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Eternal Security and Lifestyle Sinning
— Dan Corner —
Eternal security proponents often miss the clarity of Rev. 21:8, but perhaps this is what they want to do, for the sake of their doctrine. The context of that Scripture is powerfully clear and it refutes eternal security. It states:
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. Then we have 1 Cor. 10:7 which proves that Paul’s grace message declared that a true Christian could become an idolater, the same Greek word as found in Rev. 21:8. Hence, the Lord’s apostles taught a person once saved could go to the lake of fire by committing this sin, since those cited in Rev. 21:8 go to the lake of fire. This alone refutes the license for immorality called “eternal security.” (End of debate.)
Moreover, the 1 Cor. 10:7 passage refers back to the Golden Calf incident (cf. Ex. 32), and proves that idolatry doesn’t have to be habitual lifestyle to make the Corinthian Christians idolaters! Again, since 1 Cor. 10:7 refers back to just one act, apparently Paul believed that just one act would make the Corinthian Christian idolaters!
The above truth is very similar to the fact that it only takes one act of murder or adultery (not many) to be a Bible-defined murderer or adulterer, according to Scripture:
If a man strikes someone with an iron object so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. Or if anyone has a stone in his hand that could kill, and he strikes someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. Or if anyone has a wooden object in his hand that could kill, and he hits someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. (Num 35:16-18)
If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. (Lev 20:10) To say that a Christian can commit adultery and not be an adulterer is to teach both a deadly lie and a license for immorality at the same time, even though you might claim to reject eternal security! Note: it only takes one act of murder or adultery to be a bible-defined murderer or adulterer, according to scripture. It does not take habitual acts or lifestyle, as some people falsely claim. That truth is also a death blow to the eternal security sin gospel, for it condemns David after his salvation to the lake of fire, before he repented. David committed one act of adultery and murder and therefore was both an adulterer and murderer, according to Scripture. Even though false teachers hate this fact of Scripture, it proves that David Lost his salvation for a time! (See pages 366-369 in The Believer’s Conditional Security for a further explanation about David losing his salvation.)
At this point the die-hard eternal security advocates try to somehow distort these truths or cloud this issue for the sake of their doctrine which implies that all believers can turn to the wickedness of adultery and murder, like David, and remain saved, since it wasn’t “lifestyle.” It should be apparent at this point why eternal security is a license for immorality under the banner of grace (Jude 3,4) and one of the greatest threats to holy living. (NOTE: Calvinism claims the 5 points of Calvinism are the doctrines of grace!)
The Calvinist argument of lifestyle has deceived some, but not those who have pondered the above truths. Furthermore, Paul, who wrote Gal. 5:19-21, apparently believed the Christians in the region of Galatia could sin habitually, and therefore, not inherit the kingdom of God! Paul knew a true believer could turn away and never return. This truth is exemplified by King Saul in the Old Testament, who totally and finally fell away from the faith. We must understand 1 John 3:9 and Mt. 7:23 with these facts and other such Scriptures in mind.
Remember, Paul’s Gospel of grace and what it taught about the believer’s security:
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)
But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (Col 1:22,23)
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)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9,10) Again: one does not have to commit “lifestyle” sin to be indicted by Rev. 21:8. As David did, any true believer can also lose his salvation by sinning. Do not be deceived!
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