Monday, September 10, 2012

ETERNALLY SECURE


One of the most beautiful truths in Scripture is the fact that the truly born again Christian is eternally secure. There are many who hold to the doctrine of works in that we must continually repent and confess our sins to remain saved. A belief that stems from that camp is that we are forgiven up to the point that we become saved and after that it is our responsibility to live the Christian life in such a manner that we maintain our salvation through good works. This is why many who hold to that doctrine burn themselves out trying to impress God when the only thing God sees in the believer is the finished work of His Son. Some have even equated eternal security with “license to sin.” This is heresy and those who believe this have not really analyzed the Bible on this subject.
Every Sin has been removed not just covered
(Heb 8:12 KJV) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
 
(Heb 10:17 KJV) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
 
(Isa 43:25 KJV) I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
 
(Jer 31:34 KJV) And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
 
These four verses all carry with them the same theme. When God forgives a person of their sins, He has elected to forget those sins. Nowhere in Scripture is it written that God chooses to remember our sins thus causing a loss of salvation. When God removes our sins, He annihilates them. In other words, they can never be held against us.
 
(Col 2:13-14 KJV) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; {14} Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
 
Notice in these verses we read that ALL trespasses have been forgiven, God’s perfect and holy law was satisfied (handwriting of ordinances) which means there will be no more penalty for sins committed by a believer. Some will object by asking, “what about sins committed in the future?” When Colossians 2:13-14 was written, which was about 60-64 AD, where were you? You were not scheduled to be born for another 19 centuries. This would mean that all the sins you were forgiven for, were not even committed yet. Those sins that you are yet to commit in the future, have all been atoned for by Christ. When God applied Grace to you, it carried the full effect of the atonement of Christ, which means every sin you have committed or will commit has been blotted out. You don’t have a sin to your name before God. (Rev 14:5 KJV) And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. If you still cling to the belief that you can lose your salvation, then you are also under the belief that the atonement of Christ was insufficient, thereby, forcing you to save yourself. The idea of insufficient atonement is a blasphemy against Christ and God’s salvation plan. To say that the sinless Christ can’t save you but your sinful works can, is the height of evil arrogance.
 
God’s calling is irreversible
(Rom 11:29 KJV) For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
 
Jesus promised to lose none of His Sheep
(John 6:37-39 KJV) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. {38} For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. {39} And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
&
(2 Pet 3:9 KJV) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
 
The Saved will never perish
(John 10:28 KJV) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
 
Nothing Can Separate the believer
(Rom 8:38-39 KJV) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, {39} Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
The Believer’s Name is written forever
(Rev 13:8 KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
 
(Rev 17:8 KJV) The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
 
(Heb 4:3 KJV) For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
 
 
None can reverse the work of God
(Isa 14:27 KJV) For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
 
(Isa 43:13 KJV) Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?
 
Salvation is a gift not worked for
(Eph 2:8-9 KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 
We are sealed unto our day of promotion or the return of Christ
(Eph 4:30 KJV) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
 
The believer is perfected
(Heb 10:12-14 KJV) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; {13} From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. {14} For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
 
The Christian has a place reserved in Heaven
(1 Pet 1:4 KJV) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
 
The Christian is Kept by the power of God
(1 Pet 1:5 KJV) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
 
Our lives are hidden with Christ in God
(Col 3:3 KJV) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
 
What about those verses which seem to indicate we can lose our salvation?
It seems that some Christians really like the idea of losing their salvation, so they have taken some verses and built an entire doctrine around them as their “proof texts” that they can lose their salvation. We are going to look at four sets of verses which are the main apologetic for the loss of salvation theory.
 
Hebrews 6:4-6
(Heb 6:4-6 KJV) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, {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.
 
The three verses seem to be the leading proof texts for those who believe a person can lose their salvation. For us to gain a better understanding of these verses, I am going to break these three verses down into parts and we will look at each section individually to see if these verses are actually speaking of salvation or of something else.
 
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened
The word “impossible” carries with it the meaning of “powerless, weak, or impossible” as it is translated “impossible” in other verses such as Matthew 19:26. The word “enlightened” simply means “give light to or bring to light.” When we look at this sentence instantly two things come to mind:
 
(Mat 19:25-26 KJV) When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? {26} But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
 
The first term deals with the subject of salvation. In the Hebrews verse we see that it is impossible for a person to come to Christ on their own. Man in his unsaved state is powerless or weak to initiate such a salvation. This is the underlying meaning as we will see it unfold in the next few sections. Salvation is impossible with man but with God salvation is possible.
 
The second term deals with a person being enlightened. When the gospel is preached, the truths of it are brought to light by someone who is saved. The truths of Scripture are always hidden to the unbeliever. So unsaved man sits in church or listens to the radio in his car and hears the gospel proclaimed. The unsaved man now hears with his ears which means he is being enlightened to the truths such as hell, heaven, or whatever the subject matter may be. The teacher or preacher is enlightening his hearers but he is not saving his hearers.
 
and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost
This section of Scripture deals with the dissemination of the true Gospel. Let us look at two words in this section: “Tasted” carries with it the meaning of “eat, enjoy or experience.” “Partakers” carries with it the meaning of “sharing or participating.”
 
The first term deals with the “religious affection” an unsaved person might feel when they are in a spiritual setting. They are enjoying or experiencing the spiritual milieu. Many unbelievers sit in churches every Sunday and hear the gospel, they may even take communion, and that may give them a good feeling as they experience the heavenly peace and learn of Christ who is the Heavenly Gift of the Father.
 
The second term deals with sharing or participating in the Holy Spirit. This term does not mean “indwelling.” The sharing or participating in the Holy Spirit may be those unbelievers who are involved with believers on some type of project in their church. It may be clothing the homeless or volunteering time to help in another capacity. The unbeliever can partake in spiritual works without being regenerate. They can partake in the fruits of the Spirit.
 
And have tasted the good word of God
The word “tasted” is the same word used in verse 4. Here we have a setting where the word of God is preached and those under its hearing are benefiting from it. The unbeliever may feel good while hearing the truth being expounded. They will not understand everything that is being taught, but they are tasting or enjoying the teaching in that spiritual setting. The word “word” actually carries with it the meaning of “a thing spoken.”
 
and the powers of the world to come
When a person sits in church or gathers with saved people, they are, in essence, experiencing a little bit of heaven. The true believers, on the last day, will be taken directly to heaven. The congregation that the unbeliever is sitting in, represents the entire body of believers world wide. So they are experiencing the heavenly body of Christ on Earth that will someday live gloriously in Heaven.
 
If they shall fall away
This phrase should be translated “and having fallen away.” It is an Aorist tense which means the action happened in the past and continues for an undetermined amount of time. This word is used once in the New Testament and it carries with it the meaning of willful and deliberate. The word “Parapipto” also means to “commit apostasy.” These people are falling away not because they have fallen into sin, but because they are still willful sinners. How many unbelievers go to church on Sunday morning, and continue in their sins right after they leave church? All of them, because if they have not been regenerated by God, then they are still fallen away or unsaved.
 
to renew them again unto repentance
The term “renew” carries with it the meaning of “restoring to a former condition.” This is the only time this word is used in the New Testament. The group in view here are unbelievers. The term “repentance” is only used in connection with those who are saved. Repentance is something that is done as a result of salvation and not prior to salvation. Here we are reading that it is impossible to renew them to repentance. Even those who believe the Arminian error believe a person can get their salvation back. Those who proclaim the Doctrines of Grace believe you cannot even lose your salvation. So what we have in view is that those who are in willful sin cannot come into salvation by themselves through repentance, unless God saves them first. Until then, when the unbeliever is under the hearing of the gospel and that proclamation is finished, they are then returned from experiencing spiritual things to their former condition which is sin. The difference is when they were in church, they were religious sinners. Outside of the hearing of the gospel, they are just plain unregenerate sinners. One other thing, if they are not God’s elect, then they can never come into salvation.
 
seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Here is the unbeliever’s only respect for Jesus. If they could crucify Him again and put Him to open shame again, they would. The unbeliever does not show any reverence or respect for the Lord Jesus instead they show contempt. When they sit in church and hear the hymns being sung or the organ being played, they experience a spiritual euphoria. When the preacher begins to expound the Scriptures and teaches that Christ wants total commitment even unto death, that is when unbelief draws the line. When Jesus is taught that he loves everyone that doctrine is palatable to the unbeliever. When Jesus is being taught that He does not love everyone, and everyone outside of salvation is going to hell, then that is where unbelief draws the line. This closing section seals the fact that these three verses are not dealing with those who have lost their salvation, but for those who are still living in an unregenerate state.
 
There is one more verse which must be added to this which teaches us plainly that this section deals only with unbelievers. Let us look at verse 9:
 
(Heb 6:9 KJV) But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
 
The writer to the Hebrews is making it clear that he was addressing the unbelievers in the previous section as he states in verse 9, that “we are persuaded better things of you. He is showing the distinction between the two groups. The group in verse 9 is associated with the things that accompany salvation and the group in verses 4-6 are associated with the things that accompany “religious unbelief.”
 
As we looked at these passages, there was absolutely no intimation that salvation was in view. The Holy Spirit was not indwelling these people but the people were partaking. This was an action on their part, not God’s, which means that salvation could not happen to this group unless God initiated it. The group in view was definitely one of unbelieving apostates. The language of those verses do not indicate in the least, that anyone in view was ever previously saved.
 
Hebrews 10:26-27
(Heb 10:26-27 KJV) For if we sin wilfully after that 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.
 
These verses are not teaching a loss of salvation. These verses are teaching that after a person hears the Gospel, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. If a person rejects this method of salvation, there is no other way for them to get to Heaven. We see this happening all around us. Cults and Eastern religions have their own ways of reaching Heaven. None of them acknowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way and because of this rejection, there is no sacrifice for their sins, no atonement, which means they will be judged on the last day and will have to pay for their own sins with an eternity in hell. Verse 26 speaks of receiving “the knowledge of the truth” and not actual salvation. Remember in the previous set of verses, we read that the sinners who are not elect will also hear the gospel. They are receiving the knowledge of the truth but are rejecting it because they are dead in their sins and a dead man cannot regenerate himself nor understand spiritual truth.
 
So when we look at these two verses we are not dealing with the loss of applied salvation because that cannot happen. Salvation is not mere knowledge but a transformation of the sinner to Saint. Nowhere in the Bible do we ever read of a Saint becoming a sinner, it is always the opposite. We go from rags to riches, never riches to rags. This is the inheritance of the Saints.
 
Hebrews 10:38-39
(Heb 10:38-39 KJV) Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. {39} But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
 
In these verses, we come across a principle for living the Christian life which we find back in the Old Testament. (Hab 2:4 KJV) Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. The term “just” is another synonym for the redeemed or the Christian. The Habakkuk passage teaches us that we live by the faith of Christ. It is His faith that we live by. This is how the Christian can have faith because it is drawn from Christ’s faith.
 
Next the writer speaks of “drawing back.” This term carries with it the meaning of “withdraw or turn back.” When we looked at some of the verses which teach that we are hidden with God in Christ and that we are safe and secure in Christ plus we saw that sin does not have the power to overtake Grace, then this would give substantiation to the fact that the Christian cannot walk out of salvation because it is not their power holding them in a state of salvation but the power of God is keeping them.
 
Notice in verse 39, we have a similar situation as we did in Hebrews 6. The writer is making a clear distinction that he is speaking to two different groups of people. Verse 39 makes it clear that “we,” which is speaking of the Christians, are not of the groups which turns back to perdition. We are those who believe unto salvation. The dichotomy is clear. There are two groups of people in view in these verses: The unbelievers and the believers. That is how these verses are to be understood. Anything beyond this is neglecting the truth.
 
Galatians 5:4
(Gal 5:4 KJV) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
 
This is a contrast verse concerning the Law versus Grace. In this particular verse we are seeing that if a person seeks to be justified by the Law, then they are fallen from Grace. The term “fallen” carries with it the meaning of “fall off or from, drop away.” A person cannot be justified by the Law. If a person tries to work their way to heaven by keeping the Law, then the sacrifice of Christ is of no effect because the person is attempting their own atonement. This person has become estranged from Grace because they are attempting to keep the Law. This verse also has nothing to do with loss of salvation. It basically deals with a person attempting to become saved by avoiding the Grace of the Cross and embracing the letter of the Law.
 
Final Thoughts
We have come a long way and we have gleaned from many Scriptures which both sides of the argument use, that a truly saved person cannot lose their salvation. The Bible must be the final authority on such a subject. Those who teach that a person can lose their salvation have not done their homework in the Bible but have adopted an emotional approach to Scripture. This will only lead to disastrous hermeneutics resulting in wrong teachings. We also saw in the two sets of verses that there were always two groups of people being addressed - the believers and unbelievers. This always seems to be neglected when these verses are broached.
 
Whenever anyone proclaims the false belief that one can lose their salvation, they are in essence, removing the Sovereign God from His throne and replacing Him with sovereign man. If man has the ability to lose and re-gain his salvation, then that makes man the initiator of salvation and God the receptor, since He has to wait around for the person to return on their own power. Isn’t it wonderful that belief is pure fantasy as we have found that God has promised that He will not lose one of His children. If you proclaim He can, then you are accusing God of being a liar. That is a position I do not want to be in.
 
Just an aside as I close. I have been to funerals of those who followed the Arminian belief of loss of salvation. I think it is interesting to note, that not one of them went to hell according to the preacher. Could it be that the Arminians really believe in eternal security? Loss of salvation theory offers no one hope, just as if a person dies in unbelief, but the eternal security of God does offer hope, because the Bible says that God has reserved us a place in Heaven. Loss of salvation theory is normally adopted by those who are young and healthy but when their body starts failing, they begin to cling to the “reserved home” in Heaven.
 
There is one bad consequence, among many, in the Arminian loss of salvation theory. If a person adapts to it when they are young, they will spend their whole life losing and regaining their salvation. They will never grow in the Lord and it will hinder their usefulness for the Kingdom of God. Those who believe in the biblical doctrine of eternal security are secure in the fact that they are saved and are resting in Calvary. They can build upon their salvation and be useful for the Kingdom of God. Those who believe they can lose their salvation with every sin, will lose it 50 times a day and how can you build on an intermittent salvation? You can’t! This doctrine of loss of salvation is a stain on the character of God and should be refuted by every redeemed child of God because it has no biblical basis as we have discovered.
 
“As grace is first from God, so it is continually from him, as much as light is all day long from the sun, as well as at first dawn or at sun-rising.”                                                                -Jonathan Edwards

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