Today I am going to look at a few of the passages that are used to support the doctrine of eternal security (I will look at a couple more of these tomorrow).
Romans 8 says, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 38-39). As is the case with all of these passages we are examining in the Word of God, I am not denying what they say. A lot of the time it is merely a matter of context to get to the bottom of what they are saying. This passage is used to say that we cannot be separated from God once we are saved. By that is not what’s being said here. It says that we can’t be separated from God’s love; it does not say that we cannot be separated from God. Take the example of the prodigal son. When he left, his father never stopped loving him. However, the son did make a choice to separate himself from his father.
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.” This passage is used to say that if someone does in fact leave the faith they were never saved in the first place. But if you back up only one verse you see that the passage is explicitly talking about antichrists – the antichrists, false teachers and prophets, never did belong to the church.
1 John 3:6 is also used to say that if someone falls away, they never belonged to Christ in the first place – “No one who lives in him [Christ] keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” I agree with the interpretation here because it says so – if one claims to be a Christian but never repents and changes their behavior, then they were never saved to begin with. Repentance is key to salvation, because in repentance one turns away from their old life and becomes born again (John 3:3). In this passage it is in fact talking about one who was never saved to begin with.
One more passage for tonight: Hebrews 6:19 – “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” This passage is used to support eternal security, saying that our hope in Christ is secure just like an anchor. I would like to enthusiastically affirm that Christians do have an assurance in Christ. When we remain in Christ, he will always remain in us (John 15:4). Because of this we don’t walk around petrified of slipping up and losing our salvation somewhere along the way. We do have security in that when we remain faithful to Christ, we are safe in his salvation.