The Eternal Security Dilemma
by EZEKIELWAR dot COM
... The ancient, hotly debated question: Can a Christian lose his salvation?
The greater question is-----Why are you asking?
OR IS IT--
So, you see, it all depends on who is doing the asking. The minister to whom this question is posed must use great discernment before answering.Romans 10:9,10 reads:
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
[V.10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Some people believe that these verses [above] mean that a single confession is enough for eternal salvation. Indeed, salvation may BEGIN there, but eternal salvation requires that the continual testimony of Jesus Christ becomes our lifestyle unto the day of our death.
"And they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their TESTIMONY; and they loved not their lives unto the death." [Rev. 12:11]
Just because a person doesn't believe in denominational 'eternal security', doesn't mean that he believes in eternal INsecurity.
To those young Christians who are afraid of back-sliding or falling from grace, I say that as long as they have that healthy fear or reverence toward God, they are doing well. Lack of godly fear is presumption and arrogance.
There are a few saved folk who have an INORDINATE fear of God. As they grow in the knowledge of the Lord, that fear will be displaced by the indwelling presence of the love of Christ:
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." [2 Pet 3:18]
"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord ..." [Hosea 6:3]
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear." [1 Jn 4:18]
"... him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." [Jn 6:37]
(We should be continually 'coming' to Him, that is, 'following the Lord'.)
"... I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to KEEP that which I have committed unto Him against that day." [2 Tim 1:12]
"KEEP yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." [Jude v. 21]
So you see we need to 'keep' ourselves, and also to 'abide' in Him. (Jn. Ch. 15)
"If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." [Jn 15:6]
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." [1 Jn 2:6]
We can say: "Once saved, always saved, if you keep wanting to be saved". 'Repentance' demands that Jesus becomes our Lord. This includes embracing the Savior and the Life of salvation. Christ's Lordship cannot be separated from salvation. If you want salvation, you must desire the Savior as Master; you must, as a servant, yearn to conform to His likeness, to follow Him within the veil:
"Every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." [1 Jn 3:3]
No man can enter Heaven without holiness:
"... Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord, looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God ..." [Heb 12:14,15]
... "Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." [1 Cor 6:10]
Not only gross sins, but even fear, unbelief, and "little white lies" can keep one from Heaven.
"... The fearful, and unbelieving ... and ALL liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire ..." [Rev 21:8]
Does 'holiness' mean that the Father sees Jesus in place of us, being blind to our ongoing willful sins, as if grace is an umbrella for continual premeditated sin?
"As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God." [1 Pet 2:16]
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. [V.8] For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." [Gal 6:7,8]
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? [V. 17] If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." [1 Cor 3:16, 17]
"... Do not frustrate the grace of God ..." [Gal 2:21]
"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
[V.27] But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." [Heb 10:26,27]
"Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" [Heb 10:29]
Not to belabor this point, you might also read Hebrews chapter 6:4-8.
Salvation is Conditional:
"... IF you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel ..." [Col. 1:23] THERE'S THAT BIG "IF" WORD!!
"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. [V. 14] For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end." [Heb 3:13,14]
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, IF ye continue in my word, THEN are ye my disciples indeed." [Jn 8:31]
"Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; SO shall ye be My disciples" [Jn 15:8]
"... And the DISCIPLES were called CHRISTIANS first in Antioch." [Acts 11:26]
In the verse above we see that disciples (those who follow the doctrine of Christ) are Christians. By this train of thought it can be said that those who are not disciples (disciplined) are NOT Christians.
"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. ... But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." [Heb 12:6,8]
God wants us to be excited about Him:
"... The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." [Matt.11:12]
"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth." [Rev 3:16]
"... If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." [Luk 9:23]
In order to lay hold on to eternal life, we must "fight the good fight of faith". (1 Tim 6:12) There is warfare involved, and the exercise of putting down our own flesh.
"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." [1 Cor 9:27]
"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." [Rom 13:14]
If the servant squanders his talents:
"... Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." [Matt. 25:30]
"And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." [Luk 13:]
See Matt 24:45-51 regarding the 'blessed' servant and the 'evil' servant.
We are saved FROM sin Not TO sin. (Rom 6:1,2)
We are saved by grace through faith in the finished work of God, for we are His workmanship:
"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." [Philippians 2:13]
"... Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." [Philippians 2:12]
This shows effort on our part, NOT to save ourselves, but to 'work out', like churning butter, that which God has already placed within us. We are to allow Him to bring forth in our lives visibly good fruit in order that the hungry may be fed, and that those in darkness might see light.
"... I have chosen you ... that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain ..." [Jn 15:16]
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." [Matt. 5:16]
Our attitude ought to be conformed to His will, because we are not our own. We are bought not with gold or silver, but with His precious blood.
We should not say, "What is the bare minimum that I can do, and still enter Heaven?" Those who teeter on the fence expose themselves to the risk of falling off into the chasm of eternal oblivion.
Those who ignore the many statements in the Word that exhort us unto good works are despising the blood of Jesus that bought us.
But to you who fear falling from grace, I say, "Receive His love today." Good works cannot save, but we are stimulated by His love unto the good works for which we were created and saved by Him for His pleasure and your profit.
He is faithful to keep you from falling, and will give you the grace to do the ministry that He has apportioned to you. Sufficient for today is the evil thereof; Take no thought for tomorrow. The best way to be in God's will tomorrow, is to be in His will right now. "Rest in Me," says the LORD; "Rest in Me. I Am your Everlasting Surety."
"As for Me, this is My covenant with them, saith the Lord; My Spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever." [Isaiah 59:21]
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." [Luk 12:32]
"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." [Heb. 7:25]
"Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands ..." [Isaiah 49:16]
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