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In Regards to Salvation: Is One Truly Eternally Secure?

In regards to the issue on whether or not once a person professes faith in Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior can lose the gracious gift of salvation is based on ones view of freewill.  Many Evangelicals are forsaking the concept of eternal security or the basis that the Bible does supports the notion that once a person accepts Christ as their savior salvation is secure.  This  premise is based on a theological theory that sanctification is an ongoing process and thus one is may never be truly restored to the “Likeness of Christ”[1], and  is as result of the nature of sin, one’s free will and the accumulation of  unrepented sins in one’s life. Thus, one given a free agent may be able to surrender the gift of gracious salvation. Although, Some Evangelicals believe the only  mortal sins will result in the removal of salvation  such as  the Sins of apostasy   and blasphemy, which would include  a willful denial of  Salvation,  a denouncement of God to enter in the worship of false religions or to engage in the service of the beast and worship of the devil.[2]

Erwin Lutzer offers an apologetic defense in favor of unconditional security as stated the last five points of Calvinism affirmed at the Synod of Dort. “There it was spoken of the perseverance of saints, the belief that all who truly believe will persevere in Grace until the end.”[3]

Lutzer offers Scriptural support of Christ sovereignty and Authority as Savior and King to solidify his position, “And this is the will of Him who sent me, that all that He has given me will not be Lost (John 6:39).  Christ additionally states, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give Eternal Life to them and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them out of my hands as the father has given them to Me an none is Greater than the Father and able to snatch them out of the Father’s Hands( John 10: 27-29).”

Further Evidence is provided in the Bible “for The Holy Spirit is the seal of inheritance (Eph 1:14) as well as the seal until the day of redemption (Eph 4:30).”[4]

Lutzer finally strengthens his position by explaining the Doctrine of Assurance. He states there are three witnesses that will attest to the fact of who is saved and eternally secure. “First Christ himself stated those who believe will have eternal life but one must understand the word believe as to trust and rely on him. One must acknowledge a personal need and an understanding of one’s sinful nature and one’s helplessness without the substitutionary sacrifice that was given by Christ on the cross. Additional faith must be directed on total reliance on Christ. Additionally some place trust in Baptism or good works or the Mass, or even in prayer. This misplaced trust or objective faith not Christ centered faith. Lutzer boldly states “’that all the prayed stated by all people never changed the mind of God on the nature of sinners.’”[5] The second Witness is the Holy Spirit who through his indwelling brings sanctification and regeneration and leads to the final witness “New Life” or outer change.[6] This is proven in testimony of action, and conduct as the Blossoming of the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5) Becoming Christ Minded (Phil 1-4) and exhibiting the characteristics of love (1 Cor 13, Matt 22: 36-40).

Those who hold the view of conditional security believe that although one’s Salvation is secure on God’s part man can return the gracious gift by either committing, apostasy, blasphemy, the hardening of the heart by the accumulation of unrepented sin and thus by blocking or removing the seal of protection, or the worship of false Gods or Satan. Any of the above must be an of self will enacted by the freewill of the free agent and it is debated among Evangelicals on whether or not once one chooses to give up the gift one can reenter the kingdom of God.  While some claim that Hebrews 10:26-27 supports this claim as the notion of freewill is based on the concept that God is Love and what a loving relationship it would beg to reason this is a misinterpretation y those who hold such a view. [7]

Additionally, scripture evidence for the redemption of the Lost is stated by Jesus in the parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15: 11-32). Additionally one could cite That Jesus holds the keys to death and Hades ( underworld), Jesus judges the living and the Dead so that the spirit may live as God does( 1 Peter 4:6) and the fact Jesus  descended into the lower parts of Earth before he conquered death( Eph 4:8-9; Rom 10:7).

Additional who are we to questions the providence of God and the will of Spirit or the Power and Authority of Christ. The main issue on free will is that for one to truly love one must be able to choice thus have fee will and if one must profess believe in Christ in order to come to Salvation the same free agent can denounce it.  It would be presumptuous to state Jesus have given us the Lord’s Prayer, stressed forgiveness and Emphasized love if sanctification was not at least partially are responsibility.   Paul teaches all people will be judged be for God and Christ in Romans 2:16 and 2 Timothy 4:1.

Additionally, while Lutzer holds the Blessed Assurance is proof of eternal security it could also argued simply against Lutzer that all this proofs is salvation is Eternally secure from The Divine perspective but from the human perspective it conditional. One could see this in the process of sanctification after the process of repentance, profession of Faith, indwelling of Spirit and the ongoing process of sanctification and spiritual maturation and the continual battle of flesh and Spirit the Paul warns about in his various Epistles( Rom 12:12; Gal 5…). In addition, one can also deduce the entire process of faith itself just like any relationship is one of interdependent for although the individual must come to belief by faith the Holy Spirit provides and strengthens the faith of the believer and the church. Providing the necessary gifts of inspiration, encouragement, protection, healing, signs, wonders and all else need to equip the individual and the Body for the Kingdom calling and serve the glory and will of God.

In God, Christ, & Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

Bibliography

Boyd, Gregory A, and Paul R Eddy. Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology. Edited by 2nd. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009.

Lutzer, Erwin. The Doctrines That Divide. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1998.

 

 

[1] Image Dei in Latin: Created in Image of God (Genesis 1:27,2:15,21) Eikōn in Greek: drawn from a direct image direct representation or not a mirror of but the same likeness of ( 2 Cor  4:4; Col 1;15, 2:21, 3:10)

[2] Boyd, Gregory A, and Paul R Eddy. Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology. Edited by 2nd. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009.

 

[3] Lutzer, Erwin. The Doctrines That Divide. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1998.

 

[4] Lutzer, Erwin. The Doctrines That Divide. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1998.

 

[5] Lutzer, Eric. The Doctrines That Divide. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1998.

 

[6] Lutzer, Eric. The Doctrines That Divide. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1998.

[7] Lutzer, Eric. The Doctrines That Divide. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1998.

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