IS OUR SALVATION ETERNALLY SECURE?
DOES EVERY BELIEVER HAVE TWO NATURES?
One thing that I’ve learned in all my years in business is that we can learn a lot by asking questions. Over the past 5 ½ years of sharing with others what God has shared with me on Facebook, I’ve seen many comments and have had many questions directed at me. Here I have put together some questions on Eternal Security. I hope that these questions and answers will give you a better understanding of God’s eternal word.
CAN A SAVED PERSON EVER BE LOST?
No. Salvation is an eternal transaction between the sinner and God. No one who is born again can ever become unborn. The Bible clearly teaches the security of the saved, not insecurity. Please read John 10:27-29, Romans 8:38-39; Psalm 37:23-24; Ephesians 4:30.
It is the Father’s will to preserve those who come to Christ. We read in John 6:39: “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing but should raise it up at the last day (rapture).” It’s clearly stated here that the will of the Father was that everyone who was given to Christ would be saved and kept until the resurrection of the just, when they would be raised and taken home to heaven. The words nothing and it refer to believers. The Lord Jesus was responsible to see that not one member of the body of Christ would be lost.
For a believer to lose his salvation would demand a reversal and an undoing of all the works of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The key issue in the discussion of the believer security concerns the issue of who does the saving. If man is responsible for securing his salvation, then he can be lost, but if God secures the person’s salvation, then the person is forever secure. John 6:39-40 clearly states that God secures the person’s salvation. Verse 40 clearly tells us that when we put our faith and trust in Christ Jesus as our own personal Savior, we receive assurance that we will be raised at the last day (rapture). How can we lose our salvation when it is God that preserves us till the last day when Christ comes in the air to take us to our heavenly home (at the rapture).
CAN SOMEONE’S NAME BE ERASED FROM THE BOOK OF LIFE?
I haven’t found any verse in Scripture that suggests that. Look, if someone believes salvation can be lost, then there is a number of questions that must be asked:
What sin or sins would cause me to lose my salvation? How do I know when I’ve lost my salvation? If I lose my salvation, how can I get back? Is Jesus going to come back a second time to atone for my sins?
You see, if we could lose our salvation then no one could know from moment to moment whether they are saved or not. Also, if we can lose our salvation because we have sinned then no one could be saved, and Christ died in vain. This is why this notion that we can lose our salvation is complete nonsense and unbiblical. These are unsettling thoughts coming from Satan.
HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT FOR A PERSON WHO WAS VERY DEDICATED TO THE SERVICE OF GOD BUT NOW SHOWS NO INTEREST IN THE THINGS OF THE LORD?
I believe people like this were never really saved in the first place. We read this in 1 John 2:19: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” We cannot know the heart of a person, so the safest course is to treat such people as unsaved and give them the Gospel. Now, if the person is saved, God will work in their life through chastening (Heb. 12:5-11), or possibly He will even allow that person to die before his time (1 Cor. 11:29-30; 1 John 5:16). God can and will always take care of His own.
DO BELIEVERS HAVE TWO NATURES?
Yes, every believer has two natures: the new nature which is born of God, and the old Adamic nature. We read this in 1 John 3:9: “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” The new nature cannot commit sin because it is God’s seed that has been planted within the believer. However, the old nature is still capable of sin as we read this in 1 John 2:1: “My little children (believers), these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
I think we need to understand that in verse 3:9 the apostle is contrasting the regenerate man with the unregenerate and is speaking of constant or habitual behavior. The believer does not have the sin habit. He does not defiantly continue in sin. The reason is that God’s seed remains in him. It would seem that the seed refers to the new life which is imparted to the believer at the time of conversion. He is eternally secure. Rather than being an excuse for the Christian to go out and sin, his eternal security is a guarantee he will not go on sinning. He cannot sin habitually because he has been born of God. This divine relationship precludes the possibility of continuance in sin as a lifestyle.
DOES THE PARABLE OF THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES TEACH THAT A SAVED PERSON CAN BECOME LOST?
No. This parable (John 15:1-6) is speaking about bearing fruit, not salvation. Our Lord says, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit (v.2).” Well, if the believer does not bear fruit and allow the Holy Spirit to operate in his life, God takes him away. In other words, if the believer is not a fruit-bearing believer, God either lays him on the shelf or takes him home to glory.
We find more light on this subject in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, when Paul tells us that believers work will be tried by fire. If a believer has been unfruitful – unfaithful in the Lord service – all of his works will be burned up at the Judgement Seat of Christ: “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (v.15).” People have to understand that salvation is a free gift, but rewards, for those who are saved, are earned.
UNDERSTANDING HEBREWS 10:26-27; A VERSE THAT HAS TORMENTED MANY INTO THINKING THEY CAN LOSE THEIR SALVATION
“For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgement….”
Satan has used this Scripture to torment many with the thought that there is no hope for them, and that they will be eternally damned because they committed an act of willful sin. This verse does not, however, pertain in anyway to born-again believers. This verse is talking about the sin of unbelief and was written to the Hebrews as a warning, if they rejected the blood of Jesus Christ shed once for all and trusted in Old Testament sacrifices, there would be nothing but the wrath of God in store for them.
The Bible teaches that the blood of Christ is precious; it is the nearest thing to the heart of God. It is the only thing that can save us from sin. If a person rejects the blood, God has no other way whereby a person can be saved. That is the simple meaning of this passage of Scripture.
DOESN’T HEBREWS 6:4-6 PROVE THAT A PERSON CAN LOSE HIS SALVATION?
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance…..”
No. These verses refer to professors, not possessors. Those referred to were enlightened; they tasted; they were convicted by the Holy Spirit, but they fell away because they had never been saved in the first place. In these verses we come to the heart of the warning against apostasy.
Apostates are people who hear the gospel, make a profession of being Christians, become identified with a Christian church, and then abandon their profession of faith, repudiate Christ, desert the Christian fellowship, and take their place with enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ. Apostasy is a sin which can be committed only by unbelievers, not by those who are deceived but by those who knowingly, willingly, and maliciously turn against the Lord. It should not be confused with the sin of the average unbeliever who hears the gospel but does nothing about it.
In Hebrews 6:9 Paul clearly states that he is not referring to true believers (possessors): “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation….”
Actually, these verses (Heb. 6:4-6) show that it is impossible for a saved person to be lost. In Hebrews 6:6, it says that it is impossible “if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance.” In other words, if a person were saved and then lost, it would be impossible for that person ever to be saved again. This is why this passage refers to apostates (unbelievers) and not directed to born-again believers. This shows the error of those who teach that a believer can lose his salvation. Why? Because we all have a sinful nature, and we tend to sin. Jesus acknowledged our sinful nature when He said, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).” To deny that we have a sinful nature means self-deception and untruthfulness. So, to those who teach that a believer can lose his salvation is not biblical teaching – Satan uses these verses to taunt people and make them unsure of their salvation. Look, once you are born-again you cannot become unborn. Once you have salvation you cannot lose it because if that was the case then no one would be saved, and we know that is not what Scripture teaches us.
DENOUNCING OF FALSE TEACHERS IN 2 PETER 2:20-22
“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worst for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire’.”
Some people get confused and think these verses apply to believers and that they might lose their salvation but that is not true. This passage should not be used to teach that true believers may fall from grace and be lost. This Scripture is speaking about false teachers – not saved people – as the context plainly shows in verse one – “…. there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” These people evidently came close to knowing Christ (vv. 19-20), yet they never became “sheep” (John 10:27-29) but remained “dogs” and proved it by returning to their own vomit.
UNDERSTANDING OF MATTHEW 24:13: “BUT HE WHO ENDURES TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED.”
Over the years of dealing with comments and questions this, the Olivet Discourse, is without question one of the most misunderstood and subsequently one of the most misinterpreted passages of the New Testament. The result of which is that various views such as the Pre-Wrath, Mid and Post-Tribulation have brought great confusion among today’s Christians. Add to this mix, you have approximately 1.6 billion churchgoers world-wide that go to churches that teach the false Roman Church doctrine of Amillennialism (who believe all prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when Christ came back) and hear nothing from the pulpit on bible prophecy even though over one quarter of God’s word is on prophecy – the same prophets writing prophecy concerning the past as well as prophecy concerning end time events that are still in the future.
At the heart of the problem is that interpreters do not apply sound rules of hermeneutics, and make the grave mistake of mixing God’s plan, and purpose for Israel (in the end times) with that of the Christians in this the Church Age. In chapter 24 and 25, the discourse is entirely prophetic, it points forward to the Tribulation period and the Lord’s Second Coming. It’s primarily, though not exclusively, concerning the nation of Israel. Its locale is obviously Israel; for example, “let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains (24:16).”; for example, “Pray that your flight may not be….. On the Sabbath (24:20).” The reference to the elect (24:22) should be understood as God’s Jewish elect, not the Church – the Church is in heaven during the seven-year Tribulation period.
The Olivet Discourse is part of Christ’s great sermon on prophecy. Our Lord is speaking about the Great Tribulation and the intense suffering that the Jews will have to experience at that time. He said, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened (24:21-22).” The “elect” (see Isaiah 65:9 and 22), here means the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are being gathered by the angels from every part of earth and taken to Israel where Christ has arrived to destroy the Antichrist, rescue His people, and set up His Millennial Kingdom (Matt. 24:31).
It is plain to see that those Jewish people that “endures till the end” to which Christ referred is the end of the Tribulation period, not the end of a person’s life. This verse simply means that those who endure to the end of the Tribulation will be able to go right into the Millennial Kingdom without dying. In other words, those who endure to the end of the Great Tribulation will be able to go into the Millennium in their natural bodies. In this passage, Christ is not talking about salvation of the soul but salvation of the body.
THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
The doctrine of eternal security rests on a proper concept and understanding of what God actually does when He saves a soul. (1). He loves to the uttermost (John 13:11). (2). His purposes to keep us in spite of everything (John 10:28-30). (3). He intends to present us faultless before Himself (Jude 24). (4). His Son ever lives to make intercession to keep as saved (Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1). (5). His Spirit has placed us into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). (6). His Spirit has sealed us until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). (7). His Word guarantees that nothing (including ourselves) can separate us from Christ (Rom. 8:28-39). In order to lose one’s salvation all of these works of God would have to be undone, and the Bible nowhere even hints that this is possible.
IN CLOSING, REST IN THE ASSURANCE OF YOUR ETERNAL SALVATION
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand (John 10:28).” ……“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things 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).”
What does “eternal” mean? Could you ever lose something that is eternal? Absolutely not – so, rest in the assurance of your eternal salvation.