Losing Your Salvation – Part 4

Speaker: Scott Jarrett | Jun 28, 2020
  1. What (so-called) biblically-based, Evangelical churches (and Christians) believe and teach = The false doctrines of Eternal Security, Perseverance of the Saints or “Once Saved, Always Saved”: Those who are truly saved (the elect), can/will never lose their salvation.

“The bottom line in this doctrine is that when the Lord saves someone, that salvation is forever, never to be reversed.  The Bible is clear on that basic truth and the basic truth is that salvation by its very nature is irrevocable.” – John MacArthur

  1. What Moses, Jesus, Paul, the author of Hebrews, Peter, James, Jude and John believed and taught = Legitimately saved people or true Christians can (and will) lose their salvation if they do not continue in faith and faithful obedience.

(Discussed: Deu 29:18-20, 32:5; Mat 6:14-15, 8:11-12; Rom 11:17-22; 1Co 9:24-10:12; Gal 5:4; Phi 2:12-16; Col 1:21-23; 1Th 1:4 w/3:1-5; 1Ti 1:18-20; Heb 6:4-9, 10:19-30; Jam 5:19-20; 2Pe 2:20-21; Jud 1:3-5; Rev 3:5, 22:19; Additional passages to consider: Psa 50:14-23, 51:11-12; Eze 33:13; Amo 5:21-27; Mat 25:24-27; Luk 19:24-26; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:1-10; Heb 3:12-4:11; Jam 2:14-26; 2Pe 3:14-17; 2Jo 1:8)

“A man may possess an acquired righteousness, from which it is possible for him to fall away…Certain ones of those [heretics] who hold differing opinions misuse these passages [like Rom. 9]. They essentially destroy free will by introducing ruined natures incapable of salvation and by introducing others as being saved in such a way that they cannot be lost.”– Origen (Letters, [A.D. 225])

“Are good works required as the means and way to possessing salvation? This we hold. The believer does not cease to be bound to observe (good works) if he wishes to be a partaker of the blessing of the covenant…and the obtainment of (salvation).” – Francis Turretin (Institutes Of Elenctic Theology)

“It is not uncommon in the Reformed tradition to speak of what has been called variously a ‘twofold justification (or salvation)’, or a past (salvation) by faith and a subsequent justification (or salvation) by works (see Jam 2:21-24).” – G.K. Beale (The Temple And The Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology Of The Dwelling Place Of God)

“Obedience to God’s commands appears to be central to (a) future aspect or component of justification (or salvation). Perfect obedience is not in view here, but the necessity of Christian (faithfulness) certainly is.” – Bradley Green (Covenant And Commandment: Works, Obedience And Faithfulness In The Christian Life)

  1. Why (so-called) biblically-based, Evangelical churches (and Christians) believe and teach that you cannot lose your salvation=

B/C they erroneously believe that in relation to salvation the bible teaches: The Godhead does it all – including Christ covering it all, which means all that God gives to us in salvation is irreversible.

3.1. The Godhead does it all…

From beginning to end, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (i.e. the Trinity) are the only ones working to secure the conditions of our salvation. The Godhead is the only truly responsible party – or the only ones with real obligations, in relation to our salvation.  Salvation is all of God or all of grace – we contribute nothing. Which means that those verses that seem to communicate loss of salvation are really about false Christians who never actually possessed it in the first place  – since if they did, the work of the Godhead guarantees it will remain. This view is sometimes referred to as “monergism” (one working) (e.g. Monergism.com). And though the verses used to support this view do teach that our salvation is the result of the Godhead’s gracious work, none of those passages negate – or are the same as saying, that we are not responsible for contributing anything to our salvation – or that the Godhead is the only responsible party in our salvation. CONSIDER: 3.1.1.-3.1.3. The surrounding context of many of those passages/verses clearly reveal that God’s promises are contingent upon our continued faith and/or faithfulness. In other words, we too have work to do[1]. Hence the reason the all the commands in Scripture are directed at us (not God). The same could be said about the warning passages in Scripture. Why warn us unless the responsibility to avoid such danger lies with us? Additional verses to consider in re: to these first three points: (2Co 11:15 = Our eternal “end” wb according to our deeds NOT our Savior’s deeds ; Rom 2:6-11 w/13[2]; 1Co 3:10-17 = Christians are warned to “take care”[be careful] lest what they “build” as their Christian life be found worthless or completely destroy the “foundation” of salvation [“Jesus Christ”] previously “laid” or established. For those guilty of such “temple” destruction (our lives are to be “God’s temple”), “God will destroy [them]” – i.e. their former salvation wb completely lost. That loss of salvation is in focus in vv16-17 is evident based on its contrast w/v15 where “loss” is suffered but salvation remains intact; Heb 3:7-19 = Continued faith and faithfulness during our times of testing is the obligation that must be met otherwise we too will be prohibited from entering God’s eternal “rest” (again vv18-19). Hence the reason for the author’s warning in v 12 to “take care” [be careful] and his instruction in v13 to “exhort one another every day”. Passages like this – along w/others that speak about testing, allow us to imagine J-DAY in the following way: At the time of our eternal assessment before God’s throne, we wb handed an ipad whose screen contains a scrolling list of dates and descriptions of all those tests that God put in our lives. On the right of each recorded test we will find our grade in the form of  “pass” or “fail”. At the bottom we will find our final grade: the sum of the above tests based on which was the majority [pass or fail]. This is what will determine where we spend eternity. IOW: Our original salvation/justification in Jesus’ will no longer exist if  we were characterized by failed behavior during those times of testing after receiving it – See Rom 2:25; 2Jo 1:8; 1Pe 1:3-9; 2Co 13:5).

[1] Upon hearing the word “work”, Evangelicals think of earning one’s way to salvation since for them there are only two possible options: 1) you earn your way to heaven (the impossible option), or 2) God (or more specifically Jesus) earns it for you. Neither however is communicated in the Bible. The gospel is (and always has been ) a marriage – or a system of gain (by symbolic faith) and maintain (through law faithfulness). The word “work” is therefore meant to refer to labor for the purpose of maintenance not merit.

[2] “It will not do to gloss over a passage like this. However one parses the details of a future judgment and the role of works, it is unavoidable that works play a role at the final reckoning…A future justification (or salvation) is in view here. Christians, even if they have already been justified (or saved) by faith apart from works (in the past), will ultimately be justified (or saved) by works (in the future) because they are ‘doers of the law’. As attractive (tempting?) as it might be to consider Rom 2:13 as ‘hypothetical’ that simply will not do.” – Bradley Green (ibid)