Key Doctrinal Questions: Eternal Security? "Once Saved, Always Saved"? the Baptists tell me so.
. Reference Page including the following items:
Key Doctrinal Questions: theme scriptures.
A guiding principle for all Bible doctrines and Bible teaching.
Explanatory note regarding "the full counsel of God."
Explanatory note regarding methodology used.
Additional note regarding the editor's perspective.
. Observations, Synthesis, Thoughts, & Conclusions
. So, what of Eternal Security? Ah yes, "Once Saved, Always Saved," let's take a look at scriptures which pertain to "Salvation."
. Malachi 4:1-3
"For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven: and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
"But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked: for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts." [This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled.]
"Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
"And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
"The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, God, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
"When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
"And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour."
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
"So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence than hath it tares? He said unto them, And enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
"Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
"Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
"All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
"Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house; and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
"He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
"As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. [Jesus said this to his disciples, his apostles!]
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
"Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder; which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence."
"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
"Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
"Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."
"Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
"And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
"But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
"But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
"When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
"They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."
"And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
"Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
"But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
"But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
"So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
"And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen."
"While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
"He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
"If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?"
"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
"For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to taken any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
"Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect form the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
"Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had know in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so: lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
"And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
"After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
"He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
"Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
"Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirst, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
"Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
"But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
"Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
"And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
"And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have."
The Revelation of St. John
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels."
The General Epistle of Jude verses 1-7
"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only LORD God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the LORD, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
Pertinent contributions from Greats of the faith:
Charles Haddon Spurgeon - aka "the Prince of Preachers"
It should be noted that Charles Spurgeon was very far from a "fire and brimstone" preacher, he was an enormously popular preacher, and a forerunner for those like Billy Graham who would engage in modern evangelistic preaching, i.e., in vivid contrast to the "fire and brimstone" preaching content of the likes of Jonathan Edwards.
Excerpt - The Two Seeds
"We may be in the same church, baptized in the same water, seated at the same Communion table, singing the same psalm, and offering the same prayer; and yet we may be of two races as opposed as the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.
"Abraham's two sons are declared by [the Holy Ghost through] Paul to be the types of two races of men, who are much alike and yet widely differ. They are unlike in their origin. They were both sons of Abraham; but Ishmael, the child of Hagar, was the offspring of Abraham upon ordinary conditions: he was born after the flesh. Isaac, the son of Sarah, was not born by the strength of nature; for his father was more than a hundred years old, and his mother was long past age. He was given to his parents by the Lord and was born according to the promise through faith. This is a grave distinction, and it marks off the true child of God from him who is only so by profession. The promise lies at the bottom of the distinction, and the power that goes to accomplish the promise creates and maintains the difference. Hence the promise, which is our inheritance, is also our test and touchstone."
* Editor's notes:
Sarah was not only long past age, but she was 90 years of age when she conceived Isaac, and until that time she had been barren, i.e., she was barren throughout all of her childbearing years, and now she was far beyond her childbearing years!
Esau and Jacob were fraternal twins, and were miracle babes given in answer to Isaac's prayers on behalf of his barren wife Rebekah (who had been barren since their marriage, for twenty years); yet Esau was rejected by the Lord, and he is the only miracle baby I can think of in the Holy Bible that did not turn out very well. Miracle babes that were mighty servants of God include Isaac, born to his barren and aged mother Sarah, and his aged father Abraham; Esau and Jacob (renamed Israel), born to their barren mother Rebekah, and her husband Isaac; Samson (he left a bit to be desired, but finished mightily), born to his barren mother, and his father Manoah; Samuel, born to his barren mother Hannah, and his father Elkanah; John the Baptist, born to his barren and aged mother Elizabeth, and his aged father Zacharias; and Jesus the Christ/the Messiah, the Lord and Saviour, Lord to the glory of God the Father, the only name given under heaven by which we may be saved, the only begotten son of God, born of the virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Ghost.
Cain and Abel were not mentioned by Charles H. Spurgeon in his brief treatment, but they were brothers and a graphic example of the case Spurgeon makes. Cain was the firstborn child of Adam and Eve, he was the firstborn child in the world, and Abel was his younger brother. Cain had everything going for him, he had the world before him, and all that was in it. But whereas Abel was righteous, and God-pleasing; Cain was unrighteous, envious and jealous of his younger brother's acceptance by God, and Cain plotted against Abel and rose up in hatred against his unarmed younger brother and murdered him. Perhaps Cain was afraid that there would not be enough of the earth to divide up between he and his younger brother?! Ah, brotherly love; there's nothing like family; and such a family too, unlike any family since, i.e., the father Adam was the first human being, he was created by God without a human father or mother, and hence without sinful imperfect parentage, he was instructed directly by God, communicated directly with by God, and visited regularly by God; then there was his wife Eve, she was created by God from Adam, hence she too was without sinful imperfect parentage...yet in this most perfect family the eldest son Cain murdered his godly younger brother Abel, and God permitted it! For the record, the ungodly have hated the godly from the very beginning until the present, and will until the ungodly cease; thus, terrible violence and war will never cease until Satan who started all evil is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.
Other examples are available, e.g., Joseph and his elder brothers; David and his elder brothers; Jonathan and his father King Saul; Michal and her father King Saul;....
Observations, Synthesis, Thoughts, & Conclusions regarding "Eternal Security."
If having one's name written in the book of life does not guarantee that it will still be in the book of life when one comes before the LORD on Judgment Day (as irrefutably attested to by Jesus in Revelation 3:5), then how can one imagine that one is eternally secure if one has merely raised their hand at some service on an occasion or other, or merely gone forward at some service on an occasion or other, or merely attended church services?!
Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory to God the Father, requires more from us than the most nominal of acknowledgments on an occasion or two, and more than attendance at religious services, regardless what you may have heard to the contrary, even if you have heard contrary for all of your life and from "religious authorities" yet!
And wonder of wonders, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the so-called "Prince of Preachers" concurs! And if you are a 'good Baptist' then you should know who he is.
In Baptist circles there has finally been a slight shift from the staunch "once saved, always saved" doctrinal position, to a damage-control version along the lines of 'well if any fall away then they weren't actually saved.' It is a change, and a desperately overdue one, but it is still wrong, and is offered up to give the Baptist ministers, churches, denominations, bible schools, theological seminaries/divinity schools...cover.
But as Jesus pointed out in the parable of the sower, "Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection." The Baptist leaders have had it dead wrong for a damnably long time and damnably still do!
According to Jude (The Epistle of Jude), God Almighty, the Holy God, the God who is love, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that would not obey Him; the LORD God, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, have reserved judgment and eternal suffering for the angels which kept not their first estate! But the Big Daddy god espoused in so very many Baptist and other churches, denominational and non-denominational, wondrously offers something very different to all who will raise a hand, or walk up an aisle, or kneel at an altar, or permit themselves to be prayed for, none other than "salvation," eternal life, endless blessings forevermore, no matter what! Amazing grace, is that what they call it?! Yes, it is amazing that the God who never changes has changed so drastically! It is true that Jesus Christ came and lived a sinless life, and suffered more than we sinful people can know, and laid down His life to die in our place so that we might be saved, but Jesus the Son was with God the Father in the wilderness; Jesus the Son was with God the Father in the beginning; and Jesus the Son is returning to execute righteous judgment and justice as well as exercise mercy and loving kindness, and His gospel has been perverted by multitudes of ministers and churches, denominational bureaucrats and denominations, instructors and bible schools, professors and theological seminaries, christian authors (typically ministers and televangelists); that being said, those who do not endure to the end will be held individually responsible by the God who is love. To put it another way, God will 'audit' every one of us regarding our salvation and our life here, and we will all have to individually answer to Him, and none of the hireling pied pipers will be appearing on behalf of anyone (not that it would help if they were to do so).
"And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead."
What routinely passes for christianity in the United States of America is typically so much less than the LORD requires of his children, his followers, his disciples...and eternity will bear this out.
Those who die "in the Lord" are secure for all eternity, for they are the Lord's, while those who die apart from the Lord, irrespective of what their outward circumstances may appear to be, and regardless of what may be said of them following their decease, including at "christian" funeral services, will suffer eternal loss...and condemnation.
This may seem hard, harsh, severe...but consider this, it is the ultimate equalizer: no matter how lowly a person's birth, life, and death, they may inherit eternal life, love, and splendor, and no matter how high and mighty a person's birth, life, and death, they may be condemned to eternal suffering; amazing but true!
Some people imagine and/or communicate that if there is judgment and justice then there is no mercy, love, charity...but nothing could be further from the truth.
If those people who commit monstrous evil against others during their lifetimes on the earth do not receive condemnation and eternal suffering, and if those who are wickedly terribly preyed upon by those evil ones during their lifetimes on the earth are not avenged eternally, and blessed eternally, then there is no mercy, love, charity, nor judgment and justice! Given that God is a just God, the just God, as well as love, should He or should He not condemn the evil and bless those who cry out to Him for salvation?
Those people who die in the Lord have, during the lifetime that is past, experienced the worst that they will ever know; while those who die apart from the Lord have, during the lifetime that is past, experienced the best that they will ever know. Those people who die in the Lord enter glory, as they inherit eternity with their Lord and God; while those who die apart from the Lord enter suffering, as they inherit eternal condemnation. Fortunately, the determination of who will receive which destiny is in the control of the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-wise, perfectly righteous, just, holy, good GOD, not sinful man!
boy, i don't know about that eternal security stuff, one minute i feel dry and comfortable and think everything is ok, and the next minute my didy's all wet and instead of ok, i'm soaked! home (toc)
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