Eternal Security On What Basis?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Martin, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Martin

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    The recent discussions of eternal security/perseverence on this forum has lead me to ask a question. This is a question I had to answer myself at one time and it is a question everyone who believes in a certain type of eternal security needs to answer. You ready? Ok, here we go...... :tongue3:

    If you deny the points of Calvinism, the Doctrines of Grace, what basis do you "really" have for believing in eternal security?


    As I said, I had to answer this question for myself a few years ago. What I have discovered, through my own experience, is that many people who believe in eternal security apart from the "Doctrines of Grace" (Calvinism) fall into at least two errors...

    Antinomianism. This is the common no-Lordship view that is promoted by people such as Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin, and Tony Evans. In this view, commonly refered to as "once saved, always saved", a person is saved by a one time act of faith. That one time act of faith, however, may not last. According to this view that person may, or may not, continue in their faith (ie...a true believer can commit apostasy and still enter heaven). Also, according to this view, that person may live an immoral lifestyle and still enter the Kingdom of God. This seems to be the most common trap for those who believe in eternal security apart from the Doctrines of Grace. It is, in fact, an error I myself spent some time believing. Interestingly enough, when I moved out of this error I moved towards the Doctrines of Grace. I have heard others say the same thing.

    The God "has to" view. This view is common among the antinomians and among eternal security advocates who, while not antinomian, don't affirm the Doctrines of Grace. This view teaches that when a person trusts Christ as Savior, God is now forced to keep that person saved no matter how they "turn out". The person may turn out to be a rank heretic, apostate, or become immoral, yet God is still obligated to bring this person to heaven. While some in this camp would never go to the antinomian extremes I just mentioned, the majority do.

    I think we have to ask ourselves, why do people who reject the Doctrines of Grace and believe eternal security often fall into such serious errors?

    I think the reason is that they have their basis for believing in eternal security wrong. These people want to believe that salvation is a deal between God and man (form of Arminianism), yet they also want to believe in eternal security (without the Doctrines of Grace). Normally those who believe that salvation is a "deal" between God and man also believe that both sides must hold up their end or the deal is off (ie...loss of salvation). However since these folks don't "want" to believe in the loss of salvation, and since they don't want to believe that salvation is totally of God (Doctrines of Grace), they have to find a way around both positions. So they create this system where God saves a person forever (promising them total security) and then, for all practical purposes, is not able to sanctify them. Why not? Because that would be God "over-riding" mans "all important" free-will. So how does God deal with these apostates in His family? According to these teachers He brings them to heaven and then punishes them. Charles Stanley, Zane Hodges, and Bob Wilkin actually teach that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in heaven! Amazed? Don't be, it is just the start of the troubles with this view.

    Apart from the Doctrines of Grace we have NO Biblical reason to believe in eternal security. Why not? Because the Bible does not teach security apart from Divine election. Eternal security, or better the perseverence of the saints, is naturally linked to the doctrine of election.

    If man is totally depraved,
    and if God in eternity past chose to save some based 100% on His will and purpose and based on nothing within the person,
    and if God sent His Holy Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and pay for their sins,
    and if God draws them to Himself,
    then it is the logical, and Biblical, conclusion that God would continue to work in that person's life.

    Believers persevere in the faith because it is God who is at work in them (Phil 1:6, 1Thess 5:23-24). Believers are kept secure in the faith because God personally elected them and, through the Gospel, drew them to Himself (Jn 6:37-39).

    Apart from the Doctrines of Grace there is no Biblical reason to believe in eternal security.

    BTW...read my signature. Antinomianism is the very error Spurgeon is responding to in the quote.
     
    #1 Martin, Dec 31, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2006
  2. Helen

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    I am absolutely opposed to Calvinistic doctrines regarding predestination, and believe the theology which is behind total depravity and limited atonement is wrong.

    Having said that, I am the sheep and Christ is the Shepherd. I am entirely in His hands and I need not be afraid of being dropped or lost. I have been born again and even when I may be a difficult child for the Holy Spirit to raise, I am still His and He is still hanging on to me. I have no need to fear and no need to 'watch out for myself.'

    Knowing I am His eternally allows me to take my eyes off of myself and keep them on Him and on others. (Love God and love your neighbor...)
     
  3. AresMan

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    There are some who believe that salvation is a simple "free will" choice made available to all individuals, but that once someone actually exercises faith in Christ, that person becomes indwelt by the Holy Spirit and is caused to "persevere to the end" along the lines of the fifth point of Calvinism. I have known people that I would probably call "1-point Calvinists" because they accept the fifth point, but reject the other points.
     
  4. Martin

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    That is sort of the "God has to" view of eternal security. Apart from election what reason do these people have for believing that they are eternally secure? Because one day they did God the favor of believing in Him? There is no Biblical reason to accept eternal security apart from the Doctrines of Grace. In fact almost every time eternal security is mentioned in the Bible it is mentioned in the context of the Doctrines of Grace (Jn 6:37-39, etc). So again I have to ask the question, on what basis do these people believe in eternal security? Apart from the idea that because they believed God is required to keep them?
     
  5. Helen

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    It's simply based on God's Word. He has told us nothing will separate us from Him. He has told us He will finish the good work He began in us. That is enough for me.

    What I do not find in the Bible is Calvinism.
     
  6. Martin

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    ==And what is the context of those statements?

    The fact that God foreknew us, predestined us to be like Christ, called us to Himself, justified, and glorified us. Who will bring a charge against "God's elect" (Rom 8:33)? The context of the promise in Romans 8:38-39 is the doctrine of election. This election is not based on anything we have done, or anything within us (Rom 9:11), rather it is based on God's grace (Eph 1:3-6).

    He, God, will finish the work He started in us, right? Right (Phil 1:6, 1Thess 5:23-24), but why did He start it? Simply put, He wanted to. It was, as Paul put it, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us" (Eph 1:7-8). Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). We came to Him only because we were first given to Him by the Father (Jn 6:37, 17:2) and because of that fact, because we were given to Him by the Father, He will not lose us (Jn 6:38-39).

    Eternal security, or rather and more Biblically the perseverance of the saints, cannot be seperated from God's sovereign work in salvation. I know, in the past I tried to hold that position and it just did not work Biblically.
     
  7. Jim1999

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    If I board the train of my own free will, then I have the power to leave the train of my own free will. At what point does this nebulous "free will" start and end?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. whatever

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    God loves you too much to force you to be saved, and He loves you too much to allow you to fall away. It all makes sense as long as you don't think about it a lot.
     
  9. Martin

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    ==I don't know anyone who believes that God "forces" people to be saved. What God does, according to His Word, is change the heart of the person and then draws that person to Himself (Ez 36:26-27, Jn 6:37-39, 2Thess 2:13). However if God did "force" someone to be saved that would be His Sovereign right. Btw, I think Paul's conversion makes it very clear that God's plan and purposes will be done. Paul never debated with Jesus, he did not have the chance, he was thrown to the ground and told what he must do (Acts 9:3-4).


    ==Jesus stated that the reason believers will not be lost is because they are given to Him by the Father (Jn 6:38-39, 10:28-29). Paul links those two things as well in Romans 8:29-39. Does God love us? Yes, but we don't deserve that love. It is all of God's grace.



    ==That does not sound like a good idea to me (2Tim 2:15).
     
  10. whatever

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    Hi Martin,

    Sorry, I was being facetious. There are some who think a Calvinistic view of election equates to forcing people to be saved whether they want to or not. Of course, no Calvinist actually believes that. I was only attempting to point out the inconsistency of those people who insist that we must be completely free to choose whether to be saved or not and then also insist that we are completely not free to choose whether to remain saved or not.
     
  11. Helen

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    A question was asked and I responded. You guys have a good time now, OK?

    After all, according to Calvinism, I was predestined to believe in free will. How can you fault me for that?
     
  12. Martin

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    Good point but I did not get that from your original reply. Either way it is a good point. :thumbsup:
     
  13. whatever

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    Because I was predestined to fault you for that? :laugh:

    Just kidding. You trust in Christ; so do I. He sees you as righteous; I must try to see you as He does, and ask your forgiveness when I fail.

    I know you think I am too flippant, and you are probably correct. But please know this - I make fun of myself way more than I do anyone else. I do not mean anything personal by it, and for the offense that I have caused, I apologize. Have a good day (and a good 2007).
     
  14. Helen

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    Thanks, Whatever. I get flippant, too, as you can see. I appreciate your attitude. I think that we will all find out, in heaven, the different areas where we were wrong and we will be deeply humbled. Might as well practice humility now so it won't come as a shock then, right?

    God bless you and a blessed New Year to you, too. (but then, if He has already predestined to bless you....

    .....never mind.....LOL.....:laugh: )
     
  15. drfuss

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    Whatever writes:
    " I was only attempting to point out the inconsistency of those people who insist that we must be completely free to choose whether to be saved or not and then also insist that we are completely not free to choose whether to remain saved or not."

    WOW !!!

    Sounds like Calvinism and Conditional Security agree on something.
     
  16. Bartimaeus

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    First things first. The Lord must be humored over the ideas of man.
    Totally Depraved = Depravity is the state of being totally lost. It is in and of itself complete. By saying "totally depraved" you are saying "completely lost". You are either lost or saved, you are either depraved or not depraved. Depravity means destitute of any holiness. Calvinists are the worst at being religiously redundant.
    Man is depraved naturally. It is a complete and total position before a Holy God. Man is born as a "child of wrath". Now when you cant get the basics right, tell me why should I go any farther in your doctrine?

    Thanks Bartimeaus
     
  17. Bartimaeus

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    Now wait a minute Sister....you don't really know....you might be predestined to be a free willer for 9999.9% of your whole life and then...in the last moment, at the last possible recognizable point, God could change your heart and draw you to Himself and then you'll realize you were one of the special people.....you know one of those few that Christ died for....one of the elect. So, I'm holdin out for you. I pray that you are. Wait.....no use of praying that way is there.

    Thanks Bartimaeus
     
  18. Bartimaeus

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    You know what drfuss, it is interesting to note that Adam was choosing to stay in the garden after the fall. Why do you think this was his choice? Possibly because this is where he walked with God. This was the place that he talked with God. This was the place that God gave him what he needed in life. Now it is very easy to see that Adam was choosing to stay in the garden because the Bible says that God "drove" him out. Very simply easy to understand and undeniable. Adam still had the ABILITY to choose after he died spiritually. I didn't write it, the Lord did.

    Thanks Bartimaeus
     
  19. drfuss

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    And your point is?
     
  20. James_Newman

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    Why would you assume that free choice means you are free to choose whatever you want? You didn't choose to be born did you? If you had, could you then choose to be unborn afterward? Some choices cannot be unchosen. We may certainly face consequences for our choices after salvation, but I don't believe losing our salvation is one of them.
     

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