This is probably more a gripe than anything else. It pertains to something I see over and over again with those who reject some very provable Scriptural doctrines, even though the proof of those doctrines is overwhelming in Scripture.
Why do they reject those doctrines?
Because some who adhere to those doctrines failed utterly. Yes indeed, because some person, or several persons did not continue to live in a way that is proper and godly, they rejected the doctrines those persons held as being false.
Now, it should be no surprise that the doctrine most commonly attacked is the doctrine of Eternal Security.
Because someone might actually make it to Heaven without having to live more righteous than the Pharisees. (No, that’s not a cheap shot either. It is literally the way virtually all those who reject the doctrine of Eternal Security think.)
It is irrelevant to those who oppose Eternal Security that the following passages are in the Scripture, and are directly opposed to their “pet” verses:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:26-28)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (I John 3:9)
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. (Jeremiah 13:23)
The ONLY way to go from being and doing evil, to being and doing good is to be BORN AGAIN.
Like the verse in Jeremiah makes plain, if the leopard could change its spots, or the black man his skin, then any one of us could become good without being born again. No, it is not possible for the leopard to change its spots or any of us to change the color of our skin — because we are born that way.
The new birth in Christ is SPIRITUAL, not PHYSICAL.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:6-7)
Nonetheless, these folks insist on using verses that are yanked out of context, conditional, or have unclear application, and refuse to consider those verses that are absolute concerning the eternal security of the believer. No, they plainly choose to use the false professors of Christ to invalidate one of the most strongly supported doctrines in all of Scripture.
It is very much like taking the ignominious end of LTC “Bud” Holland and his dumping a B-52H into the ground at low level, and judging the airworthiness of the B-52 design by LTC Holland’s failure and lack of judgement.
Of course, let them keep the law, and let those who believe the doctrine of Eternal Security is heresy begin by keeping the very first law of all:
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:35-40)
Notice what the Lord stated:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
Notice He stated very plainly ALL, not some, not most, and not even most of the time, or when you are awake. NO, HE SAID ALL, AND HE MEANS ALL THE BODY, ALL THE SOUL, ALL THE SPIRIT, ALL THE TIME.
Love the LORD thy God, with all your being: body, soul, and spirit, all the time, no exceptions. If you err in the slightest, even a smidgen, then you die.
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)
Anyone who entertains the idea that they can do that on this earth, is a fool. They do not understand righteousness at all, and they are attempting to drag the LORD God down to their level.
And if they think they can be born again through Christ, and then maintain it by their “holy living,” then they need to understand the following:
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:5-6)
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:2-3)
Works are anything you do that you believe to be a quid pro quo arrangement with God. In plain English, if you think that God will keep you saved because you didn’t “walk away” or “live in sin” then that is a quid pro quo arrangement, and it is wicked sin.
Go ahead, try to keep the first commandment — I KNOW YOU CAN’T DO IT.
The real question is:
If you can’t keep the first commandment, what in the world makes you think you can keep any of the rest of them?
If you think you are keeping the first commandment by your “holy living,” then you are as hell bound as you ever were.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9)