Is there eternal security for believers
if they deny God or continue living in sin?
Paul tells us that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God once we
have been saved:
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,nor height, nor depth, nor any other
created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39).
that believers have been chosen and destined to be God’s people and have been sealed
with the Holy Spirit, “who is a
deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:4-5, 13-14).
Based on the
above references, it would seem that believers can rest in the assurance that,
no matter what happens, they will be guaranteed a place in heaven come end of their
However if we
search various passages in Scriptures, we find that there are other points
Both Paul and Jude warn of the danger of
resting on our spiritual laurels as God afterwardsdestroyed those He had
saved because of unbelief.
Lest we say these things do not apply to us
but only to those living in Old Testament times, Paul expressly says that what
happened to God’s chosen people should serve as a warning to us; it’s for our admonition
(Jude 1:5 1 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 2 ).
The apostle Peter
also warns that those who have escaped the clutches of sin through a saving
knowledge of Christ and then gets entangled with sin
again are worse off than before.
“If they have escaped the corruption of
the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled
in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the
beginning.It would have been
better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known
it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to
them.Of them the proverbs are
true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”and, “A sow that is washed goes back
to her wallowing in the mud” (2 Peter 2:20-22).
Paul teaches that those who deny (disown) Christ
after they have been saved will lose
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
(2 Timothy 2:
tells you it is written in Scriptures that nothing can separate us from the
love of God, you ought to point out that it is also
written in the Word that we, on our part, can choose to deny God or continue
living in sin, thereby nullifying God’s love for us. 3
If there is
one thing as great as God’s love for us—demonstrated by Christ’s dying on the
cross for our sins—it is His gracious gift of ‘free
will’ to us. God will never take away our freedom of choice, whether to
obey or reject Him.
Ever since Adam
and Eve, He has never forced us to obey or worship Him. Why would He turn us
into robots who would mechanically obey Him? He has always granted to man the
right of volition.
foregoing is too much theology to swallow in one go, we just need to consider
this simple account:
the woman caught in adultery, “Woman,
where are they (her accusers)? Did no one condemn you?”She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus
said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more” (John 8:10).
Believers need to be responsible for their moral conduct
after they have been saved. They certainly cannot afford to live carelessly and
expect God to continue to be merciful towards them.
cannot be separated from God’s love because of His great mercy. But we can choose to shoot ourselves in the foot by denying God or
continuing to live in sin—thus making null and void God’s love and mercy
How can God
ever allow those who deny him (apostates) or those who continue living in sin
to abide in His holy presence in heaven? (Revelation 21:8).
If our faith
does not endure 4, if we
continue living in sin, if we deny God, then there is no longer any eternal security
for us—even though we have experienced genuine conversion.
wish to remind you, as you all know, that God, when once he had brought the
people out from Egypt,afterwarddestroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 1:5).
2“For I do not want you
to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were
all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They
were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the
same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank
from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless,
God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the
Now these things occurred as examples to
keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be
idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to
eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”We
should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day
twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ,as
some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of
them did —and were killed by the destroying angel.
These things happened to them as examples and were written
down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come” (1
3 When someone tells us the Scriptures say something,
we need to point out that the Word also says something else that balances or grants us a fuller understanding of the
issue in question.
This “Scriptures also say” principle (truth has wings; a
coin has two sides) is illustrated in Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness by
the Devil (Matthew 4:5-7):
Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the
highest point of the Temple,and said, “If
you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to
protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so
you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’
Jesus responded,“The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lordyour God.””
4Jesus says that he who
stands firm (endures) during the end times amid persecution and false teaching
will be saved (Matthew 24:9-13).
Hebrews chapter 10 reinforces
the fact that persevering faith is needed to remain saved:
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received
the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful
expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of
God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony
of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves
to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an
unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted
the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will
repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to
fall into the hands of the living God.
But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no
in the one who
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are
destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
What fate awaits those who sin repeatedly after they have