Suppose you walked into a certain church, and listened to a sermon about your security as a believer in Jesus Christ. The preacher is talking about the victory won on the cross, and how as long as you believe in Jesus, you are eternally secure and cannot lose your salvation. The preacher then goes on to exhort you to do whatever you want to do in this life because of this security, claiming that sin no longer exists and therefore you can no longer be condemned by your actions.
With the exception of that last sentence, your pastor may preach that very thing. The last part is something preached by Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda in Miami, Florida. It should also be noted that de Jesus claims to be both Jesus and the Antichrist, and is running a cult church called Creciendo en Gracia (Growing in Grace).
Before I go any further, let me be very clear that I am not calling Christian churches that preach the doctrine of eternal security cults.
With that said, I am saying that I do not agree with the doctrine.
Scripture is full of exhortations against falling away from the grace we have received. It is clear that the follower of Christ has certain responsibilities pertaining to lifestyle and choices. Now most believers in eternal security that I know do not believe that they can do whatever they want and still claim to be a Christian. They see that Christ has given us a certain standard to live by. But how close does the teaching come to the aforementioned heresy?
The doctrine of eternal security teaches that one can continue to sin and still be saved. The preachers site all sorts of personal examples of struggles and battles with different things in their own walks with the Lord. Struggles exist and temptations need to be overcome. But the Word of God trumps any personal story or bright idea you may have. “The wages of sin is death.”
How then can one profess Christ and continue in the same deliberate lifestyle? The key word here is deliberate. I am not talking about an occasional slip of the tongue or reflexive action that is repented of and which faith is then exercised in changing the behavior. “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:26-27). The answer is that they can’t. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (1 Corinthians 5:17).
I exhort you in the same manner found in the Scriptures: “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1). Know that you are in fact a new creation because you are found in Christ. Walk by faith in God’s promises and commands and stop making excuses for behaviors that you know are displeasing to God. The Bible says these things were nailed to the cross. Why would we continue to hold onto the things that God has commanded us to throw off and do away with? Why would we continue to be held by the things the Christ has conquered once for all? Start standing on the Word of God and who it says you are in Christ. Do not believe that you can continue to live a sinful life and still serve Christ. A man cannot serve two masters.