A man came to our Bible study who is terrified that he may not be saved, even though he has received Christ by faith every time the opportunity has been presented. It’s the issue of eternal security. I promised Bill that I would send him a few thoughts to start a dialogue that, hopefully, will end in him having the confidence of his salvation. I'm passing on to you also….
I so enjoyed meeting you last Friday. As promised, here are some verses followed by a few things I have written on eternal security from one of my books and a Facebook post that can, if not resolve this issue for you once and for all, at least get us started in a dialogue. The point is this: Once you have received Jesus you can never lose your salvation. First, the Scriptures since that’s where the real authority and power to change your thinking are contained….
Romans 11:29, “For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” (ametameletos: not repented of: irrevocable, without regret).
1 Peter 1:23, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”
Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
Matthew 28:20. “And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Isaiah 43:13, “Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
Acts 16:31, They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved –you and your household.”
John 6:39, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.”
Joshua 21:45. “Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.”
Romans 8:32-39, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?... For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Now for some writings….
Once Saved, Always Saved
The idea is simple. No one who has believed in Christ can ever fall so far that the hand of God will not lift them up. Jesus put it this way: "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day" (John 6:37-39).
Theologians call this “the perseverance of the saints” or sometimes “eternal security.” It’s the doctrine we sometimes refer to as “once saved, always saved.” The Westminster Confession of Faith says, "They, whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved."
That doesn’t mean we’re immune from sin or get a pass on paying a temporal penalty for sins. The Confession goes on, "Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalence of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God’s displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves."
You may think that because you failed to manage your household well, battle an ongoing marital struggle, or have committed some truly wicked sin that you have disqualified yourself. That’s simply not true. No matter what you’ve done, you can be forgiven. Without the doctrine of "once saved, always saved" heaven would be empty. (from How God Makes Men)
God Will Never Abandon His Children (a Facebook post)
The Bible is the paperwork God filled out to complete our adoption. It says that once we have accepted his offer to adopt us, he will never give us back. It cannot be undone. There is no ambiguity about this. Our adoption by God is unilaterally irrevocable. He will never forsake or abandon us, even if (when) we try to forsake and abandon him. Jonah tried his best to run from God, but it was pointless. Once we agree to be his child, he will never let us go. This should come as no surprise. What adoptive parent would expect their adopted child to never try to run away or act out? In his time, God will complete the good work he began in each of us. Earth is like our foster home. Very soon (in "Bible time"), our adoptive Father will pick us up and take us to live with him in our new home. God loves us far too much to let the children tell the Father what to do.
Bill, let me know what you’re thinking after reading and thinking about this...
Until every church disciples every man…