The Neglected Possibility

When Someone Backslides

Dan Corner

The popular concept of our dark hour regarding a person who has a convincing testimony of salvation, then later turns back to sin (backslides) is that he was either: (1) never saved and merely a false convert or (2) he is still saved in his sin, but has merely forfeited his fellowship with God, rewards, salvation assurance, testimony, etc. and not his actual salvation. How sad it is that such ignorance of the Bible continues to proliferate the professing Christian world.

When one reads the Bible as an earnest truth seeker, it doesn’t take long to realize the above religious traditions of Calvinism and others are mere fabrications. The Scriptures reveal that a person who once had a convincing testimony of salvation, then later turns back to sin (backslides) is that he has lost his salvation (Eph. 5:5-7; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 John 3:7,8; etc.).

The Truly Saved Can Backslide

First, we know truly saved people can severely backslide. King David backslid into adultery and murder; King Solomon backslid into idolatry; the apostle Peter disowned Jesus three times; etc. This Biblical fact alone is at least crushing to those who say if such occurs they were false converts, like Ray Comfort.

The Truly Saved Can Be Identified

Secondly, the Bible clearly teaches that we can definitely know when someone truly gets saved. This truth in itself is devastating to the never really saved and false convert theology connected with eternal security. Since we can tell when a person truly gets saved and the truly saved can severely backslide, then the only real question that remains is: Does a true Christian (or righteous person) remain saved if he severely backslides like David, Solomon, Peter and others? The answer is a definite No. The Bible (God’s truth) states he does not remain saved, but man’s theology, confessions and creeds adamantly declare he does. [We have over 1,000 pages in the form of two books that thoroughly refute eternal security. Please consult them formore specific details about all of this.]

eternal security refuted


Jacob Prasch’s Typical View

Jacob, as well as a multitude of eternal security proponents, believes the following:


When someone backslides I would say either they were never saved to begin with and need to repent and get saved or that if they were saved they no longer have assurance of salvation and need to repent.

Jacob and others who embrace this type of spiritual poison sometimes describe themselves as apologetic and discernment type ministries, but neglect the truth that one who was saved can again become lost (Luke 15:24, 32; James 5:19,20; etc.) and must repent for salvation’s sake (not for something much less significant like mere assurance).

John McArthur (JM) similarly teaches:


Even if you are a believer and even if your salvation is secure, you won’t enjoy the assurance of that if you’re living in a continual state of sinfulness—if you’re just carrying on some sin that you won’t let go of. You’re going to forfeit your assurance.

JM often has people hoodwinked about his so-called holiness message, which is in reality nothing more than a facade. There is nothing holy about that teaching! Notice also that JM doesn’t always teach if one strays into wickedness and remains in it he was never really saved. JM teaches that a true Christian can live in a continual state of sinfulness and not let go of that wickedness. Too few seem know this truth about him. To remain unrepentant, according to JM, will only cost one his assurance (of salvation), but not his salvation itself. That is both Calvinism and a license for immorality. (Please do not be deceived: There is nothing holy about true Calvinism.)

For Real Truth Seekers

Because a Christian can become fatally deceived by sin and false doctrine, the many spiritual safeguards written in the New Testament are to be taken seriously and acted upon to remain in Christ. If these are neglected, up to lethal spiritual consequences will result and sometimes very rapidly. This truth is rarely known in our day but nonetheless vital.

The mere fact that eternal security is the belief that once you are saved you are always saved and that teaching counters the way Christians are informed to walk/run/live shows how dangerous this doctrine is. Notice what the real grace teaching of Christianity proclaims:


So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Cor 10:12)


You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again (Rom 11:19-23).

The teaching of eternal security will set one up for a spiritual fall (1 Cor. 10:12) and remove this important fear of being cut off from salvation (Rom. 11:19-23). May we all take the real gospel of grace seriously and act upon this basic Christian tenet:


By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain (1 Cor 15:2).

To believe differently from the real gospel is to believe “another gospel” and show yourself condemned by doing so (Gal. 1:8,9). Dear reader, flee as fast as you can from such a local congregation and/or ministry that teaches eternal security. You don’t want to be held accountable for sharing in its wicked work (2 John 9-11).


The Neglected Possibility When Someone Backslides

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