It has been a considerable time since I last posted, and I apologize to anyone who checks the blog regularly for my lack diligence. With that said hopefully I will begin posting regularly again, no promises though.
The past two days my thoughts have been centering on eternal security, ‘saved once, for eternity.’ This may be the most numerically divisive issue in Christendom, by numerically divisive I mean 50% believe in eternal security, 50% believe salvation can be lost. However this topic gets glossed over by many Christians. Nearly everyone will take a stand on abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, and [insert controversial subject here], yet among Christians positions on these subjects tend to be lopsided, with a small percentage leaning to the extreme liberal stance, while the majority consider it asinine that a Christian would consider homosexuality normal, abortion acceptable, and so on. We will debate issues that have been settled already, yet the majority of believers avoid the issue of eternal security. What is even more unsettling about this is that everyone has a belief concerning it, and it is typically a strong belief. If you ask a believer if they can still go to hell they will quickly answer yes or no. It is not something where people say they aren’t quite sure about it, or don’t have an opinion, it is always a simple yes or no. Regardless of which side of this argument you fall, it is a critical argument nonetheless. It is a debate that must be enacted, and both sides must search the scriptures and find the truth concerning it. This is not an issue like post-millennialism, or pre-millennialism, or whatever. That issue may be debated among believers who have all other things in common and the first principles of Christianity are not affected by the position held by the believer regarding this subject. Yet this issue of eternal security is foundational to our faith, it is a critical stone in the foundation of our relationship with God. So in this first, and maybe last (I hope not) post concerning eternal security I will just lay out the fundamental reasons it is an important debate.
1. If we are not eternally secure, obedience is required for salvation, if we are eternally secure disobedience cannot result in damnation.
2. If we are not eternally secure, salvation is from Christ, but is conditional based on the believer’s actions. If we are eternally secure salvation is from Christ independent of the believer’s actions.
3. If we are not eternally secure, Christ’s atonement was for past sins, and future sins, which we confess to Him. If we are eternally secure Christ’s atonement was for sins past present and future at the point of salvation.
4. If we are not eternally secure our obedience brings us to a right relationship with God. If we are eternally secure our relationship with God brings us to a point of obedience.
5. If we are not eternally secure God judges us by our actions (non-confessed sin.) If we are eternally secure God judges us by the merits of Christ despite the actions of the flesh.
6. If we are not eternally secure we will be held accountable the deeds of the flesh. If we are eternally secure the deeds of the flesh are not imparted to our eternal soul.
This is just a list of 6 issues that could be addressed concerning eternal security. You can see that these issues are all foundational to what we believe, how we live, and who we think God is. We can gloss over this issue for the sake of unity, but the bottom line is that 50% of Christendom is fundamentally wrong. Either 50% are assuming a freedom that they don’t really have, or 50% are shackled by requirements they don’t need to meet.
That is the premise of the debate on eternal security. I will say that I undoubtedly believe that we are eternally secure, and that to believe otherwise is to stand upon a shaky foundation built by the merits of your own will. I will go further in saying that not believing in eternal security is essentially denying the very core of what God’s grace is. It is like being a Galatian who begins in the spirit but then attempts to be justified by the flesh. It is to call Paul a liar when he says it is no longer I that sin, but sin that dwelleth in me, that is, in my flesh. It is to deny the very imputed righteousness of Christ.
I hope to go more into this at a later time. Please post a comment if you disagree, set me straight if you feel you need to. Or drop some encouragement if you think I am on the right path.