I’m a Calvinist and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I wasn’t always, but for the last 15 years I am and it’s been the greatest, most single experience in my life, next to God electing me, through the Blood of His Son Jesus Christ to eternal life. My beliefs have definitely brought on their share of disagreements, especially with those of the Arminian point of view. I believe that one of the most misunderstood of the five major doctrines (TULIP) seems to be the “P” which stands for “Perseverance of the Saints” or, more widely known as “Once Saved Always Saved” (OSAS). Instead of telling you who may claim it, I prefer to demonstrate for you, my two or three faithful viewers, who can’t.
Are We Eternally Secure Because We Profess Christ Without Evidence of Genuine Faith?
(A). No, we aren’t. Salvation depends on repentance (Luke 13:3-5) (Acts 2:38-42, Acts 17:30-31). Repentance means to turn away or to change ones mind. A great example of this can be found below;
1Thessalonians 1:5-10 (KJV)For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
The Thessalonians were perfect examples of repentance (2Corinthians 7:8-11). They believed and repented. Their lives were a living witness to the power of Salvation through the shed Blood of the Lamb of God. How they lived their lives as Christians spoke more then any sermon that Paul could ever deliver.
(B). No. Salvation requires a new birth which changes a man’s life (Matthew 18:3-4), (John 3:1-18) (1John 3:10) (3John 11). This particular portion of Scripture perfectly demonstrates this “new birth”;
2Corinthians 5:17-21 (KJV)Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
(C). No. We can see evidence in salvation through a believers perseverance or that their faith lasts more then a few days or month’s (John 10:27-28) (Colossians 1:21-23) (Hebrews 3:12-14) (Hebrews 10:38-39) (1John 2:19; 1John 3:3). These Scriptures tell us that Christ will persevere in the life of every true believer.
(D). No. Works always accompany saving faith. If you claim to be a follower of Christ you will reflect the works of Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10) (Hebrews 11: 4, 7, 8). The following Scripture best describes works that accompany faith;
James 2:14-26 (KJV)
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.I can’t emphasize enough that merely professing Christ does NOT mean that the professor is eternally secure. Those who profess but do NOT repent do NOT have eternal security. Those who only have book knowledge do NOT have eternal security. Those who rely on experience or who believe that they can save themselves by works alone do NOT have eternal security (John 6:60-66).
The old saying “actions speak louder then words” speaks volumes when determing who can claim eternal security. I think there a quite a few people out there that claim this wonderful doctrine who shouldn’t, and that’s a shame.