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Eternal Security and Counterfeit Salvation, Part 3
by Carl Light
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Eternal Security

Some that have opposing views of Eternal Security argue that those who believe in it are simply looking for a free ticket to sin. This is absolutely untrue! Some of the most dedicated Christians I know are believers of Eternal Security. We believe that the way of the transgressor is hard. We believe that while God・s love is unconditional, many of His blessings are VERY conditional. We know that God chastises His own for disobedience.

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Hebrews 12:8

Even if someone who professes to be a Christian murders someone, they do not loose their salvation. There is a very good chance that he was not truly saved in the first place because when we are saved we are changed and have a new heart of love and our desires and convictions are changed. If such a person who commits such an act really is saved, they still do not loose their salvation. This does NOT mean that such a person would get away with committing the sin however. The saved must stand before the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ and give an account for everything they have done as a child of God.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2Corrinthians 5:10

Therefore, though salvation is not lost, atonement must be made for sin. There is no free ticket to sin for anyone.

The bible teaches us that we must first be born again to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. When a person is born into this world, they are born into a particular family. Nothing they can ever do including changing their name, disassociating themselves with their family, and even moving to another part of the world and never having family contact again will ever change their membership in that family. When we are saved, we are born into the family of God. We actually become a child of God through spiritual birth and therefore, just as nothing can change which family we were born into in this world, so it is with being born into the family of God.

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother・s womb, and be born? 5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
John 3:1-7

The bible teaches that when we are saved, we become a new creature. Notice that it does not say we are a changed creature, but a new creature, just as a baby born of the flesh is new and not something altered or remodeled. Logical reasoning says that if something changes, it can changed back to its previous state by reversing the actions which changed it the first time. If something is new however, it has no previous state . Since the born again is a mew creature and not a changed creature, it can not therefore be changed back to anything. As born again Christians, we are a new creature and the old person which died out to sin has been reborn of the Spirit. To undo salvation (which is what it would mean to lose ones salvation) it would mean that that we would have to die spiritually and resurrect the sinful creature. There is absolutely no biblical basis to support such a concept.

A corny analogy to illustrate the inability of something to change back to a state which existed before it began would be the use of the ":back"; button on your internet browser. Wen we surf the internet, we can navigate forward and backward by using the :back; and :forward; buttons on the tool bar of our internet browser. The :back; button will take us back to previously viewed web pages. However, when we first access the internet after opening the browser, the :back; button is not available for use. This is because we have not previously viewed any web pages yet. We are in a NEW secession and we can not go back beyond the start of our secession.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

How do we as parents, deal with disobedient children? Do we throw them away? Do we kill them? Of course not! We discipline them and show them the error of their ways. Does God love us less than we love our children? Certainly not. The bible reveals to us how He deals with His disobedient children. He chastises us and convicts us. If we continue in disobedience He may even bring us home.

To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 5:5

The above verse means that God would take away our live on earth rather than take away our grace.

When the children of Israel were freed from bondage in Egypt and led through the wilderness to the promise land by Moses, these people who had witnessed the mighty power of God with their own eyes showed no love nor obedience to God. When Moses was gone into the mountains to talk with God, the people quickly turned to wickedness. They were having orgies and even worshiping idols they had built. They did these things in spite of what God had done for them. If anything would provoke God to destroy a people, surely this would do it, yet being children of God, they were spared and God continued to love them and provide their every need. They did not go unpunished however, they were made to wonder in the wilderness for forty years. The point is that God・s love for His children prevailed even when they sinned and displeased Him. He punished them, yet He kept them..
The bible teaches us that under the dispensation of grace, we become God・s children when we accept Christ as our savior. Would God do less for His children today? The bible teaches that God never changes and that God is no respecter of persons (caring for one more than another).

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Malachi 3:6

For there is no respect of persons with God.
Romans 2:1

The parable of the prodigal son tells of a man with two sons; one who was respectful, loyal, and obedient to his father and stayed with him to help tend his fathers flock. The other son was not loyal and chose to leave his father and go his own way. The son who left and went against his father・s wishes, eventually lost the inheritance his father had given him before he had left. He found life to be so difficult that he desired to return to his father・s home to work as a servant. He did not expect to be accepted as a family member upon his return since he had chosen to leave. He only hoped to be accepted as a servant. He did not realize how his father had missed him and had been looking for his return ever since he had left. When he returned, he was no doubt surprised to find that not only was he welcomed back, but he was welcomed back as family! He had not lost his membership in the family at all. In fact his father was so filled with joy at his return than had a celebration feast. His brother was jealous because he had stayed with his father, yet a feast had not been prepared to honor him. When he expressed this to his father, the father reminded him that everything he owned was his.

This parable is found in Luke 15:11-32

From this parable we can derive several points that relate to the security of the believer.

h First we find that when the son left his father, life was very difficult for him.

Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
Proverbs 13:15

A back slider is not someone who loses their salvation, but rather it is someone who drifts out of fellowship with God. The prodigal son is a representation of such a person. When we get out of fellowship with God, we are not in a position to receive the best blessings of God. Thus the way of a transgressor is hard.

h We also find in the parable that the prodigal son lost the rewards of his inheritance. Again, salvation is no free ticket to sin. Just as the prodigal son lost his rewards for his transgression against his father, we as Christians are subject to loose rewards based on how we live out our Christian lives.

Every man・s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man・s work of what sort it is. 14If any man・s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any man・s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
1 Corinthians 3:13-15

h Finally, we see in the parable that the prodigal son did not loose his position in the family. He lost rewards, but his status as a son was not lost! A portion of the previous verse bares repeating hereK

Khe shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be savedK

The book of Matthew foretells of a judgement in which some will believe they are worthy to enter God・s kingdom based upon their works. Christ will not permit them to enter however and will command them to depart from his presence.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Mathew 7:21-23

There is a very powerful piece of evidence in this scripture that supports the reality of eternal security. Notice the exact words of Jesus :KI never knew youK; If such a person had lost their salvation then Jesus could not use the words :I NEVER knew you;. If they had ever been saved, he would have to say something like, :I no longer know you; or :I do not know you;, but the word :never; indicates that they NEVER were saved. Therefore Jesus will not be speaking to those who lost their salvation, but he will be talking to those who had a :counterfeit; salvation!

Some may argue that the first portion of that scripture states that only those who do the will of God will enter God・s kingdom and therefore those who do not or cease to do God・s will; will not enter into Heaven even if they are saved, thus proving that eternal security is a false doctrine. This is a case of basing a doctrine on a single isolated piece of scripture which is one way of taking scripture out of context. Let・s look at what God・s will isK

God・s will can of course be many things, but the essence of God・s will is found in the following verse of scriptureK

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Peter 3:9

In other words, God・s will is that all people would be saved. Why do I believe that of all the other scriptures which inform us of God・s other wills, this one reveals His primary will? First, the entire bible is centered around this objective. The other wills of God are reflected in the bibles other objective which is to serve as a guide for God・s people on how to live our lives in a way pleasing to Him. The will of God that we be saved however, has to be accomplished first because there is no way that the unsaved can please God.

So then we can see that when we allow God to save us, we have done the will of God which is that part of doing God・s will that permits us to enter His kingdom. Doing or not doing God・s will after we are saved determines our blessings, our fellowship with God, and how we will stand at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

Also consider that once we have fulfilled the first and primary part of God・s will (being saved) we receive the benefit of having Christ as our intercessor by which we can be forgiven for our transgressions.

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Romans 8:34

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:25

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:25

If sin caused us to loose our salvation, what need would there be for an intercessor? Think about this; If we lost our salvation when we commit sin, then along with our salvation we would loose our intercessor also and therefore never have the opportunity to make use of that privilege. The only way this intercessor plan could work is if we remained saved when we commit sin!

Jesus speaks very directly about the security of his sheep (the saved)K

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.
John 10:28-29

There are two parts in these versus which tell us that our salvation is secure. One part is very obviousK :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.; The other part may be easily overlooked. Look at the first part of this passage, :And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish;

Think about this; If Jesus gives us eternal life when we are saved, then we lost our salvation, it would mean we never really had eternal life. Eternal means without end. Once it begins, it never ends. Also consider that if the saved never perish as Jesus says, then it would be impossible to loose our salvation and therefor perish without making him a liar. Don・t get tripped up in word games: never means never and it never means anything else. This promise of Eternal Security goes into effect in the hear and now and is not conditional on anything. Jesus is speaking in the present tense when he says I GIVE unto them eternal life. If the promise of eternal life began at a future time only after we had proved to meet a certain standard or requirement, then Jesus would have to speak here in the future tense and say something like :I WILL give them eternal life. Jesus・ promise to us is clear. The saved have the gift of eternal life already and it will never be taken away.

Paul said
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30

The exact wording here is very important. :sealed; means protected or secure. It is untouchable. The word "are" is also far more important than it may seem. "are" indicates that the seal is in effect NOW! We are not at risk in loosing our salvation until the day of redemption when we can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Rather, we are secure now, while we await for the day of redemption. The first part of that verse tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is grieved when we who are saved do not live accordingly.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:3-5

In this verse the word "kept" speaks clearly of the security of our salvation. If a man is saved and afterwards is lost then he was not kept and it would therefore mean that this these words of God in the bible would be untrue.

Salvation is a gift from God. There is absolutely nothing anyone has ever done to obtain salvation except for accepting it. No amount of good works, good morals, or good behavior can be counted for salvation. God is the only one who can save. The work was done by Christ.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

Salvation is completely out of man's reach except through Jesus Christ. We can not create it, we can not duplicate it, we can not change it, we can not destroy it, we can not give it, and we can not loose it! We can not undo a work which God has done

Salvation is a free gift to us, but it cost our savior his life. He had to die a horrible death to pay for our sins. We the born again children of God, were paid for with the blood of Christ.

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God・s.
1 Corinthians 6:20

This is why I sign my e-mails with "I may not look like much, but I cost a bunch!" Knowing then what our savior went through and knowing the extreme price he paid for us, does it make sense that he would throw us away? Do you burn your house down because it has a leaky facet? Would you send your expensive sports car to the crusher because it gets a scratch on it? No, of course not. You would most likely buff out the scratches, repair the dents and dings and do whatever was necessary to restore the vehicle to its original condition.

Our lives sometimes get blemished and the Lord has to work on us. Sometimes that work is in the form of chastisement, trials, and sometimes it may take the form of simple edification through teaching, preaching, or rebuke by our brothers and sisters. Jus as we would not send an expensive car to the crusher for having a blemish, our Heavenly father does not :junk us; when we fall short of pleasing Him. If we would not throw a way a car that has become blemished because of the investment we have in it, how much more will our Heavenly father keep us of whom he has given His only begotten son in exchange for us?

What about the versus that speak contrary to the concept of eternal security? In my view, there are no versus that speak contrary to the concept of eternal security. There are some versus however that when taken out of context can certainly seem to do so. One verse that is often taken out of context in this way is shown belowK

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:62

As I・ve said before, part of seeing the context of scripture is to look at the verses surrounding the one(s) in question. Now look at the versus which precede the verse aboveK

And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:57-62

When we consider ALL the versus leading up to the one which seems to contradict eternal security, we can see that it is not about eternal security at all. The context of these versus is on commitment, priorities, and focus in following the Lord. Now that we have the proper context for the scripture, let・s look specifically at the verse in question to derive it・s true meaning.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:62

These words of Jesus are in response to the man who wanted to bid his family farewell before following Jesus. Once we decide to follow Jesus, it is an all or nothing commitment. Many people today want to straddle the fence and keep one foot in the world and one foot on the solid rock which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is saying here that such a commitment is no commitment at all. Jesus said that he would rather someone be hot or cold than to be luke-warm. Jesus said we can not serve two masters. Jesus taught that we are to be separated from the world. How can one plow a straight row, if he is looking over his shoulder? He must focus on a target and keep his eyes on it constantly and aim straight for it. When he does this, his walk will be straight and the work resulting from his walk (the plowed furrow) will be straight. Similarly, if we commit our life to God and strive only to serve Him according to his will, our Christian walk will be straight and unwavering and our works will be fruitful. The bible says that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

While this verse does not pertain to a person loosing their salvation, it could be very descriptive not only of an uncommitted Christian, but also to someone with a counterfeit salvation. A person who simply goes through a ritual of being saved without truly being broken over their sin and not really giving their heart to the Lord with a dedication to serve Him will not have the kind of commitment that Jesus is talking about in this scripture. So wile the scripture is not in reference to a person loosing their salvation, it can be synonymous of a person having that condition that many people confuse with lost salvation which is a condition of having a counterfeit salvation.

Another verse of scripture than leads some to doubt eternal security isK

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Hebrews 10:26

This verse is not referring to someone loosing their salvation either, but rather it applies to the person who hears the gospel, thereby receiving the knowledge of the truth and yet rejecting God・s gift of salvation. If a person dies in this state, there is no more opportunities for salvation. There is no more sacrifice, no more means of forgiveness for those who choose not to accept the one and only way of forgiveness which is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ who is the sacrifice given for the remission of sin for all who will accept it. This pertains to the unforgivable sin of blaspheming against the Holy ghost which is to reject God・s gift of salvation through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Here is Matthew Henry・s commentary on Hebrews 10:26

The exhortations against apostacy and to perseverance, are urged by many strong reasons. The sin here mentioned is a total and final falling away, when men, with a full and fixed will and resolution, despise and reject Christ, the only Saviour; despise and resist the Spirit, the only Sanctifier; and despise and renounce the gospel, the only way of salvation, and the words of eternal life. Of this destruction God gives some notorious sinners, while on earth, a fearful foreboding in their consciences, with despair of being able to endure or to escape it. But what punishment can be sorer than to die without mercy? We answer, to die by mercy, by the mercy and grace which they have despised. How dreadful is the case, when not only the justice of God, but his abused grace and mercy call for vengeance! All this does not in the least mean that any souls who sorrow for sin will be shut out from mercy, or that any will be refused the benefit of Christ's sacrifice, who are willing to accept these blessings. Him that cometh unto Christ, he will in no wise cast out.

If I did not believe in eternal security, I could not have any peace because I am so imperfect. I do things I should not do and don・t do things I should do. I slip, I stumble, I sin. Therefore, if I did not have the peace that comes with the belief in eternal security, I would be constantly worrying that I had crossed that undefined line which would take God・s grace away from me. I would have to wonder at just what point do we loose our salvation; after one sin, after two sins, after ten sins? God・s word says that if we break one commandment, we have broken them all. God says to know to do that which is good and do it not is sin. How often do we break this one!? Knowing I am so imperfect, but not knowing at what point I would loose my salvation, I would not want to take a chance on my eternal destiny, so I would therefore feel the need to be saved several times a week and sometimes several times a day!!! I・m so glad I don・t have to worry about loosing my salvation however. When I fail and come short of His will, he will correct me, chastise me, and edify me., but my salvation remains secure through it all sealed unto the day of redemption.

This is my case for eternal security. While I do passionately believe in eternal security, I do not believe the issue should be a barrier hindering loving fellowship between the Christians who believe in it and those that do not. I do believe however that those who do not believe in eternal security can not have the same appreciation of God・s grace and the finished work of Calvary.

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