Tags: Deuteronomy 30, eternal security, free will, Luke 8, Matthew 5, once saved always saved, parable of the soils, parable of the sower, perseverance of the saints, truthfulness of Christ
Objection: I believe that I can lose my salvation because Luke 8:13 says, “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.” To me this is going back to free will. We have the free will to walk away.
Answer to Objection: Luke 8:13 is not teaching that you can lose your salvation. You need to read the whole parable that Jesus is teaching. Some people hear the Word of God, but it lands on their stony heart. It is like seed on a rock. It can not send down roots. There may be a thin layer of soil on the rock, so that it looks for a little while like something is growing from the seed. But sunlight shines down on it (the heat of temptation), and it shrivels and dies and falls away. If it had roots, the heat would have made it grow, not die. These are people who look like they got saved until temptation came, and it was revealed that they never got saved to begin with. They did not “lose their salvation.”
Objection: But what about Deuteronomy 30:17-20: “But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Answer to Objection: Deuteronomy 30:17-20 does not teach that you can lose your salvation. When God renewed His covenant with the people of Israel as they prepared to cross over into the promised land of Canaan, He told them that if they disobeyed, they would die. If they obeyed, they would live long and prosper. They could be blessed for obedience or cursed for disobedience. This is speaking about prolonging their days upon the land, and the “length of their days on the earth,” not eternal salvation. Eternal salvation is by grace through faith, not through keeping the Old Testament Covenant.
Objection: What about Matthew 5:13?
Answer to Objection: Matthew 5:13 is not teaching that you can lose your salvation. “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Salt in Bible times could go bad or spoil, and then it would be useless for bringing out the flavor in food, and for preserving food. Jesus is saying that you are no good as a disciple if you won’t bring the truth of God’s Word to the people with whom you come into contact. We should cast people out of the church fellowship and positions of ministry if they are not acting as salt and light.
I have seen God convince some people of the truth of eternal security. Some people I have seen simply do not want to believe it. It is important that we do not try to find Bible verses that will fit into what we want to believe. There are whole ministries and denominations out there built around teaching that Christians can lose “their” salvation. These preachers think that people will just sin as much as they want to after they’re saved, and that we can’t trust God to get saved people to do what He wants us to do. But we must let the Bible tell us what is true even if we don’t happen to like it. I hope you will prayerfully consider that Jesus can not lie. If He has promised to take all those who have once been saved, and to keep them saved forever, what makes you think this is the one exception where He would lie? If you think you are keeping yourself saved, then you are giving yourself the glory, and you may be trusting in you, instead of trusting in Christ. But if God is keeping you saved, then He gets the glory, and you must put all your trust in Christ and not in yourself.
Tags: Adam and Eve, angels, demons, effects of sin, eternal, eternal life, eternal nature of God, eternal salvation, eternal security, eternal security of the believer, eternality of God, Eternity, eternity in the Bible, everlasting life, everlasting salvation, everlasting security, free gift of eternal life, Garden of Eden, God's Word, Lucifer, objections to eternal security, once saved always saved, perseverance of the saints, Salvation
Objection: I know that I can lose my salvation because Lucifer once was in Heaven, and was cast out. There were also MANY angels created by God that chose to follow Lucifer to the fiery pit.
Answer To Objection: Lucifer being thrown out of Heaven has nothing to do with losing your salvation. Lucifer was never saved, so he could not “lose” his salvation.
Objection: Adam and Eve fell from God’s grace and favor and lost their eternity in the Garden.
Answer To Objection: When Adam and Eve were created in the garden they had not yet been “saved.” It was only after they sinned that they needed to be saved. God put them out of the Garden, but that is not “losing their salvation.”
Objection: If a Christian decides to walk away from God and live in sin he will surely die in his sin.
Answer To Objection: Do you mean die physically, or go to hell? Do you know any Christians who do not sin at least once every day? Is that “living in sin?” Do you know any Christians who have achieved sinless perfection? How many sins does a Christian have to commit before he or she “loses his salvation?” Why is most of the New Testament after Acts written to Christians telling them how to get the victory over sin, instead of telling them to get re-saved since they must have lost their salvation? Every Christian sins. We should not, but we do. God chastens His children for sinning. He does not kick them out of His family, or go back on His Word and take away His eternal salvation.
Tags: Cross of Christ, eternal security, eternal security of the believer, everlasting life, functions of the Holy Spirit, John 14, Jonah 2, once saved always saved, perseverance of the saints, power of Jesus
Objection: You can lose your salvation because God gave us free will, and if a Christian decides to walk away from God and live in sin, he will surely die in his sin.
Answer To Objection: The question is really not: “Can I lose MY salvation?” because it’s not really “mine.” Salvation is of the Lord. (Jonah 2:9) The question is, “Can Jesus lose those people that HE has saved and has promised to keep?”
One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to seal believers unto the day of redemption. Jesus paid for the sins of Christians once and for all on the Cross. Many people would sometimes like to think that Jesus did “most” of the work of salvation on the Cross, but we have to “be good,” too, in order to add to what He did, and to help Him keep us saved. The reason this belief makes me so sad is that it is a type of “works” salvation, and the Bible teaches that we are saved and kept saved by God’s grace through faith alone, and our works have no merit before God when it comes to salvation.
The Bible teaches that Jesus cannot lose those whom He has saved. If you believe that He can, then let me ask you this. Do you believe that saved people have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within them while they are saved? If you believe that, then what happens if they “lose” salvation and go to hell? Does the Holy Spirit go to hell with them? Surely you do not believe that. So, under your theory, what does the Holy Spirit do when a saved person “loses his salvation?” Does He leave that person? If you say yes, then you are calling Jesus a liar.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I emphasized “abide with you for ever,” because that is how long the Holy Spirit abides with a person who has been saved. Not “until they sin.” Not “until they live in sin.” Not “until they walk away from God.” FOR EVER.
Tags: 2 Corinthians 8, eternal security, everlasting security, Jesus Christ, John Flavel, once saved always saved, Onesimus, Paul Washer, perseverance of the saints, Philemon
In the Book of Philemon, the Apostle Paul acts as a guarantor on behalf of a runaway slave, Onesimus. Onesimus illegally ran away from his master, Philemon, and wound up meeting Paul. Paul led him to Jesus Christ, and Onesimus was saved. Paul, who was in prison at the time, sent Onesimus back to Philemon with a letter.
Paul’s promise to Philemon in this letter is an illustration of the role that Jesus Christ, the Great Guarantor, plays in the salvation of Christians on a far grander scale.
If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it…
Philemon vv. 18-19
Before I was “born again” to new life in Christ Jesus, I owed a debt to God I could never pay. My sins had violated His holy law, and no amount of good works or anything else could make up for it. The Lord Jesus, on the hill called Calvary, paid off my sin-debt in full with His blood.
Such a transaction is difficult to describe, first of all because of its enormity and greatness, and second of all, because of the overpowering emotions it evokes in those who have been saved. I would probably not agree with every point of theology held by the Puritans, but you have to give them credit for this: As one preacher said, they thought great thoughts about God. Here is a passage from Puritan preacher and theologian, John Flavel, that some have called “The Father’s Bargain.” It imagines a conversation between God and Jesus in the councils of eternity as the Son agreed with the Father to do what Paul promised to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus: to pay his debt in full, no matter how great.
Here you may suppose the Father to say, when driving his bargain with Christ for you:
Father: My Son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice! Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them: What shall be done for these souls? And thus Christ returns.
Son: O my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them as their Surety; bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no after-reckonings with them; at my hand shalt thou require it. I will rather choose to suffer thy wrath than they should suffer it: upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.
Father: But, my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements; if I spare them, I will not spare thee.
Son: Content, Father, let it be so; charge it all upon me, I am able to discharge it: and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures (for so indeed it did, 2 Cor. viii. 9. “Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor”), yet I am content to undertake it.
Please do not tell me that God will start charging sins to my account, now that I am saved… after Jesus Christ paid for them so thoroughly and so completely.
Tags: 1 Corinthians 12, 3 John, Body of Christ, church, Diotrephes, eternal security, everlasting security, once saved always saved, perseverance of the saints, Revelation 21
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your own personal name written down in the pages of God’s everlasting Word? Don’t answer too quickly. First, you might want to ask, “What would it say about me?”
It is a great honor for men such as Job, Moses, Paul, and Stephen to have their names inscribed in the Bible, but, for a few others, it is an eternal shame. One such example is Diotrephes. He is named only once, but it’s not good:
I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
III John Verses 9-10
Apparently, Diotrepehes was a proud man, with a love for being “first,” and a willingness to step on a few toes and heads to get there. He was not averse to attacking the Lord’s work, or even the Apostle John. We get a picture of Diotrephes tossing people out of the congregation left and right.
One key thing to remember, though, is that, while Diotrephes did cast people out of the “church,” he did not cast them out of the “CHURCH.” A “church,” which we usually use to refer to a building, is a local assembly of believers, but there is a greater sense in which “THE CHURCH,” is the called-out assembly of all the true Christians in the world. This Church is both the Body (I Corinthians 12:27) and the Bride (Revelation 21:9) of Christ.
Men may remove other men from a local congregation of believers, but Jesus Christ will never withdraw eternal life from His Own Body or divorce His Own Bride. This is the promise and assurance of salvation.
Tags: 1 Corinthians 3, 2 Corinthians 5, 2 John, assurance of salvation, Bema Seat, eternal riches, eternal security, Judgment Seat of Christ, once saved always saved, perseverance of the saints
Those who have been once saved by Christ Jesus will not be judged for their sins, but all men will one day stand before the Lord in judgment. If not for sins, then for what shall true Christians be judged? They shall be judged for their works. (See I Corinthians 3:13 and II Corinthians 5:10).
Knowing that this day is coming, we who are the children of God through the new birth would be very wise to watch how we live, and what we do.
Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
II John, Verse 8
Earthly, temporal works earn earthly, temporal rewards. But faithful works which promote and build the Kingdom of God bring about full and eternal rewards.
Tags: 2 Peter 2, eternal life, eternal security, eternal security of the believer, everlasting life, everlasting security, John 10, once saved always saved, perseverance of the saints, urban legends
“Urban legends” are sort of modern day fairy tales. They are stories that have been told and re-told, but can never be confirmed as actually happening. “I know someone who told me about his brother’s old roommate, and you would not believe what happened to him.” This is usually the sort of third- or fourth-hand pedigree that signals the onset of an urban legend about to be told.
There is even a sort of Christian urban legend. I hear it fairly often when I speak about the doctrine of eternal security. “I just know a Christian can lose his salvation,” someone will tell me, “because my cousin’s uncle’s great aunt’s stepfather was saved when he was nine, and he grew up to be an alcoholic and a big jerk, and he even killed a guy one time.”
This sort of experiential tale might make for an interesting story, but it carries no weight whatsoever when he held up to inerrant Scripture.
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. I and my Father are one.
So, what do we do with the person who claims to be a Christian, but lives like a devil? I don’t know about you, but I would hope for the opportunity to give him the Gospel message. There are two possibilities. One, this person is a child of God, saved by grace through faith, and is under the chastening hand of His loving and omniscient Father, Who knows things we can never know – including whether someone is really saved or not. Two, this person is only a “professing Christian,” and has never really been saved to begin with.
The true Christian’s job is not to help other Christians figure out who’s really saved and who’s not, and it is certainly not to help God figure out who really belongs to Him, and who doesn’t.
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
II Peter 2:20-22
Tags: assurance of salvation, eternal security, Hebrews 12, Hebrews 6, Hebrews 7, Numbers 23, once saved always saved, perseverance of the saints, Titus 1, veracity of God
An eternal relationship with Jesus Christ is not only the result of salvation; it is also the means. He is not only the “Life.” He is also the “Way.” (John 14:6) In fact, Jesus Christ is the Originator of the plan of, and the Author of the very idea of, salvation.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
People who claim that eternal salvation, once it is granted by Christ to someone, can somehow be “lost,” have not fully grasped just how powerful the Savior is. The only way for a recipient of eternal life to experience spiritual death, or separation from God, is for the Savior Himself to lose His Own eternal life. This can never happen. When Jesus Christ saves a lost person, that person is saved completely. He is saved to an extent that the Bible calls the “uttermost.”
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.
We all have trouble from time to time depending upon the promises of God. However, we must be extremely careful never to build a theological argument which posits that God Himself is unable to do what He says, or that He is undependable. In at least three very specific instances the Bible tells us that God can not lie.
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Tags: 1 John 2, 2 Timothy 2, eternal salvation, eternal security, good works, Isaiah 64, once saved always saved, perseverance of the saints, pride, self-righteousness
Pride is a dangerous thing. If I were to begin to proclaim that I had done enough good things for God, so that He owed me a place in Heaven, I should be quickly rebuked and shown the error of my ways. My home in Heaven is made secure by God’s grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, and I have no justification for bragging about it (Ephesians 2:8-9).
My own merits, whatever they may or may not have been, were completely tainted and stained by my sinful nature prior to salvation (Isaiah 64:6). So I will not be going to Heaven on my own merits, but on the merits of the One Who was perfect in my place, and who bore the weight of, and suffered the force of, God’s wrath in my stead: Jesus Christ the Righteous (I John 2:1-3).
Therefore, it must be understood and proclaimed that our own self-worth, our own self-righteousness, and our own “good” works are completely insufficient to earn God’s eternal approval. This is true even of our own belief and faith. Even the strongest Christian is often weak in his/her belief and unsteady in his/her faith. Are you not grateful beyond measure that when our own belief falters, or falls beneath God’s standards, that His unchanging faith, and not our own, secures our salvation?
If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
II Timothy 2:13