From The Way of the Master
12. Do you believe in "Once saved always saved?"
Unfortuantely, when commenting on the subject of eternal security, many books and sermons from respectable men and women of God, seem to be evidently silent on the subject of true and false conversion. This is in spite the fact that it is incredibly relevant to the topic of eternal security. The New Testament deals with this in great depth. It tells of Judas' profession of faith (he was in truth a thief, and was referred to by Jesus as a "devil"), and relates the parables of Jesus about the true and false "believers" sitting alongside one another. It speaks of Demas, who forsook Paul because he "loved this present world." As such, he revealed himself to be an enemy of God--"Whoever is a friend of the world is an enemy of God.”
In one book, the author referred to a pastor/friend who was found to be "romantically" involved with another woman. The pastor had made his mind up to divorce his wife and marry the woman. I presume he means that he had been committing adultery. Instead of challenging the man as to the validity of his faith, and therefore warning him that "adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God," he spoke of the man's "loss of rewards."
We do believe in eternal security for a true convert. He puts his hand to the plow and doesn't look back, because he is "fit" for the kingdom (Luke 9:62).
Those who are fit for the Kingdom are not hypocrites as was Judas. The true convert is eternally secure in his faith, because his faith in Jesus is genuine rather than false.
However, if a man steals, lies, kills, rapes, hates, lusts, covets, commits adultery, etc., and calls himself a Christian, he would be very wise to examine himself and see if he is "in the faith." The Bible makes it very clear that hypocrites will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
If a man has no understanding of true and false conversion (in his ignorance), he may make a calculated decision to forsake a few future eternal rewards and trade them for the immediate and temporary pleasures of sin. His confidence is in an interpretation of scripture that may have eternally tragic repercussions.
We think that teaching on true and false conversion would clear the air when it comes to the contentions between two opinions that so often divide the Church. It would bring closer together those who say you can lose your salvation at the drop of a sinful hat, and others who think that Christians can get away with murder and still be assured that they are saved, because they once professed faith in the Savior.
For more information, freely listen online to "True and False Conversion" from the 16 message audio set (available on CDs).
Monday, December 3, 2007
From The Way of the Master