Eternal Security??


 

Examples of Eternal Life Being Lost

-Excerpts from-

God’s Plan for Man

By Finis Dake

 

In the Bible we not only have many passages plainly stating that eternal life can be lost and that the saved who sin will die and be damned.

Adam and Eve and the whole race were once in God's favor or grace but they sinned and died because of their sin (Gen 1:17; 3:1-19; Rom 5:12-21). Adam is called "the son of God" in Luke 3:38; here is another concrete example of a "son of God" falling from grace and losing eternal life by sin. Those who fell into sin in Adam must be born again to regain favor with God and live again. If they died once because of sin and can live again, then if they fall again they can then be brought back to life by the gospel. If it can happen once it can happen again and again if it becomes necessary.

 Saul, who was in God's favor or grace (and who had the Holy Spirit) lost that favor and was destroyed because of sin (I Chron 10:13-14). He committed suicide and must be lost, for no murderer has eternal life (I Sam 28:7-25; 31:1-6; I John 3:15; Gal 5:19-21). To argue that he was never a saved man is to demonstrate ignorance of Bible truth. "God gave him another heart . . . and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied" (I Sam 10:9-13). If this was not an experience of the saved man then it was nothing. It is also recorded how the Spirit of God left him when he sinned (I Sam 6:12-23). He went into spiritualism and God said He would cut off the man who did this (Lev 19:31; 20:6; Deut 18:11). He was a very humble and godly man to begin with, but he did not end this way (I Sam 10:21-24).

No one who believes in unconditional security could claim a better spiritual experience than Saul, for they boldly testify they live in sin every day and Saul himself could claim this much of a Christian experience! If Saul had the Holy Spirit he also had life, for all eternal life comes by the Spirit (John 6:63; Rom 8:10-13; II Cor 3:6; Gal 6:7-8; Rev 11:11). If the Spirit left Saul, then he lost the eternal life he had by the Spirit. It is impossible to have the Spirit and not have eternal life, according to the above passages. Saul then had eternal life and lost it by sin.

Many disciples of Jesus went back into sin and were lost for they followed Him "no more" (John 6:66). To argue that these people were not saved does not disprove the plain fact that they were "disciples" and had eternal life up to the time they went back (Heb 10:26-30).

If they went back, then they had something to go back from. They had something that caused them to follow Jesus in His persecutions. They were like the class in Luke 8:13 who "received the word with joy: and . . . for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away." To believe in Christ for a moment brings eternal life and makes one a son of God (John 1:12; I John 5:1). Even those who teach false security make a single act of faith the only requirement for eternal salvation. So they, above all, should believe that these disciples who believed in Christ for a while had eternal life at one time. Jesus stated that the unprofitable servant would be cast into Hell (Matt 24:45-51; 25:14-46; Rev 3:14-15. Of course, if we have to believe modern teachers then we cannot believe all the Bible—so we have to make our own choice of whom to believe!

The apostle Judas is an outstanding example of a man once saved who was lost because of sin. In Scripture we have statements that Judas was a "familiar friend" of Christ, who ate of His bread, which is an idiom of close friendship (Psalms 41:9). He was not an enemy of Christ, but an equal in grace, a guide, and a sweet acquaintance (Psalms 55:12-13). He was to have his habitation desolate and be blotted out of the book of the living (Psalms 69:25-28 with Acts 1:20), and he was to have "another take his place" in the Christian ministry and in the kingship over one of the tribes of Israel (Psalms 109:8). These passages were fulfilled in Judas according to Matt 26:24; John 13:18; andActs 1:16-25.

In Matthew chapter 10 we have the facts recorded that Judas as one of the "twelve disciples," that he received power over demons, sicknesses and diseases and was called to preach the gospel. Of these twelve (Judas included) it is said that Christ gave them power and sent them forth, and commanded them to preach, and to heal the sick. Christ said to Judas and all the twelve, "freely ye have received, freely give.... I send you forth as sheep . . . it shall not be ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you" (Matt 10:1-20). These statements prove that Judas was once chosen as a genuine apostle. He was then once a true believer, a saved man, one divinely empowered for service and equal in every sense to the others, a called preacher, a destroyer of Satan's works, an obedient man, a sheep, a man filled with the Spirit, and one who had God as his "Father."

In Mark 6:7-13 we read that the twelve (Judas included) went "forth two by two . . . and preached that men should repent. And they (Judas included) cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them."

This proves that Judas was a divinely efficient man, a successful preacher and endued with power to heal. Think about this—if Judas was not saved and yet had all these experiences, including the ability to perform miracles, then it would seem that modern Christians who claim to be saved should be able to do as much as Judas, a man whom they claim was never saved! It is unreasonable and going too far to accuse Jesus of choosing an unsaved man to preach repentance and holiness, to heal the sick, to cast out devils, and to represent the Kingdom of God among men. Such men would rather hold on to this sinning-saint heresy than to cease accusing Jesus of such an unholy precedent, whereby they make God's Word a lie. The only proof some men give to prove Judas was never saved is their own belief that Judas was not a saved man at one time because he was finally lost! They do not present a single Scripture that proves that he was never saved, but they cite John 6:64-70, a passage which does not say that Judas had at all times been a devil and unsaved. Jesus, in this Scripture, was speaking of "some" of His disciples that believed not. "For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him." The first part of this statement refers to the "some" that did not believe and does not include Judas. We know this is true because after the unbelievers had left Jesus, Judas was still with the twelve whom Jesus asked, "Will ye also go away?" Only the last part of this statement refers to Judas. Jesus not only knew who did not believe, but He also knew who would betray Him. He did not say that Judas did not believe or that he was a devil from the beginning and therefore was not a saved man.

Judas did believe as proved in the facts above concerning his power and success in casting out devils and healing the sick. One cannot do these things unless he does believe. Judas had to repent, believe, and be baptized in water to become a disciple and especially to be chosen as an apostle to do miracles.

The Holy Spirit through Luke records that Judas "by transgression fell" (Acts 1:15-25). If men would be as anxious to believe the Holy Spirit as they are to believe men, and if they would be as anxious to believe all Scripture as they claim to believe a portion of it, they would show some consistency and honesty regarding the entire Word of God. Judas not only had a moral fall, but sin caused it.

Judas was not always a "devil" and a "thief." He became both after he had been saved for some time. His weakness was the love of money and this caused his fall (John 12:6;Luke 2:25;Matt 6:26-14). If he had refused to be the treasurer of the first Christian disciples and had frankly told them that money was his weakness, he would have been better off. He had seen Christ escape the mob many times and he no doubt thought that the Lord would escape again—and he himself would be $19.20 to the good.

It was not until the end of Christ's ministry that Judas began to pilfer and to grow cold in his love for Christ. It was not until the last supper that the devil entered into him, that is, became united with him in the same crime. It was two days before the Passover that he put it into the heart of Judas to go to the enemies of Jesus to betray Him into their hands (Matt 26:1-5, 14-16;John 3:2). It was at this time that he openly broke with Christ and sought an opportunity to betray Him.

Judas was sorry afterwards for his betrayal (Matt 27:3-5). He could have been forgiven as much as any of the others who cursed, denied Christ, and fled like cowards in the test. But being of a disposition to do so, he brooded over his fall and yielded to temptation to commit suicide.

Judas then is a specific example of a New Testament man who was once saved and in God's favor or grace, but who lost this favor and went to Hell because of sin (Matt 25:24;Acts 1:16-25). Jesus, Himself, acknowledged to the Father that of those whom the Father had given Him, Judas was the only one whom He had lost (John 17:12). Christ could not have lost Judas if He had never had him to lose. Jesus further testified that to every one (including Judas) that the Father had given Him, He had given eternal life (John 17:2). Judas had this eternal life as much as the others but he became "lost" later and "by transgression fell" (Acts 1:25).

Ananias and Sapphira were both killed by the power of God because of covetousness and lying to the Holy Ghost (Acts 5:1-14). That they were once saved is clear from Acts 4:32-5:1, for Ananias and his wife were classed with "the multitude of them that believed" and "were of one heart and one soul . . . as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet.... But a certain man [of those who believed and were of one heart and one soul] named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession." If these two were believers and had been saved and were in the church, then it cannot be disputed with any degree of honesty that they were once saved and then lost. To deny they were once saved is to deny truth and it is not worth the price one has to pay.

Many Galatians who were saved and had "received the Spirit," who had "begun in the Spirit," who were "redeemed and justified by faith," and who were "sons" of God by being made free from sin (Gal 3:2-4; 3:13,24; 4:4-7; 5:1-26), fell "from grace" and Christ became "of no effect" unto them (Gal 5:4-5). They were "removed from him" and "from grace." So, “once in grace, always in grace”is not a biblical statement unless one stays in grace (Gal 1:6;3:1-5; 5:1-9). They were plainly told that to go back under the law and into sins of the flesh, meant to "frustrate [cause to fail, nullify, make void] the grace of God" and that in such case they were not in grace and would reap corruption (Gal 2:21; 5:1-9; 6:7-8). They were told that if they built again the things of sin that were "once destroyed" they were transgressors and sinners (Gal 2:17-18). They were taught that true eternal security was by walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the works of the flesh (Gal 5:16-26;6:7-8). Paul did not tell them that once they received grace their responsibility regarding sin was over. He accused them of falling from grace (Gal 5:4), so such must be possible.

Many other men who were formerly saved have gone back into sin and have been lost. This fact is clear from such statements as: "some having put away concerning the faith have made shipwreck . . . he hath denied the faith . . . when they begin to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith . . . and turned aside after Satan . . . But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition . . . they have erred from the faith . . . and overthrown the faith of some . . . If God will peradventure give them repentance . . . that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil" (I Tm 1:19-20; 5:8; 5:11-15,20; 6:1,10,21; II Tim 2:8-16). Each one of the statements above would disprove that doctrine of eternal security, but here in 1 and 2 Timothy are many such statements in only two small books of the Bible. Some will go to great lengths trying to explain away these simple passages because they so clearly contradict their theory. Some of them go so far as to deliberately mistranslate the Greek and quote self-made translations to prove that such simple statements do not mean what they say. For example, they mistranslate "they have cast off their first faith" to "they have broken their former promises" as if this proves a person cannot be lost. The Greek word pistin from pistis is never translated "promises" out of the hundreds of times it is used in the New Testament. It is translated faith 222 times and is referred to as the saving faith in Christ in Rom 1:5,16-17; 3:25;4:5-20; 5:1-2; 10:17;Gal 2:20;3:24-29;Eph 2:9; 4:5; etc. Thus the "faith" that they "made shipwreck" of, "denied," "cast off," "erred from," and did "overthrow" is the true saving faith and has no reference to some promise that the people made themselves. They could not cast off, deny, and make shipwreck of this saving faith if they had not once had it. They could not get into the snare of the devil again unless they had once been delivered from him. They could not again be taken captive by the devil if they had always been his captives. They could not have "turned aside" again after Satan, if they had not first been following Christ. They could not have erred from the faith through the hurtful lusts that "drowned in destruction and perdition" if they had not been once in the faith and free from such lusts. They could not have their faith overthrown if they had none to overthrow.

Other translations of the Bible such as Moffatt, the Concordant Version, the Centenary Translation, Weymouth, etc., use stronger terms than does the King James Version, such as: "repudiated," "gone astray from," "failed," "thrusting away," "disowned," "strayed away from," "swerve from," "cast aside,”"led astray from," "overthrowing the faith," etc. If any of these things happen to one's saving faith he will no longer be saved, and he no longer will have the new life, which is only kept in him by faith (Gal 2:20;Heb 10:38-39;Gal 3:11;Rom 11:20).

Those who teach unconditional security argue that the word "damnation" does not mean the loss of the soul, but means that one is condemned. The Greek word krima is translated "judgment to come" (Acts 24:25), "eternal judgment" (Heb 2:6), and in many other places it is used of the future judgment of God, at which time men will be sent to Hell. It is translated "avenge" (Rev 18:20), "condemnation" (I Tm 3:6;Jude 4), "damnation" (Matt 23:14;Mark 12:20,Luke 20:47;Rom 3:8; 13:2;I Tim 5:12), and "to be condemned" (Luke 24:40). One can see by these Scriptures that it means the loss of the soul as inI Tim 5:12. Changing the word “damnation”to “condemnation”does not change the final result, for all that are condemned will be sent to damnation and eternal Hell (John 3:17-19;Rom 5:16-18 ;8:1;Jude 4;II Peter 2:6; Rev 20:11-15; Matt 25:41,46).

"Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world" (II Tim 4:10). He was a preacher according to Col 4:14; Philemon 24. He could no longer be a child of God and have the love of God in him when he loved the world, for "if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him," for God is love and He could not be in the life when love was not there (I John 3:15; 4:8,16).

Many in the seven churches in Rev 2-3 who were fallen from grace were required to repent and do their first works or else be cast off in sin and be lost. Jesus was not a good “unconditional securityite” according to His own words to these churches, for He kept rebuking, warning, and commanding Christians to meet certain conditions if they were to be saved, as we shall see in Point VII, 8 and 9 below.

The church at Ephesus—a church that enjoyed God's favor and grace at one time or it could not have fallen as indicated when Christ said to it, "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent" (Rev 2:4-5). One losing his first love loses God, as is clear from I John 4:7-8, which shows that if one does not have love he does not have God, for God is love. Any one who does not have God (or love) does not have grace. Having fallen from all of this the church at Ephesus was ordered to repent and do its first works, or have the candlestick removed, which means that the whole church would be removed, for the candlestick represents the church (Rev 1:20). The church, completely destroyed for centuries, apparently did not do the first works again. As the case is, with any other backslider, the latter end is worse than the beginning (Luke 11:24-26;II Peter 2:22). Christ demanded other churches to "repent" of idolatry, of committing fornication, and adultery (Rev 2:14-15,19-24; 3:19), and urged them to be on fire for God again, or be spued out of "my mouth" (Rev 3:15-16).

Thus we have many plain Scriptures stating that eternal life can be lost and many concrete examples of men who have lost eternal life through sin.

 Note:

If you are at all serious about studying the Bible, The book “Gods Plan for Man” by Finis Dake should be at the top of your list.  I consider it the most important resource I have aside from my Bible. It is an awesome work, and they say it is the equivalent of  three year Bible College degree.

 

 




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