The Bible offers strong warnings about the danger of “falling from grace”. But does that imply the possibility of losing the gift of salvation? This question has divided followers of Christ for centuries.
Once again we are faced with a subject that seems to offer Scriptures in tension. One side can quote our Lord’s words, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).
The other can quote, “For it is impossible for those who … were made partakers of the Holy Spirit…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” (Heb. 6:4-6).
What seems certain to me is that one of the most important implications of this issue is that those who fear losing their salvation (rather than losing i.e. close relationship and spiritual influence etc) may be inclined to slip into the mode of thinking that we are saved by our own “faithfulness” or “works of faith.”
This can subtly shift dependence onto ourselves rather than the finished work and grace of Christ.
On the other hand those who emphasize security as a result of “praying to receive Christ” or “walking the aisle” to receive him can rely on an action rather than asking the question am I really relying in my heart on what Christ did for me?
For many reasons, real Christians and spiritual look alikes can be impossible to distinguish by us.
For this reason we all need to know our own hearts and what we are really counting on…
In short, the teaching of “security” can be rightly and wrongly used, just as the warnings about the dangers of false assurance can be rightly and wrongly used.
Let’s compare notes…