I sent a portion of one of John MacArthur's messages to a friend. The issue is the security of salvation. I have always defended the "once saved, always saved" view, but my friend is insistent that it is wrong. My friend is one of the ministers of my church. I do attend a well-balanced healthy church, but I disagree with their teaching on this one. They don't preach on it but hold the view just the same. What are your thoughts on the subject?
The real question is, "When is your eternal life eternal?"
When I was saved I received eternal life, which never ends. To say that
God will give a salvation that is "eternal" and then take it away when
we commit some "big" sin makes the "eternal" a farce.
John MacArthur is right, that those who believe they can lose their salvation, are basically saying, God saved me, but "I" maintain my salvation. This is a "works" salvation, for unless I keep up my "works" then I lose it, and have to get "born again" and then the next time I do something bad, I lose it again, and have to get "born again"--exactly how many times will this occur?
Also, what are the sins that cause a loss of salvation? Divorce, murder, lying, stealing, slander, drinking, suicide, homosexuality, staying away from church, swearing, etc.? Since true Christians are able to commit every sin an unbeliever can, except unbelief, then all Christians can lose their salvation, according to your minister friend.
God adopts us into His family, and makes us His child, and there is no way out. I can disown my earthly father and I am still his son. I could change my name and I am still his son. I may be a disobedient son, but I am still his son.
To accept that salvation is a work of God and also that it is God who is the only one who can keep us saved, is a doctrine that grates at the pride of man. The reason we have so many false religions is because man wants to be responsible for salvation, man wants to think that his "works" and actions merit salvation. But it is not true, all "works" for salvation are nothing but filthy rags. The works of a Christian are simply "evidences" of salvation, but gain no credit with keeping it.
It takes humility to bow before the feet of Christ and admit that you have nothing to offer for salvation (no good in us at all), and that the only good we do after salvation is because the Holy Spirit enabled it, and all the sin is our because of our weakness. But thanks be to God, that Christ is faithful when we are not.
A Christian can sin after salvation, just not as much--but even if we try to remain in our sins, then God will lead us out, gently at first, and if needed, then some stern discipline will come, and eventually death if we still resist His Spirit. But He never takes away our salvation--no never.
I personally believe that your minister friend, in his pride, has a will set that will not accept any arguments about eternal security. He will just continue to attack the person with the truth and call them "Calvinists" and try to find a fault somewhere else. So I don't think you can change him. And if this "Conditional Salvation" is a part of your church's doctrine, then they (the leadership) are "part of the problem" and you should consider leaving that church, for if they are wrong on this "very critical" element of salvation, then there are probably other areas that are also in error. God will not bless a church like this with true growth and ministry. They may be growing, but Christ isn't doing it.
Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:
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