The Bible teaches that everyone who is born again by the power of the Holy Spirit is saved forever. We receive the gift of eternal life (John 10:28), not temporary life. Someone who is born again (John 3:3) cannot be “unborn.” After being adopted into God’s family (Romans 8:15), we will not be kicked out. When God starts a work, He finishes it (Philippians 1:6). So, the child of God—the believer in Jesus Christ—is eternally secure in his salvation.
However, the Bible also contains some strong warnings against apostasy. These warnings have led some to doubt the doctrine of eternal security. After all, if we cannot lose our salvation, why are we warned against falling away from the Lord? This is a good question. First, we must understand what is meant by “apostasy.”
An apostate is someone who abandons his religious faith. It is clear from the Bible that apostates are people who made professions of faith in Jesus Christ but never genuinely received Him as Savior. They were pretend believers. Those who turn away from Christ never really trusted Him to begin with, as 1 John 2:19 says, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” Those who apostatize are simply demonstrating that they are not true believers, and they never were.
I went to a Baptist church in Raleigh for several years where the “structure” of the church could be be described as a dictatorship. If you had a question concerning the Bible, the preacher told you the answer and you were chastised if you still had doubts. Parishioners were “tested” unofficially to make sure that they fell into lockstep. One of the tests was eternal salvation. I did not agree with the church’s doctrine so I gave an answer that satisfied them.
I said that I believed in eternal salvation but I lived my life as if I could lose my salvation based on my actions. The Bible teaches us that no murderers will be in heaven. I know of a story of a minister who killed one of his parishioners and was sent to prison. Was he not saved or was he saved and murdered someone? What about the following passage from Revelation 22:19
And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
This is not a post concerning a question to distract us from our walk in life. It is a personal hope that people live their lives in such a manner to make the world a better place for future generations. Churches preach that we are filthy rags and our only hope for salvation is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. Since we have eternal salvation, Jesus will forgive our sins or transgressions and we will live in heaven for eternity. Is that what the Bible teaches? Why have a Judgment Day if this were true?
Or does the Bible teach us that we should become more like Christ and try to be a perfect being? C.S. Lewis has a good lecture on this topic. Imagine if everyone did the right thing when presented with choices in life instead of trying to justify their sins with “eternal salvation”. I wonder if most people know that the Sadducees in Biblical times did not believe in life after death.
What would happen if people of faith lived their lives in a Godly manner? What if decisions were made based on positive consequences, morality and honor instead of greed and power. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. In our world, decisions are made by evil men to control us in every aspect of our lives.
I decide to walk a righteous path and fight evil because I have no choice. I will not have to make excuses to justify bad decisions or actions if I follow the path laid out by the Lord.