29 Question 3

Although this question is pretty controversial among Christians, I do appreciate you asking it.  It is a very important question.  Our eternity rests with the answers.

Let me start by saying that eternal security is not even an issue to those who do not have eternal life.  In John 10:27-29 the Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 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.”  We read in 1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”  Eternal life is a gift from God that He gives to all those who have believed, or put their faith in, the Lord Jesus Christ.  John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”  So, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have eternal life.  Without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you’ll not see life, and the wrath of God abides on all those that reject the Lord Jesus.

Although the term, ‘eternal security’ is not found in the Bible, we understand the meaning is that those who are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus will never lose that salvation.  Salvation is a one-time gift of God that lasts forever.  What does eternal mean?  According to the dictionary, it means ‘lasting forever or never ending.’  The very definition of the word gives us a definite clue of its security.  If something lasts forever and never ends, how can it be eternal and also come to an end?  That simply defies the very definition of the word.  Notice how the definition of the word is used of the Lord back in John 10:28 where the Lord says, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”  He says this life he gives is eternal, or never ending, and then He emphasizes the point by stating, “They shall never perish.”  Never perish!  That doesn’t really give room to the idea that this life can ever end.  If it did, it was not eternal in the first place.

Besides just looking at the definition of the word eternal, let’s look at some scriptures that teach about eternal life.  Again, in John 10:28, the Lord says that not only will those with eternal life never perish, but that no one is able to pluck them out of His Father’s hand.  No one: that means that you simply cannot be taken from the Father’s hand once you have trusted in the Lord as your savior.  Can you take yourself out of His hand?  Well, it does say no one, doesn’t it?  Not even yourself!

Let’s listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  It is certainly true that God loves the world, but “the love of God which is in Christ Jesus”, speaks of that relationship love that the Lord has for those who are saved.  His promise in this portion is that ‘nothing’ can separate us from this love of God.

It is so important for all to understand that we are saved by the grace of God and we are kept by the power of God.  We cannot save ourselves and we cannot unsave ourselves.  Let’s look at Ephesians 2:8-9, “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.”  This is so clear: our salvation is based on the grace of God through faith.  “Not of works” means that we cannot earn our salvation.  The only thing the sinner earns is death as we read in Romans 3:23.  Now let’s look at 1 Peter 1:3-5, “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.”  We are kept by the power of God!  Thank God the security of our salvation does not rest on our shoulders.  What a burden that would be to bear!  The Lord, Himself, keeps us by His own power, and there is nothing stronger than the power of God.

Now let’s look at Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  Realizing we are kept by the power of God, how good it is to know that once the Lord begins a good work in us, He will continue that good work until the day the Lord Jesus Christ returns.  Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”  Each believer on the Lord Jesus Christ receives and is sealed with the Holy Spirit as the earnest of our inheritance. Ephesians 4:30 tells us, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”  Having received the Holy Spirit, we see here that we are sealed unto the day of redemption, or the redemption of our bodies when the Lord returns.  We are warned not to grieve the Holy Spirit, but we are assured we cannot grieve Him away.

There are many scriptures that may seem to indicate that a believer may lose his salvation, but a careful study of those portions will show that these are warnings to those who merely profess to be saved.  There are many who say that they are saved, but according to 2 Timothy 2:19, “…The Lord knoweth them that are his.”  There is a day coming when so many people who merely profess to be saved will be exposed.  We read in Matthew 7:22-23, “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.”  Notice the Lord doesn’t say, “You used to be saved, or I used to know you.”  He says emphatically, “I never knew you.”

There is so much more that can be said about the topic of the eternal security of those who trust in Christ.  I encourage you to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 who “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”  (29.3)