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  • Love and Liberty

My Interpretation of the Christian's Security

All followers of Christ, who persevere in holiness to the end of life, have the promise of eternal salvation (Hebrews 12:9-15), however, a person can fall away from the Lord, either through passive indifference or deliberate apostasy, and perish. Those who have believed and followed the Lord may later fall (Ezek. 18:24; 1 Tim. 1:18, 19). Those grafted into the good olive tree may later be broken off through willful unbelief (Rom. 11:16-22). Branches that “abide not” are cast forth and burned (John 15:6). Those who have known Christ can again become entangled in the world (2 Peter 2:20). Those who have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have produced the fruit of the Spirit may fall from grace back into former pollutions (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:29). We share finally in Christ only if we continue to follow him to the end (Heb. 3:14). We are instructed to take care that we do not lose what we have (2 John 8), and to hold fast so that no one seizes our crown (Rev. 3:11). There is reason to believe that the Christian will persevere unto the end because of his new obedient heart, and because of the loving chastening of God toward his children if they err. I believe that a Christian that gives in to temptation and sins, or in other words, becomes a backslider through disobedience, will receive God’s loving correction and repentance will result in forgiveness. Should the believer fail to repent, I believe God will increase his chastening on his erring child for the purpose of saving his soul from eternal death (Hebrews 12:9). God is longsuffering and eager to forgive, and he promises not to forsake us, therefore I do not believe that backsliding results in the immediate forfeiture of our salvation as some teach, but I do believe that the backslider can resist the Spirit and harden his heart toward God’s corrective grace and ultimately forsake the Lord, or to put it another way, he can become an apostate. Backsliding can be remedied, by repentance, but it can lead to committed apostasy, from which there is no road to recovery (Hebrews 6:4-6). God is ever merciful, but the person in question here is the man that has been severed from Christ by God (John 15:6, Romans 11:22) because he has decidedly set his heart against Christ. He has been turned over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28). I believe in the eternal security of the believer, but not the unbeliever, whether he was once a believer or not. A person that follows Christ will never perish, but the person who does not abide in Christ will forfeit his inheritance. Since man continues to have free choice, it is possible because of temptations and the weakness of human flesh for him to fall into the practice of sin and to make shipwreck of his faith and be lost. I also believe there are many people who profess to be Christians that have never been converted to begin with.

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