Is there any truth to the notion that once I give my life to God,
I face no more jeopardy of Hell? Is it possible that once I obey the Gospel for
the first time, I am never again at risk of being condemned?
That is the false conclusion of Calvinism - "Eternal Security" - "Once-saved, always-saved." And thousands upon thousands of ministers now teach it. But "Eternal Security" is "False Security."
Let us look at what the Bible says.
Ezekiel sounded one of the early warnings against a man’s
perceived spiritual invincibility.
WHEN A RIGHTEOUS MAN DIES IN
"When a righteous man turneth away
from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he
die," Ezekiel 18:26.
You may live many years in righteousness, but if you return to
your sins, you will die in your sins.
YOU MUST ABIDE IN THE VINE, OR BE CUT OFF, CAST OUT, BURNED
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit,
he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
I don't think it is possible to be any plainer. If you do not stay in Christ and in His Word, you will be cut off and cast out. You will die and be destroyed. That is NOT eternal security. That is NOT "once-saved, always-saved."
THE PRODIGAL SON WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST IF HE HAD NOT RETURNED TO THE FATHER AND REPENTED
In Luke 15, Jesus taught that the Prodigal Son left his father and "wasted his substance on riotous living." Finding himself in great want, he said, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants."
When he RETURNED TO HIS FATHER, his father welcomed him saying, "For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry,"
If the Prodigal Son HAD NOT RETURNED TO HIS FATHER and REPENTED, he would have been lost.
I WILL REMOVE THY CANDLESTICK
The Holy Ghost warned backsliders in the Church at Ephesus to "REPENT,
and do the first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will
remove thy candlestick out of his
place, except thou repent," Revelation 2:5.
This requires that they actually HAD a candlestick in the Church.
This prophecy would be moot if those saints had not actually BEEN a candlestick
in the Kingdom of God.
That means that even though you may be IN THE CHURCH today, God may REMOVE you from the Church if you have unrepented sins.
BLOTTED OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE
"To him that OVERCOMETH," the Spirit says, "I
will NOT blot his name out of the book of life," Revelation 3:5.
If you don't overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, your
name WILL be blotted out. That presumes that your name was actually IN the book of life.
Your name may be in the Book of Life today, but if you go to the Judgment with unrepented sins, you will find that your name has been blotted out.
TAKE AWAY HIS PART OUT OF THE
BOOK OF LIFE
"If any man shall take away from the words of the book of
this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of
the holy city," Revelation 22:19.
Your name cannot be taken OUT of a book that it is not IN. This
prophecy could only be true if their names had actually been IN THE BOOK OF
Again, your name may be in the Book of Life right now, but if you "take away from the words of the book of this prophecy," (if you teach or preach against the Truth of the Word of God), your name will be "taken away" from the Book of Life on Judgment Day.
REMOVED FROM HIM THAT CALLED YOU
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed," Galatians 1:6-8.
What exactly does it mean to be "removed from Him that called you"? First of all, HE DID CALL YOU. You may have even been CHOSEN. But you weren't FAITHFUL. You followed a false gospel, and now you have been removed from Him that called you.. Removed from God!
This is a terrifying warning that AFTER HAVING BEEN CALLED OF GOD, we can be "removed from God." If you turn from the true Gospel to a false gospel, you are turning from God. Removed from God.
"...they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves," Jude 1:18-19.
"...your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear," Isaiah 59:2.
The great Apostle Paul said, "I keep under my body, and bring
it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway," 1
Castaway = “REJECTED, UNAPPROVED.” Paul was a confirmed Apostle,
at legitimate RISK of being REJECTED and UNAPPROVED by God if he did not keep
his body in subjection to the Spirit.
If the Apostle Paul was concerned about becoming a CASTAWAY, then
I believe that you and I should also be concerned, and take every precaution
not to become a CASTAWAY.
If you refuse to keep your body under subjection to the will of God, you will become a CASTAWAY - a reject, unapproved.
THEY KNEW GOD, BUT GOD GAVE THEM
OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND
Paul spoke of men who KNEW GOD, but "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not
as God, neither were thankful; but became
vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. ...And
even as they did not like to RETAIN GOD in their knowledge, God gave
them over to a reprobate mind," Romans 1:21,28.
They did not BEGIN with a reprobate mind. God gave it to them
because of their rejection of Him. A reprobate mind no longer calls good good, or evil evil. It calls good
evil and evil good.
You may KNOW GOD TODAY, but if you do not GLORIFY HIM AS GOD, if you become unthankful, or vain in your imagination so that your heart becomes darkened, God will GIVE YOU OVER to a REPROBATE MIND.
You will become a REPROBATE, calling good evil and evil good.
THAT is a CONDEMNED state.
THEY HAD FAITH, BUT MADE SHIPWRECK
“Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made
shipwreck,” 1 Timothy 1:19.
A ship that is wrecked does not reach its intended destination.
But this also presumes that you were in fact IN THE SHIP.
You may HAVE FAITH TODAY, and you may HAVE A GOOD CONSCIENCE, but if you PUT AWAY YOUR FAITH, or PUT AWAY YOUR GOOD CONSCIENCE, you will make SHIPWRECK.
Is it really necessary for me to explain that shipwrecks SINK into the abyss and are never seen or heard from again??
CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM CAST INTO
“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer
darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” Matthew 8:12.
Yes, this is a hard saying, but there will be “children of the
kingdom” in Hell. They were born again, but they failed in the end. Sons of God in Hell.
You may have been A CHILD OF THE KINGDOM at some point in your life, but if you succumb to doubt, fear and unbelief, you will be cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Have you ever made a mistake so big that it made you scream or cry in painful regret? If so, multiply that by millions. THAT will be Hell.
No matter what JOYS you may have experienced with God, if you forsake him, you will spend eternity in painful regrets.
SPUED OUT OF HIS MOUTH.
“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I
will spue thee out of my mouth,” Revelation 3:16.
Again, although this is an awkward allegory, it stands to reason
that if you were not IN His mouth, you would not have been spewed out.
How can anyone fail to see that Jesus gives a clear warning here: "Do not become lukewarm! I will spew you out!"
CALLED, CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome
them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him
are called, and chosen, and faithful,” Revelation 17:14.
These were not only CALLED and CHOSEN. It is not good enough to be
CALLED. Many are CALLED, but few are CHOSEN. But neither is it good enough to
be CHOSEN. You must be FAITHFUL.
If you want to hear Jesus say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," you must in fact BE a GOOD and FAITHFUL SERVANT.
If you are not GOOD and FAITHFUL, you will NOT hear "Well done."
DEMAS HATH FORSAKEN, HAVING LOVED
THIS PRESENT WORLD
“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and
is departed...,” 2 Timothy 4:10.
Demas had been a fellow minister with Paul, Luke and many others.
He had been called and chosen, but he did not make his election sure.
If you LOVE THIS PRESENT WORLD, be afraid. The world will lead you astray. You will depart. You will forsake.
MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your
calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall,” 2
Your CALLING and ELECTION is NOT sure if you are not DILIGENT to
MAKE IT SURE.
It is UP
TO YOU to live for God. There is no “eternal security” for any Christian who
returns to their sins.
ONCE-SAVED, ALWAYS-SAVED until they rise up in the First Resurrection and Rapture of the saints.
OUR LAMPS ARE GONE OUT
“And the foolish [virgins] said unto the wise, Give us of your oil;
for our lamps are gone out,” Matthew 25:8.
There had been LIGHT in their LAMPS, but they went out. They were
born of the Spirit, but they did not keep the fire of the Spirit burning through
prayer and a consecrated life.
When the Bridegroom comes, you will be left behind, as they were.
THE UNPROFITABLE SERVANT CAST OUT
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there
shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” Matthew 25:30.
Those who were profitable entered into the joy of their LORD.
If you are UNPROFITABLE, you will be cast out.
SALT THAT LOSES ITS SAVOR IS CAST OUT
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth
good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men,” Matthew
They WERE the Salt of the earth, but they lost their value and
If you lose your savor, your godliness, your holiness, you will be cast out.
TAKE HEED LEST HE SPARE NOT THEE
“For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he
also spare not thee,” Romans 11:21.
If God cut off Jews who were apostate, He can and will also cut
off Christians who are apostate.
CUT OFF FOR NOT CONTINUING
“Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which
fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness:
otherwise thou also shalt be cut off,” Romans 11:22.
Be careful not to provoke the wrath - the severity - of God, by disobedient living.
If you do, "thou also shalt be CUT OFF."
“FAIL OF THE GRACE OF GOD,”
THEREBY BE DEFILED
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest
any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled,” Hebrews
If you FAIL (fall short of) the grace of God, that means you fall from His favor.
If you fall from God's favor, "thereby many be defiled [tainted, contaminated]."
PLUCKED OUT? OR, JUMPED OUT?
Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand," John 10:28.
Jesus made this promise, "No man can pluck them out of my hand," because "THEY FOLLOW ME."
But if you do not FOLLOW HIM, you are not IN His hand.
"He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," Hebrews 13:5. Notwithstanding, although HE will not LEAVE YOU, if YOU LEAVE HIM, He will not force His relationship with you. He will leave you to your devices.
"The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you," 2 Chronicles 15:2.
INIQUITIES SEPARATE YOU FROM GOD. HE HIDES HIS FACE.
"Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear," Isaiah 59:2.
Nobody can take you OUT of His hand if you are IN it. But if you get OUT of His hand because your SINS SEPARATE you from His hand, you are NOT secure.
There is a PREMIUM on FAITHFULNESS, and a PENALTY for UNFAITHFULNESS.
HE THAT LOOKS BACK IS UNFIT
"Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God," Luke 9:62.
"...he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife," Luke 17:32.
REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE
When the Angel of the Lord delivered her, he said, "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, ...lest thou be consumed," Genesis 19:17.
Tragically, she DID look back. "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt," Genesis 19:26.
REQUIRED TO BE FAITHFUL
"Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful," 1 Corinthians 4:2.
"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life," Revelation 2:10.
BOTH of these verses clearly insinuate that if I am NOT faithful unto death, I will NOT receive a crown of life.
Jesus said, "He that FINDETH his life shall lose it," Matthew 10:39.
Jesus said, "He that SAVETH his life shall lose it," Matthew 16:25.
So, if you GET WHAT YOU WANT down here, you WON'T get what He has up There.
IF WE HOLD THE BEGINNING OF OUR
CONFIDENCE STEDFAST UNTO THE END
“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of
our confidence stedfast unto the end,” Hebrews 3:14.
Therefore, be warned!
“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before,
BEWARE LEST YE ALSO, being led away with the error of the wicked,
FALL FROM YOUR OWN STEDFASTNESS,” 2 Peter 3:17.
Why would Peter WARN us not to fall from our stedfastness
if we are once-saved, always-saved?
Such an instruction would be both moot and absurd.
"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward," Hebrews 10:35.
If you DO cast away your confidence, there is no promise of "great recompence of reward."
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; ...if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire," 2 Peter 2:4,20-22.
"When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death," James 1:15.
"...but he that endureth to the end shall be saved," Matthew 10:22.
"If ye keep my commandments..."
Jesus said that the REASON the Father loved Him is because HE KEPT HIS FATHER'S COMMANDMENTS.
"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love," John 15:10.
The underlying reality in His statement is that if you DO NOT KEEP COMMANDMENTS, you will NOT abide in the love of God.
Any less a conclusion is simply a denial of the fact.
You had better get started right now keeping the commandments of God if you want to abide in the love of God. Jesus said it.
If you don't STUDY the Word of God, and KNOW the commandments of God, you are in big trouble.
BACKSLIDING IS A BIBLICAL TERM
Israel,” Jeremiah 3:6,8,11,12.
children,” Jeremiah 3:14,22.
of Jerusalem …backsliding,” Jeremiah 8:5.
daughter,” Jeremiah 31:22; 49:4.
“Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer,” Hosea 4:16.
people are bent to backsliding from me,” Hosea 11:7.
Israel, return unto the LORD thy
God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us
graciously: ...I will heal their
backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned
away..." Hosea 14:1-4.
warned Israel to return and repent, and He would heal their backsliding and
turn away His anger.
clearly demonstrates the NEED FOR REPENTANCE.
Without repentance, a backslider will be condemned.
“If, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor,” Galatians 2:17.
Take heed, BRETHREN... of departing from the living God
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God," Hebrews 3:12.
Ezekiel 3:20 warns that if you turn from righteousness back to your sins, God may lay a STUMBLINGBLOCK before you causing you to die in sin. No less than half-a-dozen verses warn of God's stumblingblocks.
"When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: ...he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered," Ezekiel 3:20.
Jesus Christ is a CORNER STONE to those who believe.
But Jesus is a STONE OF STUMBLING to those who disobey.
"Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed," 1 Peter 2:6-8.
Take care that you will not be a "cut off" branch that is condemned to be cast into the fire.
"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," Hebrews 10:26-31.
No More Sacrifice For Sin
The moment you return into sin, "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin." You must go back to God in REPENTANCE, and reappropriate the sacrifice of Jesus' blood. Until you repent, there is no blood sacrifice protecting you.
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame," Hebrews 6:4-6.
Impossible To Renew Them Again Unto Repentance
As I understand this verse, nobody can possibly renew you to repentance if you have turned against God. The only possible hope I can imagine is if you, FROM THE DEPTHS OF YOUR OWN SOUL, come to your senses - as the Prodigal Son did - and as Jonah did in the belly of the whale - and RETURN TO YOUR FATHER with a broken and contrite spirit, and plead again for His mercy and grace.
The preacher will not be able to reach you. The Spirit of God has stopped dealing with you.
(Note that this verse did not say it is impossible to be FORGIVEN. It said it is impossible to renew them again to repentance. You may be deaf to the preacher and the dealings of the Holy Spirit, but if you will wake yourself and turn to God, you may still be forgiven.)
The only possible way I can imagine you can be saved at this point is to have a personal, heart-felt awakening, and turn, and GO BACK TO GOD.
If you are such a state of mind, it is up to you. I am praying for anyone who is now in that sad and tragic condition - in Jesus' name.
HERE IS A PRAYER FOR BACKSLIDERS.
pray for backsliders everywhere. Where there is life, there is hope.
for every Child of God who is “falling away,” 2
has become a castaway, 1 Corinthians 9:27,
who has made shipwreck, 1 Timothy 1:19,
who has forsaken, having loved this present world, 2 Timothy 4:10,
for every prodigal, Luke 15:16,
whose lamp has gone out, Matthew 25:8,
whose salt has lost its savor, Matthew 5:13,
whose candlestick may be removed, Revelation 2:5,
and whose name may be blotted out of the Book of Life, Revelation 3:5.
THEM, OH, LORD. Revive their souls today, in Jesus' name!
ALL our PRODIGAL children.
ALL our backsliders to Righteousness and to your sheepfold.
they are today, lead them back to Church and into fellowship with you and your
Copyright 2012, Ken Raggio (11/13/12)
The False Doctrine of Unconditional Love
God's love is NOT unconditional!