Friday 4 January 2013


Is there eternal security for believers if they deny God or continue living in sin?

The apostle 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).

He reiterates 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 lives.

However if we search various passages in Scriptures, we find that there are other points worth considering.

Both Paul and Jude warn of the danger of resting on our spiritual laurels as God afterwards destroyed 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 ).

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 their benefits:

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: 11-13).

If someone 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 usdemonstrated by Christ’s dying on the cross for our sinsit 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.

If the foregoing is too much theology to swallow in one go, we just need to consider this simple account:

Jesus told 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.

True, we 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 sinthus making null and void God’s love and mercy towards us.

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 useven though we have experienced genuine conversion.  


1    “I wish to remind you, as you all know, that God, when once he had brought the people out from Egypt, afterward destroyed 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 wilderness.

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 Corinthians 10:1-11).

 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 Lord your God.””
4 Jesus 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.
(Hebrews 10:26-31).
But my righteous one will live by faith.
    And I take no pleasure
    in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
(Hebrews 10:38-39).



What fate awaits those who sin repeatedly after they have believed?


Once we're in God’s good books, will we always remain so?

One of the best links to the perplexing issue of once saved, always saved (OSAS).

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