Some call it “Eternal Security“. Others scornfully call it , “Once Saved, Always Saved“. The problem is that you almost always hear the argument from the negative side and hardly ever from the positive side. The negative side are those that believe that salvation can be lost. The positive side are from those who believe it can never be lost. I believe the latter and with good cause. Not because my dad, grandpa, great grandpa, & great great grandpa believed it, which they did, but because the scriptures plainly teach it.
This may seem unusual coming from me if you’re familiar with this website, but I will be using quite a few references to the Greek and Hebrew languages. Why? Because I plainly want you to understand the meanings of the words used in my reference passages.
My first reference is in John 10:26 where Jesus is being very plain spoken about those who belong to Him. John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 10:30 I and my Father are one.
Do you see the word never in verse 27? The Lord said; “and they shall never perish“. The word never comes from the Greek words “ou me”, “oo may”; a double neg. strengthening the denial; not at all:–any more, at all, by any (no) means, neither, never, no (at all), in no case (wise), nor ever, not (at all, in any wise). In other words, not ever going to perish in hell. Very strong meaning there and the Savior intended it to be that way so there’s no question about it.
The second thing I want you to note is what follows this statement: “neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand“. The word “pluck” that also comes from the Greek, is harpazo and means: har-pad’-zo; to seize (in various applications):–catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force). Are you strong enough to take someone out of the Lord’s hand? Well Jesus even went further on to say that not only are the redeemed in His hand but also in the Lord God’s hand. Then He made even the further interjection in verse 30 that “I and my Father are one“. If you think that you can over power the Lord Jesus Christ and remove His redeemed from His hand, think again. He is God! Neither can you pluck yourself from His hand.
We also need to consider what is saved when we’re saved by the Lord. Is it this natural body? No! This natural body is sin and God will not have any part of that! Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
The sinful flesh has to be denied (killed off) daily so that the Holy Spirit can work in us. Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: & 1st Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. In other words we’re to keep the flesh from sinning by spiritually killing it off daily. Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Is it this mind of ours? No, the mind is the spirit of man and it’s tied to both the soul and a carnal body. Therefore subject to being carnal! Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. & Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. & Romans12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The only thing left that can be saved is your soul! James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. & James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. & Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. & 1st Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Now, what’s the scripture say about the soul that is saved? 1st John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. To understand this you need to remember the above explanation and know that 1st John 3:6-9 cannot be talking about the flesh so it must therefore, be talking about the soul. The flesh sins so it would be an impossibility to use this verse concerning the flesh. The soul in essence is no longer at the mercy of the sinful flesh and now cleansed and shielded to sin. The easiest way to understand this is consider that we are actually two beings, a carnal fleshly creature and a spiritual creature all in one package. Before salvation the soul is at the mercy of the sinful flesh. After salvation the soul is sealed and protected from the sin of the flesh by the Holy Spirit.
So now we have another consideration. The consideration of the soul being taken from the mercy of the flesh and being placed in a position of incoruption. 2nd Corinthians 1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. & Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
The word sealed is from the Greek, sphragizo, sfrag-id’-zo; to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (lit. or fig.); by implementation to keep secret, to attest:–(set a, set to) seal up. If God seals you then you are totally sealed until the day you, (your soul) is redeemed by Christ. Are you able to break a Holy Seal? Only the one who is worthy can do that! Also the word sealed has virtually the same meaning as the word seals used in the book of Revelation. sphragis, sfrag-ece’; A signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); by implementation the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness), lit. or fig.:–seal. Revelation 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; The only one worthy to open the seals is the Lord Jesus Christ! You can’t open that seal yourself and you are sealed unto the day of redemption.
You will also find many verses to attest to the fact that at the time of salvation, you’re no longer your own property. Once saved, you belong to God and I doubt anyone is going to steal you from God nor, if you will, are you able to escape Him, even if you wanted to.
- Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
- 1st Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
- 1st Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 7:24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
- Ephesians 1:13 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, 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
So, on to why it is so hard for folks to believe in this eternal security. Well, my first assertion would be that they are having a problem separating spiritual from natural just like Nicodemus. (John 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?) They can’t comprehend how someone can be eternally secure without still being at the mercy of the sins of the flesh. 1st Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
So what about those who claim that they’ve been saved and are living like the devil himself? Two explanations are here for you, if you will receive them. The first is that its entirely possible this person was never saved in the first place. The other is that they are in the process of, or waiting for the process of chastisement. I mean, think about it. If it were possible to loose your salvation, what need would there be for any chastisement from the Lord? Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Plain enough?
Even more compelling is a very plain statement in the scriptures about the one backsliding. 1st Corinthians 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. The key here being: but he himself shall be saved.
To put it in terms that even a child can understand, being saved is a simple process. So much so that it has to be accepted with a childlike faith. Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. It’s straight from the devil when you hear “we have to keep our salvation ourselves” because salvation doesn’t come from works, it’s a gift of God and God isn’t an indian giver. To have to keep our own salvation would be a matter of works. What does the scriptures say about that? Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. The devil wants you to believe this is a complicated thing, and he uses this method to scare us into believing that God can’t keep us. 2nd Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Now on to another matter that’s so often misunderstood. What are “The sin unto death” and “The unpardonable sin or Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit“? Some say they are one and the same and apply them to “Falling from Grace”. Again, if the scriptures be studied, these are two different things. To find out what they are requires that we look at the passages which contain them.
Sin unto death:
- Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
- 1st John 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
- The Unpardonable Sin or Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:
- Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men
This one’s easy. Look at the surrounding scriptures of each of these verses and you will see that with Romans 6:16 & 1st John 5:16 the subject is being addressed to the believer. Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 6:16: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? / 1st 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. 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. When we look at the context of Matthew 12:31, we see the subject’s to the unbeliever. The sin unto death simply put is when we’ve gotten so bad that the chastisement of God is ignored. The Lord God just brings that soul home instead of allowing them to bring more shame on the name of God in the flesh. (If God can’t do anything with you here, he’ll just bring you home before you cause any more harm). The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the total rejection of the call of the Holy Spirit to come to God for salvation. Two different and distinct things.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Just a final note folks. This doctrine of loosing your salvation came straight from Roman Catholic teachings. Shoot, these guys don’t even use the scriptures for their main teachings. “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema” (Counsel of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9). Roman Catholics believe that tradition overrules scripture. Man’s traditions over the Word of God? No, I don’t think so… And if you embrace this “Works Salvation”, are you symbolizing with Rome rather than the scriptures of the Living God? Just saying!