Eternal Security

Eternal security is one of those topics that man has debated for years. Sometimes it’s referenced as Blessed Assurance, and still, other times, it is referenced as once saved always saved. There are religions whose sole purpose is to teach the doctrine of eternal security. I will address each viewpoint to give some clarity on the use of them today.

Eternal Security

This viewpoint states that once a person has become born-again, he is guaranteed or secured citizenship in eternity. Eternal security is a valid argument; there is such a thing as eternal security, just not in the sense that it is commonly applied. The fact is that everyone will spend eternity somewhere, either the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of hell. The choice is yours.
The question to be asked is: does being born-again give you a secure position in heaven? Eternal security or as commonly thought of as a guaranteed position in heaven, is like freedom. In the United States, a person is born free. It’s a protected right, as long as one is a law-abiding citizen. Once he violates those laws, he has forfeited his freedom. He runs the risk of being incarcerated in a minimum or maximum-security institution. He can be imprisoned for a lifetime, depending on the severity of the crime. Eternal security is much the same way; once you are born again, you will have eternal security in heaven as long as you avoid breaking God’s laws; otherwise, you will have eternal security in a different kingdom.

Another popular argument is that if a person turns back to worldly living after being born-again, he was never truly saved. Scripture doesn’t confirm that thought pattern because the parable of the sower in Luk. 8:5-15 shows otherwise. Other scriptures that parallel this is Mat. 13:3-23 and Mar. 4:3-20.

To better understand the parable, let’s isolate the main focus points. We have seed sown in four different soil conditions; some on the way side, some on stony ground, some in the thorns, and some in the good soil. Each soil type responded differently. The seed represents the word of God; Luk. 8:11, “…..The seed is the word of God.” The Lord sows His laws in the hearts of individuals (Mar. 4:15). The parable of the sower indeed shows that there are four different types of heart conditions. The first kind of nature rejects the word because Satan attacks them immediately, capturing the word before taking root or before they believe.

Satan’s attack is to keep them in an unsaved state; Luk. 8:12, “…..Lest they should believe and be saved.” The second kind of heart receives the word and believes; therefore, they received salvation; Luk. 8:13, “…..Receive the word with joy….. which for a while believe.” The third kind of heart hears the word and accepts it classifying them as saved; Luk. 8:14, “…..When they have heard, go forth…..” The fourth kind of heart is the heart that received the word and keeps it, classifying them as saved: Luk. 8:15, “…..Having heard the word, keep it.” After examining the four different types of hearts, the first heart never received salvation. The second heart received salvation, but only for a short time. The third heart was saved but allowed the ways of the world to choke the word out of it. The fourth is the only one of the four different hearts that kept God’s word, and that heart will have eternal security in the Kingdom of Heaven. The second and third heart received the word immediately (born-again) but later turned back to their old ways; thus establishing that it is possible to turn away from or forfeit your salvation through the choices you make.

Blessed Assurance

This viewpoint states that a person has the Blessed Assurance that he will spend eternity in heaven. Today, the church has both overstated and overrated the phrase Blessed Assurance. It gives man the false sense of security that he guaranteed the right to enter the Kingdom of Heaven if he is born-again.

The word blessed means highly favored, and assurance means confidence or to have no doubt.
Humanity is highly favored (blessed) because of Joh. 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…..” God gave His Son to restore humanity’s right standing with God. Because Jesus shed his blood, He paid the price for our sins. His death guaranteed that humankind had a way to the Father. Jesus restored the way to the kingdom of God for us. Jesus is the word; Joh. 1:1 and Jesus is the truth; Joh. 14:6. Since Jesus is the word and the word is truth. Because He died for our sins, we are highly favored (blessed). Therefore, we have confidence (assurance) that the shed blood of Jesus reconstructed the way for us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

A new road, named Blessed Assurance, was constructed when Jesus died on that cross, but before that, all roads led to the same place; hell. Once a person becomes born-again, he is now traveling on the road that leads to heaven. The way to heaven is long and narrow, and sometimes along the way, humanity gets caught up in the cares of this world; he detours and gets lost. Blessed Assurance is the road that leads to heaven, but most of humanity is on one of the many roads that lead to destruction because they detoured. We are to stay on the straight and narrow road of blessed assurance and not turn away; Heb. 10:35, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.” Since the death of Jesus, blessed assurance exists and will always exist, but it is your choice to continue to go down the only road that leads to heaven; Mat. 7:14, “…..Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Once Saved Always Saved

This viewpoint indicates that once a person is born-again or saved, he can never lose or forfeit his salvation. One of the scriptures commonly used to support this point of view is John 6:27; “…..For him hath God the Father sealed.” Another scripture is Eph. 1:13; “…..Ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise…..” One more scripture that supports this doctrine is Eph. 4:30; “…..Whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Sealed is the keyword in all of the above scriptures. We are closed from the remembrance of our past sins; Heb. 10:16-17, “this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days…..and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Jesus Christ came into this world to die for our sins. Hebrews 9:28 states, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many…..” Once Jesus Christ died for our sins, He sealed our past sins. The moment we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior (born-again), we are no longer held accountable for our past sins. However, we are still held responsible for all of our future sins. Revelation 20:12 states, “…..And the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” From the standpoint of receiving salvation, Once Saved Always Saved is a true statement. From the perspective that you can never lose your salvation, Once Saved Always Saved does not apply. Just because a person is born-again does not automatically reserve a place in heaven for him. Matthew 7:21-23 states, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” In this passage, some people are born-again because they called on the name of the Lord. Matthew 7:22 states, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord…..”. Scripture points out that a person receives salvation if he calls on the name of the Lord; Rom. 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Jesus said that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (saved) would not enter the kingdom of heaven, thus invalidating the belief that once a person receives salvation, he cannot lose his or her place in the Kingdom of Heaven.

When teaching the doctrines mentioned, take every necessary precaution to ensure that the congregation or members do not misunderstand the full scope of their meaning. If they believe or think that they cannot lose their salvation, their soul is in jeopardy. That teaching places them in grave danger, especially those who are weak. Then others will take that doctrine as a license to steal. They believe that as long as they have accepted Christ, they are free to take individual liberties from time to time and still be in God’s perfect will. That’s not true, Mat. 24:13, “…..He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” The key phrase here is: endures unto the end. Scripture again confirms the same; Heb. 10:36, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Only after you have endured until the end (physical life) will you receive the promise of entering into the Kingdom of God.

Note:  if there is such a thing as Eternal Security, explain why Satan and the fallen angels lost their heavenly residence. Revelation 12:7-8 states, “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.