Again, the whole idea that the Doctrine of Eternal Security is no more than a license to sin is probably the single biggest argument that is used to counter the doctrine. As we can see, the argument is simply not a valid one. Other than that, there are numerous Scripture verses used as “proof texts” to support the idea that we can lose our salvation.
Several years ago, a family member had an interesting conversation with a person who believed one could lose his salvation. When challenged by the family member for some proof, the person in question quoted Job 1:21, saying “The Lord giveth and The Lord taketh away!” That may be the single most absurd argument for being able to lose salvation that has ever been spoken. Not all of these arguments are that absurd, however; some seem to make sense on the surface. Let’s look at a few. It will only be a few, as there are many.
Some scriptures that speak of earthly chastening are used to teach believers can lose their salvation.
1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
Romans 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
The word damnation in those verses is not referring to “anathema”, or death in Hell, but “krima”, referring to an earthly judgment
There are those passages that refer to a believer being called home by God because of committing the sin unto death. This, in context, refers to physical and not spiritual death. 1 John 5:16 and 1 Corinthians 3:17 both refer to this. The fornicator in 1 Corinthians 5 was in danger of committing it and the believers in Corinth participating in the Lord’s Supper unworthily and Annanais and Sapphira all committed it. Nothing in context suggests these were unsaved people, but people being called home by physical death so as not to ruin their testimonies.
Some verses dealing with evidence or proof of salvation are used to illustrate one losing salvation.
1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
Colossians 1:22,23 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
1 John 2:3-5 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
James, in particular, is used to support this idea. But in the context of the overall concept of salvation not being by works, it is made clear that the above verses are referring only to the evidence of salvation.
Some verses used to show the possible loss of salvation simply refer to someone who never had it in the first place.
Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Some say that not those who say “Lord, Lord” enter heaven but only those who “doeth the will of my Father” enter heaven. In other words, works are needed to stay saved. Just note, however, what Jesus said. He said, “I never knew you.” To understand the full context of the above passage, it is necessary to read the entire passage in question. Read Matthew 7:15-23. The overall context in the passage is referring to false prophets and teachers who ran around claiming to belong to Jesus, but in fact, never had.
The above passages are but a few that seem, on the surface, to support the idea that a person can lose their salvation. Like all of our Bible interpretation efforts, we have to perform this one correctly. Context, language, history and culture all have to be considered when assuming a position or interpretati0n. All of these things taken together, along with Scriptures supporting Eternal Security, clearly show that the Doctrine of Eternal Security of the Believer is, in fact, completely Biblical. Now, the only question remains is: Why is it so important?
Coming up… part 7