Summary: First of 3 part series on Eternal Security. Link inc. to formatted text version, audio/video, PowerPoint.
Can a Saved Person Ever Be Lost?
Let’s pretend that we all have just boarded a jet for a non-stop trip overseas. We all get on the airplane, take our seats, and fasten our seat belts, then we reach for a magazine, and when we do, we see something at our feet that bothers us…a set of bicycle pedals. Attached to those bicycle pedals is a big sprocket with a chain going thru the floor to the engines.
So, you call for a flight attendant, and you ask, “What’s w/ the bicycle pedals?” She says, “Look around!” You look and everybody’s got them. “Why do we all have these pedals?” you ask. “Well, the pilot has agreed to get us in the air, but we have to keep it in the air…he’ll get us to 30,000 feet, but then we’ll all have to pedal real hard to keep it there.”
I don’t care how hard we pedal, how long, how fast…we’re going down! And your chances of keeping that jumbo jet in the air by pedaling is equal to the chance of you keeping your soul secure by your efforts.
If the pilot of our souls doesn’t get us up and keep us up, we have no hope.
Charles Stanley was raised in a church where he was taught all his life that you could lose your salvation. He did not believe in eternal security or, “once saved, always saved.”
In Bible college, he began to grapple w/ the issue. Here’s a quote from Charles Stanley, “It was my intense study of the scripture that caused me to begin doubting my position, that you could lose your salvation. Verse by verse, I picked my way thru the passages used to support each view. Thru this process, 2 things became apparent. I was guilty of ignoring the context of many verses that I had quoted to defend my view. When I began to dig deeper into the text, they took on different meanings. Secondly, I discovered thru my study that the belief in salvation by grace cannot be reconciled w/ the belief that one can lose his salvation. If I must do or not do something in order to keep from losing it, then salvation would not be by faith, but by works. I specifically remember the day that this truth dawned on me, I found myself at a theological fork in the road. To maintain my position, I realized that I would have to abandon my belief in salvation by grace alone. It was like a light came on. Suddenly, I saw it, I wanted to shout. I felt like a man just freed from prison. I began to thank God that for all those years I was wrong, and then I was struck w/ the most awesome thought of all: I had been eternally secure since the day I got saved as a 12 year old boy.”
All I ask you to do, if you don’t believe in eternal security, is to hear this out over the next few weeks. Do what Charles Stanley did. Look at the Bible w/ an open mind. And if I’m guilty of misquoting a verse, or taking something out of context, then I invite you to come and talk to me about it. So, reserve judgment, if you will, to the end.
Many of you are saying, well I believe it already!…Why? What’s your proof…chapter and verse, please! “Be ready to give an answer to any man who asks of thee of the hope that lieth in you.” This will strengthen your position. And it will deepen your appreciation for what you have in Christ, and cause you to want to live a more holy life, because of that appreciation.
But many are confused on this issue, and need to get this nailed down. This is huge! It’s about whether salvation is by grace or by works!
You know, opponents of eternal security often criticize and say, “If I believed that way I’d get saved and just live however I want to live...that’s just a license to sin!”
#1 You can’t get saved w/ that kind of an attitude. For to be saved you need faith and repentance (change of mind, direction).
#2 Remember, God disciplines His children when they need it.
ill.—Ask a parent if they love child unconditionally…yes…would you ever disown them no matter what they did?…no…(to child) “Hear that, you can live however you want to live!” You can have ice cream 3 meals a day…you don’t have to do anything they say…if they say to take out the trash, you say, go jump in a lake!
Just because you’re loved unconditionally doesn’t mean you can live however you want. And we’ll look at that in more detail in coming weeks.