A Brief Introduction to Unconditional Eternal Security

A Brief Introduction to Unconditional Eternal Security

Some call it “eternal security,” others call it “once saved, always saved,” and still others call it “perseverance of the saints.”  There are variations in this theological position, but they all promote the view that after a person comes to Christ and is saved, nothing at all can separate that person from Jesus Christ, nothing can keep that person from eternal life, and no sin can bring eternal condemnation.

Two basic views prevail among those who hold to “eternal security.”  First, some contend that if a person is genuinely saved from sin and is in Christ Jesus, he will “persevere” until the end of his life with at least a measure of faith and obedience and will then enter eternal glory with God.  If a professing Christian seriously sins or becomes an unbeliever, this view says that such a person was not actually saved in the beginning when he thought he was.  Generally, this view is held by those of the “Reformed” faith, otherwise known as classical Calvinism.

Second, others say that after a person genuinely is saved, he may indeed fall into serious sin and remain there, even to the point of becoming an unbeliever and refusing to repent, but that person remains eternally secure and will die to be with the Lord.  This view allows for much sin in a person’s life.  While not promoting sin in the Christian, proponents of this view say that deliberate and unrepentant sin may be there, but there will be no eternal condemnation because of it.  Sometimes those of the Calvinistic persuasion refer to this position as “easy believism.”

We believe that both of these “eternal security” positions are wrong, false, and unscriptural.  We are convinced that eternal life is given to those who believingly repent and continue to live faithfully for the Lord Jesus through life (Revelation 2:10).  Salvation and eternal life are only in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3; 1 John 5:11-12) and if one does not remain in saving union with Him (John 15:1-8), he forfeits the life that is in Christ (Hebrews 6:4-8).  If one falls into sin, remains in sin, and refuses to repent of that sin, he has only death and condemnation awaiting him (Hebrews 10:26-31; 2 Peter 2:1, 20-22; Romans 6:22-23; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8).  Eternal life is given to the believer, and the believer is one who continues in saving faith that continues to obey the Lord until the end (John 3:36; Hebrews 3:12-13).

One of the serious problems with the unconditional security position is that there are vast numbers of professing Christians who think they are saved but are living careless, indifferent, and even sinful lives—yet they still think they are saved and going to heaven!  Further, there are many who are depending on a past religious experience when they think they were saved, but their present life does not give evidence of a living, active, obedient faith in Jesus Christ.  They allow known, deliberate, unrepentant sin in their life, yet assume that they are saved because of this past experience.  In my own life, God enabled me to reach out to a number of people, share the good news of Jesus Christ with them, and presumably baptize them into Christ—but by far the majority of them have fallen away.  These people have gone into a life of lukewarmness, sin, compromise, unfaithfulness, disobedience, and false beliefs and practices, yet probably many of them still think they are saved.  This points up the serious danger and tragic consequences of relying on a past experience, while living in sin and unfaithfulness to the living God!

We are not dealing with the subject of eternal security at this time, in this article, but we do encourage you to examine the articles that are available on this website and many other ones that we hope to make available.  Keep an open mind to this issue and be willing to examine the Word of God daily to see whether you have believed the truth or have been deceived on this matter (Acts 17:11; 1 Thess. 5:21-22).  Test yourself and be willing to change your belief in this if Scripture leads you to do so (2 Cor. 13:5).  In all things, run from sin (1 Cor. 15:34) and abide in Jesus Christ (John 15:1-8)!

Richard Hollerman



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