My Sheep Shall Never Perish – By Gerald Bustin

Hard Nuts For The Unconditional Security Crowd To Crack

If all true believers are unconditionally secure what did Jesus mean when He said:

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure (keep the fires of love burning) unto the end, the same shall be saved.”? Mt. 24:12, 13 Read Rev. 2:1-5

“Every branch in me (no one is in Christ except one who is a true believer) that beareth not fruit He taketh away … Abide in Me, and I in you … If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:1, 4, 6

Again, if this salvation is unconditional why did Jesus say, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.”?

If, in the parable of the virgins, “oil” represents the Holy Spirit (as all Bible teachers say it does), is it not a fact that these foolish virgins had possessed the Spirit according to their testimony, “our lamps are gone out.”? Some say this should read, “our lamps are going out.” Whether “gone”, or “going”, they had had oil. In view of this fact, how could the Lord say, “I know you not”? He did not say, “I never knew you.”

If the security idea is correct, evidently the apostle Paul believed that way. If he believed like the unconditional security groups, why did he make the blunder of exhorting disciples “to continue in the faith”? If this theory is correct then all shall continue whether they are exhorted or not. Why did he write this to the Romans? “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” Look at I Cor. 9:27: “But I keep under my body, and bring it under subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” “Let him that thinketh he standeth (sure of his security) take heed lest he fall.” I Cor. 10:12 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain.” I Cor. 15 :1, 2 “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel …” Col. 1:23

Poor Paul seems to have been mixed up in his doctrine — if he believed in eternal security. In I Tim. 1:19 Paul speaks of some who had made “shipwreck” of faith. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” I Tim. 4:1 How could men “depart from the faith” if they had never been attached to it? Herein is depicted not only backsliding, but the appalling apostasy which is now in evidence all about us. In the same book and in chapter 5, verse 12, Paul writes: “Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.” In II Tim. 2:12 Paul says, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us.” Honestly, Paul, some of us cannot possibly harmonize the eternal security theory with things you write.

We now turn to Hebrews. Whether Paul wrote this letter, or whether it was written by another, we cannot say positively. This we know, it was written to Hebrew believers. Repeatedly the writer addresses himself to “brethren,” and “holy brethren.” In chapter two and verses one to three we find a solemn warning being given to believers against drifting away from the faith. The climax of this warning is: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation …?

Preachers use this text in warning sinners, but God used it in warning believers. Let us look into chapter three. “But Christ as a Son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” Verse 6. Some of the strongest language possible is found in verses 12, 13, 14. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ (eternally) if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.”

Will our security brethren please give us the meaning of these exhortations and warnings. “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Heb. 4:11. Chapter six, verses 4 to 8 gives solemn warning concerning the sad state of apostates. This is some of the strongest language found in the Bible describing the heights from which men may fall, and yet some security theorists absolutely deny that these people herein described had anything to begin with in the way of true faith. He speaks of those who were “once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.”

What could possibly be stronger than the expression “made partakers of the Holy Ghost”? What language could be employed to more properly describe the blessed state of a true believer in our Lord? The word partake is defined as, to receive, to participate in, take, or have a share in. The writer warns that even those who are found in this blessed state may fall away to the extent that it shall be impossible to renew them again to repentance. (The context here makes it clear that something more than common backsliding is inferred. The writer makes it clear that a complete apostasy is referred to.)

The same truth is referred to in the 10th chapter and the 23rd through the 31st verses. An additional warning is given to us in the 12th chapter and the 25th verse: “See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven.”

Is it not rather difficult to believe that Peter believed whole-heartedly in the security theory? “But he that lacketh these things (things described in verses 5-8 is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure (Really, does this sound like the idea of nothing to do?): for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” I Peter 1:9, 10 What if they failed to do these things? “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” II Peter 2:20, 21.

How can advocates of the unconditional security theory have the audacity to tell us that these folk described by Peter never had anything to begin with? How could Peter say, “entangled again” if they were never untangled the first time? How could he say, “again overcome” if they had nothing in the first place? Why will these theorists deny the fact of deliverance proclaimed in Peter’s words, “they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”? What language could be used to make it clearer that these had escaped from the pollutions of the world?

Here is a final word of warning from Peter: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” II Peter 3:17. Peter, like Brother Paul, leaves us in the muddle of misunderstanding if he believed in unconditional security.

Many words could be given from the apostle John, but we will pass on only one verse at this time. “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” I Jno. 2:24 Is this not rather strange doctrine coming from the one, who, above all others, has furnished the eternal security crowd (according to their interpretation) their strongest proofs for their pet theory. John, we are compelled to confess that some of your statements are rather confusing if you believe in unconditional security. We will have a final word from you later.

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If this [so-called] “comforting” doctrine [of eternal security] is such a necessity for the believer, why did not our Lord have this theory stated in terms which are unmistakably clear?

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If Paul and the other apostles believed in such a doctrine, why did they not clarify their many statements made to the contrary?

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If it be true that all one-time true believers in Christ are eternally saved, whether they believe in the theory or not, then what great advantage has the believer in this type of security over the non-believer in such? What will be the grand difference one hundred years hence?

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If the “securitiest” who believes he can flirt with the world, and even live in a state of shameful sin, and still retain his place of sonship with God, should some day discover himself to be a lost soul in the clutches of death and consigned to the regions of the damned, what profit shall his pet theory afford him then? What joy shall such an one bring to the preacher who taught this heresy to the now lost soul? (Don’t amuse yourself by saying that such a thing can never be, for millions of God’s people believe that this shall be the sad state of many such false believers.)

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It is possible to have everlasting life and not be God-forgiven? It is possible to be eternally saved and at the same time have an unforgiving spirit? What did Jesus mean when he said, “If ye will not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”?

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Is it possible for a child of God to so far err from the truth that he arrives at the place where he hates his brother? If so, what becomes of his “eternal life” while he hates his brother? John said “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” I Jno. 3:15 Again, what did John mean when he said, “He that loveth not his brother abideth in death”? What kind of death?

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Is it possible to have “eternal life” without the love of the Father in us? If not so, what about the “worldly-minded Christian” you speak of? John says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I Jno. 2:15 Who shall we believe? John the Spirit-inspired writer, or the teacher of unconditional security? It is obvious that we cannot believe both.

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You who hold the unconditional security theory, and think you believe the Bible, will you kindly tell us just where in the Bible you find such expressions as “once saved always saved,” “once a child always a child,” “sonship, but out of fellowship,” “sinning saints,” “sinning believers,” “sinning Christians,” “saved sinners,” and such like expressions? Let us be one hundred percent honest. Is it not just as sensible to talk about “truthful liars,” “honest thieves,” “sincere hypocrites,” “saintly murderers,” and “holy devils”?

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If Christians can commit sin and yet retain eternal life, just how much sin can they commit, and just what sins? Can they commit the following list of sins: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like”? If the answer is “Yes,” then what shall we do with the words of the apostle Paul who said, concerning this very list, “Of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”? Gal. 4:19-21 Who would have the brass to say that this means all except “saved sinners”?

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Is there not some danger of the eternal security advocate becoming guilty of adding to and taking from the words of God’s book? Let us hear what the Lord says concerning such: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the Book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life (whether the security advocate believes it or not), and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this Book.”

The sainted John Fletcher pointedly remarked, “The infallible perseverance of obedient believers is a most sweet and evangelical doctrine. The infallible perseverance of disobedient believers is a most dangerous and unscriptural doctrine.”

The saint of God, whom Christ chooses to term, “My Sheep” — those who hear and give heed to the Master’s voice, and those with whom He lives in sweet fellowship — intimate relationship — while following Him — “shall never perish,” for they have life eternal, and no man is able to snatch them from the Master’s and the Father’s hands. While dwelling in their mighty hands the security of the sheep is perfect, absolute, and eternal.

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

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