Charles Stanley defines eternal security as that work of God in which He guarantees that the gift of salvation once received is possessed forever and cannot be lost. In other words, once you are saved you are always saved no matter what you do or fail to do.
Fruitless Christians are in the greatest danger in the universe. Unless they repent and bear fruit, they will be severed from Christ and will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, according to Jesus! What a shock it must be to some to hear statements like this, but Jesus taught this truth more than once.
He [God] cuts off every branch in me [Jesus] that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2)
The Father wants fruit. What happens to people who do not remain in Christ (namely the branches that get cut off because they bear no fruit)? John 15:6 tells us.
If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
Jesus taught in John 15:1-10 that there are two types of Christians — those who do remain in him and bring forth fruit and those who do not remain (the fruitless) and end up in the fire.
Works salvation is a term the eternal security teachers like to use.
They have come up with an ingenious way – through a false accusation using that term – to try to convince people that their doctrine is correct and is associated with GRACE, while the opposition is a works salvation and therefore wrong. They teach one is either Once Saved Always Saved or believing in a blatant and obviously wrong works salvation. They say the NO eternal security people are:
● believing in a works salvation
● trying to earn their salvation or
● involved in legalism!
We can’t speak for everyone, but as for us at Evangelical Outreach, none of those labels apply to us, even though we do definitely HATE and reject eternal security as HERETICAL and DEMONIC. Please know our faith and trust is in JESUS 100% for our salvation. We believe we are saved by GRACE and not by works (Eph. 2:8,9). We also believe to have a saving faith in Jesus means we will also have good “works” with our profession of faith in Jesus, as James 2:14 and 2:17 state.
Most don’t know that the same Greek word translated “works” in Eph. 2:9 is also in James 2:14 and 2:17 referring to a true salvation. We see the same important truth resurface again in 1 Thess 1:3 where the same Greek word translated “works” in Eph. 2:9 is also found. It says “WORK of faith” (KJV) or “WORK produced by faith” (NIV). A true saving faith in Jesus has GOOD WORKS with it. Don’t allow the popular eternal security teachers to confuse or deceive you about this.
Going back to James for a minute, he also made another relevant point about faith. He taught about another type of faith – the faith of demons – in James 2:19. Demons know there is one God and shudder. But, folks, as you know, they don’t obey God! Don’t be deceived. Following Jesus or obeying God as his sheep do (Jn. 10:27) has ABSOLUTELY NO connection with a works salvation.
Obedience to God has WRONGLY been equated to a works salvation in our apostate day! Imagine that! Simple obedience to God, which is basic to Christianity, is downplayed and basically taught as being unattainable. They often infer or boldly teach that a Christian sins all the time and they even slander Paul as being the worst of sinners. The Bible is clear in Hebrew 5:9 that those who have eternal salvation OBEY Jesus.
To equate obedience to a works salvation is not only unscriptural, it is to attack what is needed for salvation and smear the holy image of a Christian! Jesus himself said his spiritual family are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice (Lk. 8:21). The Apostle John wrote:
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil (1 John 3:7,8).
But that’s not all. The Bible teaches one must be holy to enter God’s holy presence after death. Mt. 5:8 speaks of that same salvation truth with these words – Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. Thus, Christians are told to keep themselves pure and are constantly warned throughout the New Testament that certain sins will send them to hell.
If one doesn’t inherit God’s kingdom, he will go to hell, and sins (such as listed in Eph. 5:5-7; Gal. 5:19-21; etc.) can cause that. Obeying God will prevent committing such sins and should be magnified and stressed, not attacked as being in legalism or a works salvation or outside of GRACE!
The truth is, the eternal security teachers have changed grace into a license to sin and are slandering their opposition with the term works salvation. Such teachers remain a major hindrance and lethal snare to Christians, and especially to new converts, as they twist Biblical terms to teach their distortions.
John was very clear when he gave us 1 John 2:3,4:
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
John was not teaching a works salvation when he:
● stressed simple obedience as a sign of salvation and
● boldly labeled a person a LIAR if he says he knows Jesus, but doesn’t do what God commands.
The same John also wrote the gospel of John and in chapter 3:36 it says:
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (John 3:36, NASB).
Believing on Jesus is equated with OBEYING him. Don’t be deceived about this subject. Simple obedience to God is NOT a works salvation. It is the essence of true saving faith. The Bible does NOT teach eternal security or once saved always saved. God bless you.
Someone who believes in eternal security might say, “I don’t believe in the Catholic view of mortal and venial sins, as apparently you do! As a Once Saved Always Saved proponent, I believe all sins are equal in their severity before God, according to Jam. 2:10.”
Dan Corner’s response is below:
To reject the concept that all sin is equally severe does not automatically make that person a believer in the Catholic view of mortal and venial sins, as you assume! You are trying to discredit a conditional security by associating it with Catholicism. This is the logical fallacy known as guilt by association.
Remember, Scripture clearly teaches there are degrees of sin—greater sin (Jn. 19:11), eternal sin (Mk. 3:29), sin that leads to death and sin that does not lead to death (1 Jn. 5:16). James 2:10 does not contradict these verses! That verse and the one that follows it says:
For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law (Jam. 2:10,11).
James 2:11 goes on to say if a person does not commit adultery but does commit murder he is a lawbreaker. This clearly shows James is talking about those who are lawbreakers in verse 10, and not that all sin is equally severe in its consequences on the soul, as you assume!
Sins of worry and unthankfulness can never be compared in Scripture to sins of adultery and murder! In Rev. 21:8, the latter will send people to the lake of fire while the former are excluded from this list (and all other similar lists in Scripture).
From downplaying the unique power of the blood of Christ, to teaching that weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness is in the kingdom of heaven, to saying the Prodigal was lost in the sense that the Father didn’t know where he was, the Once Saved Always Saved teachers will do any kind of Scripture distortion to defend their doctrine. Even beyond these, Charles Stanley’s interpretation leads to the following:
You cannot outsin the grace of God. (Grace: God’s Second Chance, Grace and Continuing Sin, audiotape #4)
Laurence Vance similarly thinks an unrepentant prostitute could be saved. He states this as he chides another who ridicules such a notion. The statement that Vance criticizes is:
… came across a woman who happened to be the town prostitute. This woman believed that she was saved because as a young girl she walked the aisle in an evangelistic meeting and professed Christ as Savior. (The Other Side of Calvinism, p. 336)
Laurence Vance’s strange criticism was “… God let this woman get away with much more than he could.”
How can such strange interpretations go unchallenged? Certainly, there are various reasons. But this we know, such ministries flourish only because so many supporters are not acquainted with the Holy Bible and are not living in the fear of God. The primary reasons seem to be as cited in 2 Tim. 4:3,4 and 2 Pet. 2:1-3. Once Saved Always Saved is a license for immorality and needs to be contended against in obedience to the command in Jude 3,4.
Does the Bible teach Conditional Security or Eternal Security (Once Saved Always Saved)?
Have you ever heard an eternal security adherent use the following argument against a conditional security for the believer? Dan Corner shows how to respond.
There are an equal number of Scriptures that teach Once Saved Always Saved as there are that don’t. Therefore, you can’t be emphatic about a conditional security for the believer.
To believe such a statement implies the Bible contradicts itself. Dear reader, it is absolutely impossible for the Bible to teach both Once Saved Always Saved and a conditional security. One must be wrong!
It is true, however, that Once Saved Always Saved has arguments that seem at first glance to be supported by Scripture, but none of them really are. The Scriptures usually cited for Once Saved Always Saved are either taken out of context (like Jn. 10:28), unrelated to the subject (like Jn. 19:30) or misused in some other way.
The Bible teaches a conditional security for the believer. The sooner people realize this, the sooner they will be set on their spiritual guard to endure to the end for the sake of their salvation (Mt. 10:22; Heb. 3:14; Rev. 2:10,11). Millions of souls may perish without this vital information. Once saved always saved (or eternal security) must be rejected as the licence for immorality that it really is.
Since Eternal Salvation is eternal, how could you lose it?
Salvation is indeed eternal, as stated in Heb. 5:9, but please note who receives it:
And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.
Obviously, eternal salvation is only for those who obey (continuous-tense) Jesus!
This does not mean, however, that perfect obedience or sinless perfection is demanded for salvation (1 Jn. 1:8; Jam. 3:2). But again, we cannot compare the lesser sins such as worry and unthankfulness to sins such as sexual immorality, drunkenness, greed, etc. that will exclude anyone from the kingdom.
Therefore, based on Heb. 5:9, if one doesn’t obey God, he should not think he will enter the kingdom of God one day. The Lord Jesus taught the same in Jn. 5:29:
And come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.
See also Rom. 2:7 and Gal. 6:8-10.
One final point, the only time we read of our eternal salvation is in Heb. 5:9, yet when the Once Saved Always Saved people mention our eternal salvation they almost never cite the entire verse which shows who the recipients are!
Proponents of Once Saved Always Saved theology typically use the following type of logic:
A child cannot become unborn, and the relationship of a father and a child cannot be ended. Once a son, always a son. Therefore, once we are saved we will always be saved. Or as Hal Lindsey wrote:
When you’re born into your earthly family, you may be a winner or a loser in your behavior, but you’re still a member of that family. There’s no way to be unborn just because you don’t measure up to the standards of your family. It’s just the same when you’re born into God’s family. You may be disciplined for wrong behavior, but you won’t be disowned. (The Liberation of Planet Earth, p. 221)
This argument is based on natural fact, then applied to the spiritual, which doesn’t always hold up as truth. (Once Saved Always Saved adherents frequently make this kind of mistake of arguing from the natural to the spiritual.) This type of error can be demonstrated by the following facts: Before we became Christians, we were all “children of the devil” (Acts 13:10; 1 Jn. 3:10) and “sons of the evil one” (Mt. 13:38). In other words, the devil was our spiritual father (Jn. 8:44). However, this spiritual father-child relationship changed at the point of salvation, according to Scripture! Aren’t you glad that spiritual, father-child relationships can be ended?
We are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26), yet it is possible to stop believing (Lk. 8:13), have our faith destroyed (2 Tim. 2:18) and for our faith to become shipwrecked (1 Tim. 1:19,20).
Also, angels and Adam are called “son(s) of God” (Job 1:6; Lk. 3:38, KJV), yet some angels and Adam lost their eternal life, and we can too as sons of God.
We can’t become unborn, but we can die spiritually (Lk. 15:24,32; Rom. 8:13; Jam. 1:14,15; etc.)! We must endure to the end to be saved (Mt. 10:22).
Finally, Lindsey wrote you won’t be disowned, but Jesus said if we disown him, he will in turn disown us (Mt. 10:33, NIV). Who should we believe?
Excerpt from The Believer’s Conditional Security, Copyright Dan Corner
If you are a teacher, remember you are not in a popularity contest (1 Thess. 2:4)! Your aim should be to please God and win his approval, which does not come automatically (Gal. 1:10).
Mt. 18:6 should especially grip a teacher:
But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea (NKJV).
Causing another to sin can be done through false teachings (Mal. 2:8; 2 Tim. 2:17,18; Rev. 2:20) and example (Rom. 14:21; 1 Cor. 8:10,11). Therefore, be careful what you teach and do.
Also, let the words of 1 Tim. 4:16 remain with you:
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers (NIV).
Remember, if you are a pastor, you are to keep watch over the ones God has entrusted into your care (Heb. 13:17). Such includes warning, rebuking and correcting—not just encouraging and comforting.
Your judgment as a teacher will be more strict than others (Jam. 3:1). Do not, therefore, compromise the truth of Scripture to please your audience or to promote your own ministry. Jesus never did. Many walked away from him and his message never to return, through no fault of his. Make it your goal to please God, not the people with itching ears, even those who have money and influence in your community.
If you are a pastor, you are not a very good shepherd, or worse, if you know Once Saved Always Saved is wrong and you are afraid to publicly express it to your congregation, especially in light of all the Once Saved Always Saved messages pouring out over the airwaves and found in literature. The Once Saved Always Saved teachers aren’t afraid to openly teach this harmful doctrine with conviction and authority!
The truth is vital, though it might be hard to receive at times and hard to disseminate, especially when you know in advance that some will be unhappy with it. This is one of the hardest tests a faithful minister will ever face. For the sake of eternal souls and your own judgment on that awesome Day, do what is right:
Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency (stand by, be at hand and ready, whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable, whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as a preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong) and convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching. For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, and will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions (2 Tim. 4:2-4, Amplified Bible).
Paul explicitly told us there the time is coming when people will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction. He also stated false teachers will abound who will teach things that will satisfy these people with itching ears. That time has come! It is no longer futuristic, but present tense! In our present hour, people are not enduring sound instruction and there are many teachers ready to teach to satisfy their itching ears.
Excerpt from The Believer’s Conditional Security by Dan Corner
Copyright 2000 Daniel D. Corner
Dear Sirs, I am one who became angry with God and deliberately turned away from him for a long time. Recently, I have experienced, quite unexpectedly, conviction and a desire to return to the Lord. I have repented, but I have some lingering doubts about whether the Lord Jesus has actually forgiven me. Does my period of rebellion exclude me from the possibility of grace through faith in the atoning work of Christ? I will not minimize the extent of my anger; I hated God. Now, I do believe that He has forgiven me and that Jesus, His son, has saved me. I love the Lord Jesus Christ now, and I want to be freed from all sin. Please share your thoughts. I know you are uncompromising in the truth.
[Response: Greetings in Jesus’ name. The ONLY way one who turns from God cannot return is to commit eternal sin, which is what is referred to in Hebrews 6:4-6. Eternal sin is saying/believing that Jesus performed his miracles by the power of the devil. Jesus taught all forms of blasphemy can be forgiven, even hating God, but the eternal sin can’t be forgiven. Please see Mark 3:29,30. The prodigal returned to God and the Father RAN to welcome him back and then had a FEAST in celebration (Luke 15). Also, if one turns away from the truth and commits a multitude of sins and then is brought back, he can be forgiven too (James 5:19,20). Also, please remember the loooooooooooong list of horrible sins that king Manasseh committed and he still found forgiveness (2 Chronicles 33:1-20) ….]
After citing Revelation 21:8, Zane Hodges comments in his book, The Gospel Under Siege (p. 123):
This is not, of course, salvation by works after all! It is rather a declaration that in the new heavens and the new earth (cf. Rev. 21:1), there are no more cowards, no more idolators, no more liars—except those who have been consigned to the lake of fire!
But what about born again Christians who have done these things? To be specific, what about wise Solomon who ended his life with defection from his God and with idolatry (1 Kings 11:1-10)! The answer is that they will all be in the presence of God as citizens of the eternal world. And whatever their failures on earth may have been, these are gone. If they had been liars, they are liars no more. If idolators, they are idolators no more. For now they are immortal and sinless. They are conformed to the image of God’s Son.
How did they come to this place. By the grace of God.
It’s very disturbing that Zane Hodges would comment on the clear truth of Rev. 21:8 and say it is “not, of course, salvation by works.” One must wonder from this if he is trying to cloud the issue.
Zane Hodges also reveals how he understands works! If one resists sinful temptations as commanded (Jam. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:9), he is living in accord with Biblical grace (Titus 2:12; 2 Cor. 1:12), not believing in works salvation! If not being sexually immoral, an idolater, liar, etc. was believing works for salvation as suggested, then Paul actually contradicted himself, for he is the one who gave us Eph. 2:8,9 and other passages about such not inheriting the kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9,10; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:5-7).
The problem here is also the way the Once Saved Always Saved people understand grace. By Hodges’ definition of grace, it should be apparent that he is allowing people into the kingdom (liars and idolaters) whom God clearly stated will be thrown into the lake of fire. This reflects the infinite difference between the grace of Once Saved Always Saved and the grace taught in the Scriptures!
If one would carefully read Rev. 21:1-8, he would see that verses 7 and 8 are contrasting passages describing first the overcomer—those who actually enter the kingdom—and second, those who get thrown into the lake of fire (or the non-overcomer). Verse 8 describes the latter. That passage is very shocking to today’s Once Saved Always Saved gospel, for it does not state that only the unbelieving will be thrown into the lake of fire, as one might expect. In fact, the unbelieving are not even mentioned at the top of the list!
God himself, who knows everything there is to know about grace, his own faithfulness, love and keeping power, etc. spoke these words after the infinite and finished work of Christ on the cross. Along with 1 Cor. 6:9,10, Rev. 21:8 best describes all of those who will spend their eternity, with the devil, in burning sulfur.
Rev. 21:8 is an irreconcilable problem text for all of the Once Saved Always Saved proponents and their grace message, since they believe one can actually do those things after their salvation, never repent, and still not be in the danger that God clearly says they are in! We should not, therefore, be surprised that Rev. 21:8 will be avoided or distorted by the grace changers, through some strange interpretation, because it is so antithetical to Once Saved Always Saved.