Once we have defined who a true believer is we can show why such an individual can be assured of their salvation. The Bible says quite clearly that we can know that we have eternal life:. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. Although this is the strongest verse telling us that we can know that we have eternal life, it is not the only biblical evidence.
The Bible also says we can know that. If it is true that we cannot know for sure if we are saved, how can we know all these other things, which are dependent upon salvation? The Bible makes numerous claims that believers have been chosen and called by God and predestined to be His heirs. I am listing all these verses in the text below rather than in the references section so that you get an appreciation of how prevalent these teachings are.
In other words, these are not "one verse" ideas. To the eternal security skeptic: Please cite one verse in the Bible where God disowns one of His children.
The Bible also indicates that believers have been predestined, even before the creation of the world:. Please cite one verse in the Bible where God unpredestines a believer. In addition, the Bible indicates that believers are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, according to the promises of God:. Please cite one verse in the Bible where God disinherits a believer. Please cite one verse where God breaks a promise.
The Bible says God's call is irrevocable. Please cite one verse in the Bible where God uncalls a believer. Please cite one verse in the Bible where God unchooses a believer. Please cite one verse in the Bible where God unseals a believer. Please cite one verse in the Bible where God unglorifies a believer.
Please cite one verse in the Bible where a believer can be unborn again. Over 80 verses, from virtually every New Testament book indicates that the believer is predestined, called, chosen, and sealed as a child of God to be an heir with Christ for glorification in heaven. The idea that believers can never have assurance of their salvation is something that is refuted over and over in the Bible. Throughout the Bible are promises of eternal life to believers.
None of these verses indicate that one can lose the eternal life that God promises:. John tells us in 1 John 5: If it's true that we can lose our salvation, why does John say that we can know we have eternal life? Dozens of other verses explain how believers can earn rewards in heaven by doing good works on earth 20 although such works do not get one into heaven. If we can lose our salvation, what happens to all those rewards we had supposedly earned?
The Bible indicates that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. What about "believers" who live in a continual state of sin? Such individuals are hypocrites and not believers at all.
The Bible indicates that believers do not practice sin on a routine basis. It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife Paul indicates that the man was committing incest with his father's wife mother?
So, a true believer cannot lose his salvation through sin. There is one sin that the Bible indicates is unforgivable - blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Hence, attributing the works of God to Satan is an unforgivable sin, being in essence, complete unbelief. In fact, unbelief is the only sin that cannot be forgiven. Can a true believer fall into unbelief? According to all the verses list previously, the answer is no. The Bible says believers will persevere, even in the face of extreme opposition.
It is difficult to confirm that these individuals were, in fact, true believers. Several atheists have written to me making such a claim. However, upon making further inquires of them, it has been clear that they never truly understood what faith meant, and never had any kind of experience with the Holy Spirit. So, I have never been able to confirm that a true believer has ever gone into unbelief. Even if they did, we would not know if they came back to faith later in their lives.
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Dozens of websites claim that the believer does not have any security for salvation. This is a summary and rebuttal to their arguments. One of their main complaints is that the doctrine of eternal security might lead to licentiousness increased sinning.
However, those who value sin above Jesus are not real believers anyway.
If we’re called to bring believers back from their wandering, does that mean true believers can lose their faith? In this lab, John Piper deals with the security of every believer, and draws in lots of texts to explain how God keeps his children from falling away. INTRODUCTION. A. The Debate on Eternal Security. The Salvation Army Handbook on Doctrine says, "Some truly converted people have fallen from grace, and.
My contention is that those kinds of people would practice sin whether or not they believed in eternal security. So, the claim that the doctrine of eternal security might lead to licentiousness is a red herring. Here are their other arguments. The parable of the sower has been used by eternal security skeptics as proof that eternal security does not exist, since Jesus indicates that at least one group "fell away.
The first group does not even understand the gospel message, hence doesn't believe. Both the second and third groups fall into this category. Neither group produces any fruit. It would be quite a stretch saying that these groups represent true believers.
True believers always produce some fruit although the amount of fruit can vary considerably. Since the "seed" in the parable is the preaching of the gospel, it is clear that none of the first three groups ever preached the gospel to others. So, it is quite clear that none of these people were true believers at any point before they "fell away. Some of these people who call Jesus "Lord, Lord" are actually practicing evil. So, these people are not backsliding Christians, but unbelievers who were never truly saved.
In all instances, the context is persecution of the followers of Jesus by unbelievers. A true believer will hold onto his faith in Christ even in the face of persecution. One should note that none of these verses say that a person will lose their salvation if he fails to stand firm. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. There will always be those who pretend to be believers, but do not hold to the teachings of Jesus.
But the verse doesn't say that. It says that the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God. The Holy Spirit is not given to those who pretend to obey God, but to those who actually obey. The verse does not say that one can lose the Holy Spirit or his salvation through an act of disobedience. If this were true, then none would ever be saved.
However, the context makes the meaning clear. Here is the preceding verse:. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; Romans 2: The last part of the verse should be chilling to all people who have a realistic understanding of their moral condition.
The phrase "all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law" refers to anybody who has ever sinned at any time - this means everybody! In other words, if you choose to live under the law you will be condemned by it! Personally, I prefer living under the grace of God given through faith in Jesus Christ. The eternal security skeptics are welcome to live under the law if they want, but I don't recommend it! The answer is found in the very next verse, which says, "those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. The verse does not refer to believers.
Elsewhere, Paul makes it clear that there are "so-called brothers" 37 who are really unbelievers, practicing evil within the church body. Paul says to kick them out of the congregation. In 1 Corinthians 9: Although Paul talks about being "disqualified," he is not speaking of salvation at all, but of service. He was not suggesting that he might ever be lost, but that he might not stand the test as far as his service was concerned, and might be rejected for the prize, which exactly fits the meaning of the word "disqualified" from an athletic context. Paul recognizes the possibility that the Lord might determine him as no longer usable by Him hence "disqualified".
Paul indicated that he did what he did for the gospel to "share in its blessings," 40 hence his motivation not to be "disqualified. The next verse makes it clear that the "fall" is in reference to succumbing to temptation:. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. So, the verse is referring to standing under temptation rather than falling into it.
It does refer to salvation at all. In his introduction, Paul says the gospel is the means "by which also you are saved" and adds, "if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. However, the broader context shows that the "believing in vain" refers to one's position if one accepts the false premise that there is no resurrection. In fact, Paul flat out says in verse 14 "if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
Paul indicates that believers are reconciled to God "in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach. Such verses will cause the casual "believer" to examine his faith for veracity. In 2 Thessalonians 2: Although I know that Christians can be deceived, this passage in no way is about salvation.
It is about the timing of the second coming of Christ, which cannot occur until the antichrist is revealed. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 4: They knew about the Lord Jesus Christ and professed for a time to follow Him, but then they apostatized from the faith. The context shows that the passage is referring to the treatment of widows. Paul gives the advice that the older widows are to be taken care of by the church.
However, the younger widows are to remarry and raise a family as opposed to becoming "gossips and busybodies. We don't know if these widows were true believers or not. It is possible that their husbands had been believers while they were not.
The reason the antichrists left was to show they were not of us, that is, of God. Last example and not the least is Judas Iscariot. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command. Otherwise, no one who believes in Christ can be sure he or she presently has eternal life--which is in contradiction to 1 John 5: He summarizes this important doctrine with five critical truths. The Bible says quite clearly that we can know that we have eternal life:.
Hebrews chapter 3 is about how the children of Israel rebelled when Moses was leading them out of Egypt. Verse 12 says, "See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. However, the verse warns the congregation not to have an unbelieving heart. In other words, it is referring to unbelievers within church.
Verse 14 says we "share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end.
In looking at the overall context of the chapter, it is making reference to those who rebelled against Moses and God, which were the unbelievers. Ultimately, the passage makes this clear in verses If that is the case, then they must be harmonized with the above sections of Scripture.
But I do not see how it is possible, especially in light of John 6: The third Scripture I want to focus on is 1 John 2: It says, "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us. The context is as follows.
Now, some people say this verse does not prove eternal security because the people who left were antichrists; and they naturally would not have stayed. But, John is not telling us that if the antichrists had been of them, they would have stayed with him. That would make no sense. The reason the antichrists left was to show they were not of us, that is, of God. John declares that if these people had been "of us, they would have remained. To me, this declares clearly that those who really are of God will remain; and those who are not will leave. It does not say that Christians become antichrists or that Christians lose their salvation.
It differentiates between those who are true and false and states that the false will leave and the true will stay. Predestination is another controversial topic within the Christian church. Nevertheless, predestination is biblical. To predestine means that God has foreordained, chosen to bring about, what he has decided to accomplish. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.
If so, would that not mean that God, who has foreordained whatsoever shall come to pass predestined , has ordained that he lose some of those whom he has called from eternity--just so he can lose them? That makes no sense. Is not God powerful enough or knowledgeable enough in his predestination to ensure that the ones whom he has chosen for salvation 2 Thess. It would seem to me that God's abilities far surpass our weaknesses and frailties.
The goal of this paper is not to provide an exhaustive study on the topic of eternal security. Instead, it is to present what I see as the definitive Scriptures supporting our security with Christ. Having said that, I am not aware of convincing arguments that can refute my understanding of John 6: If any exist, I'm always open to examining them and be corrected since I desire to represent God's Word properly.
Christians on both sides of this argument fail to be gracious. Each side sometimes misrepresents the other's position. Therefore, we must honestly try to represent the other side properly before tackling it. Still, as Christians, we must learn to be gracious to one another as Romans Another concern I have is that the extremists on both sides point fingers at each other and accuse the other side of the worst heresy possible.
I have heard eternal security labeled as a doctrine of demons, straight from the pit of hell, and a purposeful excuse to abide in sin. Such accusations are foolish at best, and those who make them should repent. I've likewise heard people refer to conditional security as nothing more than works' righteousness which leads to damnation. But is this a fair representation of the conditional salvation position? Most of those who hold to that view believe in salvation by grace through faith alone. Personally, I believe we are saved with a great deal of error and ignorance.
The essentials revolve around the person of Christ and his work--not our faithfulness, not our goodness, not our ability to maintain ourselves. Instead, we must keep our eyes focused on Christ and his accomplishment and rest in him--not in our ability to stay saved, to remain faithful, to keep believing, etc. No one has everything perfectly understood regarding this topic.
Therefore, the best we can do is be faithful to God according to the understanding we have, treat fellow Christians with love and grace, and seek not to mislead others either into a license to sin or inadvertently advocate keeping our salvation by being good. Each position has its strengths and weaknesses; and if I understand human depravity properly, I know that it doesn't take much for us to use the grace of God for evil--no matter what position you hold. So, let us be careful when judging others.
What is the Eternal Security of the Believer? I will deal with three sets of scriptures: Predestination Predestination is another controversial topic within the Christian church. Conclusion The goal of this paper is not to provide an exhaustive study on the topic of eternal security.