you expect them to read it? I really don’t think I have to refute that one. But let’s consider some things:
      1. He calls them, “holy brethren” (3:1)
      2. “sons”, that is, sons of God whom He is chastening because He has received them. (12:5-6)
      3. He refers to them as those who have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus. (10:29)
      4. He rebuked them for not growing spiritually. (5:11-14)
      5. The writer includes himself with them in 4:2-3 as having heard the gospel, and he specifically says, “And we which have believed…” in 4:3.
      6. They had been illuminated spiritually because of it. (10:32)
      7. After they were illuminated they endured persecution because of it. (10:32-34)
      8. And if that was not enough, the early Christians openly quoted from the warning passages in the book of Hebrews as applying to all believers.
  • By the way, if a Jew receives the gospel of Christ are they considered a Christian or a Jew to God? Let’s see what the scripture says:
    1. “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” (Rom. 10:12)
    2. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28)
    3. “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” (Col. 3:11)
  1. Even if the book of Hebrews was just written to Jews who were Christians: it is meant for ALL believers. A Jew who converts to Christ is a Christian. If you fail to remember: the Apostles were Hebrews. The same warnings that they themselves wrote, and applied to themselves, apply to Gentile Christians also. Apostasy is apostasy.
  2. EVERY time the early church quoted from the book of Hebrews they applied it to ALL Christians. There is no division between Jew and Gentile in Christ. There is one body of believers, and all others are lost.
  1. Repentance and Faith are two sides of the same coin: both are needed for salvation.
    1. Repentance is turning from something, and faith is turning to something. You cannot have one, and leave the other undone, and call yourself a Christian. Both are necessary for salvation.
    2. If you read through the gospels and the book of Acts, and you only go by Christ and the Apostles’ examples, you come to no other conclusion. It is really that simple.
  2. Assurance of salvation is continually shown in the Bible to be known by your works.
    1. “Assurance of salvation” is mentioned by the Apostle John:
      1. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1Jn 5:13)
    2. That’s the verse that most everybody quotes to support the idea of “Assurance of salvation”. Remember, “assurance” that you are currently a partaker of eternal life is very different than the idea of “eternal security”. ES teaches that because you were converted at one time you will, no matter what, go to heaven in the end. Some people will add some comments to that, but that is generally the idea. Regardless of what they say, ES completely ignores Biblical assurance of salvation.
  • What is said BIBLICALLY about how to have assurance of salvation is very different then what is said commonly. Most preachers today, at least in Fundamentalist circles, go something like this:
    1. “Have you ever sinned?” “Yeah.” “Do you believe that Jesus died for you?” “Uh huh.” “Okay, repeat after me…” (leads the man to blindly repeat a generic sinner’s prayer that is not only unbiblical but completely ignores the Biblical command of the gospel which is repentance) “Do you mean that?” “Yeah, I guess.” “Well read this…” (Reads Romans 10:9-10) “Did you call on the Lord?” “Uh huh.” “So are you saved?” “I guess.” “God’s not a liar is He?” “I mean…no.” “That’s right! According to God’s Word you have eternal life! It’s a free gift! And since you never did anything to earn it, you can never do anything to lose it! If anyone ever tells you that you’re not saved then just point them to the Bible and tell them they’re wrong and that they’re calling God a liar!”
  1. To my own shame, I have done that myself before. I have gone out visiting with people who did that to people. I have sat there watching someone tell someone that because they can say “uh huh” to three or four questions that they are now reconciled to God and that they never have to fear God or death again. Shameful.
  2. Nowhere in the entire Bible will you find that example of presenting the Gospel, or giving assurance of salvation to anyone…ever. How does the Bible tell us to look for assurance of salvation? You see, you have a problem here. People listen to that phrase and they think that I’m meaning eternity. No. Assurance of salvation has to do with the present. If you push the meaning any further than that you are reading into it what is not there. You are assuming eternal security from the outset.
  3. I understand that if you believe eternal security you believe it. But, when you come to the scriptures you aren’t supposed to bring doctrine to the table. You let the Bible lay out plainly what it says. So let’s just listen to some verses, and pay attention to what they plainly say.
    1. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1Jn. 1:5-7)
    2. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1Jn. 2:3-6)
    3. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1Jn. 2:15)
      1. When this is connected with James 2:5 we see that only those who love God are going to be partakers of the Kingdom:
      2. “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (James 2:5)
    4. “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” (1Jn. 2:29)
    5. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1Jn. 3:7)
      1. Compare this with Galatians 6:7-8:
        1. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7-8)
      2. Any time the Bible says “be not deceived” or “let no man deceive you”, what you have to understand is that means that someone is going to try to deceive you. So the question that you have to ask yourself is, “Who is trying to convince me that you don’t have to obey God in order to be righteous in His sight?”
    6. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1Jn. 3:9)
    7. “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1Jn. 3:10)
      1. Many people try to teach that “no one knows who the true Christians are.” Really? Why then did Christ command us to “let our lights so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our father which is in heaven”? This single verse contradicts that entire idea. “In this the children of God are manifest…” They are obvious, they are made plain for all to see because they do righteousness.
      2. In fact, when you change this biblical teaching you create some massive contradictions with Christ’s commandments. We’ll see that later.
    8. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1Jn. 3:14-15)
      1. Question: How do we know that we love the brethren, that is, fellow Christians, the way God wants us to? Well, let’s read:
      2. “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” (1Jn. 5:2)
      3. So, we know that we love the brethren when we love God and are obeying His commandments.
    9. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” (1Jn. 3:18-21)
      1. Some people have the gall to say that this is a comforting verse as opposed to what it is: a warning. They read it like, “Isn’t it so wonderful, if we condemn ourselves in our own heart then God is greater and loves us.” When that is not what it says or means. It says, “for if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” If your conscience, your heart, is convicting you of sin, how much moreso is God aware of it! He knows all things. This is why the Apostle continues and says, “If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” The point being that we should examine ourselves and repent of whatever our conscience or heart convicts us of. Then we will have, as Paul the Apostle said, “…a conscience void of offence toward God and man.” It is for this reason that we can have confidence toward God.
      2. Most ES proponents teach you to have confidence toward God regardless of the open sin in your life, never mind the secret sin of your heart.
    10. “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” (1Jn. 5:18)
      1. Notice that, again, the new birth is spoken of in the present tense; and it is said that they “sin not”. Remember, only those that do righteousness practically, actually, are righteous in the sight of God. (1 John 3:7)
  • If you just take those verses at face value. If you take them in their plain, grammatical, sense, then this issue should be over for you. But I know that for many it’s not enough. So, let’s keep going.
  • But I want you to notice that in none of those passages was assurance of salvation based on a decision you made one time in the past. I know some people are going to say, “What about this other verse in Philippians?” There is no contradiction. If I have ten clear verses over here that appeal to your behavior as the means of knowing that you are in Christ, and you have a vague passage over here that seems to imply something else—because that’s what you were told that it means—you don’t interpret the majority of clear passages by the minority of vague ones. You always interpret the less clear passages by the more clear passages.
  1. “Eternal life” is Jesus Christ Himself. It is not an object that can be handed from one person to another.
    1. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)
    2. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:4)
  • “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1Jn. 5:20)
  1. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1Jn. 5:11-12)
  2. God did not give you eternal life by simply handing you a box and now you can walk away. That’s not salvation. Eternal life is a person: Jesus Christ. If you don’t have Jesus, then you don’t have eternal life. We just read several scriptures from first John that said that if you don’t obey Him then you don’t know Him. John said that if you don’t obey Him, then you aren’t in Him.
  3. Now, if someone is really clever they’ll appeal to Hebrews 13:5, which says, “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” They’ll say, “That’s right! Jesus is eternal life and He’s never leaving me!” Okay…you still haven’t answered why John said that you knowing Him—which is defined as eternal life—is conditioned on you obeying His commandments.
  • And another thing, did you know that’s a quote from the Old Testament? Most ES proponents won’t allow you to talk about salvation from the Old Testament unless it’s typology, or unless they believe it supports them. You see it’s really funny that someone quotes that. It’s quoting Deuteronomy 31:16, 18. You know why that’s funny? Because right after Moses relates that to the Israelites God says this to Moses:
    1. “And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.” (Deut. 31:16-18)
  • God said, right after giving a promise that He will never forsake them, that when they forsake Him He will forsake them. You cannot quote from the Old Testament and remove a promise from its context.
  1. Also, why is it that ES proponents feel that they can so freely quote from the book of Hebrews to teach anything else, but when I point out the many warnings in it they cry foul? Again, inconsistency.
  1. There are different kinds of works mentioned in the scriptures. The distinction is the motive for which you do them. There are works of self-righteousness and works of faith.
    1. Many people have come to lump all emphasis on “works” together under the title of it being “law”. They say that if you emphasize works then you aren’t talking about grace. This is one reason why they constantly commit a strawman fallacy by misrepresenting those who deny ES.
    2. But the Bible clearly distinguishes between self-righteous works and works of faith. Works of self-righteousness are what is meant when the Law of Moses is ACTUALLY referenced.
      1. “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Rom. 10:1-4)
  • Works of self-righteousness are well summed up here: it is a person going about to establish their own righteousness. They try to earn their way into heaven. I literally don’t know a single person who denies ES who believes that they earn their way into heaven. This is a complete strawman fallacy from ES proponents which shows exactly how little they’ve examined opposing arguments. But the works of faith are shown in the scriptures also:
    1. “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” (Gal. 5:6)
    2. “And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” (Mark 2:3-5)
  1. Faith cannot be the evidence of anything that is not seen unless faith itself is seen. Saving faith is shown in the actions one does because they believe. If a person doesn’t actually obey God then it shows that they do not actually believe on Him. These kinds of works are the works of faith. The works that are the result of having saving faith. That’s the point of what James was saying in James 2. James wasn’t saying anything about being justified in the sight of men, though it may be an application of the passage. James began by point to the issue of salvation, saying, “…can faith save him?” (James 2:14) He says it very clearly:
    1. “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:22-24)
  2. James quotes the exact same OT passage to support what he is saying that Paul quotes in Romans 4 to teach saved by grace through faith. Abraham is set forth as an example for us today of Biblical faith and salvation. The difference in Paul’s letter is that he is showing that works of self-righteousness, that is, of the law of Moses (Romans 10:1-4), can earn nothing in the sight of God. While James is telling believers that faith without works working WITH it cannot save them. There is no problem reconciling Paul and James. You just have to do somersaults through the scriptures interpretation-wise when you hold to ES. You end up spending the majority of your time explaining the plain sense of scriptures away.
  3. Every single person that I have ever met or heard from who has been corrected about ES has said the same thing, “The scriptures are so much easier to understand!” I can tell you the exact same thing from my own experience.
  1. Remember
    1. ALL scripture is equally valid. There is no single verse of scripture that is more important than any other. Obviously we have to pay attention to context. But you can’t exalt two or three passages above the rest of the rest of scripture. You can’t have a “proof text theology”. We get converted and people start trying to give us doctrine—which is good—but they do so by giving two or three verses, telling us what they mean, and we just accept it usually.
    2. You have to think of doctrine like a puzzle. Each verse is a piece, and each piece is equally valid, and they ALL have to go together without one being exalted above the others. What happens is we’re given two or three verses, we’re told what they mean—which we never critically examine—and we keep those three verses pigeon-holed against the rest of scripture. If you approach scripture that way you will make a lot of mistakes.
    3. Also, you cannot insert things into the verse that aren’t there. If it’s not stated in the verse of scripture, then it’s not in that verse. It seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? We’ll see.
  2. “Salvation is by believing in Jesus Christ.”
    1. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
    2. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
    3. Yeah, that’s right. But what most people don’t mention is that most of the time, when pertaining to salvation, belief is either a present active participle or in the present active indicative. That means that it describes a continuous action. It describes belief that is continual. It never describes a decision you made at one time. Neither does it describe some idea that “because you made a decision at one point you will always continue.” It describes a CONTINUOUS action. So when you read verses like these you have to remember that grammatically it should read to you like this:
      1. “He that is believing on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that is not believing the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God is abiding on him.”
      2. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever is believing in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
    4. Salvation is not fixed because you made a decision at one time in your life at an altar somewhere. That is completely absent from the scriptures. It’s conditioned on your continued belief in Jesus Christ. This is clearly seen from the scriptures because you see warnings of the need for continuance throughout:
      1. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” (1Cor. 15:1-2)
      2. “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Col. 1:21-23)
    5. I mean there are dozens of these statements of the condition of salvation being continued belief to the end throughout the NT—not even including statements from the OT. These warnings don’t fit with the ES worldview of looking at the scriptures. They completely fit in their plain sense meaning without it though. If salvation was conditioned on your continued faith to the end then you would expect many such warnings in the scriptures.
    6. So salvation is not like a tattoo like Charles Stanly says. It’s not one and done. It’s not sit back, relax, and enjoy your salvation. It’s just like the scriptures describe. You enter through the straight gate and start walking on the narrow way. As long as you stay on the narrow way you know exactly where you are headed; but if you step off that path and go to the broad way which leads to destruction then you are going somewhere else.
    7. Dan Wallace, who is known as one of the leading Greek scholars today, had this to say regarding “belief” as shown by the original languages of the Bible:
      1. “The present was the tense of choice most likely because the NT writers by and large saw continual belief as a necessary condition of salvation.” (Wallace, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics, p.621, footnote 22)
    8. If the writers of the NT meant that because you made a decision of faith at one point in time that you were fine forever, then they would have said that. But they didn’t. The very language that they used shows it.
    9. So, yeah, we’re saved by believing in Jesus Christ. Continue to live by faith and you’ll be fine. Just make sure you define “believing” as God does and not how your pastor or favorite teacher does.
  • “We are not saved by works.”
    1. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Tit. 3:5)
    2. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
    3. That’s right. We’re not saved by works. I’ve never once taught that. The problem is people want to separate works entirely from faith—which the bible doesn’t.
    4. The Apostles wrote about how “faith works by love” (Galatians 5:6). This is what the Apostle James was talking about in James 2. He says very clearly, “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” (James 2:22) He’s not describing faith and works, as some falsely say. He’s describing the works of faith, and how faith moves people to act on their faith. It is because the person has truly set the Lord, and the gospel, as their hope that they live as though it is true. God works in them by their faith to enable them to obey Him.
    5. People incorrectly believe that all works are of the law. What they need to understand is the distinction biblically of self-righteous works, which is going about to establish our own righteousness (Romans 10:1-4), and the works of faith, the kind that show the faith that we have. A good example of this is how Christ said that He SAW the faith of the four men who brought the paralytic man to Him to be healed in Mark 2:1-5.
    6. Paul was continually warning people about self-righteous works, which are of the law, and James is warning believers to not stop acting and living by their faith as though they actually believe God. Their works with their faith to make it perfect as James says. Both Paul and James reference Abraham as the example of this. Abraham was told something by God, he believed God, he acted on it, and God rewarded him for his faith it says. He didn’t bless Abraham for his works in that sense. God blessed Abraham for the faith that led Abraham to obey Him.
    7. Even in the book of Romans Paul tells us to continue in works:
      1. “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.” (Rom. 2:5-11)
    8. Paul here explicitly telling us that we are to continue in well doing “seek[ing] for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.” But he says that those who “do not obey the truth” will receive wrath from God. It is not self-righteousness to submit yourself to authority of God, to Christ His Son, to Christ alone for the cleansing of sin, to follow His commandments His way, to seek His face daily for strength to obey Him through His Spirit, and at the end of the day give Him the glory and honor for it all. That’s not called self-righteousness its called salvation. The problem with most people is that they didn’t come to God for Him to change them now in this present life: they came to God to keep them from Hell later. People who don’t intend to have their lives change after coming to Christ have never understood the gospel in the first place.
  • “Salvation is a free gift.”
    1. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23)
    2. “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Rom. 5:18)
    3. This is where the saying, “If you did nothing to earn it how can you do anything to lose it?” The question itself presupposes that salvation is not conditional. Salvation is obviously conditional because if it weren’t conditional then everyone would go to heaven. The main issue though is people want to believe that it is based on some decision you made at one point instead of faith—and those two ideas are different. Either you have faith right now or you don’t. The Bible nowhere promises that you will be saved in the future based on some decision you made in the past. It sometimes warns people that BECAUSE they began to believe at one time in the past that they SHOULD continue to believe SO THAT they will be saved in the end though.
    4. Regarding salvation as a gift, consider how Christ Himself talks about salvation:
      1. “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)
    5. It is after we have done all that is our duty to do that we will still tell God that we are “unprofitable servants”. Nothing of the obedience of faith, or obedience to the faith, earns us anything in the sight of God. It is merely the condition of His grace being given. There is no contradiction in saying that a gift is free, and paid for by another, and it being given to them upon some condition of their receiving it. I give things to my wife because she’s my wife. I give things to my children because they’re my children. You can have any number of reasons for giving things to people without at any time the idea coming to your head that they earned it.
    6. If you simply read the verses (Romans 6:23 and 5:18) you don’t get the idea of it being unconditional. We’ve all just been told so many times that that’s what it means. It’s simply just inserting an idea into the text that is not there. The only thing that it says is that salvation is a free gift. Simply put. The maximum extent that you can take that to, without reading into it what you want, is that nothing you ever do will EARN salvation from God. That in no way contradicts it being conditional though, or the idea that God may require something of you in order for Him to save you. The requirement being faith. Faith, as we’ve seen already, is not separable from the works of faith.
    7. It’s like the fireman illustration. If you are sitting at home on your couch and a fireman bursts through the door and yells, “Your house is on fire, get out or you’ll die!” If you believed him then you would get out of the house. If you said that you believed him, but stayed sitting calmly on the couch, then you could only come to one of two options:
      1. You didn’t really believe him and you lied.
      2. You did believe him, but didn’t care.
    8. It’s exactly that way with biblical salvation. Either you believe God and His Son Jesus Christ and you repent of sin to turn to Christ, you say you believe but are lying, or you do believe but you refuse to submit to Him. Which is it?
    9. Salvation is a free gift, but as the bible defines things, that in no ways contradicts that God expects you to follow Him.
  1. “Salvation is not enduring or a process, but an event in time. Salvation is a NEW BIRTH. Just as your first birth happened on a certain time and day, so does the second birth.”
    1. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2Cor. 6:2)
    2. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
    3. This is a very common argument—for some reason. It sets forth the idea that the new birth is exactly like physical birth. Almost like salvation is a complete change of your DNA. If the new birth were like physical birth, in that sense, then you would never sin again after conversion. Your life would just be the outflow of a change in your nature. But you do still struggle against sin, and that shows that the new birth is very different than physical birth.
    4. In addition to that, it really depends on how you define “birth”. If you define “birth” as “the beginning of life” then it is quite easy to see how someone could lose salvation. You die. Since salvation is likened to being alive from the dead, it makes sense that if you die spiritually (or “wither” as Christ says in John 15) then salvation is ended—if we were to stick with the analogy. Something that is born can die. Just the same as you were at one time “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1), if you turn again to sin and remain unrepentant then you will die again. God gives space to repent, but you can refuse. God chastises His children, but you can refuse to heed the correction.
    5. In addition to that, the new birth is mentioned throughout 1 John in the present tense. It is not referenced as some past event that guarantees a future. You either ARE born of God, or you are NOT born of God. It is a state. Now, all states have a beginning. You did at one point in time—if you are a believer—begin to live unto God. Again though, nowhere does the Bible say that BECAUSE you began to live unto God sometime in the past that YOU WILL go to heaven regardless of what you do. On the contrary, it continually warns you of falling away from the faith if you don’t continue.
    6. Christ is eternal life (Col. 3:4; 1 John 5:13 20). We are only partakers of His life by being united to Him. This faith is mentioned in the present continuous tense. You either ARE a child of God at this present moment, or you are NOT a child of God at this present moment. For this reason, the need for continuance is consistently stressed in the NT, and assurance is given to us based upon our continual faith in Him that IF we continue we shall absolutely reach our goal. We can have assurance of where we stand now presently, and if we continue in faith then we know where we’re going. Consider these verses with that in mind, and just listen to what they grammatically say:
      1. “Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:” (Rom. 2:6-7)
      2. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” (1Cor. 15:1-2)
  • “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal. 6:7-9)
  1. “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Col. 1:21-23)
  2. “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” (1Jn. 2:24-25)
  1. It is an enduring to the end. If you are living by the faith of Christ now, having repented of sin, then you are a partaker of eternal life now. If you continue in faithful obedience to God, then you know exactly where you are going. If you turn away to follow something else, like the lusts of your flesh, and you don’t repent, then you have intentionally cast off Christ. This is continually the language of NT salvation: You began to believe at one point, you may know that you are in Christ presently, and IF you continue in Him then you can be confident of your destination. Remember, the children of God aren’t people who made a decision at one point:
    1. “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1Jn. 3:10)
    2. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1Jn. 3:7)
  2. At this point I would like to quote from Robert Shank’s book Life in the Son. At the time Shank wrote the book he was a Southern Baptist. He came to see that the scriptures could not be understood in their context to teach an unconditional salvation. Regarding the new birth he had three points that are interesting:
    1. “Physical birth effects the inception of the life of the subject in toto, whereas spiritual birth involves only a transition from one mode of life to another.
      1. (It may be objected that spiritual birth is not a transition from an old life to a new life on the grounds that, when one is born of the Spirit, he passes “out of death into life,” becoming “a new creature in Christ.” This is true; but only within the limits of the total definition of the Scriptures. For it is also true that the man who is “dead in trespasses and in sins” is nevertheless a rational spiritual being who is personally accountable for his life and his sins and who, except he repent, must answer before God in solemn judgment. What is depicted as “death,” for the reason that the sinner is “alienated from the life of God,” is nevertheless spiritual life on a degenerate plane—a spiritual life for which the lost must answer to God in judgment. The New Testament contains many references to the old life of Christians before conversion, which references have to do with the spiritual lives of men in an unregenerate state.)
    2. In physical birth, the subject has no prior knowledge and gives no consent, whereas in spiritual birth, the subject must have a prior knowledge of the Gospel and must give consent.
      1. (It may be objected that, in view of John 1:13 and James 1:18, the spiritual birth of men is by the will of God, rather than by the will of men. Such an objection proceeds from the old fallacy of “either…or,” a ridiculous assumption unwittingly entertained by many sincere Bible scholars. Actually, the spiritual birth of men is by the will of both God and man. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” Yes, but not apart from the consent of our wills. Of his own will, the groom takes a bride; but not apart from the will and consent of the bride. God was under no constraint to bestow spiritual birth upon men, at such frightful cost to Himself, other than the constraint of His own love and grace. “Of his own will,” therefore, the Father of lights gives good gifts to men and begets as His own dear children all who believe His word of truth. The initiative is with God. But God’s initiative demands a response from man. Men are not born of the Spirit apart from a prior knowledge of the Gospel [Rom. 10:8-17] nor apart from their own consent [John 5:40].)
  • In physical birth, the individual receives a life independent of his parents. They may die, but he lives on. But in spiritual birth, the subject receives no independent life. He becomes a partaker of the life and nature of Him who begets—a participant, by faith, in the eternal life of God in Christ “who is our life.”
  1. In view of obvious essential differences, it cannot be considered strange that spiritual birth, unlike physical birth, is not irrevocable. It is folly to assume that an equation exists between physical birth and spiritual birth, and that whatever is intrinsic in physical birth is equally so in spiritual birth. Physical birth and spiritual birth are equally real, but essentially different. While an analogy exists between the two, there is no equation whatever.” (Shank, Life in the Son, 2nd ed., pp. 90-91)
  1. “They were never saved to begin with!”
    1. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1Jn. 2:19)
    2. I will acknowledge up front, as I have at other times on this podcast: I believe that the majority of people who “make a decision for Christ”, who then fell away later, were never saved to begin with. I say that for a number of reasons: (1) because they “made a decision for Christ” instead of repenting like the Bible says, (2) most never bring forth the fruits of repentance, and (3) if we were to go by the standards set forth in scripture to know if we have eternal life they never fit the description.
    3. Now, having said that, this argument is usually just a cop-out. Though the passage in first John makes very clear that these people were never saved to begin with. When it says “They went out from us, but they were not of us…” the antecedent grammatically is the “antichrists” of verse 18 just before it. An “antichrist” is someone who denies that Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God, or that He is God manifest in the flesh. Someone who comes into a congregation bringing that doctrine is obviously not a Christian. That’s exactly why the Apostle John wrote what he did.
    4. What some ES teachers try to do though is to make this verse apply to all sin in general really. They say that if you turn to fornication, lying, adultery, etc., and refuse to repent that it proves you were never saved to begin with—regardless of whatever happened before then. Again, this is what they say. There are some major problems with this though:
      1. All believers are warned against continuing in sin. This shows that it is completely possible for them to continue in sin after true conversion.
      2. That teaching is contrary to the Biblical teaching of assurance of salvation. Biblical assurance of salvation, like we went over earlier, is based on whether or not you are presently loving God, obeying His commandments, and loving the brethren. If someone at one time prior, for however long, had publicly expressed repentance of sin and hope in Christ through the gospel, then began to follow God, but then turned to sin and refused to repent: it proves biblically that they were converted and fell away. Again, according to the biblical teaching of assurance of salvation as set forth in 1 John: if last year you were living for Christ, and this year you are living in sin (such as lying or fornication), then you have departed from Christ.
  • According to this ES teaching how could you be confident of eternal salvation at all? This argument defending ES comes from the idea that a Christian will act like a Christian, and that’s right; but then they try to fit in ES with it, and that doesn’t work. You have to either take away the free will of man—which some do—or you have to say the person was never saved to begin with. It creates the problem where we need to ask why these people could be so confident of their salvation before when they were obeying God before? If they never began obeying God, then they were never converted. If they did begin obeying God after making a profession of faith, and turned away, then they left the faith. If you’re still alive then you have the possibility of sinning against God and refusing to repent in the future. The only way that’s not possible is if you are never tempted—and you are daily.
  1. These problems are clear to some in the ES camp, and the answer they have come up with is to say that there are perpetually carnal Christians. Christians who act just like the lost. The massive problem with that is that it ignores half the NT teaching on what a Christian is. As we went over earlier, the Bible clearly says that a child of God is known by how they live. They are loving God, obeying Him, and loving the brethren—all in the present.
    1. “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1Jn. 3:10)
    2. “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” (1Jn. 2:29)
  2. The NT clearly lays out consistently that salvation is a present tense thing. If you believe on Him, having repented of your past sins and are bringing forth the fruits of repentance by following Him, you are born of him. That’s what the Bible literally says. If you continue to do so, then you can have confidence of you eternal destination. If you don’t continue, then you depart from Christ.
  3. There is also the strange notion implied by this that all false professors will leave the church of Christ—if you interpret 1 John 2:19 that way. But that is obviously not true given the warnings the Apostles left us about false teachers. This verse in 1 John is not prescriptive, it is descriptive. It was not meant to give a broad sweeping teaching for all the church for all time. John was specifically addressing this one fellowship about what was going on there in their midst. It is fallacious to take this one passage of the NT and assert a false interpretation to the exclusion of everything else.
  1. “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.”
    1. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39)
    2. I find this argument particularly funny. People almost never quote the entire verse from Romans 8. They simply say, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God!” And I respond with, “Finish the verse: …which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The love of God is in Christ Jesus. Why is that important? Let’s just consider what Christ Himself said about the love of God:
      1. “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)
    3. Jesus Himself said that the love of God was conditioned upon your obedience to his commandments. In case you think He misspoke, He reemphasizes it when one of His disciples asked Him a question next:
      1. “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:22-23)
    4. Again, Christ says very plainly that as a result of our loving Christ and keeping His commandments the Father will love us and will indwell us. Yes, there is a general sense in which God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. But just because God expressed His love for the world doesn’t mean the world is going to be saved does it? There is a type of love which comes from a Father to His children. Paul expressed it this way:
      1. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2Cor. 6:17-18)
    5. It was well said by Robert Shank regarding the 8th chapter of Romans:
      1. “The eighth chapter of Romans, as someone has said, ‘begins with no condemnation and ends with no separation.’ It is well to observe, however, that it is punctuated with sharp warnings that ‘if ye live after the flesh ye shall die, but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live’ (v. 13); that only such as are led by the Spirit of God are truly sons of God (v. 14); that only if we suffer with Christ shall we be glorified together with Him (v. 17); and that, despite our infirmities but aided by the Spirit, we must continue to wait in patience and hope (vv. 24-27) for the ultimate realization of salvation and the full manifestation of our divine sonship (vv. 16-23), ‘the glory which shall be revealed to us…if so be that we suffer with Him’ (cf. 2 Tim. 2:12).”
    6. We are consistently told in the scriptures that we must heed the warning of the Gospel to repent of sin and turn to Christ. In doing this, we come out from among the world and are separate. In so humbling ourselves before God He receives us as His children. This love of God is conditioned upon our following Him. This leads us to the next verse.
    7. “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” (John 10:29)
    8. This is probably one of the verses of the Bible that is consistently ripped from its context. People quote this and say, “I’m in the Father’s hand and He ain’t letting go! You’re not stronger than God are you!” I used to think like that too until I read the verse in context:
      1. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” (John 10:27-29)
    9. John 10:27 puts a pretty notable qualifier on the verses that follow. Christ gives these promises to “his sheep”. He says though that His sheep “follow” Him. Do you know why that’s important? Do you remember what I said about the word “believeth” earlier? It’s the same thing here. The Greek word underlying our English word “follow” here is present active indicative. It’s describing a continuous action. In fact, the words underlying “know” and “hear” are the same. So according to basic grammar it means this:
      1. “My sheep are hearing my voice, and I know them, and they are following me…”
    10. Again, it is a reference to those who presently follow Him. That’s the definition of a Christian, because the word Christian means, “follower of Christ”. The word “follow” even means, “to walk after, practice, obey, act in conformity to.” This lines up perfectly with what we have said elsewhere about assurance of salvation. You can only have a biblical assurance of salvation if you are presently loving God, obeying His commandments, and loving the brethren. To THOSE people are these promises given. If you stop loving Him first, obeying His commandments, or loving the brethren, then you don’t meet the conditions of the promises do you? Neither do you then meet the conditions for assurance of salvation as given to us in 1 John.
    11. John 10:27-29 is a wonderful promise, but it’s only a promise that there is nothing that will rip you away from God against His or your will.
  • “Jesus promised He will never leave us. Jesus could not say this if there was even a chance of losing our salvation.”
    1. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5)
    2. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Mat. 28:20)
    3. This argument presupposes that Christ is the one leaving, and it also assumes an unconditional salvation. People read this promise and add to it the phrase: “no matter what you do.” It’s another example of people reading into a text what is not there. You have to look at every single verse of scripture in light of every other verse of scripture equally. The conditionality of God’s being with a believer is shown in several ways. Here is an example from the OT which shows God’s mind about ALL of His promises: even the ones where He promised something to be for ever:
      1. “And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1Sam. 2:27-30)
    4. Did you hear what God said to Eli? He said, “I know that I promised you this and that ‘for ever’ but you have abused it.” They falsely assumed that God’s promises were unconditional. Here, God says very clearly that it was conditional even though He said it was “for ever”.
    5. Another thing to consider about the passage from Hebrews 13:5 is that it is a quote from the OT also. As I said earlier, it’s a quote from Deuteronomy 31:6, 8. God said, right after giving a promise that He will never forsake them, that when they forsake Him He will forsake them. You cannot quote from the Old Testament and remove a promise from its context. Again, this shows the conditionality of ALL of God’s promises. The principle here is that God is not forsaking anyone arbitrarily, but it is repeated that if you forsake Him, He will respond to you in kind:
      1. “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” (1Chr. 28:9)
      2. “And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.” (2Chr. 15:2)
  • “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” (Psa. 9:10)
  1. “For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.” (Ezra 8:22)
  1. Sadly, some people may retort, “But that’s the Old Testament!” Well, let’s look at a verse that is only 9 verses from it in the SAME BOOK:
    1. “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:” (Heb. 12:25)
  2. If you refuse the Lord’s rightful authority over your life then you turn away from Him. The result is said to be that you will not escape judgment. You cannot take Hebrews 13:5 and rip it from its context in both the NT and the OT from where it was quoted. Especially when you ignore the rest of the Bible to come to your interpretation.
  3. Finally, because I have to repeat this over and over again:
    1. All the promises of God are given to believers according to the standards that are given in 1 John which identify true believers.
    2. If you do not presently meet those conditions, then you have no right to claim ANY promise from God except that of your coming judgment.
  • Every promise of God is IN Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3), if you are not in Him, then you are not a partaker of ANY promise.
  1. The MOST that can be said about these promises is that Christ is not the one leaving you. But all sin in a believer begins with them turning away from God in their affections. The person is the one who breaks fellowship with God, not the other way around. You cannot exalt a promise from the scripture over and above the scriptural teaching about God’s conditions to receive it.
  2. The same God who said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” said also:
    1. “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” (John 12:26)
    2. “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.” (Psa. 18:20-26)
  • “When the Bible speaks of possessing eternal life, it speaks in the present tense (hath, have, etc.) — SOMETHING WE ALREADY HAVE! If we had to work or endure to keep our salvation, this could not be true.”
    1. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
    2. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1Jn. 5:13)
    3. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)
    4. This one is half-right. Eternal life is spoken of in the present tense, but that’s not a support for an unconditional eternal security. Remember, eternal life is not eternal because you have it forever. It’s is eternal life because God is eternal, and it’s His life:
      1. “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (John 5:26)
      2. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4)
  • “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
  1. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:4)
  1. Jesus Christ is eternal life, and it is only those who are in fellowship with Him that are partakers of His life.
    1. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1Jn. 5:11-12)
  2. Eternal life is not something like a box that God hands you when you first get converted. You can’t just go roam around in your life, doing your own thing, and be a partaker of the life of Christ. That’s not how the Bible teaches eternal life. It’s a person. If you don’t continually walk with the person, then you don’t have eternal life presently.
    1. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1Jn. 1:5-7)
  3. Because eternal life is spoken of as a present thing it shows that it is not something that’s promised because you did something one time at an altar. It is continually commanded us in the NT to continue in Christ or else we will not receive anything of the Lord. That includes our salvation at the end. We can be partakers of eternal life now, in this present world, by faith and obedience to Jesus Christ. If we continue in this relationship, and are found in Him at His return or our death, then we will have sealed our testimony. In the world to come then we are eternal partakers of that life.
    1. “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)
  • “Jesus will not cast you out.”
    1. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)
    2. Again, this is similar to God’s promise to never leave you or forsake you. God does not arbitrarily reject people. Even the lost He hasn’t just rejected for no reason. They refuse to come to Him. The promise here is that Christ is not going to just arbitrarily reject you. He will welcome them with open arms. Some people caricature someone who believes that you can lose your salvation with the notion that if you stub your toe and say a cuss word that God is just waiting to kick you out. No, He deals with His servants as His adopted children. But they can refuse to follow Him. They can refuse to love Him. They can refuse to obey Him or believe Him anymore.
    3. But here the word cometh is in the sense of, “is coming”. The promise is not to someone who did something, at some time, somewhere. It is a promise to those who are continuing to come to Christ. This is shown by the following verses where Christ again makes the statement:
      1. “…that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)
    4. Christ says this immediately after His promise to not cast out those that are coming to Him. The word “believeth” is here again used in the present active indicative. That means it is another promise to those who are continuing to believe in Christ. Nowhere in the NT is there a promise that because-you-did-something-one-time-somewhere that God is bound to take you to heaven. Those that teach that are doing so by exalting a verse out of context to the exclusion of the rest of the Bible.
  1. “We are "perfected for ever" by Jesus Christ. How could the Lord say such a bold statement if we had to earn or keep our salvation?”
    1. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb 10:10)
    2. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb. 10:14)
    3. This is another illustration of people not only misinterpreting a verse based upon their own doctrinal ideas, but another instance of a “for ever” promise of God that the rest of scripture says is conditional. No one is arguing that there is not sufficient in the sacrifice, death, and resurrection of Christ everything and above what is necessary for our salvation past, present, and future.
    4. But these verses from the book of Hebrews—again another quote from Hebrews when supposedly it’s not for Christians some try to say—are not giving us promises like most people think. They are explaining what Christ accomplished when compared to the sacrifices of the OT Levitical system. This is seen by the first and last verse of the context of these verses:
      1. “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” (Heb. 10:1)
      2. “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Heb. 10:18)
    5. Chapter 10 of Hebrews, as well as the large majority of the book, is explaining how Christ’s death and resurrection establishes a new covenant between God and men. This is what God had told us through the Law and the Prophets. It is explaining the relation of Christ as the way, the truth, and the life. There are no more OT sacrifices, and it is very unlikely that if you just read through Hebrews 10 that you would come to any other conclusion than that. You probably never even thought about these verses pertaining to some promise of eternal security until that one teacher told you that’s what it meant.
    6. Even the “perfected” part of verse 14 is not saying what people are told. It simply means that those who are sanctified by the spirit and belief of the truth, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, are forgiven their past sins. It is by His sacrifice being applied to the believer who repents of his sins that they are forgiven their past offences. It is by His perfect sacrifice that they are sanctified, or “set apart” unto God; because they have been restored to fellowship with Him. It is this idea that is shown by the verses following v. 14:
      1. “Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 10:15-17)
    7. The subject matter is the effectual sacrifice of Christ to remove past sins and change the hearts of believers, and this was not something that the Old Testament Levitical sacrifices could do. The bringing in of a better hope did the writer tells us. This is not some promise for eternal security.
  • “We are preserved in Jesus Christ.”
    1. “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” (Jude 1:1)
    2. “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2Tim. 4:18)
    3. We are preserved in Jesus Christ. The problem is that people base whether or not they are in Jesus Christ on some decision they made at one point instead of the Biblical standards given to us in 1 John. They think of salvation as a punctiliar event. A “once-in-a-moment-of-time” decision they did. The Bible does not teach that. If you are presently in Christ, then God is preserving you. If you are not in Christ, then He has nothing to do with you. Many arguments along this line are presented because people confuse God’s promises to preserve His people as though they were promises of eternal security regardless of what they do. The question they should be studying from the scriptures is whether or not they have a correct idea of what God calls a believer. Most don’t. God promises to preserve His children, His children meet those conditions set forth in 1 John, and if you don’t meet them then He is not your Heavenly Father.
    4. In 2 Timothy 4:18 we have another instance of people taking a verse out of context to the exclusion of conditions explicitly stated elsewhere in scripture. Yes, Paul said:
      1. “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2Tim. 4:18)
    5. But Paul had already stated 11 verses prior:
      1. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2Tim. 4:7-8)
    6. Paul knew that he had served God with his life and that he had kept the faith. That is why he had the confidence to say, “…And the Lord shall…preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom”. If people are going to take verses out of context to the exclusion of conditions set forth elsewhere in scripture, then there is no end to what you could teach from the Bible.
  • “We are kept by the power of God.”
    1. “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1Pet. 1:5)
    2. “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” (Jude 24)
    3. That’s right! Believers are kept by the power of God. Two problems with trying to use that to defend eternal security though:
      1. Do you meet the conditions set forth in 1 John to call yourself a believer?
      2. That’s not the entire verse. The entire verse sets forth a condition to being kept by God. “…through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
    4. It is by a living faith in Christ that you are kept by God. If you don’t live by faith in Christ then you have no claim to that promise.
    5. Regarding Jude 24, there is no statement here of eternal security. Read what the verse says. It simply says that He is “able to keep you from falling”. That is a promise that you are not under the bondage of sin and corruption if you are a believer. You are able to overcome sin through faith in Christ. God is also “[able] to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” The problem is that some people think that God sees them as righteous regardless of what they do. The Bible clearly says:
      1. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1Jn. 3:7)
      2. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1Jn. 2:3-6)
    6. God doesn’t see you as righteous regardless of what you do. It is BECAUSE the bondage of sin and corruption is broke for a believer through faith in Christ that we are told that He is able to present you faultless before His presence. God gives the believer every tool needed in Christ Jesus to live a faithful and obedient life before Him PRACTICALLY. There is no promise here of eternal security regardless of what you do.
  • “We are saved to the uttermost.”
    1. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25)
    2. What is asserted by eternal security proponents is that no matter what you do, Christ is interceding for you. Now, it is true that we have an advocate with the Father as John stated in 1 John 2:1, but we can’t neglect the rest of the scriptures. Christ does not intercede for those who do not repent. We know this from 1 John right before we are told that Christ is our advocate with the Father:
      1. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1Jn. 1:9)
    3. Also, right after being told that Christ is our advocate with the Father we are told this:
      1. “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1Jn. 2:2-6)
    4. It would be strange to say then that between a verse that tells us that we must confess our sins to be forgiven (1 John 1:9), and a passage that tells us that if we live in sin that we are not in Him, that there was a passage (1 John 2:1) that taught us an idea contrary to both. It’s the same with this promise in Hebrews 7:25. Yes, Christ is able to save ALL who come unto God by Him, but that in no way teaches eternal security. The phrase that follows, saying, “seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them,” is merely commenting that Christ is able to save ALL who come to God by Him because He’ll never die again. The preceding context shows this very clearly:
      1. “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:22-25)
    5. Again, to pull a phantom promise for eternal security from this passage is pretty much to ignore the subject matter of the chapter…and the book.
  • “We are justified.”
    1. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” (Rom. 5:1)
    2. The person who discipled me as an Independent Fundamental Baptist referenced justification as some answer against the idea that you can’t fall away—which is exactly what eternal security is. It’s the idea that you can never fall away really—which is plainly unbiblical. But to say that “justification” is a refuting idea to the idea that you can lose your salvation is…ridiculous. There are so many things wrong with that. It’s such a strawman fallacy because it completely misrepresents the opposing viewpoint as though I didn’t believe in justification by faith. There are a lot of things assumed with this argument that are not true, or are a false presentation of the issue:
      1. To say that “justification by faith” supports eternal security assumes that “by faith” is not itself a condition, that “through our Lord Jesus Christ” is not itself a condition, that “faith” is a decision instead of a state of believing, that all future sins that you commit are already forgiven, that faith has nothing to do with the works of faith, that Christians don’t actually have to obey God, etc. All of those I have commented on already I believe, and I have shown them to be unbiblical assertions. Therefore, I see no need to repeat myself.
    3. I had specifically told the person who framed the issue that way (as “justification versus losing one’s salvation”) that it was a strawman fallacy which completely misrepresented the issue: they have refused to converse with me on the matter further. All I have to say about what happened between me and him is that a doctorate doesn’t mean that you know the scriptures. Especially when you make such simple errors as a strawman fallacy.
    4. Moving on…the biblical teaching of justification by faith does not in any way remove the necessity of continuance. Most people include the forgiveness of future sins in their idea of justification. This plainly ignores passages that require confessing our sins to be forgiven as a condition of forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and passages of scripture that state that if you don’t forgive other men their sins against you then you won’t be forgiven (Matt. 6:14-15). In addition to that, it ignores the scriptures which say that only those who obey God are in Him.
    5. Now, all that this verse is teaching, which is the biblical understanding of justification, is that your past sins are forgiven when you put your faith in Christ. At that point, you stand in the sight of God as though you had never sinned before. It addresses nothing of the future. The following verse helps to show this:
      1. “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we STAND, and rejoice in HOPE of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:2)
    6. We stand in grace by faith in Christ. This is mentioned elsewhere showing that faith is our condition of salvation:
      1. “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” (2Cor. 1:24)
    7. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. The hope of our salvation is something that we are told we can depart from:
      1. “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Col. 1:23)
    8. When we first come to Christ, through faith in Him, bringing forth fruits meet for repentance, God forgives us our past sins. That is our justification. Then we stand in grace in His sight by our continual faith in Christ. We rejoice in the hope of our salvation, but we can be moved away from the hope of the gospel. We can depart from this grace. Paul stated this very clearly to the Galatians:
      1. “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Gal. 5:4)
    9. The Galatians had given heed to some false teaching that they were justified by the law of Moses. This resulted in Paul warning them that, if they had done this, they had fallen from grace. Their faith had been removed from Christ and put into their own works. This is the difference between self-righteous works and the works of faith. The one is done because you save yourself, and the latter is done because you believe. When this is the case, a person has received the grace of God “in vain” Paul said (2 Cor. 6:1).
    10. There is no support for eternal security here.
  1. “We are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
    1. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Eph. 4:30)
    2. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” (Eph. 1:13)
    3. Many people quote Ephesians 4:30 as though it is a promise instead of the warning that it is. If you take the time to read the verse you see clearly what it says. The “whereby”, where Paul says, “…whereby ye are sealed…,” means literally “in whom”. It is in the spirit of God that you are sealed. Himself being that seal. Many preachers will preach about this verse as though the Spirit of God is some inert “thing” that has no motives or feelings of His own. He did not come to the believer just to be dragged about with you in your carnality. That’s the point of this verse. It is a warning. Henry Alford, a notable Greek scholar, had this to say about it in his work on the Greek Testament:
      1. “So far from the doctrine of final perseverance, for which Eadie more sharply than reasonably contends, being involved here, there could hardly be a plainer denial of it by implication. For in what would issue the grieving of the Holy Spirit, if not in quenching His testimony and causing Him to depart from them?”
    4. I believe that this is plain from the text. In Ephesians 1:13 we are told that He comes to the believer when they heard the word of truth and believed it. What could be more plain that His departing if they left the faith or refused to be obedient to that truth? Didn’t Paul state quite clearly:
      1. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:13-14)
      2. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7-8)
    5. It is by our yielding to the Spirit of God to obey God that we are the children of God.
      1. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16)
    6. If you refuse to yield yourself to obey God through the Spirit of God, then you don’t belong to Him. This passage is far from being a support for eternal security: it is an emphatic denial of it. Some of the early Christians applied this verse thus:
      1. Tertullian said, “For a defiled spirit cannot be acknowledged by a holy Spirit.” (Tertullian, “On Prayer”, ch. 12)
      2. He also said elsewhere, “…first, then, O blessed, grieve not the Holy Spirit, who has entered the prison with you; for if He had not gone with you there, you would not have been there this day. Do you give all endeavour, therefore, to retain Him; so let Him lead you thence to your Lord.” (Tertullian, “Ad Martyras”, ch. 1)
  • Cyprian said, “Finally, the apostle warns us, and teaches, saying: “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Cyprian, “Treatises of Cyprian”, treatise 9, point 16)
  1. So again, there is no support for eternal security here. Instead, it is a very solemn warning from the Apostle Paul to us.
  • “Backsliders only lose rewards, not their salvation.”
    1. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1Cor. 3:11-15)
    2. This is again a passage very commonly cited in defending eternal security. If you pay attention though, the person who endures judgment and is saved “yet so as by fire” still had a foundation of Christ. Paul is not here talking about an apostate, someone who departed from the faith, but is talking about someone who holds the gospel truth to the end but has labored in a way that is not in agreement with it. If the person had forsaken Christ then the foundation of Christ would not be present in him.
    3. There are two other notable things to keep in mind with this passage:
      1. Paul is speaking in the context of ministers of the gospel, v. 5, and those who labor in the gospel. Doubtless though, there is an application to all believers.
      2. It is clear that this person was a Christian until the end of their life because the believer is said to have built UPON the foundation of Christ. This cannot be said for someone who apostasizes, or who turns from Christ to sin.
    4. This is not support for eternal security.
  • “We are the body of Christ.”
    1. “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” (Eph. 5:30)
    2. “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” (1Cor. 12:18)
    3. This is really a silly argument. The idea of this one is that because believers are made part of the body of Christ somehow they cannot be removed from it. We’re not talking about a physical body people! We are a corporate group that is compared to a body with many members. It is figurative language used to illustrate a spiritual relationship.
    4. But, let’s consider some other things that Christ said:
      1. “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” (Matt. 5:29-30)
    5. Christ clearly has no problem with having a member removed from even a physical body if it were to offend the purpose of salvation in the whole. Remember, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. But on a more serious note:
      1. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:15-16)
    6. Here Christ says that the state of the believers in Laodicea so offended Him that He would vomit them out of His body. He plainly says, “I will reject you from my body as the vile thing that you are” by this illustration.
    7. To say that because we are of the body that we are eternally secure is reaching. You’re simply trying to put something into the scriptures that is just not there. You cannot make an application to any scriptural truth that the text itself does not warrant. Christ said He’s a door, are you going to say that He swings on hinges too? That’s what eternal security proponents do regularly. Ignore the context, and make sure it supports their doctrine. That shows what is truly their standard of authority: it’s not the Bible, it’s their doctrine.
  • “Our salvation is so secure — even if we BELIEVE NOT after we're saved, because we become part of Him (the body of Christ).”
    1. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (2Tim. 2:13)
    2. Now what shall we call this type of person, if this were true? Saved unbelievers? Unbelieving believers? Blaspheming believers? Unholy saints? An antichrist Christian? I’ll let you think about that.
    3. Let’s just consider the context of this passage first:
      1. “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (2Tim. 2:11-13)
    4. This is just another verse that is completely misinterpreted to teach the exact opposite of what it teaches. Does the idea that even if you blaspheme God He will still take you to heaven even endure being read with the preceding verse which says, “if we deny Him, he also will deny us”? This is such a ridiculous argument. I would dare say that to even assert that God will take the unbelieving, or the blasphemer, to Heaven is close to blasphemy itself.
    5. Second Timothy 2:13 in no way teaches that you can deny Christ and go to Heaven. What it does teach, when put in its context, is that God has no problem denying you. He said so in the preceding verse. He will never deny Himself though. He is absolutely faithful to ALL of His promises. He will not re-nig a single one. That includes the promises of falling away or continuing in sin. If you do live after the flesh, and you don’t believe God’s warnings, you will absolutely reap corruption. If you deny Him, and you don’t believe Him, He absolutely will deny you.
    6. And it is very clearly not talking about denying someone rewards as some assert. Christ is denying the very same thing that the person denies. If you deny that you know Christ, He will deny that He knows you. Christ said it very plainly Himself:
      1. “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 10:32-33)
    7. To say anything else is to call Christ Himself a liar.
    8. Cyprian had some sobering remarks to say about this passage:
      1. “…and as it is written, “I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me,” (Mat_18:32) so it is written, “Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father and before His angels.” (Mat_10:33; Luk_12:9) For God, as He is merciful, so He exacts obedience to His precepts, and indeed carefully exacts it; and as He invites to the banquet, so the man that hath not a wedding garment He binds hands and feet, and casts him out beyond the assembly of the saints. He has prepared heaven, but He has also prepared hell.” (Cyprian, “Epistles of Cyprian”, no. 30)
  • “With all the PROMISES from God to KEEP you, to SAVE you, to PRESERVE you — to even suggest you could lose your salvation — is to call God a LIAR!”
    1. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” (1Jn. 5:10)
    2. I find this argument ironic because the teaching of eternal security plainly denies most of what Christ and the Apostles taught about salvation. God promises to keep, to save, and to preserve BELIEVERS. Unless someone presently, right now, meets the conditions of what a believer IS as set forth in the scriptures—most clearly put in 1 John—then they have no claim to the promises of God, to be kept by God, to be saved by God, or for God to preserve them. You cannot ignore half the promises of God. God has promised Hell to those who apostasize and to those who live in sin.
      1. “ But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 10:33)
      2. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:7-8)
  • “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1Cor. 6:9-10)
  1. When some eternal security proponents teach that someone can deny Christ, live in sin, fornicate, adulterate, lie, steal, practice witchcraft, and all other manner of things, and they say that they can still go to Heaven? Please tell me, who is lying?
    1. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1Jn. 3:7)
    2. “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1Jn. 3:10)
  • “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:15-23)
  • “Believers who live in sin may be practically out of Christ, but their position is always in Christ.”
    1. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1)
    2. This is a very prominent teaching in certain circles. I added it to this list even though it is not commonly cited by people outside of those particular circles. The teaching of position versus practice, or standing versus state, teaches that a person can live in all manner of sin and still be considered righteous in the sight of God. They teach that the righteousness of Christ, or His obedience to the Law of Moses, is imputed to the believer at conversion. This is where most ES teachers get the arguments that they do. They are told this, they accept it, and the read it into the rest of the Bible. They make sure that they find it. This is why you get so many off-the-wall interpretations of passages of scripture.
    3. I need to only remind you of the many places of scripture that teach that only those who obey God are in Christ. This teaching of position versus practice flatly denies the Biblical teaching of assurance of salvation as set forth in 1 John.
      1. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1Jn. 1:6-7)
      2. “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1Jn. 2:2-6)
  • “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” (1Jn. 2:24-25)
  1. “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” (1Jn. 2:28-29)
  2. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1Jn. 3:7)
  3. “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1Jn. 3:10)
  • “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” (1Jn. 5:18)
  1. This idea of position versus practice is kind of like saying that your are protected from a hurricane because you are standing in your house, even though you are roaming around your front yard, because even though you are in the yard the storm thinks that you’re in the house and so it won’t touch you. It is ridiculous. You are either in Christ, or not in Christ. You cannot be in Christ, but not in Christ, but really you’re counted as though you’re in Christ even though you’re not really in Him. That’s in essence what the idea of position versus practice says.
  2. All the while the Bible teaches very straightforwardly:
    1. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:21-23)
    2. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev. 22:12)
  • “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Tit. 1:16)
  1. “Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:” (Rom. 2:6-7)
  2. “But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.” (Eze. 18:24-26)
  3. “Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:” (Eze. 13:22)
  • Closing
    1. In closing, I will read two verses again and I’ll ask you a question.
      1. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7-8)
      2. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1Jn. 3:7)
    2. Now can you tell me, who is it that has tried to deceive you?