Sunday, July 1, 2012

Conditional Eternal Security

The following Bible verses very distinctly make the promises of eternal security conditional:

 But the one who endures to the end shall be saved. Mat. 24:13

Concerning Matthew 24:13, Mr. Thiessen writes, To this we simply reply that that has nothing to do with the main argument.  If a man is saved he will continue; if he isn’t saved he will not continue.  Surely, a person must have his mind closed to insist that this has nothing to do with the main argument.  This is the main argument of this verse!  What Christ is saying, is that if you do not endure you will lose your salvation.  How could one quit enduring if one had never been in that which one is enduring?

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.  But he who endures to the end will be saved. Mark 13:13   

The only way to believe in unconditional eternal security after reading these verses is to read them wearing mental blinders.  Christ makes the contrast very clear by using the word, but.  To have started out on the right path and then turn on to the wrong path does not lead a person to the right destination.

If we endure, We shall also reign with Him.  If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 2 Tim. 2:12  

The words to notice here are, If we endure.  Wuest has translated them as, If we are persevering.  It seems almost pointless to ask, what if we do not persevere in the faith.  Still Paul answers by saying, If we deny Him, He also will deny us.  Some argue that in this phrase, Paul is speaking of those who never accepted Christ as their Lord.  However, by using that line of reasoning one is completely leaving the words, If we endure, out of the equation.  Here the word, we, refers to those who already are Christians, as is clearly shown in the text preceding this statement.

Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of LifeRev. 2:10 & 3:5
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of GodRev. 2:7  
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second deathRev. 2:11  
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.  And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. Rev. 2:17  
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angelsRev. 3:5 
Behold, I am coming quickly!  Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. Rev. 3:11  
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Rev. 3:21  
He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My sonRev. 21:7   

In each of these verses in The Revelation, the thought is, To him who overcomes.  In 3:5, the Lord very pointedly says that the over-comer’s name will not be blotted from the Book of Life.  From that statement, one must infer that a person’s name can be blotted out of the book of life.  In 21:7, even our son-ship, is said to be dependent on our overcoming. 

The argument is made that Christians do not have a choice as to whether or not they will continue to be Christians.

Thiessen quotes Boettner to prove his point.  Since it is a change in the inner nature, it is in a sphere in which man does not have control.   If this is true why do evangelicals, like Mr. Thiessen, urge sinners to repent of their sins?  Since, according to him, in the inner nature, where the new birth happens, people have no control over the matter, in any case.

People who believe in the free will of man must surely see the inconsistency of believing that a non-Christian can choose for himself, whether or not, to become a Christian, but that a Christian loses his free will at his conversion.  The same people who insist that Christians have the choice in every matter of their spiritual life; whether to live for Christ or to live selfishly their entire life, do not give Christians the same volition as to their eternal well-being.  This seems inconsistent and certainly anti-Biblical!

For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labour might be in vain.  1 Thes. 3:5.  

Paul voices this concern, about the Thessalonians losing their faith, in 1:3, he calls them, brothers in Christ.  If the loss of salvation is not possible, how could Paul possibly imagine that his labour would be in vain?  After all, Galatians 1:11 and 1 Thessalonians 1:3 tells us that Paul thinks of these men as his brothers in Christ.  If they are his brothers in Christ, his work could not possibly be in vain, because surely these men would someday be in heaven because of Paul’s labours, if the doctrine of unconditional eternal security were true!

About this verse Mr. Smith writes, To what purpose are the warnings to believers in Scripture, if what is warned against is not possible in the first place?  Even in this context Paul throws in a warning, he says, For we now live, if you continue to stand firm in the Lord.