Is Eternal Security Scriptural ?
By Adam Bartlett
All I want to do is look at the scriptures and what is said in them. It is easy for some to make their interpretations on these verses. I ask that you look at what is said and put all biases aside and look at the scriptures. If you disagree, that is fine but show me how that these scriptures say other than what I have indicated. I don't want you to throw in other verses that apparently conflict with these, (those supposedly conflicting verses have a very good explanation and are not conflicting at all) I want you to look at these and then show how that they say different than indicated. With that said, continue on with the scriptures.
Revelation 3: 5 - 6
I thought I would start with one of the most clear cut verses in the Bible on the issue of Eternal Security. This message was not to unbelievers but to the church, and it is clear beyond a shadow of doubt that a believerís name can be blotted out of the Book of Life.
5."He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6."He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Hebrews 10: 26 - 30
26."For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27."But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28."He that despised Mosesí law died without mercy under two or three witnesses;
29."Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30."For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
I want to point out some facts and you must decide if you want to believe the Scripture in front of you or someoneís explanation of what it says.
In Vs.26, the writer is including himself in the verse "we", not speaking to lost.
In Vs.29, this person was "sanctified by the blood", not speaking to the lost.
In Vs.30, the Lord is judging who? "His People", not speaking to the lost.
I also want to give you some Scriptures that deal with what constitutes a "knowledge of the truth" as indicated in Vs.26; John 8:32, 1Timothy 2:4, & 4:3, 2Timothy 2:25, Titus 1:1, 1John 2:21, and 2John 1, and there are many more.
The facts indicate clearly who is being addressed in this passage. God will not force anyone to serve Him, allowing each of us with our freedom of willful choice to obey and serve His commands. This freedom was clearly demonstrated when a third of the angels in heaven chose to follow Lucifer. We walk away from the gift of God, He does not take it from us. Only God knows when we cross that line, but until then the Spirit will not cease to convict and seek to draw that person back into the fold of God. God is Love, but God is Just also and will not allow you to choose sin and Quench the Spirit (1Thess. 5:19), and still enter heaven.
1 Corinthians 10: 1 - 15
1.Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,
2.And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3.And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4.And did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
5.But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6.Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7.Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8.Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9.Neither let us tempt the Lord, as some of them also tempted him, and were destroyed by serpents.
10.Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
11.Now all these things happened unto them for examples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
12.Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
13.There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
14.Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
15.I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
Again I want to present the facts of these verses and you must decide what they say;
Vs. 1 - Paul is clearly speaking to "brethren"
Vs. 2 - Paul says that they were " All baptized", not unbelievers
Vs. 3 - They "All" ate of the "spiritual meat", not unbelievers
Vs. 4 - They "All" drank of the "spiritual drink", which was "Christ", not unbelievers
Vs. 5 - They were "overthrown"
Vs. 6 - They were "examples" that Godís people can lust after "evil things" to the point of their destruction
Vs. 7 - It is possible for "us" to become "idolaters"
Vs. 8 - It is possible for "us" to commit "fornication"
Vs. 9 - We are told that if "we" put the Lord to the test He will destroy us
Vs.11 - Again we are told that this is an "example" for us to heed
Vs.12 - We are told that "we" can fall
Vs.13 - God will give us a way out of sin, but "we" must take that way out, He will not force us out of the situation
Vs.14 - We are again admonished to "flee from idolatry", why if we can not lose anything?
Several points need to be made, but again, you must decide if the evidence supports the belief. If we look at these verses in the perspective that you cannot lose your salvation, then there are some glaring questions that need to be asked; for example, Why would this be given as an example and stressed that it is an example twice for "brethren" if it were not possible for the things described to happen? Why speaking to "brethren" does Paul say that we can fall? How can this section of Scripture be explained away as not speaking to the church; then WHO?
Matthew 25: 1 - 12
1.Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2.And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3.They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them;
4.But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5.While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6.And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7.Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
8.And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9.But the wise answered, saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you; but go rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10.And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut.
11.Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12.But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Vs. 1 - They are all called "virgins", no where does it say they only claimed to be virgins. They are all going to meet the bridegroom, the lost will not be doing so.
Vs. 2 - They are called "foolish" but never said not to be virgins
Vs. 7 - Again they "all" go out to meet the bridegroom.NOTICE; in vs. 7-8 that they "ALL" trimmed their lamps, and that even the foolish virgin's lamps were lit. They said that they "went out", which is impossible if they were not lit to start with! We know that the "lamp", or "light" represents our witness according to Matt. 5: 14-16.
Vs. 8 - They will realize as with all Christians that are just going through the motions that they are not prepared to meet the Lord.
MATTHEW 25: 14 - 30
14.For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15.And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to every man according to his ability; and straight way took his journey.
16.Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made other five talents.
17.And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18.But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lordís money.
19.After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20.And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents; behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21.His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22.He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents; behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23.His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24.Then he that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee, that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed,
25.And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth; lo, there thou hast what is thine.
26.His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed?
27.Thou oughtest, therefore, to have put my money to the exchangers, and then, at my coming, I should have received mine own with usury.
28.Take, therefore, the talent from him, and give it unto him who hath ten talents.
29.For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30.And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Vs. 14 - They are all called "his own servants"
Vs. 18 - He buried "his lordís money"
Vs. 21 - "His Lord" said...
Vs. 23 - "His Lord" said...
Vs. 24 - The third servant says "I knew thee"
Vs. 26 - "His Lord" answered... Also did not say he was not a servant, just a "wicked and slothful" one.
Vs. 27 - The lord still considered that he would have received "his own" which would have been this servant had he obeyed his Lord.
If the Lord had intended for us to take this parable to mean that two of the servants belonged to him and one did not, would he have not made it very clear? In fact just the opposite occurs here, he very distinctly indicates in the beginning and throughout that they were all "his" servants. The wicked one did not obey what he knew the lord had wanted him to do, and as a result he did not cease to be called a servant, but he did however lose the servantís reward. He knew what he was doing and chose to follow his own way instead of what the lord had directed. He therefore gave up his reward and lost his position as a "faithful" servant and became a "wicked and slothful" servant, and therefore obtained the reward due that position. Even though the third servant was still called a servant, his outcome was not the same.
LUKE 12: 42 - 48
42.And the Lord said, Who, then, is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give him his portion of meat in due season?
43.Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.
44.Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
45.But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunk,
46.The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47.And that servant, who knew his lordís will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48.But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Vs. 42 - Establishes who is spoken of, "the steward"
Vs. 45 - Still speaking of the same servant, that he turns from his ways (voluntarily)
Vs. 46 - The lord of "that servant", places him in the category with "unbelievers"
Vs. 47 - The servant "knew his lordís will", but did not "OBEY" it, willingly
It cannot be any clearer than the example that Jesus left with this parable, that a person can know what is the right thing to do and not do it, and pay the penalty later. It is clear that the servant was a faithful servant but turned his back on his lord and the result was to be placed with the unbelievers in the judgment. How can this parable be explained other than the facts of what it says?
JOHN 15: 1 - 6
1.I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2.Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3.Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4.Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5.I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.
6.If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Vs. 2 - The branch that beareth not fruit is "taken away", NOTICE where the branch is to start with.... "In me".
Vs. 6 - The branch that is not producing fruit is cast into the "fire", the entire section is talking about the vine and branches, and it is clear that the branch is "in Christ" and if it does not bear fruit, it will be cast into the fire.
The facts are clear that the branch was "in him" but did not bear fruit and was therefore cast into the "fire".
ROMANS 11: 16 - 22
16.For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17.And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree,
18.Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19.Thou wilt say, then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
20.Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear;
21.For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22.Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God: on them who fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
Vs. 21 - It is clear that the grafted in ones, if not obedient would not be spared
Vs. 22 - It is clear that this grafting in is conditional "if thou continue", and it is also clear that if you do not continue then you will be "cut off". To try to make this say other than it does is twisting the Scripture to make it fit a doctrinal belief. It is very clear cut as the others to this point have been also. Please put aside any teaching from the past and look simply at what the Scriptures indicate. Do not read into them, but simply look at the facts presented in the Scripture alone.
1 TIMOTHY 4: 1 - 3
1.Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that, in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils,
2.Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron,
3.Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by them who believe and know the truth.
Vs. 1 - "some shall depart from the faith", how can someone depart from the faith if they were not saved to start with? What are the implications of departing from the faith?
Vs. 2 - They have their "conscience seared", they depart from the truth they knew and follow the deceit.
NOTE: If they depart from the "faith" then they have no part of it, which only leaves the alternative.
HEBREWS 6: 4 - 6
4.For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift , and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
5.And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6.If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Vs. 4 - What does it mean that they were "enlightened"? I believe the answer to that is in the rest of the verse. They have "tasted of the heavenly gift", what gift could that be? SALVATION!! The proof of that is in the next statement, they "were made partakers of the Holy Spirit", A lost person cannot partake of the Holy Spirit, you receive the Spirit ( become a partaker) when you are saved ( Ephesians 1:13).
Vs. 5 - They have "tasted" the Word, and the "powers", can a lost person know what it is to "taste or partake" of the Word? Can a lost person know the "powers" of the Spirit?
Vs. 6 - "If they shall fall away", Fall away from what? How can they fall away if they are not saved to start with? "Renew them again unto repentance", it is clear that they have already repented according to this statement; Isnít repentance part of the Salvation process? Why would they need to repent again if they were never saved to start with? "Crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh", how could this happen to a lost person? Jesus is crucified for our sins, so does it make sense that a lost person could not repent and accept the crucifixion of Christ? "And put him to open shame", How could a lost person be responsible for putting Jesus to open shame? They are not a representative of Him, does it make sense that they could put Him to shame and not belong to Him? It is clear by looking at the preceding chapter and verses 11-14, that Paul is not talking to the lost, but to immature Christians that were in danger of falling into this category.
1 CORINTHIANS 11: 28 - 32
28.But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29.For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lordís body.
30.For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
31.For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32.But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Vs. 28 - Why would there be a need to "examine" oneself, if there were no chance to lose your salvation?
Vs. 29 - There is no question that Paul is addressing Christian brothers, and he states that they could bring "damnation" upon themselves. How can that be possible?
Vs. 32 - This verse clearly states that the Lord "chastens" us so that "we should not be condemned with the world", where does it say in that verse that we CANNOT be condemned with the world?
JOHN 8: 31 & OTHERS
31.Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Vs. 31 - Why would Jesus put a conditional clause to this directive? If you could never lose your salvation, then there would be no need to issue a condition. Look at the following verses in the book of John that have the same condition placed by Jesus: 8:51, 12:26, 14:15,23, 15:6,7,10,&14.
Before we get into the misconceptions, I would like to look at another Scripture, Ezekiel 3: 17-21; in verses 17-19 Ezekiel is exhorted to warn the wicked that they will die in their sins if they do not change. But I want to look at verses 20-21;
20.Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 21. Nevertheless, if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not , and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
What does it mean that "his righteousness shall not be remembered"? I believe the same applies to Christians today. This scripture proves that you can not only get caught up in unrighteousness, but that if you do not turn from those ways, all that righteousness will not be remembered.
IT IS EASY TO LOSE YOUR SALVATION:
Nothing could be farther from the truth, in fact I believe it is a process that takes time, that only God knows when that line is crossed. This is a view that Eternal Security believerís invented to make their view more credible. I believe that we are given several examples of how that process takes place and the extent that a person must go through to reach a dangerous level. The first example is David in 2 Samuel 11; David had gotten himself in a situation that eventually escalated into a very serious matter. He seen Bathsheba, lusted after her, got her pregnant, had her husband killed, married her, and showed no signs of repentance. God finally sent the prophet Nathan to rebuke David, which caused him to repent. We also have the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, how that this son took his journey into the realms of sin, leaving the father. He came to his senses after living in sin and came back and repented. Then there is the story of Lot also, and what about his wife? Didn't God say that He was only going to save the "Righteous" out of Sodom? In none of these stories are we told of the other side; what would have happened if they had decided to stay in the situation they were in (like Lot's wife)? Peter denied the Lord, but what if he had not repented? Did not each of these individuals have a choice to either repent or not? Did they have the choice to continue in the path they were on?
These questions are not foundations to stand on for this belief, the previous scriptures contain that. These questions only confirm the great Mercy of God and the fact that God will take a person back, but that person has to willingly repent and turn back to God. God will not take the individual choice away from a person to remain in sin. Just as we have the choice to accept the great gift of Godís salvation, we also have the choice to OBEY the standards set out to keep it. As I mentioned at the start of this study, the angels of God have the same choice, and that was demonstrated in the fall of Lucifer and the third of his fellow angels that followed him. They had everything they could want and turned their back on it and God, and chose to follow Lucifer and forfeit what they had. I believe the same principle applies with this belief; A person can accept Jesus and be saved, and God does not take their choice away from them at that point. They still are as susceptible to sin and can still choose to follow it instead of Jesus. I think God will make every effort to bring them back into the family, such as sending Nathanís your way , but it is ultimately their decision to turn back or not. We know for a fact that Christians can get caught up in sin, read 1 Corinthians. To evaluate what the implications of Eternal Security consists of you need to ask a question; If it is impossible to lose your salvation, then where is the choice in serving God? I can not buy the excuse that if a person is truly born again they will not indulge in sinful activities; as I stated earlier, read about the examples of those I listed, and 1 Corinthians, and the Scripture references. Their is ample proof that "saved" people will get caught up in sin, the question is; is there a consequence for continuing in sin? There is no reason to strive for Holiness, or Sanctification, if you follow the Eternal Security road. There ceases to be a price for disobedience. There ceases to be a need for choice anymore. What there is in the Eternal Security realms is a large number of Lukewarm Christians, with little or no regard to the scaring of the name of Christ that is happening.
IT IS A WORKS BASED SALVATION :
This is again the farthest thing from the truth. Salvation is solely based on a personís Belief in the finished work of the cross, Repentance for sins, and acceptance of Christ to come and rule and reign in their heart. Obeying the commands of the infallible Word of God from that point on to the best of your ability follows conversion. Works are the product of Obedience to Godís directives. Again, this is another tactic by Eternal Security believers to make their view credible. It is a matter of not being obedient, not how many works are evident. If a person is not Obedient there will not be any works, that is a pretty simple deduction.
I would like to take this time to explain what I consider to be the dangers of both views. The Eternal Security view is dangerous in the main aspect that it gives the false impression that a Christian can do whatever they want without fear of any retribution. The only retribution they consider is that there will be no rewards when they get to heaven. Is that really retribution? Is that any deterrent to living any way they please? The danger I believe in this view, not only that it is not Biblical, but that it gives the believer a sense (whether intended or not) that they have a license to sin.
The dangers of the belief in losing your salvation are; the thought that one sin and you are lost and repent and you are saved again. Salvation should never be based on fear, but on the respect and reverence of a Just God. God does not want us to serve Him out of fear, but out of Love, and Obedience. God does not want "robots" either that is why our choice is never taken away to "Obey or not". As mentioned before, the fact of losing oneís salvation is not a simple thing, and should not be treated lightly. My contention has always been and always will be that if you teach Christians to live for God with all their heart and the best they can on a daily basis; then neither side of this conflict becomes an issue.
Answers From The Bible