God’s Case for Eternal Security
By Terry James
“Who do you say that I am?”
Nothing any person does in life is more important, more crucial, than answering this question. One's response determines an individual’s ultimate destiny, where that person will spend eternity after this short life on Earth is over. And it is indeed a short life lived in our physical bodies. God’s Word, the Bible, speaks truth about the matter: “The days of our years [are] threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength [they be] fourscore years, yet [is] their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psa. 90:10). Again, God’s Word says: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (Jas. 4:14).
Jesus asked that most profound question to ever confront mankind. He asked His disciples directly: “…whom say ye that I am?” (Matt. 16:15). When Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” (Matt. 16: 16), the Lord said, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 16:17).
Jesus went on to declare that He would build His church upon that very foundation. All who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God will become children of the heavenly Father. This truth is confirmed by the inspired words of Paul the apostle following Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection: “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” (Rom. 10:9).
The question posed by Jesus when He asked, “Whom say ye that I am?” is the one every individual has to answer. It is not an option. One must either accept that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, or reject Jesus Christ, thus declaring that Jesus was not and is not who He claimed to be. Believing upon Jesus Christ and His redemptive sacrifice on the cross at Calvary for the sins of mankind (Jn. 3:16) means a person will be saved from sin, which separates the souls of men and women, boys and girls, from God, Christ’s Father. Not believing upon Christ means eternal separation from God in a place of torment called the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-14).
To accept Christ’s sacrifice is to recognize and admit you are a sinner who needs salvation. You must totally believe Christ died for you. You must ask that Jesus come into your soul and become Lord of your life. By inviting Him to come into your life, you agree that you desire to turn from your sinful life and depend upon the Lord to direct your life as He deems best. Jesus instantly comes to dwell within your soul through God the Holy Spirit. This is called being “born again” (Jn. 3:3). You are then a child of God, saved once and for all –for all of eternity. The Holy Spirit dwelling within you begins helping you grow under new management –King Jesus, the Lord of Lords!
Future Secure Forever
Your future is secure because God holds onto you forever, not because you are holding onto Him! This is most important to recognize and remember. Christ does the saving of your soul. Your part is to simply and genuinely accept the grace gift, the sacrifice for redemption God offers through His beloved Son, the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Jn. 1:29; Rev. 13:8).
We know with absolute certainty you are once and forever in God’s family because of the words of the One who created all that exists. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand” (Jn. 10:29). Jesus was speaking about all people who have lived on Planet Earth who have or will in the future accept Him as God’s once-and-for-all sacrifice for the sins of the world. He was telling us, through the Mighty Word of the God of Heaven, that it is impossible for the heavenly Father to ever let a single born-again child of His slip from His omnipotent grip.
The Apostle Paul, under direct inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, nailed down eternal security of the born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He wrote: “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" (Rom. 8:38-39). Paul said further, “…for 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).
Insecurity of Believers
Many who are true Christians today hold that the Bible teaches that people saved by the matchless, unfathomable grace of God can lose salvation if they backslide to the point that sin rules their lives. They reject the Bible truth "once saved always saved." Many of these who believe, preach, and teach insecurity of the believer (that one can lose salvation) declare at the same time that a Christian called “carnal” can be re-redeemed, restored to the family of God upon repentance. They accept part of the truth found in Hebrews 6:4-6, but deny the truth of the other part. That Scripture says: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Jas. 6:4-6).
Those who believe you can fall from grace (lose salvation once you are saved) often put forth that the above Scripture proves their case. They say the words "if they shall fall away" teaches there is the possibility of being saved, then falling away from salvation because of sinfulness. Yet, if the phrase,"if they shall fall away," proves the case that salvation can be lost through sinfulness once one is under the grace of God through Christ's shed blood on the cross of Calvary, how, then, can the person who falls away be restored through repentance? They ignore this Scripture's plain teaching that no one could, if he fell from grace, come back into the salvation fold.
What Hebrews 6: 4-6 teaches, of course, is that it is impossible to lose your salvation. The thing that must be considered here is whether one, if he then lives in sin, without any desire to repent, was ever a born-again believer. Paul wrote, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid” (Rom. 6:1-2). Eternal security is not license to sin without severe consequences. God will discipline His children. In some cases, the heavenly Father will call home His disobedient children who will not heed His corrective measures. The Bible truth about those who claim to be “Christians,” yet who live "like the devil" with seemingly no consequences is this: They are probably the children of another father --the Devil.
John, the great apostle, through divine inspiration, spoke to this Bible truth: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would (no doubt) have continued with us: but (they went out), that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us” (1 Jn. 2:19).
God’s Unbreakable Seal
Almighty God holds the saved within His all-powerful hand, Jesus said. It is stronger than any lamination process that could ever be devised. God’s seal cannot be broken under any circumstances. Paul wrote about Jesus and those who truly believe in Him for their salvation: “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” (Eph. 1:13-14).
Paul wrote that a believer should strive never to disappoint or grieve God. But in the next thought, he assures that the believer is eternally secure, no matter what: “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
The Lord explained, through John, the relationship of the born-again child of God to his or her heavenly Father when it comes to the matter of sin: “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:6-9).
Some claim that once saved, a person can live in sinless perfection. Let’s see what God says about this: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 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: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jn. 1:10-2:4).
When Jesus Prays
When the Lord Jesus prays, the heavenly Father ALWAYS grants His Son’s prayer. Jesus prayed for the children of God –all children past, present, and future, saved through Christ’s precious shed blood: "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them…Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (Jn. 17: 9-10; 20-26).
Paul wrote extensively about his own sinfulness –and he meant the sin he committed after his Damascus Road experience. He was saved, yet sinned, much to his sorrowful remorse. Read Romans, beginning with verse 14. He then wrote the following, telling us that we live above sin because we are seen by the heavenly Father through Christ Jesus, not through our flesh: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:1-17).
Jesus is the One who makes us free. If we are free in Him, we are free indeed! Eternally!