Summary: Can your Salvation be eternally secure? Is your salvation unconditional or conditional? Is your doctrine based upon the Word of God, or the opinion of Man?
Eternal Security, Conditional or Unconditional
By Pastor James May
One of the most dangerous doctrines that have been perpetrated upon the church for a long time is the doctrine of “Unconditional Eternal Security”. Many of the main-line, denominational churches and a good percentage of the fringe denominations of the church world have accepted this doctrine and perverted the real meaning of the scriptures to make them say what they would want to be true. However, believing something is truth, and teaching it as truth, and interpreting scripture to make it sound like truth, does not make false doctrine really true after all.
Too many people, I fear, have passed from this life into the next, absolutely convinced that they are going to Heaven just because they were converted, baptized into Christ and confessed their sin many years before but have lived like the world and for the pleasures and sin of this world for a long time. I do not accept the doctrine of “Unconditional Eternal Security” and it seems to me that any minister of the gospel would easily recognize that God’s grace is extended to man conditional upon man’s acceptance and obedience to God’s Word.
There are numerous scriptures throughout the Bible that refute the doctrine of Unconditional Eternal Security and I will not have the time to cover all of them in this message, however I will cover many.
I know that if anyone out there is convinced, however wrong his conviction may be, that he is going to Heaven because of past experiences only, there is very little that I could say or do in this simple message to dissuade that person from believing in false doctrine. Often the teaching is so engrained that it causes a closed mind that refuses to accept reason. The mind and heart of man would rather believe in a doctrine that allows him to live any way he wants to because he believes that God’s grace will never leave him alone in Hell. That, my friend, is a dangerous place to live.
I will also confess that, should anyone like to try to change my mind on this doctrine, my mind is closed to the possibility of the “Once Saved Always Saved” point of view as well. I have examined the scriptures for myself. I have preached and taught the Word of God for many years now, and not once have I ever found even a single scripture that fully supports and establishes this erroneous doctrine. I don’t accept the words of any man at face value and I always prove them by the Word of God, so my conviction and understanding comes on a first hand basis and not by proxy from some other student who has his own agenda or belief system that he is trying to prop up. On the other hand, in my studies, I have found many scriptures that refute this doctrine.
These will not be “new scriptures”. There isn’t one of these that I have added, reprinted or changed in any fashion. They are directly from the Word of God that we have had for centuries. I don’t claim to be a Bible Scholar but I don’t believe that learning these kinds of truths require a high level of education to understand. God’s Word is never hidden, and never hard to interpret, under the leading of the Holy Spirit. God wants his people to know his Word, so why should He make it hard to understand or study.
Revelation 2:26, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations…”
Notice here that the Lord Jesus Christ is walking in the midst of the Golden Candlesticks, representing the churches of the world. He is there as a guide, a judge, a Savior and as Almighty God. His words are always edifying, but they aren’t always easy to swallow. Here Jesus tells His church that we must be overcomers and obedient to the Word of God “unto the end”. Only if we are faithful to the end will we reign with Him.
Jesus says, we have to overcome the world, not conform to it. We have to live the kind of lifestyle that He lived, in obedience to God’s Laws of morality and justice, and we have to live that holy life unto the end of our days.
Romans 2:7, “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life…”
What can Jesus mean by the words “patient continuance” and “seek for”? Can there be any doubt that Jesus says we are to be ever seeking to obey the Word of God and ever seeking to live as holy as we can in every effort to emulate Jesus?