IPS-Eye-White
001orange

Section 8A .. A Question Of Salvation/
The Doctrine of Eternal Security

 

003white  Index To Section 8A.. A Question of Salvation       >         Promise or Possession?

IPS-Header
Eternal-Security
 

OSAS - The Doctrine of Eternal Security -
Eternal Life: Promise or Possession?

Carol Brooks

 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:5-6 NASB)

Also See The Two Phase Atonement

But In Vain Do They Worship Me, Teaching As Doctrines The Precepts Of Men.'  (Mark 7:7 NASB)
 

ON THIS PAGE

Introduction

Ten Biblical Verses That Supposedly Teach Eternal Security
John 3:15, 1 John 5:11, John 6:39, John 10:27-29,  Romans 8:38-39, 1 John 5:13, 2 Timothy 2:11-13, Hebrews 7:25 and 10:10, 1 Corinthians 1:8

1 John 2:18-19 - How Calvinists View Those Who Abandon The Faith

The (Almost) Uncountable Old and New Testament Warnings About Persevering In The Faith

Words to The Wise - Jesus' Parables

Paul's Warnings...
letters to the Romans, the Corinthians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, the Thessalonians, and to Timothy

Peter's Warnings

Warnings From Hebrews

Specific People Who Fell Away In The Old Testament including the Entire Nation of Israel

Specific People Who Fell Away In The New Testament

Conclusion And What The Bible Really Teaches


Introduction
Perhaps one of the most common and most perilous of teachings in the modern church is the doctrine of Eternal Security, also known as Once Saved Always Saved or OSAS. This doctrine holds that at the moment a person makes the once and for all decision to "accept" Christ as Savior, they are brought into a permanent relationship with God. Christ has paid for all of their sins: past, present, and future, thus they remain saved irrespective of how they conduct their lives thereafter, how much they backslide, or even if they actually disown Christ.

    Note: Once Saved, Always Saved differs from the Calvinistic doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints which is the belief that truly regenerated believers persevere in their faith throughout their lives because God, through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, keeps or preserves them. If a believer does drift away it only proves they never had genuine faith.

Sadly, OSAS is taught in numerous churches and by an extraordinary number of Christian theologians, authors and pastors. Some carry it to ridiculous lengths, teaching that since the potential for being 'unforgiven' has been done away with, a believer can proceed to live the rest of their lives just as they please, and still remain saved - there will be no repercussions other than possibly losing a reward or two.

[See The Bema or Judgment Seat Of Christ and Rewards in Heaven]

However, Matthew Slick of carm.org says he has never "heard any believer in eternal security ever make the statement that since he is secure in Christ, it's okay for him to sin". He goes on to say

    In fact, I have always heard the opposite, and those I have encountered who believe in their security in Christ have universally sought holiness before the Lord Jesus... anyone who would say that once he is saved he can go out and sin all he wants is actually implying he is not regenerated." [01]

I guess Matthew Slick has never heard Charles Stanley who, on pages 79-80 of his book Eternal Security Can You Be Sure? , says

    But if a man or woman who has been rescued once from a state of unforgiveness need not worry. For once 100 percent of a man's or woman's sins have been forgiven, the potential for being unforgiven has been done away with. The risk factor is zero. There are no more fires from which the believer needs to be saved. (Other Quotes by Dr. Charles Stanley in Footnote I)

In any case, people don't usually say things like that  - they simply do them. Nor does his statement take some very pertinent factors into consideration - human nature for instance. If people have no fear of losing their salvation and being condemned to death, they can gradually get lax - a very slippery slope. One small sin if unrepented of can lead to a bigger sin which if, in turn, may not be repented of. Eventually, the person's lifestyle is a far cry from the righteous life demanded by God. Additionally, some people can believe, repent of their sins, etc. and be well on their way to eternal life, but as Jesus once said, the cares of this world gradually choke out the seed that was planted.

While I am reasonably certain that few will say it is okay to sin, many believe that sinning after a profession of faith has no consequences. They believe in eternal security because

    "... it is comforting to them. A son made a decision for Christ when he was six years old, but then in high school got involved in drugs and drinking, and died one night in a car accident. It is very comforting for those parents to believe that their son is in heaven even though he didn't really act like a Christian and died while he was sinning. [02]

He didn't really "act like a Christian"? He died "while he was still sinning"? Yet we "comfort" ourselves with the thought that he was still saved? based on the fact that he made a decision for Christ when he was six?

What a terribly perilous state we have talked ourselves into.

The tragic result of this extremely lethal doctrine is that all too many Christians never really learn to fear God. See Christians and the Fear of God. They blissfully sail through life under the dangerous delusion that they are permanently and eternally saved on the basis that they once made a confession of faith, walked an aisle, prayed a prayer. Although they may not have actually murdered someone, many of them live pretty much as the world does. 

If this doctrine of Eternal Security is true, then one is forced to the conclusion that both Jesus and Paul were talking through their hats when they prophesied that people would abandon or fall away from the faith in the final days. One also has to wonder why Scripture is replete with warnings about persevering in the faith and not falling from Grace.

But first I would like to address the handful of verses that proponents of the Eternal Security Doctrine claim provide support for their teachings.


Biblical Verses That Supposedly Teach Eternal Security
I have noticed over and over again that those who defend the doctrine of eternal security tend to go into a great amount of detail explaining why this or that verse cannot be used to show that salvation can be lost. On the other hand, when it comes to verses that supposedly promote eternal security, more often than not, they simply quote the verse with little or no analysis.

However, if you avoid a surface and shallow reading of these texts and, in many cases, carefully analyze the Greek words used. And along with this, if you interpret them as they should be, i.e. in the light of other verses, indeed the entire message of the Bible, the OSAS interpretation comes up woefully short. In fact, it often makes no sense whatsoever.

The usual suspects are...

1) John 3:15: so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 

Note, the NASB's rendering of this verse (based on 3rd and 4th century Greek manuscripts), differs slightly from some other versions. The KJV for instance, says "whoever believes in Him will have eternal life."

About this verse, Got Questions Ministries says

    "If you believe in Christ today and have eternal life, but lose it tomorrow, then it was never "eternal" at all. Hence if you lose your salvation, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error. [03]

The assumption is being made that, at the moment of salvation, a person is given eternal life as a tangible possession and it is theirs to keep. If this were the case then John hopelessly contradicted himself when, just a few verses later, he made it very clear that when the New Testament authors wrote the words "faith" and "believe", they did not mean mere intellectual assent, but an obedient faith.

    "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36 NASB)

In other words, he who does not obey the Son is no different from an unbeliever. And this was certainly not a one off statement. In Jesus' words

    And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17 NASB)

Also note very carefully, the Biblical concept emphasized in 1 John 5:11 (which agrees with the NASB rendering of John 3:15)
 

2) 1 John 5:11: And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. (NASB)

This is another verse used to prove that God has permanently given us eternal life. However, once again we are conveniently using only the verse that tends to prove our point when, in fact, the very next verse disputes it.. Note that it does not say - he who once had the Son has the life

    And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:11-12 NASB)

But there is more. A less superficial reading of even the one verse brings home the point that John did not say that eternal life is FROM the Son, but IN the Son. Paul reiterated this fact when he wrote

    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NASB)

In other words, this life does not exist apart from Christ who is the life. In order to gain eternal life, we must continue to remain in Christ, which is why Jesus urged us to, "Abide in me, and I in you." And how do you continue abiding in Christ? The Savior told us exactly how..."If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:10 NASB)

Those who claim that it is impossible to NOT have the Son once a profession of faith has been made, might want to pay close attention to what Jesus and John respectively had to say

    "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:5-6 NASB)

    As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. (1 John 2:24 NASB)

The conditional nature of salvation can not be more clear. Unless they were very confused, both Jesus and John's use of the word IF implies that one can cease to abide and will be, as Jesus said, cast into the fire. What it all boils down to is that we have possession of eternal life just as long as we abide in the one who IS the Life.

Here are a few more "if" verses

     Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2 NASB)

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

    but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house--whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. (Hebrews 3:6 NASB)

    For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, (Hebrews 3:14 NASB)

 In John 17:3, eternal life is attributed to "knowing" God and Jesus

    "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3 NASB) Jesus describes eternal life as knowing God.

The Old Testament regularly used the word "know" to describe the relationship between husband and wife who have a close personal relationship. This meaning did not change over the centuries. In the New Testament "know" does not indicate intellectual knowledge of God or a mere casual familiarity with Him, but a very close relationship.


3) John 6:39: "This is the will (Gr. thelema) of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. (NASB).

All too many people believe that when the New Testament says the Father "wills" something, that something is foreordained and will inevitable come to pass.

Not true.

We know Jesus 'lost' one person that the Father had given Him. All twelve disciples were given to Christ by the Father (John 17:6). However, as Jesus said

    "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.  (John 17:12 NASB)

The problem is not that it is beyond God's capabilities to bring about something He had intended to happen, but that we do not understand that the Greek thelema and the English "will" can be used in more than one way. Neither word necessarily mean that God is has made an inflexible decision about something and it will happen. Much to the contrary, both words can also mean God's desire or purpose.

In other words, as commentator Adam Clarke wrote "God may will a thing to be, without willing that it shall be". That is, He might desire something to happen, but will not cause it to happen.

When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane "... not My will (Gr. thelema), but Yours be done." (Luke 22:42), it indicates some difference in their will or desire. Verse 44 says Jesus was in "agony" which indicated an  extreme anguish of mind.  In other words, Jesus had a will of His own and could have walked away from Calvary at any time He chose. He was not destined to do what the Father willed. However, He was willing to do what God desired Him to do.

Thus, it is the 'will' of God that every soul who comes to Christ should continue in the faith and, on the very last day, be resurrected to eternal life. Unfortunately, like Judas, many will fall away and perish.

The Context
Although no Scriptural passage is independent from the statements around it, people rarely seem to take the context into consideration. The key to correctly interpreting any verse is often found in the relevant material above and below it. In fact, no verse can be correctly interpreted without reading the immediate surrounding verses, the entire chapter or, in some cases, more than one chapters. (See Context is Crucial)

In this case, we need to pay particular attention to the verse that immediately follows 39 quoted above. Read them together.

    (38) "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  (39)  "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. (40) "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:38-40 NASB)

It is significant that, in verse 40, the words "behold" and "believe" are both used as present participles, which makes both these verbs ongoing actions, which is exactly how the Concordant Literal version renders it -

    "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who is beholding the Son and believing in Him may have life eonian, and I shall be raising him in the last day." (John 6:40 CLV).

Although Greek parsing is a complicated subject, and not everyone agrees that the verb is an ongoing action, John 20:31 is quite emphatic that one-time belief and continuous ongoing believing are necessary to have  life in his name. As Robertson's Word Picture points out "the present participle pisteuontes (continuing to believe) and the present active subjunctive echete (keep on having)." 

    but these have been written so that you may believe (Gr. pisteusete) that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing (Gr. pisteuontes) you may have (Gr. echete) life in His name.  (John 20:31 NASB)

Note: In Greek grammar "the subjunctive of the simple present shows continuation or repetition. The action expressed by the  verb is ongoing or repeated".  [04]

So one who continues to look to Christ and continues believing will be raised up at the last day. The believer's security is conditional upon an ongoing trust in Jesus, not a single profession of faith, or even a short lived period of faith sometime in the past.


4) John 10:27-29: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. (NASB)

This verse bears much in common with John 6:39 (above ), and Romans 8:38-39 (below).

Jesus said that His sheep who hear His voice and follow Him will be given eternal life. Certainly no outside force can snatch them out of Christ's hand (See Romans 8:38-39 below). However, if a person gets to the point where they cannot or do not hear His voice and no longer follow him, they certainly are not His sheep and these assurances do not apply to them. 


5) Romans 8:38-39: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)

The above verses were part of a letter to Christians, written to encourage them to have confidence in Christ. This chapter of Romans starts with the assurance that there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus (v.1), and goes on to say that...

    and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. (Romans 8:8-10 NASB)

Paul is simply reiterating what Jesus said about no one being able to snatch His sheep out of His hand (above). Those that have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them are protected by God from any outside force that would wish to separate them from their position in Christ and cause them to be damned. No such assurance is offered to those that are not in Christ.

6) 1 John 5:13: These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know (Gk. eido) that you have eternal life. (NASB)

This is a classic case of taking Scriptural verses out of context. In this case, the prior two verses make it very clear as to who has eternal life, i.e. only those who have the Son.

    And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:11-13 NASB)

As shown in the previous example, life is in the Son. Unless we abide in Him and Him in us we cannot share in that life. And, once again, as Jesus said,  "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:5-6 NASB)

 
7) 2 Timothy 2:11-13:  (11) It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;  (12) If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; (13) If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. (NASB)

Proponents of Eternal Security often take verse 13 to mean that if we once died with Christ (by means of a sincere confession of faith or baptism), we will also live with him. In the first place, Luke 9:23 has Jesus telling His disciples that anyone who wants to follow Him must "deny himself and take up his cross daily" and follow Him. Dying with Him (and to the world) is not a one-time event.

Besides which, why are we ignoring verse 12 which says "If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us"?

So what could Paul possibly have meant when he told Timothy "if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself"? It is impossible that he was saying that even if we fall away from the faith, God will stay faithful to us - simply because he just got through telling us that if we disown God, He will disown us..

The meaning must then be that although we may be faithless, God has to be faithful to Himself, i.e. it would be a denial of His very nature to save those who are unfaithful. He is holy and can only save those who are holy. 


8) Hebrews 10:10
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (NASB)

9) Hebrews 7:25  Therefore He is able also to save forever (Gr. panteles)  those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (NASB)

The three little words that are the key to correctly interpreting any Biblical verse are context, context, context. Reading any verse as a stand alone can, and often does, lead to completely erroneous conclusions. Only reading the relevant material that surrounds a particular verse will allow you to follow the author's train of thought. This is no less important in the book of Hebrews.

In fact, if you step back from the details for a moment and endeavor to grasp the overall picture the author of Hebrews painted (which, by the way, is an excellent thing to do with all the books of the Bible) you will realize that  the overriding theme of the book is the 'superiority of Christ'. He is superior to the Prophets (1:1-4), to the angels (1:5–2:18), to Moses (3:1–4:13), to the priesthood of Aaron (4:14–7:28). And His ministry is superior to the old covenant ministry (8:1–10:18).

The last two particularly concern us here.

Hebrews 10:10:
 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (NASB)

In this case, we to accurately grasp what verse 10 means, it is necessary to begin reading at verse one.

The chapter opens by talking about the Old Testament Law that was "a shadow of the good things to come". It then went on to speak of the sacrifices that although   offered continually year after year, could not perfect those who drew near ... "For the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins. (Vs. 4). Verse 9 then says Christ took away "the first in order to establish the second", followed by verse 10 that says "By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

In other words, if you read the chapter from the beginning, it becomes very clear that the author was pointing out the superiority of Chrit's sacrife compared to the Old Testament animal sacrifices. While those had to be repeated year after year and could not take away sin, Jesus only had to be sacrificed once in order to sanctify us. The "once for all" refers to the Jesus' one time sacrifice, not the effects of it. This is confirmed in the next two verses.

    Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, (Hebrews 10:11-12 NASB)

It is exactly the same case with...

Hebrews 7:25

    Therefore He is able also to save forever (Gr. panteles)  those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (NASB)

The Greek word panteles has been rendered 'forever' in the NASB. However, the King James and CLV translate it as 'to the uttermost' which rendering leans more towards Christ being able to completely save those who draw near to God through Him.

However, if you read the verse in context, it simply says that all high priests of the Old Testament died and had to be succeeded by another. However, Jesus, who never dies, has a permanent priesthood thus "always lives to make intercession" for anyone who comes to Him.

    (23) The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing,  (24)  but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.  (25)  Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:23-25 NASB)

The "forever" indicates how long He lives to save, not how long salvation lasts.


10) 1 Corinthians 1:8: who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NASB)

One of the most common mistake made by Christians today is that they tend to arbitrarily apply promises from the Bible to their lives, although they were so obviously made to a particular individual, or group of people, under very specific circumstances.

For example, when Paul wrote "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel" we don't assume he was talking to us - 21st century Christians, and that we are somehow 'deserting' Christ. Common sense tells us that since this letter was written to the Galatians, it is only that group of people that were beginning to follow a different Gospel. While we can, and should, learn some valuable lessons from all the Epistles, we simply cannot apply every line to ourselves.

In a similar situation, the letter to the Corinthians was written specifically to the church in Corinth, and not everything that was said can be applied to every Christian who had lived since. For example, when he wrote,

    I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Corinthians 1:4-7 NASB)

Although they were far from perfect, the church obviously had some very impressive strong points. They were spiritually rich in all speech and knowledge, and did not lack in any gift -  points that cannot possibly be applied to every church today. The Corinthians eagerly awaited Jesus' coming -  How much of the modern church does that?

 In other words, Paul was saying the Corinthians knew about Jesus, they preached Jesus, they had supernatural gifts of God and were pumped up about the return of Christ. Is it then any wonder then that he also told them Christ would confirm them to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

However, do not forget that just as Paul began this letter on a high note, he added a very strong word of warning towards the end, telling them that they had received the Gospel that he had preached to them. And it was by this Gospel that they stood and by which they were saved IF they held fast to the word he had preached to them. If not, they had believed in vain

    Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2 NASB)


1 John 2:18-19 - How Calvinists View Those Who Abandon The Faith
When it comes to people who once seemed to be Christians but have since fallen away from faith, OSAS advocates claim that they remain saved. However, in spite of the fact that they know absolutely nothing about the fallen one's onetime spiritual condition, Calvinists believe that their conversion could not have been genuine. They assume that although the person appeared faithful, their belief must have been flawed in some way and they never truly turned to Christ.

The apostle John's words are often used in support of this idea. Addressing a community that appears to have undergone a recent schism or split, he wrote

    Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:18-19 NASB)

The problem is that it seems very clear that John was referring to something very serious that had happened in a church he was connected with, not a spiritual principle to be applied to anyone who drifts away. 

To begin with, those who simply fall away from faith usually do so individually, not in groups. If a number of people leave together it usually is because a different doctrine has been introduced into the church.  John called the defectors antichrists - a very harsh term quite unlikely to have been applied to people who had simply walked away, which is why we can be certain that there was a very serious heresy involved. This wasn't a mere difference of opinion about doctrine, but a very serious departure from what the apostles taught.

In fact, there is strong indication that the first two of John's three epistles were prompted by the same situation. Both letters referred to people who had withdrawn from the community and "gone out into the world". It was not that these people no longer believed or even that they had a minor difference of opinion, but that they did not acknowledge Jesus' earthly incarnation - a matter so serious that John called them deceivers, false prophets and the antichrist. 

    For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. (2 John 1:7 NASB)

    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;  (1 John 4:1-2 NASB)

This teaching was so potentially damaging that John even warned against allowing the false teachers into their house (either private residence or the house where Christians congregated together), where they would have had ample opportunity to spread their false teachings. They certainly were not to acknowledge these false teachers as brothers.

    If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. (2 John 1:10-11 NASB)

Finally, the text says nothing about the spiritual condition of the schismatics before they departed. John does not say that they were never ever part of the community they defected from. In other words, prior to their leaving they may very well have been genuine believers.


The (Almost) Uncountable Warnings About Persevering In The Faith

Warnings From The Old Testament
Ezekiel
Perhaps the least ambiguous warning about the consequences of falling away from faith is in the book of Ezekiel.

    "But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die. (Ezekiel 18: 24 NASB)

If a righteous man turns away from righteousness, he will die for his sins regardless of how many righteous deeds he once did.

The Nation of Israel
In Genesis 13:12-15, after Abram settled in the land of Canaan, The Father told him to lift up his eyes and look in all directions, "for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever". (Please note this was one of three interconnected and inseparable promises made to him (See The Location and Nature of Heaven - Part II of What And Where is Heaven?) In order to keep the promise God rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and led them across the desert on their way to the Promised Land.

As we should all know, much of what happened in the Old Testament was a rough draft, or glimpse, of one or more actual events yet to come. The original occurrence, is called the type, while the fulfillment is called the antitype. The Old Testament trek across the desert was a type of believers trekking through this life, hopefully led by the Spirit of God to the Promised Land.

However, there was a problem. When the Israelites discovered that the land they had been promised was occupied by giants, they were terrified. They grumbled against Moses and Aaron telling them that it would have been better if they had died in the wilderness because it seemed that the Lord had brought them there to Canaan to die by the sword.

Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb begging them them not to rebel against the Lord and not fear the people of the land, for God was with them (Israel) had no effect other than to cause the people to want to stone them (Numbers 14:9).

Then God stepped in.

His response to the nation's lack of faith is documented by the author of Hebrews:

    For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:16-19 NASB)

He swore that this faithless people would never enter his rest. God turned them away from Canaan and forced them to wander in the wilderness another 40 years until all the adults, except Joshua and Caleb, died in the wilderness.

In summary, because of their lack of faith, almost the entire nation that was saved from Egypt, never entered the Promised land but died in the desert. The author of Hebrews drew an analogy between the Israelites and all believers, warning us

    Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:11 NASB)

Again, going back to Typology, there is little doubt that the weekly Sabbath was a foreshadowing of six thousand years of labor, followed by a seventh thousand when humanity and God will both rest. See The Sabbath Millennium (Part 2 of The  Millennium)


Warnings From The New Testament
There are some that claim that because Jesus and the apostles were speaking to groups of people comprised of both believers and unbelievers, the warnings were 'general' ones. (Or we can always assume they were talking through their hats). Even if the claimant is not himself using this 'general warning' bit as an excuse for 'easy' Christianity, many who hear or read their message will. 

However, as you will see in many of the examples below, the warnings could only be applied to those who were already believers. 

The Prophecies
Both Jesus and Paul prophesied that people would abandon or fall away from the faith in the final days. Note that people cannot abandon or fall away from a faith they never really had.

    At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. (Matthew 24:10-11 NASB)

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

Jesus' Many Messages About Perseverance to The End
Jesus frequently taught that those who do not persevere to the end will not be saved.

    "You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. (Matthew 10:22 NASB)

    "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. (Matthew 24:9-13 NASB)

    'He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; (Revelation 2:26 NASB)

All of which bring up a very important question - If a person has to endure to the end to be saved, the question is what specific point in time is this "end" that Jesus referred to?

See That Earth Shaking Seventh Trumpet - Part IV of The End of The Age
The Seventh Trumpet is, in a sense, the most eventful of all them all, since it literally ushers the old age out, and the new one in. In summary, this last and final Trumpet... a) Brings and end to the mystery of God, when the doors to the Kingdom close forever with no possibility of redemption for any that have not yet become a disciple of the Lamb. b) Marks the point when believers are caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (the rapture). The dead will rise first, followed by those still alive at this point. Note: "sons of the kingdom", as they are called, are physically moved off the earth for a very specific reason. c) Introduces the Seven Bowls that end all things.


The Lost Sheep
Pay close attention to the words of our Lord in the Gospel of Matthew.

    "What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? "If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. (Matthew 18:12-13 NASB)

The word If clearly implies the possibility that the sheep will not be found and returned to the fold.

    "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13, 14)

According to Jesus' words above, only a relatively few people will enter life. One has to stay on the narrow road in order to enter through the narrow gate. And how this is accomplished is clearly set out in many places.

The people Jesus speak of in the following verses have prophesied, cast out demons, and performed miracles. Significantly, they even did these things in the name of Jesus whom they call "Lord" . Yet, all their impressive spiritual accomplishments count for absolutely nothing unless accompanied by obedience to the commandments  of the Father.

     "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.' (Matthew 7:21-23 NASB)


Message To the Seven Churches:
Jesus' message to at least three of the seven churches warned them that they had serious problems which threatened their relationship with him and their salvation.

    The church at Ephesus: 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lamp stand out of its place--unless you repent. (Revelation 2:4-5 NASB)

    The church at Sardis: He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.  (Revelation 3:5 NASB)

    The church at Laodicea: 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16 NASB)
     

Blotted From the Lamb's Book Of Life
According to God, sinners will have their name blotted out of the book of life and, according to Jesus, overcomers will never have their names removed from the same book. The very word overcome implies hurdles and difficulties that a person has to succeed in dealing with... in other words, they have to persevere to the end.

Note this exchange between Moses and God..

    Then Moses returned to the Lord, and said, "Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. "But now, if You will, forgive their sin--and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!" The Lord said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. (Exodus 32:31-33 NASB)

As noted above, Jesus' told the church at Sardis that those who were righteous (dressed in white) would not have their name erased from the book of life.. This brings up the obvious question of what happens to those whose names are not found in the book? According to Revelation 20:15, "if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. 


Words To The Wise - Jesus' Parables
Jesus frequently taught, often in parables, that those who persevere to the end will be saved, which implies that those who do not persevere to the end will not be saved.

Parable of The Unfaithful Steward 
was a warning to be prepared at all times for the master's return, and the fate that will befall those who are not.

It centered around a steward who was put in charge of his master's servants - a position of responsibility. He could go one of two ways - be found faithfully discharging his duties when the master returned or seeing no sign of the master's return begin to indulge in excesses of eating and drinking (rather than providing food for the household) and abusing those he was supposed to watch over.

    And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? "Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. "Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. "But if that slave says in his heart, 'My master will be a long time in coming,' and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, (Luke 12:42-47 NASB)

This steward had some position of responsibility within the Kingdom which finds its parallel in the church leadership who's responsibility it is to give the household "food in due season." Sadly so many modern day church leaders seem to have completely lost sight of the Master and are busy creating their own little kingdoms.

As the parable clearly states they will be assigned a place with the unbelievers. 


The Parable Of The King's Banquet:
This parable initially illustrates the invitation to the Kingdom - the Gospel. The king held a great banquet, but the guests first invited (the Jews) didn't come. Asked again, they mistreated the servants the king had sent out with the invitations. So the invitation then went out to anyone on the street corners (the Gentiles), many of whom did accept the invitation and, as the parable goes on to say "the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests". (Matthew 22:2-10 NASB)

But, when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a person not wearing wedding clothes, upon which the king had the man thrown out into the darkness ...

    "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And the man was speechless. "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:11-14 NASB)

In other words, someone accepted the invitation to the banquet, but having failed to adequately prepare for the occasion was cast out.

Parable of The Unforgiving Servant [All Emphasis Added]

According to Jesus, "the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves". However, on e slave did not have the means to repay the debt.  Fearing that his family and all he owned would have to be sold, he begged the king for time. The compassionate king went even further andforgave him his debt.  However, the slave in question was not cut from the same cloth...

    "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' "So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' "But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. "So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.

    "Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?' "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. "My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart." (Matthew 18:23-35 NASB)

The very fact that this servant had been forgiven his debt tells us that he had been saved. However this didn't last very long. When he refused to forgive one of his debtors just as he had been forgiven, the king reinstated the debt he had formerly forgiven.

See Forgiveness
Does God expect us to forgive everyone who sins against us, even those who don't admit their sin and request forgiveness?


The Parable Of The Sower [All Emphasis Added]

    And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. "Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. "But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. "Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. "And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. (Matthew 13:3-8 NASB)

Upon being questioned, Jesus explained this parable in very unambiguous terms. Of the four groups of people who heard the word, the first group never really absorbed the Word. The next two were "saved" as we like to call it, since the seed of the word actually began to germinate. However, about the second group, Jesus said that since they have no root, they only last a short time. The word was literally choked out of the third group by worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth. Only in the last group did the seed not only germinate but went on to produce a bountiful crop. (Matthew 13:18-23).

Please note that there can not be no debate as to whether the second group were believers. In the parallel account in Luke 8, when Jesus was explaining the parable, He used the same Greek word (pisteuo) for those that heard the Word but did not believe and those that believed for a while.

    "Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe (Gk. pisteuo) and be saved. "Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe (Gk. pisteuo) for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. (Luke 8:12-13 NASB)

Additionally, Luke 8:6 says the plants of the second group withered away, because it had no moisture. Something has to have life before it can ever wither away.


The Parables Of The Vine, Branches And Vineyard
In the first parable below, the branches Jesus refer to are in Him, which means they are Christians. Yet, if the branch does no bear fruit, it is taken away.

    "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:1-2 NASB)

In another parable God, depicted as the owner of the vineyard, wants to cut down the non-productive fig tree. Jesus, who takes care of the vineyard intercedes wanting to try to get the tree to produce fruit. Note however that even Jesus agrees that the tree must be cut down if it does not produce fruit after being given another chance for one more year. He does not intercede for us forever.

    "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. "And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' "And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'" (Luke 13:6-9 NASB)


Parable of the Ten Virgins
This parable tells of five foolish women who went out to meet the bridegroom with no oil in their lamps. And, to make matters worse, they had taken none with them. Note:  the bridegroom is a type of the coming of the Messiah at the end of the age.

    "Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. "Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. "For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. "Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. "But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' "Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. "The foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' "But the prudent answered, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' "And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. "Later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.' "But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25:1-13 NASB)

People commonly believe that the five foolish virgins were never saved in the first place. However, the text is clear - In the beginning no distinction can be made between the two sets of women. All of them were invited to the wedding, and all of them accepted the invitation. The five foolish virgins even addressed the groom as "Lord" (V. 11). The major difference was that the foolish ones brought their lamps, but no oil.

However, it has to be noted that the five foolish women's lamps did light for a while but then began to go out. They, quite simply, did not have the resources to stay the course.

The five wise virgins are sometimes perceived as selfish. However, the saved cannot share salvation with the unsaved. Each person has to make their own choices and preparation, bearing in mind that there will come a point in time, when the doors of salvation will be forever closed and one's rejection of Christ cannot be reversed. When does this happen? See That Earth Shaking Seventh Trumpet

The fact that this parable was related by Jesus not to the crowds or the religious leaders, but only to His disciples, should serve as a very serious warning to the church, because it indicates that, until the coming of Christ, we have absolutely no idea who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven and who will not.


Paul's Warnings
Letter To The Romans:
In this communication Paul clearly warned the believers in Rome that the Jews had been cut off because of unbelief, and that God would be kind to the Roman Christians IF they continued in His kindness.

    for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (Romans 11:21-23 NASB)

And how in the world can a person "be led by the Spirit of God" if they are disobedient to the commandments of the Lord

    For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  (Romans 8:14 NASB)

Letters To The Corinthians:
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he was clear that they used to be thieves, idolaters, drunkards, homosexual etc. that could not inherit the kingdom of God, but were now washed and sanctified (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). A little later in the letter, he called them brothers, a term used for fellow believers and said they were believing in vain if they did not hold fast the word which he preached them

    Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2 NASB)

Perish: In 1 Corinthians Paul talks about the eating of things sacrificed to idols about which he basically says it matter not unless it adversely affects someone whose conscience is weak. (Although I have used the NASB version, I have no idea how they can translate the Greek apollumi (Vs.11) into "ruined". Most translations say 'perish' or 'destroyed').

     (10)  For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? (11) For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined (Gr. apollumi) , the brother for whose sake Christ died. (12) And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. (13) Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble. (1 Corinthians 8:8-13 NASB)

Eternal Security proponents tend to interpret this verse as meaning the weak conscience of the brother is 'damaged' but not lost. Unfortunately for them, in numerous instances, the text itself leaves no doubt that the exact meaning of apollumi is to die. Note the following examples.

    Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy (Gk. apollumi) Him."  (Matthew 2:13 NASB)

    And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing (Gk. apollumi)! (Matthew 8:24-25 NASB)

    But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death (Gk. apollumi). (Matthew 27:20 NASB)

    It (the evil spirit that possessed a boy) has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy (Gk. apollumi) him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" (Mark 9:22 NASB)

    Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed (Gk. apollumi) by the serpents. (1 Corinthians 10:8-9 NASB)

    through which the world at that time was destroyed (Gk. apollumi), being flooded with water. (2 Peter 3:6 NASB)

    Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed (Gk. apollumi) those who did not believe. (Jude 1:5 NASB)

Lessons From History:
 In his epistle to the church in Corinth, Paul recounted the delivery of the Israelites from Egypt emphasizing the point that they blew it in spite of having been tremendously blessed by God's guidance and protection. These Israelites were identified with Christ (the rock) and baptism yet their bodies were scattered all over the desert. Paul's words "I do not want you to be ignorant" expresses the Apostles plea that they understand that God wanted them to grasp and apply the lessons of Israel's history to their (our) lives... that all of us face the very real danger of disqualification.

    For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

    Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "the people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play." Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

    Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. (1 Corinthians 10:1-12 NASB) Compare Hebrews 3:16-19

If Paul, the author of two thirds of the New Testament believed he could be disqualified should he not complete the race, how much more the danger to the rest of us?

    Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27 NASB)


Letter To The Galatians:
When he wrote to the churches of Galatia, Paul was addressing an entire church that had confessed faith in the Lord Jesus, but showed signs of seeking instead to be justified by law. He was worried that he had wasted efforts on them, which would not have been the case if they were not in danger of losing their salvation.

    But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain. (Galatians 4:9-11 NASB)

No one can be "severed" from Christ and "fallen from grace" and still be saved

    Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:2-4 NASB)

Paul later warned them the Galatians that they would reap a harvest only if they did not give up.

    Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. (Galatians 6:9 NASB)

Also See [See The Myth of Faith Alone ]
Having all the correct beliefs about God means absolutely nothing - even demons believe in God. Real, life-giving faith has to produce action, and James minces no words in describing what is expected of Christians.

Letter To The Ephesians: Paul addressed his letter to the church at Ephesus with the words "To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus", which means he was writing to Christians. Yet he warned them that they would not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God if they became immoral, impure or greedy

    But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:3-5 NASB)


Letter to the Philippians:
In this letter addressed to "all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons", Paul wrote that he did not consider that he had "arrived"... taken hold of the prize. This is a far cry from so many Christians today who consider that the resurrection of their bodies is a forgone conclusion.

    Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, (Philippians 3:13 NASB)

Letter To The Colossians:
Paul addressing this letter to "the saints and faithful brethren" told them that Jesus would present them to God as holy and blameless and beyond reproach if they continued

    ... in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. (Colossians 1:23 NASB)

 
Letter to The Thessalonians: In this letter addressed to the "church of the Thessalonians", Paul says that their efforts were useless if the tempter had succeeded with the people. Certainly he would not have had any cause for concern had they been forever saved.

    For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain. (1 Thessalonians 3:5 NASB)

And then he went on to tell them that they were proud of this church because of their perseverance and faith that indicates they are worthy of God's kingdom. 

    therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5 NASB)

Letter To Timothy
Remembering that a person can only abandon something if they had it in the first place, Paul speaks of people like the young widows who were once true Christians dedicated to Christ, but had since wandered away.

    This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. (1 Timothy 1:18-19 NASB)

    But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. (1 Timothy 5:11-15 NASB)

    But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:9 NASB)

    O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"-- which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you. (1 Timothy 6:20-21 NASB)

Even though Paul knew that Timothy was a true Christian it is very telling that he found it necessary to warn Timothy that he must persevere in the faith in order to be saved.

    Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:14-16 NASB)

I am not sure how Paul could get more clear than in the following verse...

    "Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness." (2 Timothy 2:19 b NASB)


Peter's Warnings
This chapter is devoted to the fact of false teachers who, like the false prophets of the Old Testament, would secretly introduce destructive heresies

    But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought (Gr. agorazo) them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. (2 Peter 2:1 NASB)

There are two points to be noted. Not only did these false teachers arise from among the people, but they were also "bought". From other occurrences, it is very evident that when the Greek agorazo is applied to people it refers to those who Christ purchased for Himself.

    For you have been bought (Gr. agorazo) with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.  (1 Corinthians 6:20 NASB)

    You were bought (Gr. agorazo) with a price; do not become slaves of men. (1 Corinthians 7:23 NASB)

    These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased (Gr. agorazo) from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4 NASB)

I am afraid that the Bible's undeniable statement that false teachers were also "bought" by the Lord,  knocks the wind out of the sails of the doctrine of Eternal Security or Once Saved Always Saved.

However, in an effort to refute this, some have put forward some immensely convoluted arguments to 'prove' that Peter didn't mean exactly what he wrote. They go sort of like this - Deuteronomy 32:6 says the Father 'bought' (acquired for His own) the people. However, since they were not bought by the blood of Christ, the verse had to be referring to God freeing the Jews from slavery in Egypt. But some who were delivered from the bondage in Egypt were false prophets and never true believers. Thus there will be some today who are also not true believers, but will only appear to be bought by Christ.

On the surface this might sound quite Biblical.  It's not!

Everyone who came out of Egypt was 'bought'  - they all started out as believers. Exodus 11:3 says "Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people." The Old Testament focus was strictly on those who obeyed and those who did not and Exodus 12 is very clear that they did as they were told when they were instructed to observe the first Passover. Not a sign of a false prophet nor a disbeliever anywhere..

In other words, it was only when the going got rough that they grumbled and complained and showed a lack of faith in God's ability to take them to the Promised Land with the result that all the adults died in the wilderness, which is a classic case of people who start out in great shape then, somewhere along the way, fall away.

Note: the first mention of false prophets is in Deuteronomy 13 and 18 and that was a warning about not believing them if what they said did not come to pass.

And Peter Didn’t Stop There
In any case, Peter didn't write the first the first verse and then decide that this whole writing bit was not for him. He went on to say that these same false teachers forsook the right way and went astray.

    forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (2 Peter 2:15 NASB)

You cannot forsake or abandon a path you were never on in the first place. And, to clinch the point, Peter stressing that their end would be worse than their first, stated that they returned to their own vomit.

    For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "a dog returns to its own vomit," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire." (2 Peter 2:20-22 NASB)

No, wait a minute, He ended his second epistle with the words.

    You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,  (2 Peter 3:17 NASB)

Peter's warning about false teachers applies just as much to the those in the 21st century church as they did to those of Peter's time. What is especially telling are Peter's words that these false teachers promise freedom to the people. What better description of the teachers of Eternal Security or Once Saved Always Saved.

    For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. (2 Peter 2:18-19 NASB)


Warnings From Hebrews
The author of Hebrews presented a rather knotty problem for OSAS proponents when he wrote that under certain circumstances it is impossible for people to return to faith.

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

The usual way out of the dilemma is to say that the author of Hebrews was not referring to truly born-again disciples, but Christians in name only. However, the text says these people have "shared in the Holy Spirit," something that no nominal Christian can do. Besides which, these warnings are against "falling away," which is impossible if they never attained the position from which to fall.

The author of the book also warned the Hebrew converts about deliberately sinning after becoming believers.

    For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "vengeance is mine, i will repay." And again, "the Lord will judge His people." It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31 NASB)

He unambiguously says that someone can be "sanctified" by "the blood of the covenant" and still fall from the faith, which means it cannot refer to those who are Christians in name only.

The author then goes on to assure his readers that if they did not throw away their confidence, it would be richly rewarded.   However, if they shrank back, God would not be pleased with them. In fact, those who shrink back are destroyed, those who do not are preserved. This mirrors Jesus' words in Matthew 7:21... Only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. for yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. but My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:35-39 NASB)

The book of Hebrews also says

    For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, (Hebrews 3:14 NASB)

    Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.  (Hebrews 4:1 NASB)

It has to be noted that while Christians are called to be vigilant and never let their guard down, this does not necessarily mean that they are in constant danger of falling from the faith. The Hebrew Christians being addressed here were in danger of completely abandoning the faith and falling back into Judaism.

All of which raises the question of whether someone can repent and return to the faith.


Repenting and Returning to The Faith?
Those who advocate the Eternal Security doctrine often claim that people cannot be born again, unborn, and then be reborn once again.

Who says?

In Romans 11, Paul compared Christianity to an Olive tree. They (the Romans) as wild olives had been grafted in among the Jews who were the natural  branches.that had been broken off for their unbelief. However, as he went on to say, the Jews had not stumbled and been finally rejected, but through their fall, salvation had come to the Gentiles (Vs. 11).

The Romans, as wild olives were grafted into the tree and had became partakers of the rich root of the olive tree (Vs. 17). However, Paul went on to warn them that  as God did not spare the natural branches, He would not spare them, either if they did not stand by their faith (Vs 20- 21). Also, if the Jews did not continue in their unbelief, they would be grafted in, again  for God was quite able to do that.  (Vs. 23) 

    Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:22-24 NASB)

Firstly, germane to this article is Paul telling the Romans that if they fall into unbelief they will be broken off just as the Jews had.

Second he also states that if they do not continue in their unbelief, they will be grafted in.

Did this only apply to the Jews? Hardly!

The book of Galatians was written because that particular church was being seduced by a different gospel. Judaizers among them were attempting to distort the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-5), teaching that the Gentile Christians should observe Mosaic law, including circumcision (Galatians 5:2, 5:11; and 6:12) and the observation of Jewish festivals and holy days (Galatians 4:10).

 In his letter, Paul defended his apostolic authority (1:11-19 and :1-14), attempted to counteract the men who were undermining his work He told the Galatians that these beliefs would adversely affect their very salvation

    It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:1-4 NASB)

This letter, written to call them back to the liberty of the Gospel, implies that Paul did not regard their apostasy as past correcting. But he also made it clear that he was fearful for them - that he had perhaps labored over them in vain. (Galatians 4:11)

The question then is whether this letter conflicts with Hebrews 6:4-6, that states that once a believer falls away, he cannot return....

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

However, there are no standalone verses in the Scriptures. Hebrews 6:4-6 has to be understood in conjunction with Hebrews 10:26-27 that reads,

    For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27 NASB)

In other words, like the Galatians,  people can fall away by being misled or falling prey to false doctrine.. However, once aware of their error they can repent and return.  The ones who choose to deliberately continue in sin, are pretty much up the proverbial creek. And there certainly were (and are) plenty of those...

 

Those Who Fell Away In The Old Testament
Saul??
Many people use Saul as an example of someone who was saved, but subsequently lost their salvation. However, Saul's salvation, or lack of it, is a not as clear cut as it might seem.

Scripture does tell us that Saul was anointed to rule over God's inheritance and that the Spirit of the Lord came down on him

    Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his head, kissed him and said, "Has not the Lord anointed you a ruler over His inheritance? ... "Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. "It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God is with you. (1 Samuel 10: 1, 6-7 NASB)

However, the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament was quite varied, and not necessarily connected to sin and salvation. For example, The Spirit of God was said to be moving over the surface of the waters (Genesis 1:2). In Deuteronomy 34:9, the Spirit of Wisdom passed from Moses to Joshua which caused the people to obey him as they had Moses. It also fell upon men who had to lead and guide Israel such as the seventy elders, various judges of Israel like Gideon (Judges 6:34), Sampson (Judges 14:6, 15:14 etc), and David (1 Samuel 16:13)

For this reason we cannot assume that Saul was ever really 'saved', therefore his life and behavior has no bearing on the subject at hand. What we do know is that after numerous acts of disobedience on Saul's part, God said that He 'regretted" making Saul king for he had turned back from following God. (1 Samuel 15:11 NASB). When, in 1 Samuel 16:13 and 14, we are told that the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and came mightily upon David, it quite simply meant that the throne had been taken from Saul and given to David.

Not only did the Spirit of the Lord depart from Saul, but Samuel made it very clear that Saul had become God's adversary, and we should all know what eventually happens to the enemies of God

    For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27 NASB)

Solomon
Solomon among the most privileged of men, was a very different matter. He was not only called God's son, given incredible wisdom to govern Israel and riches beyond belief (1 Kings 3:12,13), commissioned to build the temple, but God also twice appeared to him (1 Kings 11:9). God's favor was clearly seen when immediately after Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the Temple, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

    He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever [1 Chronicles 22:10]

    Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord 's house. (2 Chronicles 7:1-2 NASB)

However, there was also a warning issued..

    If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever [1 Chronicles 28:9]

Unfortunately, in his later years Solomon's heart was turned away from God...

    For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done. (1 Kings 11:4-6 NASB)

And there is no sign that Solomon ever repented.

God told Jeroboam that He would take the kingdom out of the Solomon's hand leaving him with one tribe for his father David's sake. The rest would be given to Jeroboam.  However Solomon tried to sabotage this plan by attempting to murder Jeroboam who fled to Egypt and stayed there until Solomon's death. (1 Kings 11:40). That Jeroboam didn't consider it was safe to return, means that Solomon did not repent and still sought his life.


Those Who Fell Away In The New Testament

Judas
At the feast of the Passover Jesus implied that Judas Iscariot was unclean...

    Jesus *said to him, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you." For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, "Not all of you are clean." (John 13:10-11 NASB)

However, it does not mean that Judas was never clean. Much to the contrary,  Judas was not only a disciple he was also one of the original twelve apostles chosen by Christ himself at the same time as the others. He was given the same spiritual authority as the other eleven and sent out as one of them to preach the gospel, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out demons

    Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him. (Matthew 10:1-4 NASB)

He had to have been "clean" when he was chosen to be an apostle but, somewhere along the line, he decided to betray Jesus (John 13:2)

Many Unnamed Disciples
John tells us that many unnamed disciples went back and stopped following Jesus

    Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. [John 6:66]

Demas
Demas was a companion and fellow worker of the Apostle Paul (Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 24). However, in Paul's last letter to Timothy he wrote

    Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica... (2 Timothy 4:9-10 NASB)

The significance of Paul's word is evident from the following

    Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  (1 John 2:15 NASB)

    You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4 NASB)

Hymenaeus and Philetus
Virtually nothing is known about these two people except for this verse.

    and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. (2 Timothy 2:17-18 NASB)

However it is to be noted that a person can't wander away from the truth unless that person was first in the truth. Also the fact that these two managed to destroy "the faith of some" means that the "some" had to have had faith to begin with, or it could not have been destroyed.

Some Younger Christian Widows
Some younger Christian widows turned from Jesus and started to follow Satan.

    Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. (1 Timothy 5:14-15 NASB)

No one can turn away to follow Satan unless they were first turned to someone else. Verses 11 and 12 clarify that these young widows were first pledged to Christ.

    But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. (1 Timothy 5:11-12 NASB)

Greedy Christians
Some Christians eager for money can wander from the Christian faith. Paul wrote:

    If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction (Gk. apoleia) For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:8-10 NASB)

The word translated 'destruction' is the Greek apoleia, also used in Matthew 7:13 where it clearly refers to damnation

    "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction (Gk. apoleia), and there are many who enter through it.  (Matthew 7:13 NASB)

Some Unnamed Believers
In this verse, Paul spoke about Here Paul speaks of "some men" who strayed from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith, had turned aside to fruitless discussion (1 Timothy 1:5-6 NASB).

He then went charged Timothy to carry on the good fight and keep the faith unlike others who have shipwrecked theirs. He then proceed to name two individuals who he said he had handed to Satan. One has to presume that he meant that he had put them out of the church, into the Satan's domain where they had no protection.

    This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:18-20 NASB)


Conclusion -
The idea of being permanently saved irrespective of how one conducts one's life goes against the very grain of the Gospel. Unfortunately, this unbiblical and dangerous doctrine has been passed down from generation to generation like typhoid - a serious disease spread by contaminated food and water. OSAS is spread by the contaminated teachings in this or that seminary or Bible school - the same old tired proof texts given and accepted.

I could not ask for anything more than this article impresses the fear of the Lord on someone who is breezing through life thinking they are saved but, in reality, has the arrow of God's justice aimed squarely at them.

But what about the false teachers who propagate this insidious doctrine?

Tragically, they usually seem to hold, with a tenacious grip, onto what they themselves were led to believe. They are right and that is the end of the matter. Considering that Jesus said that drowning would be better for anyone who causes a believer to stumble (Matthew 18:6), I do not hold any hope that they will escape judgment regardless of how 'orthodox' they appear to be.

What The Bible really Teaches.
In any case, what should really put the fear of God into us is that NO living Christian can claim to be finally saved.

What am I talking about?

It is commonly believed that Christ's death on the cross was the atonement for our sins. However, according to Scripture, this is not quite true.

But to properly understand the concept requires a more complete understanding of the atonement, for which we have to turn to the very solemn Old Testament feast of Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement. We have to remember that every detail of the Yom Kippur ritual was very specifically laid out by God,  and that the author of Hebrews both compared and contrasted Yom Kippur with Christ's redeeming sacrifice on the cross. In other words, the imperfect observances on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) were but a type, or shadow, of the perfect to come.

In the Old Testament, the shedding of the animal's blood outside the tabernacle on Yom Kippur was not an end in itself. It had to be brought into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled on the Mercy Seat and offered to God as physical evidence that the price had been paid.

In exactly the same way, Christ's sacrifice on Calvary was not all that was required. It was the first half of the 'process' (for want of a better word), with the second half of the ritual yet to come. His blood has been shed, but because it has not yet been offered to the Father, the atonement is not yet complete.

It is little wonder that the New Testament sometimes says that salvation is an accomplished reality, and at other times says it is still in the future, a seeming contradiction that is not limited to salvation alone. See The Two Phase Atonement


Footnote I
Dr. Charles Stanley is not without influence, having been twice president of the Southern Baptist Convention and with an international TV and radio program, “In Touch,” broadcast throughout the world. Yet he teaches as doctrine ideas that are completely foreign to the Scriptures. The following quotes are from his 1990 book ... Eternal Security Can You Be Sure? (Nashville, TN: Oliver Nelson),

    The Bible clearly teaches that God's love for His People is of such magnitude that even those who walk away from the faith have not the slightest chance of slipping from His hand.” (Pg. 74)

    But if a man or woman who has been rescued once from a state of unforgiveness need not worry. For once 100 percent of a man's or woman's sins have been forgiven, the potential for being unforgiven has been done away with. The risk factor is zero. There are no more fires from which the believer needs to be saved. (Pgs. 79-80)

     . . . God does not require a constant attitude of faith in order to be saved – only an act of faith. (Pg. 80)

    It [saving faith] is a singular moment in time wherein we take what God has offered.” (Pg. 81]

    Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy” .. . . . believers who lose or abandon their faith will retain their salvation . . . .” (Pgs. 93-94)

    Faithful or not, every person who has at any time had saving faith is a permanent part of the body of Christ. (Pg. 94) [PLACE IN TEXT]

Footnote II
One other example of how a word can be used with a deeper meaning than appears on the surface is when God told the prophet Amos to instruct the house of Israel to "seek" Him that they may live. (Amos 5:4). The word "seek" could not possibly be used in terms of 'search' because God had already revealed Himself to the nation - they already knew who He was, what His laws were, and what He required of them.

Therefore, the word "seek" had to be used in the sense of "turn to Me".


End Notes
[01] Matthew Slick.. Is eternal security a license to sin? https://carm.org/is-eternal-security-a-license-to-sin

[02] Jeremy Myers. 11 Reasons I Hold to Eternal Security.
https://redeeminggod.com/sermons/miscellaneous/11-reasons-i-hold-to-eternal-security/

[03] Once saved always saved?  Got Questions Ministries  https://gotquestions.org/once-saved-always-saved.html[04] Konstantinos Athanasiou.  Modern Greek Grammar.. http://www.greekgrammar.eu/pdffiles/subj.pdf

Eternal-Security-Back

Index To Articles on Eternal Security

www.inplainsite.org