Over the past couple of years, I better understand eternal security because we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise until the day of redemption. However, I used to see security as conditional based on my continuing to believe in Christ. I heard a couple of preachers say that if a person does not believe in eternal security, they are not truly born again. They use the following verses to make their case:
1 John 5:10
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1 John 5:11
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Can you share your thoughts on this matter? This caused me to doubt my salvation because I believe I really walked with the Lord even though my theology wasn’t straight at first. Maybe this will help somebody else out there, too!
Grace and peace be multiplied!
Thank you for your honest testimony and inquiry. Many deal with various matters relating to eternal security and assurance.
When someone believes in Jesus to save them, He saves (John 6:47; Rom. 10:13). Usually, wrong theology (like the idea of being saved only as long as you keep believing) is encountered later and can become a real hindrance. But if someone has believed in Jesus to save, that one has eternal life. Jesus says so (John 6:47).
When someone believes in Jesus, Jesus saves. If they later doubt, Jesus still saves because eternal life is given upon the first moment of belief in the Savior. And…eternal life is forever, so you can’t possess eternal life for only a little while. And eternal life is a person. Jesus is that eternal life (1 John 1:2).
It is Jesus, eternal life Himself, who promises to never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5). Some may ask, “Well, what if you leave Him?” For such, Paul says under inspiration that if we believe not [if we doubt], yet He abides faithful for He cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13). A child of God can break fellowship, but not relationship.
When you are born again, your spirit is regenerated with divine life and the Holy Spirit indwells you. He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). You can’t be un-joined. You can’t be un-born. You can’t be un-saved. Truly you are sealed by the Spirt until the day of redemption. This is eternal security—not based on our perfect believing and a continuing absence of doubt, but based on God’s sure words.
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I think Dan’s question goes deeper than your answer, John. He is alluding, I believe, to the idea that if someone believes salvation can be lost, are they not adding the necessity of works to salvation? “If you don’t live right, you can lose it.” Then if they are adding works as a necessity, are they teaching and preaching a false Gospel? If they are teaching a false Gospel, are they saved? It seems harsh to say that anyone who believes that salvation can be lost is not saved. But if salvation is by faith alone apart from works, then… Read more »
Hello Marc, thanks for weighing in. Obviously, adding works is a false gospel. However, if someone believes in Jesus, that is salvation. If later they are taught works as a matter of keeping saved, that is false teaching, but if they were saved, they still are. The question would be what was the understanding at the beginning. Simple faith or a split trust? Perhaps Dan may desire to weigh back in.
Agreed! The beginning is key. The new life “born-again” transaction takes place, and the new believer is passed from death unto life. If later, he is confused by false doctrine, he is still saved – He cannot be unborn!
John and Marc, Thank you so much for replying! Now that I think of it, one of the men who preached believing in eternal security is a requirement of salvation, did teach that those who believe you can lose salvation, believe in works, and call God a liar. This would mean some of the most fervent prayer warriors and preachers throughout history are in Hell. I believed I could lose my salvation for many years. Now, I am working on re-training my thinking and sometimes the flesh has conditional security thoughts again- which I absolutely hate. I appreciate the clarification… Read more »
Amen! Thanks Dan.