Eternal Security of
Salvation is Completed upon
our Entrance into Heaven
PRESUMPTION : And the Danger of Reading into the Bible
SALVATION IS NOT
ONLY A PAST EVENT
Bible Verses Misinterpreted: A list of verses that are often wrongly interpreted to support Once Saved Always Saved. (Not yet available.)
Purpose : The purpose of this page is to make our hope
FALSE SECURITY Verses TRUE SECURITY
The false and unbiblical doctrine of being saved by “Faith Alone” while seemingly offering “Eternal Security” actually offers very little security when clearly examined. For example, we sometimes see good Christian men turn away from the Gospel and commit a very serious sin. If we say that committing such a serious sin has no effect on one’s salvation we contradict the Gospel. See Below. If a person who claims to be a Christian because of a “Born Again” experience commits such a sin only to later say the his original “Born Again” experience was not a true one, but that his subsequent one was true, how does he know with infallibly certainty that this is so when he had been convinced that his first experience was true ?
Even if such a Christian does not fall into serious sin how does he know that he will not do so in the future ? He can claim as Peter did that his faith and love will not fail, but the Bible warns against making such a claim. [See Mark 14: 29-31 and the article on Love, section on St. Peter.] True humility leads us to accept how easy it would be for us to fall in the future.
The false doctrine of “Faith Alone” often leads a person to put his faith in his own estimation and evaluation of how true his faith really is. And trusting in one’s own judgment is not secure at all.
The true Biblical position actually offers us much more certainty. We are saved completely by the free gift of God’s grace that is administered to us by the Sacraments as promised by Christ and by remaining in that grace by receiving it and acting in conjunction with it by a Faith working through love, Galatians 5:6. This truth offers us a true peace of mind that is based on the Rock like quality and certainty of the Promises of Christ being true and that His Sacraments would be effective by the Power of the Holy Spirit regardless of the weakness of the Priest who administers it. And our Hope in our Father’s love for us gives us assurance that if we follow the teachings of His Church that He built on Saint Peter that He will offer us the grace to avoid serious sin.
In Jesus’ discourses on the Day of Judgment He warns against being presumptuous about one’s own salvation. He told of how many would come to Him claiming to be saved, but were not.
Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Jesus warns us against judging ourselves or others in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Luke 18:9-14 “He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. ‘Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.” But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.’ ”
The Pharisee credited God for his spiritual blessings by thanking Him for them. However, God was displeased with him because he was presumptuous about his own spirituality and he assumed God’s sovereign role as judge.
Also see the Article on Love, section on St. Peter.
1 Peter 5:8-9
SERIOUS SIN CAN SEPARATE THE CHRISTIAN FROM GOD
If we have received Jesus Christ then we have received His gift of eternal life. If we later reject Jesus then we lose that gift of Eternal life.
St. Paul says in Romans 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." But notice what he does not say. He does not say that sin cannot separate us from God. This is why the New Testament constantly warns the believers to avoid serious deadly sin.
2 Peter 2:20
1 Corinthians 6:6-20 is addressed to believers and they are warned by St. Paul to avoid sins that would cause them to lose their salvation.
Again in Ephesians, Galatians, and elsewhere we find more warnings for to Christians to avoid sins that would lead to eternal damnation. These warnings would not make sense if a person could not lose their salvation.
1 John 5:16-17
If a person could not lose their salvation these warnings would be meaningless. The breaking of these commandments leads a person to hell, (unless he is subsequently renewed by God’s grace. Cf. Jn 20: 21-23, James 5: 13-16, Lk 15: 23-24, and 1 Jn 5: 14-17.)
Some say that when a person becomes a child of God, a son, he always remains a son so therefore he cannot lose Salvation. Actually the story of the prodigal son proves a person can lose his salvation. He can throw away his inheritance. In this story the wayward son had become DEAD.
So, even if we remain a son, we can lose our inheritance and become spiritually dead. Because the son repented, he was accepted back into the family.
We are not even our own judge as Saint Paul points out. Philippians 3:11-12 “…if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ (Jesus).”
1 Corinthians 4:3-5
The early Christians lived in a time when life was hard. Without electricity to keep one’s food from spoiling or without the abundance of clean running water every individual had to be constantly aware of one’s own physical mortality. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 Saint Paul Paul lists about a dozen different ways he might have physically died or have been lost (at sea).
Without Jesus Christ the pagans were spiritually dead and spiritually lost. The pagans had many gods. It was so hard to tell if they were pleasing the “right god” at the right time. They even acknowledged the unknown god, to cover that contingency, Acts 17:23.
Jesus gives His followers the gifts of spiritual life and spiritual guidance. We never have to worry about losing our physical life, or of being physically lost, because He gives us these more important gifts of spiritual life and spiritual guidance. In Christ we have security as long as we remain in Christ.
Protestants will often claim a spiritual unity based on their claim to “having a personal relationship with Jesus,” and “being saved by Faith Alone” and by “following the Bible Alone.” However, when they start to define what those vague phrases actually mean the end up splitting into thousands and thousands of denominations.
They have no infallible guidance as to how many books belong in the New Testament, the Bible, or to what the names of those books are. They also have no infallible guidance as to what those books mean (according to their theology) unless they arrogantly assume that only they and their small particular group is sincere in listening to the Holy Spirit.
They are spiritually lost in how to answer many questions. How can a Protestant claim to know that the Bible doesn’t really mean that Baptism really saves us even though the Bible says that it does ?
How can a Protestant claim “to know” that the Bible does not really mean that Jesus gives us His flesh to eat and His blood to drink and that we perish if we do not eat and drink His body and blood when the Bible says that Jesus does do this and that we must eat and drink His flesh and blood ?
God does not want us to be spiritually lost in any way. It is by hearing Jesus’ words and following and trusting in His promises that He gives to the Church He started, that we can have infallible guidance to answer all the important questions we might have.
Christ holds us in his hand (Jn.
10:28) and no one else can forcibly remove us, but we are still free to leave.
When we receive Christ we receive the gift of eternal life, but if we later
abandon our faith in Christ and reject He who is Life, then we also reject His
gift of eternal life.
When we are "baptized into Christ" (Rom. 6:3), we receive the gift of adoptive sonship. The parable of the prodigal son teaches us that if we disinherit ourselves then we become spiritually dead. Luke 15:32 "…your brother was dead…" 1 John 5:16-17 "There is such a thing as deadly sin…All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly."
Salvation is an ongoing process.
Saint Paul begins and ends his discussion on faith using the phrase “the obedience of faith.” Rom 1:5 and 16:26. If we go to a doctor and he tells us to take some medicine and we do not, can we say that we really have faith in what he is telling us to do ? Whenever we sin against God’s will we are saying that we don’t really believe that His will is best for us. Our faith is imperfect in those instances. God perfects our faith through our acceptance of our cross that He asks us to carry.
1 Peter 4:1
Therefore, this verse teaches that we could fail in kindness, i.e. love, and be cut off, that is lose our salvation.
Fire is often used in a bad context as below:
The word “abide” in the above verses, Jn 6:56 and 15:6, is the same Greek word, Strong’s number 3306, which is sometimes translated as “remain,” or as in this case “abide.” The context makes clear that we must remain, or abide, in Christ because if we do not remain in His grace then we lose that union with Him by which we are saved.
SALVATION IS NOT ONLY A PAST EVENT
Some Protestants understand Justification in the life of the believer as only a past event. Some will quote John 19:30 “…It is finished.” And they will claim that this means that they cannot lose their salvation because it is past tense.
John 19:30 “…It is finished…”
The “it” here cannot be a reference to our Justification because we read in Romans 4:25 “…who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” RSV. We saw in Hebrews 11: 9, quoted above, how Abraham’s Justification was on ongoing event in his life. James also makes this same point.
Besides, our salvation cannot be completed because we also read,
The third day is a reference to Easter Sunday, the day He rose from the dead.
Salvation has past, present, and future aspects in all of our lives. This is why the Bible speaks of it in the past, present, and future tense.
1 Peter 3:21
1 Corinthians 1:18
1 Corinthians 7:18-19
Here, in Corinthians, Saint Paul contrasts the ritual law, circumcision, with the Moral Law of the 10 commandments. What counts is the Moral Law. If he had meant to say that we are justified by faith alone, apart from the good works of keeping the commandments, he would not have spoken this way. The keeping of the commandments is our life long journey of Justification. If we fail in a mortal way, 1 John 5: 16-17, we lose our salvation.
In John Chapter 15 Jesus tells us that we are like branches that must remain connected to Him, the True Vine, or else we will lose our salvation and we will be thrown into the fire to be burned.
In the verses above in the fifteenth chapter of John the English word “abide” in verses 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10 is a translation of a certain Greek word that is numbered 3306 in Strong’s Concordance. John uses this same Greek word in John 6:56 where it is also translated as “abide.” In these chapters, 13 through 17, John gives us an account of Jesus’ final evening and Last Supper discourse with His disciples. By using the same word, abide, in John 6:56 Jesus indicates how we are to remain in His Love and to remain connected to Him, the True Vine.
Therefore, unless a person is faithful in attending Mass and continues to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, that individual is not abiding in the manner prescribed by Jesus Christ.
Those who wish to separate faith from good works are taking a position that Saint Paul never takes. Saint Paul not only begins but also ends his discourse on faith in the context of obedience. Saint Paul never separates obeying the moral law, from faith. Christ’s obedience of the moral law does not excuse us from obeying it, rather by obeying it He won the grace for us to enable us to obey it.
Thus, we can see that while Salvation can be spoken of as past event, that is, we Christians have already received the gift of eternal life, in order for us to hold onto that gift we must remain connected to the vine and remain in God’s grace by abiding in His Love and His commandments and we must persevere in obedience to the end [Mat 24:13] or else we will lose our gift of eternal life and be cast off into the fire [John 15:6] on judgment day.
SAINT PAUL COULD LOSE HIS SALVATION
2 Timothy 1:12
But we must remain in His protective care by persevering in faith so that we might receive the reward that He is guarding for us.
2 Timothy 4:18 KJV
2 Timothy 4:18 RSV
We know that God will do His part, and we can have a moral assurance that we will “endure” or “persevere” to the end, but other passages that I will point out show that it is possible that we will not.
2 Timothy 4:8
As his earthly life comes to a end he speaks of the "crown" and he gives the reason why he will receive it. It is because he has "kept the faith," but the implication is that if he had not persevered in his faith he would have lost his crown, his salvation. Matthew 24:13 "… the one who perseveres to the end will be saved."
Saint Paul does speak of the crown of righteousness which he will receive, but this is spoken of only just before he is about to be martyred, after he has "finished the race." He speaks this way in order to encourage others to persevere in their faith and hope in Christ.
2 Timothy 1:16-17
2 Timothy 4:6-8
Saint Paul clearly states that he could lose his salvation.
However, some people will contest that the word “disqualified” refers to Paul loosing his extra merit and glory and does not refer to Paul loosing his salvation. So, the key is to prove what this word means. The word “disqualified” is translated from the Greek word “ADOKIMOS” (Strong's # 96.) Saint Paul makes the meaning of this word clear in his second letter to the Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Here Saint Paul uses the same Greek word “ADOKIMOS” (#96), except here, in English, it is translated as “fail.” The context is clear. It refers to people who are spiritually lost and without the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
So, the question we must ask is, “What is lost in 1 Cor 9:27 ?” This word “ADOKIMOS” does not modify any reward that Saint Paul might have received, rather it modifies Saint Paul himself. 1 Corinthians 9:27 “ … lest … I myself should be disqualified (ADOKIMOS).” Therefore, St. Paul is speaking in 1 Cor 9:27 above how he could lose his salvation.
In summary, these three observations are unmistakable.
We must ask, “What does “ADOKIMOS” modify ?” “ADOKIMOS” does not modify any “rewards” that Saint Paul might have received. “ADOKIMOS” modifies Saint Paul himself.
1 Corinthians 9:27
Therefore, Salvation can be lost. A true security can be found, not by trusting in our own determination that our own faith is the true kind, but rather trusting in the Love of our Father in Heaven to faithfully guide His Church, and by trusting in the Truth of Promises of Jesus Christ, and by trusting in the Power of the Holy Spirit to effect those Promises.
Our faith should not be in our own estimation of the validity of our faith, but rather our faith should be in the Promises, or Oaths, of Jesus Christ. “Sacrament” comes from the Latin word “sacramentum” which means an oath. An oath is a promise that relies on God’s strength and power.
See more about Jesus’ Oaths and Promises – His Sacraments