Home > Collateral Studies, Doctrine, Salvation > Assurance and Security of our Salvation

Assurance and Security of our Salvation


Dr. Mike Johnston

 

Can we ever be lost again once we give ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith? [1] The finished work of Christ and God’s imputation of His righteousness to us (Rom. 4:6, 11, 22, 24; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21) convinces me we cannot.

 

Most of us in the debate would agree on two things: First, we are all sinners who can’t save ourselves (Rom. 3:10, 23; 5:12; 6:23). Second, God is perfectly holy and righteous and will not allow sin into Heaven because He by His nature cannot allow it. Therefore, unless we become as perfect as He is (Matt. 5:48), we will die in our sins and spend eternity in Hell [2]! The question we must ask is the place where we part company with our opponents: while perfection is necessary for salvation, how is it achieved? We believe it is by faith in Christ alone. [3] Arminians teach it is by Christ plus a set of definitive rules we must abide by- or else.

 

Please don’t get me wrong beloved. Jesus is in their redemption equation but the bottom line is “I”, “me”, and “my” which they use as commonly as shower soap. In the end, their mantra comes down to this: “Me and Jesus will save me and keep me saved!” Now this is problematic even for a shallow thinker is it not. Right off, we’re led to believe that if sinless perfection is possible, there must be at least one of these super humans roaming the earth somewhere, right? Excuse me for saying it, but I’ve been saved and in Christian ministry over thirty years and frankly I’ve never seen one- how about you? J The reason is simple: Scripture tells us they don’t exist; never can, never will (Rom. 3:10-23; 1 John 1:8, 10).

 

Since sinless perfection is physically impossible, God needed to do it another way, by means of a once for all declaration called justification. This is a fancy legal term which means to declare not guilty. This is the perfect trade and it’s called imputed [4] righteousness: Christ became sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). Think about this my friend. In a twist of divine irony, the God who condemned us was the God who paid the ransom that pardons us which He now offers to any filthy, unworthy, bedraggled sinner who comes to Him through faith in Christ’s blood via His substitutionary death on the Cross (Rom. 3:24-31). Hallelujah to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

 

There are other problems I discovered while trying to maintain the conditional security Arminian position, like its gnawing inconsistency when it comes to a full systematic theology. Using approximately 85 Scripture references emotionally redundant and out of context (like Ezek. 3:18-21; 18:24; 33:12-13; Matt. 10:22; 12:43-45; 25:14-30; Heb 6:4-6; and many more) often left me confused and unconvinced.

 

If I die thinking a lustful thought God will have to send me to Hell or risk being a compromiser of His own standards. Since the spiritual is often pictured by the natural, how can a child of a certain father (even if rebellious) ever revert to not being that father’s child any longer? The Bible teaches that God foreknows us, elects us, calls us, and glorifies us. That sure sounds like eternal security to me.

 

Those weren’t all of the dilemmas this theology presented to me. What about sin? There are scores of things in Scripture we are told to either do or not do, for instance Second Tim. 2:15 which tells us to study the Word. If that is a command then it is a sin to not study it, right? But how often and for how long? Daily for an hour? Two chapters per week? Just at church? God must have a set standard. There were just too many open ends in this one passage. But wait, there are hundreds more, like Rom. 12:10-21; 1 Thess. 5:11-26, etc. Please don’t swat this away like a barn fly, this is precisely what Arminianism demands- perfection and staunch obedience in every area where the Bible commands something to be done or avoided. That being the case, every Scripture must be obeyed to the letter without wavering; ignorance will not be an excuse. While I have presented this to Arminian brothers that have back-peddled quicker than a hen from a foxhole, the fact remains the Arminian theology as I’ve presented it here is exactly what they maintain yet refuse to admit. Again, I was one and I know this is true my friend.

 

There are three examples that tied security together perfectly for me and for which Arminians have no valid explanation. We find them in John 6 and Romans 8, and Ephesians 2. Salvation according to Jesus and Paul is completed before it starts, ensuring all those called will be redeemed. In the spirit of winning regardless of evidence, I have seen Arminians do everything in their power to deny and destroy the following (I know I did):

 

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out . . . And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day . . . No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day (italics mine- excerpted from John 6:37-44).

 

Does the Father draw the wrong people? Was Christ mistaken and some could be lost? Was this hyperbole and He didn’t mean all? Paul outlined this process carefully in two verses: For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified (Rom. 8:29-30). Although Arminians spend inordinate amounts of time faulting us for teaching foreknowledge and predestination, unless they take scissors to Scripture they are left with a real problem here because it’s Biblical (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:5, 11).

 

Our sealing in Christ (Eph. 1:13-14) produces our glorification and is seen as completed in Christ as a result of our salvation by faith in Jesus. The reason is so that His grace (apart from human merit) would demonstrate His kindness. Everything about Arminianism denies the possibility of this verse: And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:6-9).

 

The sad reality is that putting ourselves within the framework of redemption’s plan makes us co-redeemers with the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). This at best is heresy and at worst is blasphemy. Again, I am not as one who can’t understand this position, having walked the Arminian path in my earlier years.

 

Paul’s comforting words really reinforce what this tract teaches: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). The fact is, peace isn’t possible unless you can know without question you are saved and secure forever. If salvation depends even one morsel on something—anything—we are required to do or not do we would never know until we die if we were good enough to make it. I have to be honest my friend. If salvation depends the least bit on me, I’m doomed. I haven’t measured up because I don’t make a good Lamb. But then, who does except Jesus?

 

 

 

[1] Please understand. There are about 85 verses (some of which are very obscure) that seem to suggest it is possible to lose your salvation, while there are hundreds proving it isn’t possible.

[2] You may want to order our tract: Hell- Is it Real?

[3] You may write for my booklet: Saved and Sealed Forever.

[4] This is actually an accounting term., meaning to transfer to one’s account.

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