What is the doctrine of eternal security?

The concept of “Eternal Security” or “The Perseverance of the Saints” comes from Calvinism. This doctrine teaches that the precise ones whom God has elected and drawn to Himself through the Holy Spirit will persevere in faith. None of these will be lost for they are eternally secure. Calvinists base their beliefs on John 10:27-29, Romans 8:29-30, and Ephesians 1:3-14.

However, if we examine this belief in the full light of the Bible, we find that the eternal security of believers is dependent on their abiding in Christ (John 15:1-6; Matthew 24:13; 1 Corinthians 9:27). Therefore, if a person chooses to disconnect himself from Christ, he will be cut off like a branch cut off from the tree (2 Peter 2:20, 21; 1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 2:4, 5).

The whole emphasis of the Scriptures is on the freedom of choice that God gave man. And it teaches that man will continue to have free will even after they’ve accepted salvation. The Bible gives many example of people who have fallen away from God after they had accepted Him (Philippians 3:18; 1 Timothy 6:20-21). And it is prophesied that there will be many more such indivduals in the future (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

The fact that the Bible warns believers from falling into sin means that they can fall if they are not on their guard (Matthew 7:24-27; 10:33; Luke 6:46-49; 14:34-35; Romans 11:17-23; 1 Corinthians 10:6-12; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 3:6-19; 10:35-39; 2 John 1:8-9). The Scriptures show the necessity of an active effort in holding onto faith (1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7).

In addition, the Bible teaches that salvation is conditional upon a believers’ continued faith in the Lord (Colossians 1:21-23; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; 1 Corinthians 15:2; Hebrews 3:6,14) and urges believers to protect their faith lest they lose it (2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 John 8-9; John 15:5-6).

From all these verses we can conclude that believers can and do lose their faith. They can choose to be lost if they no longer believe in and no longer follow Jesus Christ, even though at one time they accepted Him. If people allow their faith-plant to die as in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23) and if they allow their faith-light to go out as in the parable of the foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), they will loose their eternal security and be lost.

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In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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