CAN SALVATION BE LOST? (PART VI)
By Akin Ojumu
By their deeds and utterances, there are many born-again Believers who unwittingly call into question God’s Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence. Without realizing it, they doubt that the written Word of God, which was inspired by the Holy Spirit, is without error.
This they do whenever they push ideas that are inconsistent with God’s Word. Any time they use a particular Bible text as proof text for a particular Christian practice that’s not supported by other Bible texts, they are basically saying that the Bible is inconsistent.
Questioning the consistency of the Bible is to suggest that God made a mistake. Inferring that God made a mistake is to cast aspersions on His Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence. Besmirching God in this manner is to make Him a liar.
“May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “that you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”” (Romans 3:4).
God is Omniscient. There are no inconsistencies in God or in His written Word. Being mere mortals, we are limited in our capacity to fully grasp the infinite wisdom of God. As a result, we very often run into difficulty figuring out what a particular Bible text means.
When it comes to understanding what the Bible teaches, Scripture always interprets Scripture. A Bible passage that proves difficult to understand is always interpreted and explained by other Bible passages. When God makes a promise in one Bible text, that promise is never invalidated by another Bible text. And that applies to the promise of eternal security for all those who believe.
Some folks struggle to accept the doctrine of eternal security because they fear that such a doctrine emboldens those susceptible to the notion that there are no eternal consequences for sin. To them, the idea that a Christian cannot lose his salvation encourages people to engage in all kinds of degeneracy without fear of repercussions.
Now, it wouldn’t be entirely fair to blame those who are reluctant to embrace the “once saved, always saved” doctrine. Being fallen men with fallen nature living a fallen world, people always look for loopholes in God’s rules to justify their sinful behavior. They are always searching for caveats that excuse the cravings of their lawless natural desires.
Eternal security, if not properly taught, can send weak-kneed Christians down the rabbit hole of immorality. To push a “once saved, always saved” doctrine without anchoring it in the soil of absolute submission to Christ and His Word will only result in moral depravity.
Nevertheless, Scripture is crystal clear about eternal security. We cannot because of how people may respond, fail to teach the truth. The Bible expressly teaches us that the redeemed of God cannot be unredeemed.
Our Savior and Christ didn’t leave the question of eternal security hanging; He taught His disciples in John 6:37-40:
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Likewise, the question of eternal security was tackled and settled by the early Church fathers. Apostle Paul told Jude that God’s power is able to keep Believers from falling:
“To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy.” (Jude 24).
Again, Paul wrote the Church in Rome to encourage them that their eternal security is based on God’s love for those whom He has redeemed. That it was purchased by Christ, promised by the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39).
Far from being a license for sin, eternal security is predicated on temporal purity. If you are truly in Christ and a sheep of His, you will not live a life characterized by continuous, willful sin. All those who are in Christ abstain from sin, and they are kept safe by Him, and no one can snatch them away.
The Lord preserves all His sheep unto eternal life. That’s the promise and assurance that we have in Christ.