I've noticed when the eternal security teachers refer to the gospel from 1 Cor. 15:1-4, they often make a point of avoiding verse 2! They usually do this by starting to read or write at verse 3 and just mentioning, in passing, the subject of Paul's gospel from verse 1. (David Breese does this in his tracts: Heaven And How To Get There and The Assurance Of Salvation.) Sometimes, however, the omission of verse 2 is much more obvious, but only to those who know what that verse says or to those who will spend the time to check the reference and read it from the Bible for themselves! One example of this exact kind of omission by an eternal security teacher is the following:
"For example, in Ephesians 2:8-9 the Apostle Paul declared, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God Not of works, lest any man should boast.' Paul also identified the specific Word of God in which people of this present age must believe in order to be saved. That Word is the gospel defined in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received and in which ye stand; By which also ye are saved . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures' " (Israel My Glory, December/January 1994/95; Volume 52, No. 6, by Dr. Renald Showers, p.11).What are the missing words, as indicated by the three dots? They are most of verse 2 and part of verse 3, as quoted in the King James Bible as follows:
"IF ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, UNLESS YE HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN. For I declared unto you first of all that which I also received, how"Why do you suppose those clear and powerful words from verse 2 were omitted? Do they affect the statement being quoted by their omission? Though we can't answer the "why" question, we can the second. Certainly, the omitted words from verse 2 clearly teach the believer's security is CONDITIONAL and not unconditional as Dr. Showers embraces as true. Showers cut short verse 2 immediately before the conditional word "if" is stated, thereby making the statement seem unconditional instead of conditional! Reader, can you see how this completely changes the original statement by the Apostle Paul? If you made the statement: "Interstate 70 will lead you to Denver, Colorado in ten hours, if you don't stop too many times" and someone later quoted you, omitting the latter part of that statement which begins with the word "if," it would be a distortion! This is similar to what the eternal security teachers often do with 1 Cor. 15:2!
Please note, Paul used all those words in verse 2 to explain his gospel of grace! By these words, Paul clearly stated that in his gospel, the believer's security was CONDITIONAL EVEN BEFORE he mentioned the death, burial and resurrection of Christ in verses 3 and 4! Though the eternal security adherents hate this fact, they can't refute it! See also Rom. 11:19-23 and Col. 1:23, two other Pauline passages which also show the believer's security is conditional!
Beloved, remember the whole truth is vital regardless how disturbing or unpopular that truth may be!