Sunday, February 01, 2009

Eternal Security: Does it Matter?

In an earlier post (Doctrine Divides?) I mentioned that not only were there disagreements about doctrine in the Christian Church, but there were even disagreements about which doctrines are important, or essential. Eternal security, which is the idea that once a person has been saved by God's grace through faith (trusting) in Christ, they are saved forever and that salvation can never be forfeited nor revoked, is one such doctrine.

Once again, in an effort to preserve unity within the church, Christians frequently capitulate on this doctrine, being reluctant to commit to either view, even thinking that there's something wrong with committing or politely taking a stand. At a home fellowship group we touched on the subject and it was immediately obvious that even within our group, all going to the same church, there were different views. Someone said that we can just agree to disagree, and that it was not a salvational issue.

Not a salvational issue? I beg your pardon? Let's suppose for the moment it's true that a person can lose their salvation, and that I do not believe it (and I don't). If I believe I cannot lose my salvation but the truth of the matter is that I can, then doesn't that necessarily mean that I'm at risk in losing my salvation? Isn't it incumbent on people who know the truth in this scenario to correct me for the sake of preserving my salvation? Isn't that important? I would think so. Not only is it a "salvational issue" because it pertains to the topic of salvation, but it's also a "salvational issue" because if I don't believe the right thing, I may be at risk of losing my salvation!

Now generally, the debate around the issue of Eternal Security revolves around a person's alignment with either a Calvinist theological view or an Arminian theological view. Calvinists will generally align with Eternal Security and Arminians will generally believe that salvation is something that can be lost. Now there's much more to both of those theological systems, but the important thing for me to do right now is to exclude myself from either group. I'm convinced that both theological systems are deeply flawed. I come from neither the Calvinist school nor the Arminian school. Maybe I'll get into why in a future post.

It certainly seems obvious to me that what you believe on this issue is important. I don't know how a person could conclude otherwise. So, the question is, what is the truth of the matter? Can your salvation be lost, or is it permanent and unrevokable?

Well, I thought I might give a defense for the position that I have taken. I'm convinced that Eternal Security represents the truth, as taught by scripture. The following posts will catalog no less than 25 reasons, or bases, for believing that your salvation cannot be lost under any circumstances.

But before I start posting those, I want to clarify one thing… there is a right answer to this question and there is a wrong answer. There's no post-modernism here… both ideas cannot be true. There is no grey area. Either it's true that you cannot lose your salvation, or it's true that you can. And if it's true that you can lose your salvation, then it the idea that you cannot is false. If it's true that you cannot lose your salvation, then the idea that you can is false.

The challenge for the reader here is to actually seriously and prayerfully consider the arguments which will follow and make a decision about whether the arguments are valid and supported by scripture or not, and if not, to have a clear idea (even if you don't wish to comment) as to why they are not valid.

Please stay tuned…

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