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Question:
How do you would tell someone that salvation is conditional, and not eternally secured once saved. I ask for the benefit of those who may “tune” in to the website and see the questions section. Thanks! I like
the web site, and you explain your subjects very well.

Answer:
Thank you for your kind comments. I hope I don’t “lose” you as a reader when you find out we disagree on the issue of eternal security.

Before telling you why, let me tell you that I am outspoken against EASY BELIEVISM and the very casual uncommitted Christianity that is so popular today. The idea of “once saved, do whatever you want” is dreadful.

I believe that once TRUE, AUTHENTIC regeneration (“born again”; saved) occurs, that a person’s sins are washed in Jesus blood; you are sealed with promise of the Holy Spirit (Eph 4.30) and become children of God, heirs (Rom 8.17) to eternal life.

Only God knows for sure when REAL salvation occurs vs. an emotional profession or impulsive decision not accompanied with genuine faith, repentance and belief.

Most of my life I believed you could “lose” your salvation. After very intense, deep study of the issue, I changed my mind in accordance with what I think is substantial Scriptural support.

If Jesus sacrifice didn’t pay for ALL your sins, which ones aren’t covered? How many? How often? Does each and every sin after conversion cost you your salvation until confessed? If not, again, which ones and how many and how often?

And if salvation can be lost, then we can never have REAL assurance of it despite an entire book saying we can (1John).

How can you become NOT children once you are children (1John 3.1-3)? My daughter can NOT announce she’s NOT my daughter and make it true (though she might want to sometimes!). Now that analogy does not build a doctrine, but its part of the overall consideration.

Saved, not saved, saved, not saved… that’s simply not in the Bible. It makes Christ atonement incomplete because it doesn’t cover future, unconfessed sin, and has to be “re-applied” every time sin is confessed, and in effect makes “confession” our salvation, after the first salvation that was through faith………..???!!! Conclusions you logically MUST come to if you believe that TRUE salvation can be lost or forfeited.

In essence you would have to say “Paid in full” when saved (speaking of sin; justification); THEN “oops, not all paid, some more debt came in”; “okay, now paid in full” ; “oops, more sin, sorry”; “okay, paid now…” and on and on.

The popular verse in Hebrews used to “prove” you can lose your salvation also says you can’t regain it either (Heb 6.4). So the “obvious” interpretation appears to not be so obvious after all.

I used to say “well, it’s only willful unrepented of sin” that a person consciously commits that “forfeits” his salvation by his own choice.

That’s sounds logical, but the problem is, that’s just a conclusion I HAD to come to, and it’s simply not taught plainly in Scripture. That’s called theological drift: coming to logical conclusions not found in Scripture and calling it “doctrine”. (Calvinism, agree with it or not, is an example of logical conclusions, not specifically found in Scripture)

In light of what occurs at the point of salvation: my sin paid for by Christ (propitiation, 1Jo 2.2); and Christ’s righteousness imparted to me (imputation, Rom 4.6,23); my sins declared “paid in full” (justification, Rom 5.9; 8:30); name written in the Book of Life (Rev. Chap. 20-21); and given the gift of eternal life (1John 5.11)… it becomes clear that TRUE salvation is eternally secure.

If not, which sin forfeits it? How many? When? Who decides? If God went to such great lengths to secure our salvation, and tells us exactly how to obtain it, it stands to reason that He would have warned us exactly what sin would forfeit our salvation and how to get it back. He does not ever speak of the concept of being “re-saved”.

Also eternal life is no longer eternal if it can be lost or forfeited. It only becomes eternal the day you die, if you haven’t missed confessing sin or had some willful sin. You can’t escape the conclusion that it becomes the gift of “conditional eternal life”; or “eternal life the day you die” if you can lose it.

As you know, proper interpretation requires that a plain doctrine is not overturned by a difficult to understand, and disputed verse of Scripture. If that were not consistently held to, you could prove just about ANY doctrine.

Given what God HAS revealed, it would stand to reason that He would have made it very clear true salvation could be lost (if that was true); instead only a few difficult-to-interpret verses seem to indicate it. And I do NOT deny those verses exist and are hard to explain. But a very plain doctrine cannot be overruled by a few hard to explain verses that are far from being very plain.

Let me close with this. It is my firm observation that we offer and assure CHEAP salvation now days. God never meant it that way. Salvation is FREE. Salvation is eternal. Salvation is SECURE. But true salvation results in a changed life, submission, obedience and good works.

Those things do NOT save you; they are evidence of genuine salvation.

I do NOT believe “once saved, always saved” if the meaning is “get saved & baptized; then live however you want”. But I do without doubt believe that once true salvation is imparted by the grace of God to the repentant believer, that God secures that salvation for all eternity.

We may not ever agree, but I hope you will join me in deeply contemplating and praying over this difficult issue.

One thing we can agree on: for those of us who have placed our faith and trust in Christ, eternal life awaits us and no human nor demon can take it from us.

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