TITLE: THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE GENUINE SAINT
Resources to aid your Understanding
Subtitle: "Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God's children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]" (Hebrews 12:8, Parallel Bible KJV/Amplified Bible commentary).
Unfortunately, there has always been a class of individuals--"a priesthood"--within Christendom who maintain control over their followers through the skillful use of fear. This unscriptural hierarchy came into being via Roman Catholicism, but over time its legacy of false teaching has found its way into the thinking of untold numbers of Protestants. "Christian" cults are constantly being formed by ungodly men who make the specter of losing salvation a primary tool in manipulating people for personal gain. They insist that followers must do as they are told and adhere to the tenets espoused by the leadership or risk being rejected by Christ! This teaching is obvious in the various cults, but sad to say, in more subtle forms is also found in many long-established denominations.
Preachers are human and therefore prone to what we might call "pious pragmatism" where this subject is concerned. Most desire that their flocks walk in obedience to Christ and not stray from the narrow way, so anything of a psychological nature that lends itself to promoting that strict adherence is hard to resist. Many is the minister who has unconsciously fallen prey to creative theology in the attempt to protect sheep from themselves through fear. And the possibility of losing one's salvation is always at the top of the list.
Our fear of the Lord is a very healthy thing when viewed in its proper context. As children of the King, we had best fear Him and walk in obedience to His commands--or suffer the consequences! But just what are these consequences? Do they even remotely involve the possiblity of our loss of sonship and eternal life in Christ? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!! Common sense itself should dictate that a loving father will never reject a child and consign him to death for any reason! But that same father will severely discipline whenever it becomes necessary. So let us look at the verses in Hebrews 12 leading up to and including our subtitle above:
" For the Lord corrects and disciplines every one whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.  You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline. God is dealing with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline?  Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God's children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]" (Hebrews 12:6-8, Parallel Bible KJV/Amplified Bible commentary).
Obviously there is a tremendous difference between discipline and condemnation. And nowhere does the Bible teach that a genuine child of God ever stands in jeopardy of their salvation. Quite the contrary. For each "problem" verse in the Word of God (verses that are construed by some as teaching possible loss of salvation), there are many which clearly teach otherwise. The preponderance of Scripture is on the side of never-ending salvation for the elect child of God. For instance, take note of the following:
"Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money--[including] greed, avarice, lust and craving for earthly possessions--and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let [you] down, [relax my hold on you].--Assuredly not!" (Hebrews 13:5, Parallel Bible KJV/Amplified Bible commentary, emphasis mine).
(The Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest says that three negatives precede the verb and this accounts for the three emphatic "I will not's" in the amplified passage.)
Then there is the passage in Romans 8 where the apostle Paul speaks to this very subject. In verses 28 through 30, he establishes the fact that God Himself has chosen those whom He will save. Then based upon this prior choice, in verses 31 through 39 Paul explores every possible scenario in which this salvation might possibly fail:
" What then shall we say to [all] this? If God be for us, who [can be] against us? --Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?  He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?  Who shall bring any charge against God's elect [when it is] God Who justifies--Who puts us in right relation to Himself? (Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?)
Those who fear loss of salvation clearly miss the dynamic of God's justification! That judicial act of God declares the individual to be blameless--not merely forgiven. Justification (Romans 8:30) is a declaration of total acquittal--not a pardon. Therefore, when God declares a sinner to be just in His sight and places the very righteousness of Christ on his account, that individual will never be placed in double jeopardy. (And for those who might not understand the concept of "double jeopardy"--it is a judicial concept that once an individual is accused of a crime punishable by death, is tried and acquitted, they can never stand trial for that particular crime again--even if their guilt is established later). But in justifying the ungodly, God ignores the fact of our undeniable guilt and through His marvelous grace declares us to be free of all charges! This is the tremendous point Paul is making in verse 33--Is the same God Who delcared us righteous in the first place--knowing full well that we were guilty of all charges-- going to turn around and condemn us at some later point? CERTAINLY NOT!!!!
Then continuing with verse 34:
" Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus, the Messiah, Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?  Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution, or hunger, or destitution, or peril, or sword?  Even as it is written, For thy sake we are put to death all the day long, we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.
Is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ going to stop His intercessory ministry at God's right hand and accuse us of further guilt? Is there any possible thing that can separate us from the unfathomable love which purchased us in the first place? Many have an understandable fear of denying Christ during persecution or torture, but as Paul tries to tell us--we were specifically chosen to (potentially) experience such things and yet our salvation is never in jeopardy! True Christianity stands completely apart from all "religions" in that God's people are guaranteed nothing but a hard time in this world! (2 Tim.3:12).
" Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.  For I am persuaded beyond doubt--am sure--that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers,  Nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:31-39, Parallel Bible KJV/Amplified Bible commentary, emphasis mine).
Paul mentions every possibility he can think of--in both the earthly realm and the supernatural--and concludes that none of them can cause the loss of salvation for one of God's elect ones.
Then in the Book of 2 Corinthians, Paul states in two separate verses another principle that is rock solid:
"Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" 2 Cor. 1:21-22 (KJV, emphasis mine)
"Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit" 2 Cor. 5:5 (KJV, emphasis mine).
The Greek word translated "sealed" is, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, # 4972 sphragizo, sfrag-id'-zo; from Greek 4973 (sphragis); to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literal or figurative); by implication to keep secret, to attest :- (set a, set to) seal up, stop.
The word translated "earnest" is Strong's #728 arrhabon, ar-hrab-ohn'; of Hebrew origin [Hebrew 6162 (`arabown)]; a pledge, i.e. part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest :- earnest.
Therefore, when one becomes a child of God through the new birth--is reborn spiritually--the Holy Spirit takes up residence within that individual and literally possesses them as a token of God's intent to save.
Notice I said that it is God's intent to save. The Bible teaches that God's elect were saved in the past, are being saved in the present, but will not be ultimately and finally saved until we receive our glorified bodies and stand in His holy presence in heaven. So for the present, God's redeemed are kept by the power of the Holy Spirit until that wonderful day. Note what the apostle Peter has to say about it:
"Peter, an apostle (a special messenger) of Jesus Christ, [writing] to the elect exiles of the dispersion scattered (sowed) abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,  Who were chosen and foreknown by God the Father and consecrated (sanctified, made holy) by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and to be sprinkled with [His] blood: May grace (spiritual blessing) and peace be given you in increasing abundance--that spiritual peace to be realized in and through Christ, freedom from fears, agitating passions and moral conflicts.  Praised (honored, blessed be) the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead;  [Born anew] into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay (imperishable), unsullied, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you,  Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God's power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time" 1 Peter 1:1-5 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible commentary, emphasis mine).
And to fully comprehend what it is to be kept, or guarded, we must not miss the power inherent in the descriptive terms "sealed" and "earnest" which we noted above in the texts from 2 Corinthians. When someone decides to purchase a new house, or property, to insure that they are sincere and not just "fooling around," the realtor will demand that a certain percentage of the total cost be paid up front as "earnest money" and a legal document signed stating their intent to purchase. This legal procedure has for millennia unconditionally bound the buyer to purchase and the earnest money forfeited if they back out on the deal . And it is with this understanding of the legal transaction firmly in mind that we must view what God has done (and is doing) for those who belong to Him. Paul tells us twice in 2 Corinthians that when God saves an individual, He gives the Holy Spirit to that individual as "earnest"--of His intent to finally and forever save! Plus the literal presence of the Spirit within the individual is God's "signature"--His seal--"on the dotted line." Paying the earnest is legally unconditional and has always been regarded as such by practically every society on earth. To back out on the deal forfeits the earnest. Now then, pray tell me how God is going to forfeit the Holy Spirit if He decides to "unsave" and "unborn" one of His own? To believe that one may lose their salvation in light of these truths is downright silly!
Finally, notice in verse 5 of 1 Peter chapter one (quoted above) where it states that God's elect are being guarded, or kept, by God's power through their faith. Most of those who teach that one can lose their salvation base that belief upon the possibility of a loss of faith by the individual believer. But is that loss of faith even possible? It would be if its origin was purely human--but such is definitely not the case! The Scriptures clearly teach that saving (and keeping) faith is supplied by God Himself. And if you doubt this is the case, please consider the following:
"So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ, the Messiah [Himself]" Romans 10:17 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible commentary, emphasis mine).
"For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn every one among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought--not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance; but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him" Romans 12:3 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible commentary, emphasis mine).
Faith is not innate--we were not born with it--and not only does it originate with God, but each believer is not given the same amount! That is why some of God's servants are able to "move mountains," while most are limited by their relative degree of supplied faith. That is why the apostles asked Christ to increase their faith in Luke 17:5--in light of the context, they knew their faith was not up to the task of forgiving those who would mistreat them. So for us to lose our faith would mean that God would have to withdraw it. And according to the three "I will not's" of Hebrews 13:5, quoted earlier, that will not happen. So if you know that you have been saved and sense the Holy Spirit's presence within you, be confident of that never-ending salvation and praise the Lord for His amazing grace!!!!
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
Return to Pastoral Articles index
Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466
You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.
God bless you.