Monday, February 09, 2009

Eternal Security: A Pit Stop

Okay, we're closing in on the halfway point… ten reasons down and 15 to go, as I've promised to log 25 reasons, or lines of argument, in support of Eternal Security as a Biblically supported truth.

Someone might ask why I seem to think there is such importance to this doctrine. The reason is simple: This is one thing (of many) that makes Christianity completely distinct from all other world religions. When Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons come to my door, they're not likely to get away without hearing about eternal security. Mormons and JWs have no assurance of anything under their respective systems… it's all works-based. They never know where they stand. This becomes a fantastic opportunity to catch their attention and give them a reason to question the false doctrines they've been taught. These two cults characteristically attempt to ride on the coattails of Christianity and the Bible and make you think that they're part of Christianity too; that they're not so different. It can be very difficult, while talking with them on the front porch, to tease out exactly where--and why--they are different. Mormons, in particular, will nod their head in agreement with you about everything… trying to make you feel comfortable, like as though the LDS church doesn't really teach much that's different from Christianity. Well, throw eternal security out there and the feigned agreement comes to an abrupt halt. These cults simply cannot fathom this doctrine and the reason they cannot is that their concept(s) of salvation depend upon them, and not God. That's how they think.

Christian apologetics is the study of presenting a defense of Christianity and giving a reason for the hope that is in us. (see 1 Peter 3:15) As someone who has a keen interest in apologetics, I think this doctrine has enormous apologetic value because it sets Christianity apart from world religions with such incredible force. We are not accustomed to getting things for free in this life. We aren't pre-disposed to understand what grace really is. We always think we have to work for something and much of that is bound up in our desire to take credit for things ourselves. Let's face it… we want the credit. We want to say that we deserve our salvation, that we earned it through our hard work and effort and discipline. This is our nature.

Christianity rejects this… at least it's supposed to. The Bible says that no matter how hard we work, no matter what good things we do, we do not meet God's standard of perfect righteousness. Our best attempts at righteousness (Isaiah 64:6) are like filthy rags in God's eyes. We have absolutely no hope of earning out way to Heaven. The Bible says there is one way to be saved, and that is by trusting in Christ. Christianity is ultimately all about what you believe and who you trust. Our works are not part of the package as far as our salvation goes. The Christian way of life is primarily internal and invisible… it's between you and God. I'm not denying that there will--or should--be outward evidences of your faith; good works, etc. But those would be the result and not the cause. The belief comes first, in other words, and through that belief, Christ Himself saves you.

Next up: Reason number 11

No comments:

Post a Comment