truth about eternal security

The truth about eternal security: what Armenian and Calvinist are missing

 

The doctrine of eternal security and pre-destination are two Biblical doctrines that divide the church more than any other thing. In an attempt to present the truth about eternal security Christians are divided along Calvinism and Arminianism.

The discord arises for two reasons. One, the conservative adherents not ready to accept the opposing view different from theirs. They concluded this without given the other party fair hearing. Two, those who exploit the weakness of these teaching to support their lackadaisical and sinful way of life to the detriment of the unsuspecting believers and new converts.

Mind you, both Calvin and Arminius are the contemporary of Martin Luther. They all emerge during the great reformation. Both had a good intention of what today had become a dividing factor among Christians.

What do these two great minds teach? Calvinism is named after John Calvin, a French theologian (1509-1564). Arminianism is based on the Biblical interpretation taught by Jacobus Arminius, a Dutch theologian who lived between (1560-1609).

If you do enough research and study, you’ll discover that on both sides we have liberal minds who do not believe totally what their camps hold. For instance, some Arminius does not come to term with all their five-point agenda such as conditional salvation. This is in tandem with Calvinism theory of eternal security.

This same goes with “four-point Calvinism” otherwise known as moderate Calvinism. At times it is called Amyraldism named after Moses Amyraut. This faction of Calvinist believes only a four-point of Calvinism five-point teachings. They rejected the limited atonement of Calvinism for the unlimited atonement of sinners as taught by the Arminist. So, to be fair to both party, I see a little of this in that.

For us to know the truth about eternal salvation, let us see what each group teaches:

 Calvinism explains the theory of salvation by the acronym “TULIP”.

T -Total depravity: Humans through his own free will could not choose salvation because they are lost in sin. Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:23.

U- Unconditional Election: only those who are chosen by God are saved. This is the prerogative of God before the creation and before each one is born Ephesians 1:4, Romans. 9:16, Galatians. 1:15.

L- Limited Atonement: Jesus died only for those God had chosen for salvation and not every sinner. 1Samuel 3:14, Matthew 6:12, Luke 11:4.

I- Irresistible grace: It is God who makes those who yielded to salvation by his power, not the sinner’s choice or desire. He cannot prevent his salvation Prov. 21:1, Rom. 9:18.

P- Perseverance of the saints: It teaches that saved souls are secured in Christ so that they cannot lose their salvation no matter what they do thereafter.

In putting the teaching on salvation in proper biblical theory Jacob Arminius who lived between 1560 -1609 created an acronym he called FACTS which becomes the foundation of the Arminism.

F – Freed by grace to believe: this implies grace for salvation is for everyone. You can use accept the offer of salvation or reject it.

A – Atonement for all. The death of Jesus atoned for all mankind and not a selective atonement.

C – Conditional election: Those who are served the one that keyed into salvation plan of God, through their belief in Jesus.

T – Total depravity: all human being is generally a loss of their sin since the fall in Eden.

S – Security in Christ: Our salvation is secured in Christ.

The following are my discovery summation on the five-point agenda of both Calvinism and Arminianism looking from the Bible lens. (i) Depravity (ii) Election (iii) Redemption or atonement (iv) Grace (v) Eternal security.

Depravity: According to the Calvinism human is totally depraved as stated in Gen6:5. With this fact in the place that is not enough to deny that man do not have a portion in him that admit his shortcomings and crave for God. As expected the flesh and the devil contend with this desire.

 Don’t also forget the difference between animal and man is the spirit of God in man. We can see this in the reaction of the Adam when he sinned. He was afraid to meet God because of his sin tainted life. Calvinism insisted that sinful man in this state cannot seek God on his own without God drawing him. That, therefore, means he is programmed to do God’s bidding whether or not he likes it.

 But, when you look at Zacchaeus and Cornelius Luke 9:1-10 Acts 10:31. Both men though depraved yet, they sought God. Interestingly, both men had the world going for them as far as a physical achievement on this side of life. There is this vacuum seeking to be filled with something outside of them. They knew they needed something outside. So, every human being carries the capacity to seek God. Read God’s statement about Cornelius. Acts10:31. All it takes is man harnessing his power of choice. Jesus never preached to the thief by his right-hand side yet, he seeks for salvation.

On this, Dr. Curtis Hutson opined that sinners are even called through their conscience before a preacher speaks to them according to Romans 2:11-16. According to him, it is not a matter of whether you can come to Christ; it is a matter of whether you will come to Christ.

Election: Calvinism held that God does the election or selection for salvation. This is not based on whatever man has done or could do. It implies that God chooses some for salvation while others for destruction. That would not be scripturally correct as this negates God’s global appeal and offer in the following scriptures John 3:16-18, John 1:12. 

The stance of Arminist is a conditional election. This does not mean man salvation is the reward of his good work. Yet, he is supposed to show his salvation through good works. James 2:14-26 in the election for salvation. God’s part is contained in Ezekiel 18:23-33:11 2Peter 3:9. Arminius’s principle of election does not say man contributed to the work of salvation. Of course, that will infer salvation is based on work and not on grace. Paul L. Freeman believed John Calvin err on the limited election. He reasoned If God commanded us to love and pray for everybody including our enemies then, He wouldn’t have created some people for destruction.

Redemption or Atonement: Calvinism teaches the redemption work of Jesus can only atone for the sins of the elected of God. But, the Bible teaches Jesus died for all including those who ever will live. Despite, not everybody will enjoy this providence. But, only those who through repentance come to Jesus.

For instance, Jesus wept over Jerusalem for their unbelief. Calvin’s belief is inconsistent with John 3: 15, 16,18,21,33,36 especially the word “whosoever” or “anyone” which place salvation on man’s choice. Other scriptures that God wants all to be saved. Not only is that Jesus’ atonement for all. These scriptures attest to this in Ezekiel 18:32. 3:17-19. One truth about eternal security is the statement and commandment of Jesus on the great commission. If God had decided whom he would save then, evangelism is a share wasted effort. Will the effort of the early Apostles and Christian martyr not be in vain?

Grace: It is God who makes those he chose to yield to salvation, not the sinner’s choice or desire. He cannot prevent his salvation Prov. 21:1, Rom. 9:18.

Calvinism teaches God will save some people whether or not they like it. It implies then that even if nobody preaches to sinners, those predetermined by God will save them anyway. If sinners will be saved without their consent then the human is not different from animals or robot

Eternal security: Another name for this is perseverance of the saints: Calvin teaches that a saved soul is so secured in Christ that they cannot lose their salvation no matter what they do thereafter.

As we look at the doctrine of eternal security I think we will do well to first look at salvation and who is truly saved. What is Salvation? Salvation is the deliverance from sin and its eternal result. Salvation is eternal, it is not about now. The essence of salvation is to deliver us from the penalty of sin committed in the Garden of Eden and those other ones we committed on our own.

Remember, another truth about eternal salvation is that we are saved does not shield us from the penalty of sin while on earth. God forgave David yet, the child from the illicit affair died. Despite the personal good credential of Eli and Samuel, their children will not continue in the priesthood office. This is because of their failure on parental responsibility.

Who is saved? Mathew 24:13, Ezekiel 18:24. The mentioned bible passages succinctly established it that only those who stayed in God at death are the saved soul. An example is Judas Iscariot and the thief by the right hand of Jesus. What do you think would have happened if Judas had repented after betraying Jesus? I believe he would have been forgiven. Did he lose his salvation?

Let us look at the evidence. Judas committed a crime against God and the state by committing suicide.

What comes to your mind anytime you read the following statement? Strive to enter Luke 13:24. Do not allow anyone to takes your Crown Revelation 3:3. Contend for the faith once delivered Jude 3. Since the time of John the Baptist Matthew 11:12. Hold fast Hebrew 3:14. These Bible passages point to the truth about the part which believers have to play for the sustenance of his salvation through the grace of God. All the letters of Jesus apart from that of the Philadelphia are warnings that one could lose his salvation.

What do you make of Samson’s story? An angel predicted his birth. If we go by Calvin’s teaching, we could ask the following questions. Did God ordain Samson’s fall before creation? Couldn’t God prevented him from falling into sin and died with the enemies? Did God withdraw his hand of security from Samson to warrant his fall? Samson’s statement reveals a man who believes in charisma without character. He believed so much in eternal security irrespective of how you live thereafter. Perhaps, Samson was also a Calvinist.

We have no part in the work of our salvation, yet; we are not without responsibility to defend it. Why couldn’t God, stop Eve from eating the forbidden fruit? It is because God created them a free moral agent and not a robot. If you are in doubt about the possibility of a Christian losing his salvation, then read this.

Now, if we go by eternal security stance of Calvinism. Are their people or nation elected or appointed by God, who through their willpower denounce or wasted such an opportunity? Yes, we have them. The following examples should suffice.

  • Lots wife: I don’t know how many of us have had a personal encounter with angels. Mind you, it was an angel sent from God for her family’s salvation that held her hand. That is a literal and physical salvation from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God decided to save her, but she declined the offer. Lot’s wife broke off from the angel. If God had not appointed her for salvation would he have sent an angel in the first place? Note the angel never insisted against her will.
  • People in the days of Noah: God never intended the ark to harbor only eight people. God made a way of escape, but the people refused that salvation.
  • Saul the first King: It was God who chose Saul himself. But he could not sustain that selection. The people or Samuel has no say about it.
  • Eli and his lineage: If you compare the two passages of the scripture you’ll see God’ appointment and how Eli blew up the future of his generation by his choice.

Once saved is not forever saved. In other words, the truth about eternal salvation is that it is for those who endured to the end.

These examples prove even if God appointed a person for salvation he/she could jettison that offer. Therefore, to say once saved is forever saved will not only be wrong but against the principle of choice embedded in the human being.

The doctrine of the eternal security sells because of those Christian who seek a convenient way of serving the Lord with no pain attached. Often, such beleivers ask the question where is God when I hurt? Their reason is they were never told Christian journey is filled with thorns at times.

Unfortunately, for such fellows Matt Slick who is an ardent believer in the principle of eternal explained otherwise. He presented the truth about eternal security. As expected of a true translator of the bible the truth about eternal security is that it is not a cover for sinfulness. Though, this may sound like a shock to some conservative or hard-line Calvinist.  Matt Slick submitted that those who claim to be eternally secured who went on to commit sin on purpose are not saved in the first place. His reason is that such beliefs would negate the word of God as contained in 1 John 2:4. Yes, the truth of the bible is that God is capable of securing our salvation it is not a license for us to continue in sin deliberately.

When refuting the teaching of eternal security John Davis asked if it were not possible for one to lose his salvation why did Paul pray that he should not be a castaway 1 Cor. 9:24-27? This he supported with other scriptures. Hebrews. 2:1, 4:11,12:15,10:28, 2 Peter 3:17, Galatians. 1:6. Therefore, the truth about eternal security is that a beleiver can lose his salvation if he is not careful.

This is my submission. If even you believe in eternal security your striving daily to live for God will not only preserve you here but also, ultimately secure you in the hereafter.

What is your take on the truth about eternal security?

Do you think believers can have a middle course where we could both agree?

Add your voice to this discussion in the comment box below. Don’t also forget to share this on your favorite social media as you like my page.

 

 

man in various level of backsliding

3 Level of Backsliding No Televangelist Will Ever Tell You

 

The word backsliding is typically a biblical term. The backslider is often unaware of these levels of backsliding until it becomes too late. Though the word backsliding is not a compound word if separated it carries two meanings. This makes it simpler to interpret. The words are “back” and “slide”. Spiritually, “back” means moving away from God and all that pleases him. On the other hand, it means moving towards what displeases God. That said, “Slide” implies a slip or drifting away but, this time backward.

 Understanding these levels of backsliding is germane to our Christian living. Why? All things being equal anyone of us can backslide and the end disastrous. It will also serve as a caution to every seemly standing Christian. 2peter 2:20-22, Luke 9:62, Hebrew 2:1-3

1- The doubter: The first level of backsliders is the doubter. This level of backsliding is the first stage in the series of steps that eventually lead to backsliding. These types of a backslider were once Christians. They have confessed Jesus as their Lord and savior. At the beginning of their Christian race, God was real to them. Perhaps they have preached the gospel of the Lord as well. Maybe they’ve even cast out demons. At times they have gotten to a certain height in the ministry. They have tasted heavenly glory. However, at this level of backsliding, the person began to doubt the existence of God. The reality and reward for the believers and punishment for the sinner seem not to be real again.

To these types of backsliders, God is no longer working miracles as he uses to do. The promises of the scripture seem archaic. These types of backsliders see their days in sin and the world better than today. They celebrate the past than the present. According to this type of backslider righteousness no longer pays. After all, the lives of their unbelieving friends are better than their own.

 Most times these sets of backsliders wonder where God is when I hurt. Whenever they pray, they expect instant answers because God has done it before. But, now their prayers seem to hit the ceiling. Just like John the Baptist they’ve defended and proclaimed the name of Jesus. So, it is time for Jesus to reciprocate by coming to their aid Matthew 11:13. Once they didn’t see this happening then, it’s time to look for other alternatives.

2- The retractor: The second types of a backslider are the refractors. At this stage, they have moved from the level of doubting their Christian faith to returning to the old sinful state as a dog that returns to its vomit Proverbs26:11. At this stage, the ways of life that they once rejected are now their desire and pleasure. Their former sinful acquaintances are once again their close ally. They once had a passion for the things of God but gradually the passion is dying. And today, they no longer have the passion for Godly issues any longer.

 Backsliding Christian once valued prayer, and all forms of spiritual exercises, but, now the pleasures of the world have overtaken them. Social engagement has to take the place of spiritual engagement. Usually, what you value takes the best of your time. Before now, bible study, prayer, evangelism and visitation were their preoccupation. But that is history today. One of the signs of this level of backsliding is to ignore correction. They frown at discipline and rebuke. Most times they shy away from people who will correct or rebuke them. They prefer the gospel of convenience to the old path Christianity.

 Before long they begin to preach the doctrine of eternal security. According to them the principle of once saved forever saved hold sways today. Though they’ve renounced adultery, now they don’t see anything wrong with pornography and masturbation. Once, they abhor alcohol in its entirety but now one or two glasses of alcohol do no harm. As a true Christian they used to preach against indecent dresses but as at today, their song includes liberty in the mode of dress. At this level of backsliding “God understands “is their slogan.

 In all what they had earlier rejected is what they now celebrated. In all types of backsliding, they are now the opposite of what they used to be spiritually then. While they were in Christ God was first in their priority but now other things have taken that position. Any form of backsliding saddens the mind of God and puts the sinner on the side of eternal damnation.

3- Apostate: This is a period when a person has rejected in totality the existence of God, his power, and the possibility of eternal judgment. Before a Christian gets to this level of backsliding, he or she must have through the first two stages. They have gotten to a level that could almost be termed “point of no return” about the existence of God his power, love, and judgment Hebrews 6:4-10. At such a state, apostasy has set in. Don’t forget these set of people have once tasted the power and reality of God’s deliverance and provision once. At this level of backsliding, you do not have any Bible passage that can speak to them any longer.

According to them God and men have forgotten them. They see their situation as irredeemable. Most times these set of people weigh their pity and spiritual and commitment to what they are passing through. Therefore, they concluded God is not fair to them. At times they bring up bible passage as evidence to prove their case. Such passages of the scripture include but not intended to these. Then they reasoned it either God is no longer who he claimed to be or he used the scripture to cajole them into accepting the Christian faith.

 To worsen the case this type of believer will cite several examples of unbelievers who are having good times. Remember David also ran into this illusion as recorded. And honestly, there were people who were both physically and secretly terrible yet they are having a good run for their life. When you come across this type of backslider, they will prove to you how much they have served God. At times they’ll show you people who came to the Lord through them. But, they wonder why their own life’s story is different when the wicked are have a good testimony?

I wouldn’t deny the truth that most Christians get to tried and reach a period of despondency when everything is in six and seven. We pray nothing happens, we observe vigil no result. In addition to that, we added various forms of fasting to no avail. We speak in tongues, bind and cast out the devil and nothing changes. Then we examine our lives by God’s grace we have no conviction of any sin. At that time we are tempted to ask why me? But, instead of refracting from faith, we encourage ourselves like David 1Samuel 30:6. We talk to friends and senior ministers Proverb 27:17. And with their support, encouragement, and prayers we are back on our feet. However, the case of the backslider is not so. They dwell so much on the past that they lose the benefit of today.

Any of the mentioned levels of backsliding can shipwreck our spiritual boat if we are careless. We really noticed backsliding at the early stage. If addressed earlier, we could nip the apostasy stage in the bud before it gets out of hand. Regrettably, any careless living by the best of us can get us down the lane of backsliding.2 Corinthian 13:5

Do you any other level of backsliding before apostasy stage that I omitted? You can add them to the comment box

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dream fulfillment strategies

12 Dream Fulfillment Strategies That Guarantee A Happy Life

12 Dream Fulfillment Strategies That Guarantee  A Happy Life

Dream, like a plant, needs to be nurtured with patience and tenacity if you want fruition. Since God operates by the principle, dream fulfillment strategies are principles that will make your dream go beyond a wish to accomplish. You’ve heard this saying before “If wishes were horses, even a fool will ride”. Genesis chapter 1 and chapter 2 gave a vivid illustration of the difference between a wish and a dream. A wishful thinker leaves his life and destiny to chance. A dreamer works out his dream and destiny. In the above-mentioned scripture (God had a dream to create the human-inhabited world). So he applied those dream fulfillment strategies.Continue reading

Two love joined in Godly marriage principles

Godly Marriage Principles Every Youth Should Know

Godly Marriage Principles Every Youth Should Know.

Today there are several alternatives to Godly marriage principles. It is therefore not surprising why the rate of divorce is on the increase. Many people, including Christians, are enduring their marriage instead of enjoying them. Most held onto their marriage vows because of their status in the church and society. Though this group appears to be together outside at home, they are miles apartContinue reading

a confused man about which basic human fears he is facing

4 Basic Human Fears You Must Overcome To Reach Your Goal

 

4 Basic Human Fears You Must Overcome To Reach Your Goal

Are you terrified with all or any of these four basic human fears? These fears will definitely slow down your chances of delivery of your dream to affect your generation and lived a fulfilled life. Worrying and timidity is a degree of fear. Everybody had a share of fear as a child. In any case, as we grow up we have the tendency to conquer some fundamental phobia. This is on the grounds that we now know better about the truth of those things we dreaded. Continue reading

reasons you fear could not be undersood by a fearful man

Uncovering Reasons You Fear

Do you fear? Do you wonder why you fear? If your answer to these questions is yes, look no further. In a short while, I will be uncovering reasons you fear and why you shouldn’t. It is a silent killer. Fear kills physically and spiritually. It works in a subtle way and any unwary individual can be its casualty. What am I discussing here? Fear. What causes fear and why you must deal with it is the focus of this post. Don’t forget what made others afraid may not be the same reasons you fear.Continue reading

the father begging sad prodigal son's older brother

Hard to Believe Facts About The Prodigal Son’s Older Brother

Hard to Believe Facts About The Prodigal Son’s Older Brother

Commentators and writers seldom talk about the prodigal son’s older brother. Though, the intent of the parable is to show God’s response to repentant sinners. However, each person involved has a stake in the story.  But he answered his father, Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet, you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.

I found these four often omitted striking lessons in the life of the prodigal son’s older brother.Continue reading