Recently I was invited to preach at a Free Will Baptist. We had a wonderful service, so much so, that I was placed under consideration to be their Pastor. They set a date for a vote and I asked for the Church Doctrinal Statement and Constitution. When it arrived we were disappointed to find out that they believe that someone that has been saved can become apostate and go to hell. I thought long and hard on the matter and came up with the following illustration (parable) that I e-mailed to them. "Bro. *****, I really need your prayers and help understanding something that happened to my brother today. I feel devastated. My father has a man he refers to as his right hand man. He's known him longer than any of us kids and has always trusted him to do what's right by us. He takes care of everything for dad, even driving the family where they need to go. Daddy trusts him to discipline my siblings. One of my brothers gets unruly in the vehicle from time to time, but he has in the past corrected his behavior when he acts up. I just got word from another brother today that he acted up and opened the door, threatening to jump out. I was told this driver, the same man that daddy has trusted all this time, instead of pulling him in, pushed him out and he is dead, lost forever. I am distraught. Please help me understand this! What am I supposed to think of this man now? My brother's gone. I'm devastated! God have mercy." "Sorry for the dramatics. It was just a parable. When I received the information you sent me yesterday, I was having trouble coming to terms with Article 2, section 1 (H) "The Conditional Security and Assurance of Believers." The part about somebody that was once saved can lose their salvation and be cast into hell. I thought deeply about that on the way to work yesterday and these thoughts are what came to my heart and mind. In the illustration the Father is God, the Driver is Christ, the vehicle is His grace. Everybody in the vehicle, (His grace), is going to be taken where they need to go, Heaven. They accepted the gift and Jesus has made the way and paid for it with His blood. A gift that can be rescinded is not a gift. The Church Constitution you sent tells me that one of my brothers can get pushed out and that the Driver, Christ, would let it happen. Where does discipline figure into this? Where does the power of the Lord figure into this? If I have to count on my behavior to keep me in the vehicle instead of the Driver, then I believe in a works based salvation instead of the grace and power of God. If pastoring your church requires me to get out of my vehicle and ride in yours, I am not willing to do that. I do not trust your Driver. I choose to ride with my Driver, the One that I can put my full faith and confidence in and the One that will care enough to deal with me when I act up and pull me in, even when it appears I may be ready to jump out. His power and will are greater than mine. If I have to embrace the doctrine that I can lose my salvation in order to pastor your Church, I'm sorry I cannot do that. Thanks for your understanding."