How important is the teaching of eternal security to the eternal security teachers? In other words, is this topic of primary importance or merely a “non-essential”? The following quotes from the once saved always saved (OSAS) teachers will answer that question for us. This is what they have gone on record as saying regarding the importance of eternal security:
Eternal security is one of those outstanding glories of the Christian gospel (John Ankerberg).
The very gospel itself comes under attack when the eternal security of the believer is questioned (Charles Stanley).
One must believe in the perseverance of the saints if one is to accurately present the gospel of grace. To do anything else is to edit the gospel (James White).
Calvinism is the gospel and nothing else (Charles Spurgeon).
The eternal security of the believer arises out of the necessity and nature of the atonement (Robert Morey).
What grace it is that can give us not only forgiveness and eternal life through faith alone but also guarantee that the Giver will never renege on His gift! Nor can we give it back even if we try! (Charles Ryrie).Calvinism is supposed to be “the doctrines of grace.”
Once a son, always a son. Once you are born into the family of God, you will always be a member of the family of God. You cannot change your spiritual birth anymore than you can change your physical birth ... the moment you believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you were born into the family of God. At that point, you became a child of God, and for all eternity you will remain a child of God. This is the grace of God. There is nothing you can do to alter it (Robert Thieme, Jr.).
... the very foundations of Christianity begin to crumble once we begin tampering with the eternal security of the believer (Charles Stanley).
The carnal mind is unable to comprehend this doctrine of the perseverance of the saints .... the heretics oppose it (Synod of Dort, Article 15).Now that we know how this doctrine has been exalted to the zenith in importance by OSAS teachers themselves by equating it to the gospel, the atonement, grace, and foundational to Christianity, with heretics opposing it, let’s now examine how they have presented their gospel to convince some people that it is Scriptural.
Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace (Gal. 5:2-4).Comment: Since a Christian can fall from the grace by which he is saved, then he would no longer be with the salvation he once had because of grace. Furthermore, for a Christian to fall from grace to the point where Christ is of no value at all, can only mean no more salvation!
2. Eternal security teachers declare we are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1), but they stop there! They never proclaim the additional truth that a true believer can cease believing and fall away (or die spiritually):
Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away (Lk. 8:13).Comment: A true believer can cease believing, according to the Lord Jesus! Such would make him an unbeliever. Question: what did God Himself declare about the unbelieving? He taught:
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death (Rev. 21:8).Moreover, 1 Pet. 1:9 adds important truth to this by stating:
you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.Notice: The goal of our faith is the salvation of our souls. Hence, if our faith gets destroyed, then there can be no salvation for our souls in the end.
Finally, Paul believed a Christian could have his faith shipwrecked and told Timothy what he needed to do to prevent this from happening to him:
holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme (1 Tim. 1:19,20).Note: Paul knew that Timothy’s saving faith could become shipwrecked, as Hymenaeus and Alexander’s faith did, and told him what to do to prevent this from happening to himself. The implications of that are: (a) A Christian has free will and human responsibilities under “grace” that can affect our salvation. (b) A Christian cannot just throw off all holy restraints and be negligent. For him to think that since he has been sealed by the Holy Spirit he is eternally secure or that God will continue to hold on to him, even if he lets go of God, is fallacious!
3. OSAS teachers declare eternal life is a “gift” (Rom. 6:23) and a present tense possession (Jn. 6:47; 1 Jn. 5:12,13), but they stop there! The following supplementing Scriptures are not presented by them, which distorts the truth:
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7).Jesus and His Apostles taught that eternal life is a hope, yet to be reaped, in the world to come, but only if we do not give up sowing to please the Spirit and persist in doing good!
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Gal 6:8,9).
But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (Mk. 10:30).
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life (Rom. 2:7).
Note: To get eternal life, we must persist in doing good (Rom. 2:7). This parallels how the Lord described those who would, in the end, enter the Kingdom of God:
Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned (Jn. 5:29).4. Frequently, the OSASers will misuse Jude 24 by stating a partial truth about it as the whole truth:
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24).They conclude that it is God who keeps us from falling. But they fail to mention that saved people still fall and even fall away! See Mt. 11:6; 26:31,33; Lk. 8:13; Heb. 6:6; 2 Pet. 1:10; 3:17; etc.
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning (Lk. 12:35).5. Eternal security teachers oftentimes refer to certain religious people as never really being saved to begin with, based on Mt. 7:23:
The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life (Jn. 12:25).
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (Jam. 1:27).
Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life (Jude 21).
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols (1 Jn. 5:21).
... do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure (1 Tim. 5:22).
Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”But additional truth from Mt. 25:1-12 reveals that five out of ten virgins from the last generation will have their lamps stop burning before the Lord returns. They will hear the Lord say something different to them:
“I tell you the truth, I don’t know you” (Mt. 25:12).Comment: The Lord Jesus did not say to those five foolish virgins, “I never knew you,” but instead stated that He did not know those virgins any longer, with the words, I don’t know you.
As just proven, eternal security teachers declare a partial truth about salvation as the whole truth and deceive their listeners by doing so. Related facts are not mentioned, but rather avoided, which changes the conclusion from OSAS to a conditional security. Friend, remember the following:
1. A Christian can fall from grace to the point where Christ is of no value to him.
2. A saving faith in Christ can become shipwrecked. Also a true believer can cease believing and become an unbeliever.
3. Eternal life is a hope, yet to be reaped, in the age to come, but only for the ones who sow to please the Spirit, persist in doing good and don’t give up.
4. Under grace, Christians are commanded to keep themselves.
5. A person once known by God can later become unknown!
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand (Jn. 10:27-29).Some people see salvation with “no strings attached,” that is, regardless how far one may stray doctrinally or sinfully, he will always be of the group that shall never perish. But the context of Jn. 10:27-29 destroys this deadly interpretation of the most commonly cited proof text for eternal security. Verse 27 describes the sheep and states they follow Jesus. The Greek word is a continuous tense and describes the only people that will never perish and won't get plucked out of God's hand (vv. 28,29).
More truth on the subject of salvation reveals that the Bible teaches a conditional security for the believer. For example, the Lord Jesus taught those already saved:
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved (Mt. 10:22).Note: Jesus spoke those words to His disciples as they were being sent out to preach and heal. The context is not the Jews during the tribulation period, as eternal security teachers usually say! Moreover, Jesus was not joking when He taught Christians they would have to endure to the end for salvation’s sake!
Furthermore, the Lord taught Christians, after his infinite work on the cross:
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death (Rev. 2:10,11).Comment: Jesus mentioned faithfulness, but not God’s faithfulness to us as stressed by the OSAS teachers, but our faithfulness to God even to the point of death. Such a person is promised something to receive and not receive. He will receive the crown of life and won’t be hurt by the “second death” (another name for the lake of fire, according to Rev. 21:8).
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first (Heb. 3:14).Paul, the real grace teacher, also wrote:
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain (1 Cor. 15:2).1 Cor. 15:2 and Col. 1:22,23 declare the true gospel of grace has a conditional security for the believer attached to it! That was the original message, as taught by the Lord Himself and His Apostles. Do not be deceived by the OSAS false gospel and counterfeit grace message, which is built upon partial truths and Scripture removed from its context.
But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant (Col. 1:22,23).
All documentation for this article can be found in the book cited below.