Presentation on theme: "In my 40 years of teaching God’s Word, the Bible… …what has been one of the most FAQ F requently A sked Q uestions?"— Presentation transcript:
In my 40 years of teaching God’s Word, the Bible… …what has been one of the most FAQ F requently A sked Q uestions?
controversial …what has been one of the most controversial questions?
most controversial questions “Is a Chr istian eternally secure?” (once saved, always saved?) …one of the most FAQ’s and, at the same time, one of the most controversial questions has been, “Is a Chr istian eternally secure?” (once saved, always saved?)
I would take a bullet for believing in the eternal security of a true believer. Would you?Would you?
Let’s consider 8 reasons why we should believe in the eternal security of the true believer!
#1. If I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer… …I must believe that Jesus did not finish paying my way to heaven! Regarding His mission to pay off our sin debt to God, Jesus, while being crucified, said…
“IT IS FINISHED!” “TETELESTAI” The Greek term is: “TETELESTAI” What does this word mean? “To bring to an end, to complete something.” Perfect tense: Action completed in the past with permanent results!
“He paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay.” –(Author unknown)
To say that I can lose my salvation implies that Jesus’ death did not pay my sin debt in full, but there remains… an outstanding balance on the debt that I owe God for my sins. I am then forced to say to Him, “It is NOT finished! Your work was not quite enough— I must complete what is lacking by my own good works.” If I don’t believe in Eternal Security I must believe that Jesus did not finish paying my way to Heaven.
This belief leads to a second thing I must believe.
2. If I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer… salvation is, at the same time, a free gift and yet earned by my own good works. …I am forced to believe that there is a contradiction in the Bible—in this case that salvation is, at the same time, a free gift and yet earned by my own good works. But note the following Scripture:
Romans 6:23 THROUGH “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one can boast.” “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one can boast.”
Question: Do I really believe Ephesians 2:8-9? All true believers agree that pre-conversion works do not contribute to salvation. GRACE ALONE. But if I believe that I can lose my salvation through too many post-conversion bad works (too much sin in my life after being saved), I cannot honestly believe the clear teaching of Eph.2:8-9, that salvation is by GRACE ALONE. Instead, I must believe that the following is the true gospel:
“Trust in Jesus’ work (His death & resurrection)PLUS my own my own post-conversion obedience = salvation from Hell.
Some disturbing questions: How faithful to God do I have to be not to lose my salvation? What if I’m not faithful to the end of my life as was the case with some believers in both the OT & NT? *If I don’t believe in eternal security, How faithful to God do I have to be not to lose my salvation? What if I’m not faithful to the end of my life as was the case with some believers in both the OT & NT? *How much “grace” is available to “cover” my choices to sin as a Christian? When does this grace run out?
The Reality is this: If eternal security is not true, The “Gospel” would then be… I’m saved initially by God’s grace, but kept saved on a day-to-day basis by my good works. If I don’t believe in eternal security I must embrace a serious contradiction that salvation is, at the same time, by grace and works. Both a gift given and something I earn, in part!
No amount of good works can earn our salvation and no amount of bad works can make us lose our salvation (Randy Alcorn).
But the Bible is clear that…, Grace and works are mutually exclusive, as incompatible as oil and water…as contradictory as saying, “A bachelor is taking his wife out for dinner.” if I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer: So then, if I believe that I am initially saved by grace but kept saved by my good works, I must believe that there is a contradiction in the Bible, and this leads to a 3 rd thing I must believe if I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer:
3. If I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer… I must believe that believers can boast about their personal contribution to their salvation!!! …I must believe that believers can boast about their personal contribution to their salvation!!! SO THAT “For by grace you have been saved; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, SO THAT NO ONE CAN BOAST.” If my pre-conversion and/or post-conversion works have anything to do with my eternal salvation, there is room for me to boast. If my own good works could contribute at all to my salvation, God would never hear the end of it!
So, If I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer… I must believe that believers can boast about their personal contribution to their salvation and gain partial glory for it. And believing this leads to a 4 th thing I must believe, namely…
4. If I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer… the ultimate purpose I must believe that the ultimate purpose of God saving sinners is not His own glory!!! But as God says to Israel, “I will not give My Glory to another” (Is.48:11). Father’s selection of us, the Son’s sacrifice for us and the Spirit’s seal upon us And it is clear that the ultimate purpose of the Father’s selection of us, the Son’s sacrifice for us and the Spirit’s seal upon us, is… “to the praise of the glory of His grace, “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us…” (Cf. Eph.1:6, 12, 14).
For all eternity we will shout and sing…
the ultimate purpose Not believing in the eternal security of a true believer means I must believe that the ultimate purpose of God saving sinners is not His own glory which leads to something else I must believe, namely…
5. If I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer… not sovereign I must believe that God is not sovereign in both initiating and bringing to completion my salvation! “…He chose us…before the foundation of the world…[we] were sealed with the Holy Spirit …who is the GUARANTEE of our inheritance until the [future] redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:4a, 13b-14). The eternal security of the believer is the only view of salvation that reveals the glory of God’s sovereign ability to complete the final phase of our salvation.
Romans 6:5 we shall certainly “Since we have been united with Him [Jesus] in His death, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.” His resurrection guarantees ours. We are as secure as He is!
Romans 8:29a; 1 John 3:2b “For those whom He foreknew (all believers), He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” The verb tense of the word “predestined” reveals action already completed. From God’s eternal viewpoint all believers are already conformed to the moral likeness of Jesus Christ, already in their glorified state as verse 30 declares. Our experience has yet to catch up with what God considers a done deal. As John writes, “we know that when He is revealed, we SHALL be like Him.”
John 6:37-40 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out….This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes (trusts) in Him may have eternal life; and I WILL raise him up on the last day.”
Romans 8:30 To say that salvation can be lost is to reject the clear teaching of these passages and say that God is neither able, nor sovereign when it comes to completing what He purposes to do with those He saves.
If I don’t believe that God’s will is absolutely sovereign and will come to pass—that He could somehow lose me after having saved me—then I must live with another serious consequence of not believing “Once saved, always saved,” namely…
6. If I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer… I must believe that there is no such thing as assurance of salvation. 1 John 2:25: “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.” 1 John 5:11-13: “And this is the record: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is IN His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”
And if I don’t have assurance of my salvation—if I believe I can somehow lose it by committing too many sins, or certain kinds of sins—this will lead to a 6 th thing I must believe…
7. If I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer… I must believe that one of the chief motivations for pleasing God is the horrifying fear of ending up in HELL after all!!!
What biblical passages support the idea that the true believer should obey God for fear of losing his salvation and ending up in Hell after all?
seem Some passages seem to teach that salvation can be lost until we do a closer examination of the context, original languages, meanings of words, grammar and syntax, cultural setting, etc. Complex passages must always be interpreted in light of clear passages, such as John 3:16. Our God of truth is incapable of contradicting Himself! Our heavenly Father is sad when those He has saved doubt their eternal security in Him.
As believers, what should motivate us to please God? “I urge you, therefore, brethren, because of the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service” (Rom.12:1). Meditation on God’s mercy upon us—morally filthy, wrath-deserving sinners—should compel us to present our bodies and minds to unswerving allegiance to Him—no other response makes sense!
“We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19)
We are motivated by God’s past mercies but also by our future meeting with Him. “Therefore, we make it our aim…to be well pleasing to the Lord. For we [Christians] must all appear before the judgment seat (bema) of Christ…Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men….” (2 Cor. 5:9-11) With a healthy fear (terror) of knowing he would one day give an account for the very motives behind his ministry, Paul felt the need to persuade the saints at Corinth of his sincerity and integrity.
future rewards of true believers In light of this doctrine of the Bema Seat (future rewards of true believers), it is very possible that…
8. If I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer… I may not believe and/or understand the distinction Scripture makes b/t salvation and eternal rewards. Salvation is Totally Free, based upon the Amazing Grace of God displayed in the Finished Work of Jesus Christ. Good Rewards are earned on the basis of anything we do, say or think during our earthly lives as Christians that is the fruit of the Spirit of God. It is truly a Good Work, a God-work ! We are not saved by good works, but we are saved for good works (Eph. 2:8-10).
1 Corinthians 3:11-15, selected what sort it is. himself “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds upon this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it…and the fire will test…what sort it is. If anyone’s work…endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved….”
2 John 8 full “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we have worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.”
“Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant…! (Mt.25:21)
So then, if salvation cannot be lost, what is lost when a believer chooses to follow the world, flesh & the devil?” In the here and now, loss of: Intimacy with God (Jn.14:21-23) The blessing of God—God becomes our adversary, making our life miserable (Psalm 32; James 4:4-6) Abundant life from God (John 10:10) Usefulness for God (2 Tim.2:20-22) Physical life—the sin unto death is possible (Acts 5; 1 Cor.11:30; 1 Jn.5:16-18)
In the Hereafter, loss of: Rewards from God. Just as there are degrees of punishment in hell, there will be degrees of rewards in heaven (Cf. Mt.11:20-24 and Mt.20:20-28; see also Rev. 3:11).
As Bruce Wilkinson says… “Hell can never get better, but it can get worse. Heaven can never get worse, but it can get better.” The quality of eternity for every believer will be determined by the kind of Christian he/she was on earth-- every moment matters forever! Everyone in Heaven will have full joy, but each person’s capacity for joy will differ (James 1:12; Rev.2:10).
The Christian who honors Jesus Christ much in the here and now will be honored much by Jesus Christ in the hereafter! The focus of eternal rewards is on the exaltation of Jesus Christ!
Summary: Summary: If I don’t believe in the eternal security of a true believer… did not finish paying I must believe that Jesus did not finish paying my way to heaven, and... contradictions Therefore, I must believe that the Bible contains contradictions (That salvation is, at the same time, a gift to receive and something to achieve), and... boast about their contribution Therefore, I must believe that believers can boast about their contribution to their salvation, and... the ultimate purpose Therefore, I must believe that the ultimate purpose of salvation is not the glory of God, and...
completing Therefore, I must believe that God is not sovereign in initiating and completing my salvation which displays His ultimate glory, and... assurance Therefore, I must believe that there is no such thing as assurance of salvation, and... fear of losing my salvation... Therefore, I must believe that one of the chief motivations for pleasing God is the fear of losing my salvation...
And finally…, if I don’t believe in eternal security, I may not believe and/or understand the difference between salvation (which is free) and eternal rewards (which are earned).
So, would you take a bullet for believing in the eternal security of a true believer? If I understand Scripture correctly, all that I must believe if I don’t believe in eternal security, makes this doctrine not only worth believing in… …but even worth dying for!