Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: False Teachings on Eternal Security

Monday, April 29, 2019

False Teachings on Eternal Security

False Teachings on Eternal Security

          For most people, their understanding (or lack thereof) of what the Bible teaches about salvation comes from two main systematic theologies (systematic confusions): Calvinism and Arminianism.  Without going into all the confusing arguments about eternal security that are propagated by these two systematic confusions, we can just go to the Bible and through an inductive methodology (by gathering the parts to get the whole) and find out exactly what God says and what God does when He gifts believers salvation whereby they are “born again” into the New Creation.  From those Bible facts, we can gather what God says, not what Augustine of Hippo, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, Jacobus Arminius, or John Wesley say.  The endless and pointless arguments about eternal security all come from the false presuppositions and logical illogic of these two main bodies of systematic theologies (systematic confusions).  These arguments about eternal security are more of those endless yaw-but conversations that go nowhere because that is where they start.  They start with systematic confusion and end in systematic confusion.

          Let it be emphatically stated, the Bible gives dogmatically overwhelming evidences and testimonies that IF a person is “born again” of the Spirit of God into the New Creation, that person’s salvation is eternally secure in that new existence.  To believe in anything else is a manifestation of extreme confusion.  Theological confusion results from Biblical ignorance and is corrected by Biblical instruction.  The difficulty is when people are so confirmed by their ignorance that they will not hear and receive Biblical instruction.  Instead, people with doctrinal presuppositions are programmed to argue against the obvious.  Always remember, FALSE DOCTRINES ARE JUST OTHER FORMS OF IDOLATRY!

          There are two Bible texts that dogmatically confirm the eternal security of a “born again” believer IF he has been truly “born again;” II Corinthians 5:14-19 and Colossians 2:6-12.  These are not the usual texts used to establish the eternal security of a truly “born again” person.  However, they are the most emphatic and dogmatic texts.  First, as you read II Corinthians 5:14-19, notice that the surety of a believer’s redemption is CONNECTED to RESPONSIBILITIES in how their new life is lived (verse 14).  “If” a person is “born again” (verse 17), that person “should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (verse 14).  

This “if” of verse 17 is the hypothetical of context that continues throughout the rest of the epistle known as II Corinthians; “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you {in the Person of the indwelling Spirit}, except ye be reprobates {only unbelievers are given over to reprobate minds; Romans 1:28}” (II Corinthians 13:5)? The “if” is hypothetical not conditional!

14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away {as a result of being ‘born again’ into the New Creation ‘in Christ,’ in the operations of God’s immutable promises, all that connects the ‘born again’ believer to the first creation has already positionally perished with the first creation, aorist tense}; behold, all things are become {perfect tense; as a result of being ‘born again’ into the New Creation ‘in Christ,’ in the operations of God’s immutable promises, all that connects the ‘born again’ believer to the first creation has already once-for-all forever positionally happened} new {kainós; regenerated}. 18 And all things are of God {only God can provide this New Creation}, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (II Corinthians 5:14-19).

          II Corinthians 5:17-19 clearly teaches the absolute security of a believer IF that believer has been “born again” of the Spirit of God.  To be perfectly clear about this, if Paul believed a believer could lose his salvation by living carnally as these Corinthians believers were doing, why doesn’t he just come out and clearly say, “If you people do not stop this carnality, you will lose your salvation.”  The fact is, there is no where in Scripture where anyone even hints at such a possibility. 

Nowhere is this absence of warning or proclamation regarding losing one’s salvation more obvious than in I Corinthians 5:1-6.  There, Paul exposes a member of the church as living in fornication with “his father’s wife” (step-mother; I Corinthians 5:1).  The local congregation is told “[T]o deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (I Corinthians 5:6).  The point is that even though this man was living in carnal “fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles” (I Corinthians 5:1), there is no mention, or warning, of the possibility of him losing his salvation.  Instead, the text teaches his life (“flesh”) would be taken prematurely, while his “spirit” (soul) would still be saved at the resurrection of believers “in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 

There are numerous Scripture texts where the reality of a person being “born again” is questioned and doubted (“if”), but nowhere in Scripture is there even a hint at someone being able to surrender salvation or lose their salvation.  Where would there be a better place to deal with the possibility of carnal believers losing their salvation than in the Epistles of First and Second Corinthians?  Yet, there is no mention of this possibility and no warnings about losing one’s salvation. 

In fact, just the opposite is true.  Believers are challenged to examine if their faith is genuine (II Corinthians 13:5).  That is the “IF” of II Corinthians 5:17.  Our natural tendency (illogical logic) is to look at a person living in some kind of habitual sin and judge him by assuming how a person living like that can be “born again”?  Let me answer the question simply; Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, king David, king Solomon, Samson, Peter; ad infinitum, ad nauseum.  We can question someone’s salvation but can never know their heart (Jeremiah 17:9; “who can know it”).  Are you sure you are “born again”? This is a legitimate and loving question to someone living in sin.  That is the assurance question asked repeatedly in Scripture.  The assurance question asks, “Are you SURE you are “born again”?

The assurance question is the purpose of the Epistle of First John (I John 3:19).  The foundation of the Epistle of First John is what we might call the Fellowship Foundation Principal.  There is much talk about the fact that salvation is a relationship with Christ.  However, there is little conversation about what that relationship looks like or how it is defined doctrinally.  This “fellowship” relationship is a working intimacy!

The emphasis of I John chapter one in the Fellowship Foundation Principal is that those who are truly “born again” children of God will long for “fellowship” with God.  Those who are genuinely “born again” and understand the relationship available in the Fellowship Foundation Principal will be very careful about their Bible study (II Timothy 2:15) and how they live what they learn from the Bible, so they need “not be ashamed.”  To understand what it means to be “born again” is to understand a person is “born again” into the most intimate relationship with another Being that could ever possibly exist.  To understand what it means to be “born again” is to understand that this new relationship should NOT be a one-sided relationship.  The “born again” believer is to love God the way God loves him.  The “born again” believer should want to know God as intimately as God knows the believer in whom He dwells. 

The second greatest Scriptural testimony to the eternal security of a truly “born again” believer is Colossians 2:6-12.  This text describes what happens POSITIONALLY in the operations of God and the eyes of God the moment a believer is truly “born again” of the Spirit of God.  Notice again, as it is in II Corinthians 5:14-15, that the believer’s new spiritual birth connects him to new spiritual responsibilities about living within that new spiritual existence called “the new creation.” 

When reading Colossians 2:4-12, we must be aware of the repetitions of the phases “in Christ,” “in Him,” and the twice use of the phrase “with Him.”  The words “in Christ” refer to the New Creation into which all believers are “born again” when they receive the gift of salvation.  This is the meaning of the phrase “in Christ,” or any derivation of that phrase, whenever it is used in Scripture.  “In Christ” is a whole new spiritual existence that demands a new kind of living.  However, the text describes the “faith {faithfulness} operation of God” in what God has ALREADY DONE positionally when He promises a believer the gift of salvation in being “born again.”  

Understanding the eternal security of a “born again” believer is understanding what God HAS ALREADY AND Irreversibly DONE in your salvation. 

4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord {by grace through faith}, so walk ye in him {by grace through faith; i.e., ‘the just shall live by faith’}: 7 Rooted {perfect, passive} and built up {present passive} in him, and stablished {present passive} in the faith, as ye have been taught {aorist passive}, abounding {present active} therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware {present active imperative} lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ {Gnosticism, Mysticism, and Legalism taught salvation was a process where salvation is achieved instead of an event where salvation is received}. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily {in the theanthropic union of humanity in Jesus as the ‘first born’ of the New Creation}. 10 And ye are complete {plēróō ; finished, fulfilled; the perfect tense means this is an already once for all forever accomplished reality} in him {the idea is that whatever has happened to Christ spiritually has already happened to the believer spiritually and positionally}, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in {spiritual} baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him {in spiritual baptism; of which both completed aspects are to be understood and communicated through water baptism} through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:4-12).

The great struggle of ministry/discipleship is persuading people, who profess to be “born again,” to do what “born again” people know they should be doing, but never do.  The real problem is simply that no one can motivate spiritually dead people to do the things that require spiritual life to do them.  EVERY genuinely “born again” person has an INWARD motivator that wants the will of God done more than anything else in this world.  However, even if a person is “born again,” just because God has breathed spiritual life into that person does not guarantee that spiritual life will flow from that person.  Spiritual life is the gift of the Person of the Spirit of God in His indwelling presence.  However, spiritual life in the gift of the indwelling Spirit is not evident apart from the fruit of the Spirit through the filling of the Spirit.  Therefore, one of two problems exist when professing Christians do not do what they are commanded to do:

1. These people are not “born again” and are just living as minimally as possible under peer pressure according to what they think is expected of them.
2. These people are living by the will-power of their own “flesh” never knowing or experiencing the enabling power of the indwelling Spirit of God because they have NEVER fully surrendered their will to His. 

          It would be highly advisable for EVERYONE to answer these two hypotheticals about the reality of why professing Christians just never get around to being totally surrendered to the Lord in which they profess to believe.  The honest reality is our churches are filled with people who have prayed a prayer or walked an aisle and then told by some incompetent hack that, “You are now saved and eternally secure.”  Then, when they never grow spiritually, never do anything for the Lord, never have any desire to bring others to Christ, have to be reminded every Sunday that it is Sunday, and live in their secret sins, they come forward in the church services wanting assurance of a salvation about which they have no peace.  Then, the same incompetent hack is quick to teach them eternal security and never confront the obvious – they have never really been “born again.”  The same incompetent hack is afraid to ask the most obvious question, “Are you sure you are “born again”?

The opposite side of this theological coin is the bizarre idea that since a person is “born again” and eternally secure in his salvation, he can live any way he wants to live.  The point is that IF he is saved, he can live any way he wants to live, BUT God is going to do something about that kind of nonsense.  God has two ordained means to deal with His “born again” children who decide they want to rebel against the will of God and live according to their own wills - local church discipline and divine chastisement. 

First, God has ordained local churches to deal with these kinds of people, who decide they want to rebel against the will of God and live according to their own wills.  God has commanded every faithful believer to rebuke, reprove, and use the disciplinary actions of their local congregations to recover and restore backslidden believers.  Local churches are congregations of “born again” people who have created an accountability group where every initiate is to be held accountable by every other initiate to live a sanctified lifestyle.  Initiation into this sanctification accountability group is water baptism.  Keeping a local church pure of false doctrines and keeping believers pure from false living is the responsibility of local church congregations; i.e. the sanctified accountability group.

1 I charge {assertive challenge to act} thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ {as witnesses of faithfulness or unfaithfulness to responsibilities}, who shall judge the quick {those ‘born again’} and the dead {in trespasses and sin; the lost} at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove {admonish, tell a fault}, rebuke {forbid an act or censure an action; to censure means to express extreme disapproval}, exhort {to call near or alongside; the idea is to restore someone to fellowship through calling him to walk in the truth with you} with all longsuffering {the willingness to bear the injuries another causes you} and doctrine {the Bible as a scalpel, not a slaying sword}. 3 For {disciple and discipline because} the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:1-4).

Four Irreversible Operations of the Spirit at the Moment of Salvation


          If a person has been “born again” and could lose his salvation, he would also need to be “un-born again.” 


          The instant a person puts faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells him.  If he could lose his salvation, the Holy Spirit would have to un-indwell him.  Hebrews 13:5 says that He will never do that.

The Baptism of the Spirit

          The instant a person puts faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit makes the believer a part of the “body of Christ” (I Corinthians 12:13, i.e., the New Creation).  If we could lose our salvation, the Holy Spirit would have to un-join us from the “body of Christ” (remove from the New Creation).

The Sealing of the Holy Spirit

          The Holy Spirit is said to be the believer’s seal of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).  If a believer could lose his salvation, he would have to be un-sealed.  This would deny Ephesians 4:30 (compare Romans 8:14-23).

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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