An Argument for A Believer’s Eternal Security

 

By Gene Lawley



I have always liked the interesting title of that old song from the 1920’s, “Yes, We Have No Bananas Today”. But if you apply that thought pattern to the question of eternal security of the believer, it would read like this: “Yes, we have no hope”; or, “Yes, we have no real forgiveness; or, “Yes, we have no justification;, or even, “Yes, we have no God who is faithful to His word.

If there is no assurance of salvation for the true believer, what shall we do with this statement in Hebrews 13:5?: “…”For He Himself has said, ‘I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU’." (Yes,it’s in capital letters in the New Testament.)

Does God lie? If not, then, when one who once believed then turned away from God in disobedience goes to hell, will God be there with him or her? Of course, one of the major attributes of the God of eternity is that He is “omnipresent”—everywhere at all times, but this kind of consideration has a different connotation. (As an inset, look at the illustration, perhaps, of that scenario in chapter 3 of Daniel, where the three Hebrew young men were thrown in the king’s fiery furnace—not unlike the eternal flames of God’s righteous judgment, or presence without His redemption—yet, because the Son of Man was with the three men, they were not harmed by the intense heat. And Jesus saves us from the intense, fiery judgment of God, the Eternal Judge.)

It appears that one who wants to believe he can be lost, then saved, then lost again, over and over again, has no concept of the strength of the will of God and puts himself in the position of controlling and directing the will of God. It begs the question of whose will is the stronger—God’s or mine (if I were to believe that way). Look at these words in John 6:37-40, spoken by Jesus, Himself: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

Jesus also says, in John 10:27-30, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one." So, the real question is this: When Jesus says “they shall never perish”, does He mean “NEVER”-- really?

After I was “born again” some 57 years ago, and I was hit, “smack-dab in the middle” of my thinker with temptations and the wiles of the devil, I struggled for about nine months or more with assurance of salvation. I had the promises and was memorizing the verses, but my feelings did not want to submit to the truths of the Word of God. So the devil had a heyday with me, yet as I began to do what Romans 12:2 says, my sub-conscious mind that had no biblical foundation laid in place from my younger days began to grasp those truths of God’s integrity and truthfulness, and I found my faith and confidence in what God says begin to grow. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” And, of course, there still is a long way to go.

One of those early verses I learned is 1 John 5:11-12, “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Then I realized that the next verse, verse 13, was an integral part of that thought-line: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” As far as I have discovered, that is the only place in the Bible where it tells us we may KNOW that we have eternal life, and it comes from having the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in our lives, in our hearts.

The last part of the verse is not in some of the translations, but it is in the King James Version and in this New King James version. Yet, it grasps a concept that is pertinent to growth and development of one’s faith in God for the long haul. And that is, truthfully, if one is not sure of his salvation, he is not likely to progress very much further in his relationship with the Lord. On the foundation of assurance of having a fixed and unchanging promise of eternal life one can have the confidence to step out on faith and discover “that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 some very important points for us: “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.“ [Underscore is mine.]

If the foundation is Christ, as shown in 1 John 5::11-12, above, then what happens after that does not determine a person’s eternal destiny. It describes his rewards for what he has done or not done during his time in his physical body (see 2 Corinthians 5:10). Note that it says the one who has no enduring works will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved. So the ball is in our court. Not like the animals, who are ruled by instinct, God created man with the ability to make choices, and , O Boy, don’t we? We make some real “doozzies”, some of us! But let’s not forget that being created in the image of God does not just involve allowing us to choose our own paths—which does invariably lead to destruction, but there is an intelligence quotient in the mix that when combined with conviction of sin by the imprinted moral laws of God in our consciences can lead us to repentance and into favor with God through Jesus Christ.

Mankind desperately needs a greater concept of God--that He is eternal, unchanging, and ever loving, and just in all His ways. In Hebrews 11:6 we can see what pleases Him: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” So for those who savor eternal life and fellowship with the God of the universe, it’s all “thumbs up” as far as God is concerned.