Arguments for Eternal Security

My Outline

bibleBecause I just commented on a post by a fellow blogger who believes one can lose his salvation, I am re-posting this sermon outline.

The following is an outline I used a couple of years ago. It starts off with some arguments against the “once-saved-always-saved” position. The next part lists six basic arguments in favor of the eternal security of the believer.

Of course, this is only an outline, not the sermon. However, you can click below for a link to the audio.

“Eternal Security” 

Arguments Against “Once Saved, Always Saved”

  1. Observational – How people live that believe it.
  2. Free Will – We are created with a will; we’re not slaves.
  3. Scriptural (Hebrews 6; 1 John 3:9; 5:18)

Arguments FOR “Eternal Security”

  1. Creational Argument: We are New Creations (2 Cor. 5:17)
    1. It took a supernatural act to change us
    2. We can’t act supernaturally to change us back
  2. New Birth Argument: We are Born Again (John 3:7,16)
    1. By the Spirit – Jn 3:6
    2. By the Word of God – 1 Peter 1:23
    3. We are not God, so we must remain “born again”
  3. Children of God Argument
    1. Born that way – 1 John 5:1; 1 Peter 1:23
    2. Adopted – Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5
    3. Abba – Gal. 4:1-7
  4. The Possession Argument – We belong to Christ
    1. Purchased – 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 7:23 (Bought with a Price)
    2. Given by the Father – Jn. 6:37-40; 10:28-30
    3. Will never be separated – Rom. 8:35-39
    4. Romans 14:8 – For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
    5. He can keep what is His – 2 Tim. 1:12 “…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” See also: 2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.
  5. The Marriage Argument
    1. Ephesians 5:25-28, 31-32 – Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church…This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
    2. He is faithful, even when we are not.
      1. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 “…if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful…”
      2. He is God, not man! – Hosea 11:7-9
  6. It’s a Gift
    1. 2:8-9 Gift of God, by grace
    2. Romans 11:29 KJV – For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance (irrevocable)

Click on the link below to listen to the audio. As you might be able to tell by the opening remarks, I believe it was a sermon we needed, but the devil was opposing. Nevertheless, hearts were encouraged.


Filed under Bible Study, Preaching, salvation

28 responses to “Arguments for Eternal Security

  1. Well prepared and put together….enjoyed listening to you….thanks for sharing and I do prefer the term “eternal security” because our security lies in the eternal realm, not our realm!

  2. Downloaded for listening later !

  3. Hello Pastor Anthony, thanks for sharing this audio and outline. Would you be interested in sharing it on DailyPS? We currently have a poll up asking Christian’s if they believe “Once Saved Always Saved” – I’d love to get some of your wisdom in the comments. It just went live today so we’re wanting to get some great content on it! Here’s a link:

    Thanks again for sharing this!

  4. I have found that those who believe in eternal security rarely, if ever, change their position when debating this matter and at best we end up agreeing to disagree. However when I propose this scenario to them and ask how they would respond they tend to avoid answering because it demonstrates in a practical manner that their position may be an untenable one. If they do answer, they respond by saying what someone else might do – not what they might do. Thus it is important to ask what the person – himself/herself – would personally do. The scenario is:
    If Jesus does not return before the great tribulation and you find yourself in the position of having to decide whether or not to take the mark of the beast, would YOU take the mark?
    As far as I know, they have 3 possible options:
    1. Yes, take the mark because I’m eternally secure. This response indicates that the person is at least consistent in their belief. However I’ve found no one responding in this manner because they know that this affirmative response directly contradicts the plain warning given in Rev 14:9-11.
    2. No, don’t take the mark because if I do it would demonstrate that I was never a believer to begin with. This option puts to rest the notion that those who continue to sin or no longer believe were never believers in the first place. The person knows that he/she is a genuine believer yet at the same time has to acknowledge the consequences of his/her losing salvation upon taking the mark. It puts them in a quandary because they would never consider themselves to be unbelievers who fall away from the faith. It demonstrates in a practical manner that they as regenerate believers can indeed lose their secure position if they take the mark. They can no longer use the excuse that persons who fall away from the faith never really believed.
    3. No, don’t take the mark because if I do I’m condemned to the lake of fire. If this option is taken, a person who adheres to eternal security acknowledges that the warning of taking the mark applies to him/her personally and the doctrine of eternal security is no longer a valid belief.
    A person who believes in the pre-trib rapture might protest and claim that this is not valid and is only a hypothetical example since the church is raptured before the great tribulation. However Rev 14:12 notes that the saints are still present at the time when the mark is presented. Whether this is the entire church or only tribulation saints is another matter for discussion. The main point is that v.12 commands the saints to persevere and be patient by keeping God’s commandments and their faith. Taking the mark would demonstrate that the saint has not kept the commandments and his/her faith.

    • These arguments certainly begin with the assumption that it will be clear that the mark of the beast is clearly discerned. Regardless, though, I think it is fairly safe to assume that you are mostly correct with that last sentence: “Taking the mark would demonstrate that the saint has not kept the commandments and his/her faith.” (Except it would prove they were not saints, as yo uh also said.)
      Using passages such as John 6:37 and 10:29, we are told that none who belong to Christ will be removed, and Matthew 24:24 which implies that His own will not be deceived. Therefore, a believer would not take the mark, especially knowing that Revelation says that those who take the mark are cast into the lake of fire. Eternal security implies the Holy Spirit would help the faithful to remain as such by refusing the mark.
      I think the distinction should be made between those who continue to sin habitually and willfully versus the unintentional sins (or even moments of weakness, i.e. Peter distancing himself from uncircumcised Gentile believers before Paul called him out). Further, as was mentioned in the “Left Behind” series, we should consider the possibility of taking the mark versus having it forced, as the intention of one’s heart is considered by God (as evidenced by Jesus’ admonitions in Matthew 5).
      All that being said, respectfully, I think your first example is logically inconsistent from a biblical standpoint, and the second and third are both flawed in assuming that believers who consider the consequences of taking the mark prove either the possibility of a lack of eternal security or lack of belief in eternal security. It may simply show a more complete understanding of God’s warning.
      If I am aware that I am being compelled to take the mark of the beast, I have already resolved to not do so (similarly to Daniel’s friends in Babylon with the furnace) with the faith that God would strengthen me with His Holy Spirit. If I am unaware of what the mark is, I still trust that God will protect me through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. His Word promises such protection/help, and I have experienced instances of God guiding me through situations that would have drastically compromised my witness. He enjoys helping His saints persevere.

  5. Jn 6:37 states that those who come to Jesus – he will not turn away – it does not state that they cannot turn away of their own accord. Moreover, Judas was given to Jesus by the Father (Jn 17: 6-12) and yet Judas betrayed Jesus because of his greed. You overlook the fact that the promises of Jn 10:29 are contingent upon v.27 where it specifies sheep who “listen” and “follow” the shepherd; i.e. obedience. Sheep who are disobedient are not privy to the assurances of v.29. Matt 24:24 references the possibility that even the elect can be deceived. This is confirmed by 1 Tim 4:1 which states “But the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,” Thus for you to claim that genuine believers cannot depart from the faith and will not take the mark because they cannot be deceived has no scriptural warrant.
    I do agree with you though that a distinction must be made between occasional sin which we are all guilty of since no one is without sin and habitual sin which is living according to the flesh. The former is forgiveable whereas the later is not because the continued practice of sin demonstrates that one has not really repented since one continues to practice sin.

    There is a marked difference between resolving not to do something before it has even occurred and following through with one’s resolve when actually faced with the situation. Thus for you to assert that you resolve not to take the mark although admirable at present does not prove that you will in fact do so in the future. No one can say with absolute certainty what he will or will not do in the future – particularly in a situation of extreme duress/persecution. One only need be reminded of Peter’s resolve when he confidently proclaimed that he would never deny the Lord but we both know what happened to Peter afterwards.

  6. Evan, I’m purposely not going to take the time to go into detail rebutting all the scriptures you’ve included in both your original and subsequent comments. My reason is not that I don’t want to, but that I’m so strapped for time that I can’t even get around to writing posts for my own blogs, much less get into lengthy debates over hypotheticals. However, I will take a few moments to address a couple of things.

    First, who are you? Yes, I know you are “Evan,” but who are you, really? I’ll be honest with you, most of the people I know online, especially the bloggers with whom I regularly correspond, are real people, some of which I’ve me in person and fellowshipped with. I know where they are coming from, a little about what makes them tick, etc. That all makes discussion a lot more mutually beneficial. But I know nothing about you other than a first name – and I don’t even know if it’s real. Point is, I’d like to know who I’m spending my valuable time with.

    Second, I found it rather humorous what you said about those of us on our side of this debate rarely changing our minds. I was literally in the shower this morning when your words went through my head (I try to multi-task). I chuckled and thought to myself, “Why would I want to trade the ‘peace that passeth understanding’ for a worry that’s completely understandable?” So, yeah, I can see why it’s hard to get some to change their minds. Personally, I don’t know how you can go to sleep at night without the fear you may die with unconfessed sin. Doesn’t that concern you? Because, you know, without the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, our righteousness alone is all we have. I’m not holy enough in my own works to stand before God; are you?

    Third, before I forget, did you actually read my post? Come’on, did you really? Did you listen to the sermon I linked? Or, be honest, is this just a pet thing of yours where you scour the internet to find blogs on which to comment? Just on this topic. I guess that goes back to the question of who are you, really?

    Are you a Church of Christ Ninja?

    Now, with regard to the Tribulation, I’m going to try to find something I wrote to a friend of mine on Facebook… Oh well, never mind. Too hard to find. Anyway, the point was that he was worried that I might take the mark of the Beast and be lost if I wasn’t first made aware of the danger – He’s definitely a mid or post-trib guy. (I’m pre-trib and pre-mellinial and not ashamed to say so. Heck, I’ll even go so far as to say I’m not a Calvinist, either…nor am I an Arminian.) But my arguments against his worry and concern are the same that I will share with you.

    If God could protect the children of Israel from all the plagues He brought down upon Egypt, then He can keep me from whatever judgment He decides to pour out on an unbelieving, Christ-rejecting world. Even the final plague, that of the death of the first born…the one that DID affect ALL people, including the Jews…did not touch those whose doorposts and mantle was covered by the blood of a spotless lamb. I’ll be straight up with you, Evan…the blood of Jesus Christ has been applied to me, so I’m not going to worry. When He sees the blood, He will pass over me.

    Evan, your “gotcha” question is pretty interesting, I guess, but my faith is in Jesus Christ to hold me, keep me, preserve me, deliver me, and finish the work in me He’s promised to complete. I’m waiting for one of two things, and if a third comes, then so be it. Either God will call me home, the trumpet will sound and I’ll rise, or – if you’re correct – I’ll see the greatest display of fulfilled prophecy ever to behold on this earth! If the last one happens, why would I lose faith then? Shoot, I’ll just sit back and enjoy the show until the heavenly city comes down. But I’m banking on taking a ride through the clouds, first 😉

    • Does it really matter who I am? Is it not more important to deal with the substance of the discussion instead of my background? For example, I could say that I’m a biblical scholar (which I’m not) and state my credentials (very few) as such but all that would do is appeal to authority – which can be a logical fallacy. If you choose not to discuss, that is certainly your prerogative.

      Secondly, why do you presume anything about me since you know nothing of me? You speculate that I “go to sleep at night without [with?] the fear you may die with unconfessed sin. Doesn’t that concern you? Because, you know, without the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, our righteousness alone is all we have. I’m not holy enough in my own works to stand before God; are you?” Contrary to your belief, Jesus’ righteousness enables me to PRACTICE righteousness. The scriptures refer to both positional righteousness and practical righteousness; the latter exemplified in 1 Jn 3:7 “Little children, LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU: The one who PRACTICES righteousness is righteous, just as Christ is righteous.” As this verse attests to, positional righteousness without personal righteousness is no righteousness at all.

      You refer to the “gotcha question” but you neglect to reply as to how you would personally respond to my question and the 3 options it poses for you. God is always faithful but the germane question is are we always faithful.

      • Answer to the germane: He is faithful, even when I’m not. I am His purchased possession. I am sealed. I’m adopted. I’m betrothed. I’m loved by One who will show his own blood on the ceremonial sheet presented as evidence of my purity. I am His, and He is mine. Theoretical “what if’s” in the context of an unbiblical eschatology aren’t going to change my position in Christ. I’m in His hand, and He won’t let me go.

      • I find it interesting that you still choose not to respond to my scenario as to which option you would personally choose but that’s certainly your prerogative.
        Contrary to your claim, the theoretical “what if’s” in Scripture do in fact matter a great deal as unlike English sometimes, Koine Greek is a very precise language. The little word “if” carries a great deal of weight for “if” is used in what is known as conditional sentences. In Rom 8:13 for example we have what in the Greek is a first-class conditional sentence that warns believers what their position in Christ entails. “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” The word “if” in the Greek is “ei” and when this word is used with a verb in the indicative mood in the protasis, it is assumed that the supposition (protasis) is true, then its result/conclusion (apodosis) is also true. It is a simple “if-then” statement indicating that if you (believer) are living according to the flesh (disobedience), you will die (spiritual death). In other words, you are indeed His – IF you are living according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh.

      • Hey everybody! Evan the Mysterious has forced me into a corner. I must choose a response to a question about something I don’t believe will ever happen. Should I choose not to respond, I’m just a typical pre-tribber without the courage to think outside my theological box. So…

        I would say, without a doubt, a resounding “HEAVEN, NO!” (because “Hell, NO!” would just be too obvious)

        However, Evan, this would not be because of one of the 3 scenarios you proposed; it would be because I don’t like tattoos, needles, implants, or permanent marks of any kind, to begin with. Also, I’m a Baptist, so I’m firmly against state-controlled religion, and the Anti-Christ would definitely rub me wrong.

        Now, if you want to come back at me for being silly or facetious, go right ahead. But if you do, let me remind you, you’ve already been pegged by other blogger friends of mine as one who gets a little testy when the argument gets too long and you don’t make headway. I’d like to be your friend and have some coffee with you, but at some point we’re definitely going to have to find something else to discuss.

        How about let’s talk about something less polarizing? Is “white privilege” a thing, or what? 😉

  7. Whether you believe it will happen or not remains to be seen. The fact that you avoid answering my direct question is quite telling but typical of those who avoid dealing with the scriptures. As I pointed out earlier, the saints are indeed present when the people of this world are faced with whether or not to to worship and take the mark as indicated in Rev 14:12. As for me, I prefer to believe Jesus’ own words when he stated that he will return as a thief – not before the tribulation as you believe – but afterwards before the battle of Armageddon as Jesus indicated in Rev 16:15-16.

    • Evan, seriously, I answered your question the best I could. Don’t go so far as to impugn my integrity by suggesting otherwise. You have created an eschatological construct which I deem theologically untenable. The only way to answer the question you have proposed without accusation of “avoidance” would be to accept your premise, and I cannot.

      Evan, there are those with whom I disagree, but we remain friends by not testing each other.

      Let’s get each other’s address (mine is easily accessible on this blog – the whole world could find where I live). Should we both be around when the Anti-Christ makes his move, let’s get together then and discuss the options.

      • We can always agree to disagree amicably which is a good thing but frankly I find no scriptural basis for your belief in the pre-trib rapture which you utilize to justify your not answering my question – particularly since Jesus himself referenced his return as a thief just prior to Armageddon.

      • Other scholars have. I’m not alone.

  8. Suffice to say we agree to disagree as I prefer to believe in the sufficiency of Jesus’ own words as he plainly stated versus the opinion of scholars who for some reason choose to ignore Jesus’ words.

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