Eternal Security: Perseverance of the Saints

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
(John 10:27-30 ESV)

Perseverance of the Saints, as well as the corollary—though distinct—doctrine known as “Once Saved, Always Saved”, is a Calvinist teaching that asserts that once persons are truly “born of God”, or “regenerated” nothing in heaven or earth “shall be able to separate (them) from the love of God.”

  •  
  • For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 8:38-39 ESV)

Sometimes this position is held in conjunction with Reformed Christian Confessions of Faith in traditional Calvinist doctrine which argues that all men are “dead in trespasses and sins”, and thus, apart from being ressurrected from spiritual death to spiritual life none choose salvation of their own accord.

Calvinists maintain that God (YHWH) selected certain individuals before the world began and then draws them to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. They believe that when Jesus said, “No man can come unto Me except the Father which hath sent Me draw him”, that Jesus was saying that men had to be drawn to Him by God before they would believe. Calvinists have long taught that when the apostle Paul wrote, “God hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4), that it the passage is meant be understood that God actually choses believers in Christ before the world was founded. According to Calvinism, God begins a good work in some and then continues it. They attempt to prove this with the text from the book of Phillipians where the apostle Paul writes, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”.

  • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
    (Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV)

There also are many non-Calvinists who also maintain that once a person is saved they can never be lost. This Free Grace or non-traditional Calvinist doctrine is found predominantly in “free will” Baptist theology, but chalso other Protestant chures of the evangelical tradition.

The doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints is distinct from the doctrine of Assurance which describes how a person may first be sure that they have obtained salvation and an inheritance in the promises of the Holy Bible including eternal life. The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches on Perseverance of the Saints and on Assurance of Grace and Salvation.

  • “The very gospel comes under attack when the eternal security of the believer is questioned.”
    (Charles Stanley)

Paul the Apostle, in his Epistle to the Galatians, wrote, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
(Ephesians 4:30 ESV)

In his Epistle to the Hebrews, Paul the Apostle wrote, “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
(Hebrews 6:4-6 ESV)

Certainly, this passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews seems to indicate that a believer can lose his salvation.

Todd Steandberg wrote, I think the most flagrant problem with the doctrine of eternal security is the notion that people can confess to be a Christians, and yet live a life so depraved that the devil himself would refuse to associate with them. Those who promote eternal security never mention the fact that people openly abuse the sin option. I remember one prime example.One day I was talking with a gentleman about prophecy, and from the start I was aware of the fact he was smoking, which usually doesn’t bother me. However, when he begin using profanity, that did bother me. I thought it would be a good idea to ask him whether he believed that Christians could miss out on the rapture. He, of course, didn’t think it was possible for believers to fall away, causing them to miss the rapture. As the conversation progressed, or better said digressed, he continued to chain smoke, curse repeatedly, and refer to certain racial groups by using inappropriate terms. He had little knowledge of the Bible, but he did know all the once-saved-always-saved Scriptures by heart. I quoted several responsibility Scriptures to him, but he refused to ponder one them. It was like talking to a member of some mind-control cult. Somehow, we got to talking about his smoking habit, and he gave me an explanation that I just could not believe. This guy, with a straight face. explained to me that because he’s a child of God, whatever he did was God’s will being done.He pointed to the cigarette he was smoking and said, “I’m smoking this because God wants me to, and when He wants me to stop, He’ll tell me.” I should have asked him, “How could it be the Lord’s will that Christians should cheat on their spouses or abuse their children?” I’ve heard this demonic theory before, but I never thought I’d meet anyone who believed it. Well, after several hours of listening to his “it God’s will” reasoning and after realizing I was getting nowhere, I decided I had enough. I bluntly told him, “That cigarette you have in your hand is your god, and until you make Jesus Christ number one in your life, you will never see the Kingdom of God.” His reaction amazed me. He cursed God’s name, saying, “There is no [expletive] way He is going to leave one of His own behind.” It really wasn’t the cursing that amazed me; what amazed me was that fact he had no idea that the Bible and his beliefs were so contradictory to the Bible.

Most theologians that hp;d to the doctrine of eternal security  are leading many believers astray. In effect they are granting believers a “license to sin” through the under the grace of the atonement of  Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach).

Paul the Apostle wrote, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain” (Philippians 2:12-16 ESV).

Personally, there is too much at stake to play roulette with my eternal soul, I have my own salvation to work out with much fear and trembling. Paul the Apostle said, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 ESV).

It is my conclusion that “once saved, always saved:” is another false doctrine and tradition. A Christian can certainly become a serial killer. The only question remaining is, was he a Christian to begin with, or did he turn his back on and reject his faith?

Advertisements