Eternal Security–Unconditional or Conditional?

FYI, I was raised in a Pentecostal type environment and I do have the realization that many will not see that because of that I am no longer biased one way or the other, unless I so state it. I often ponder the biases of people raised in a Baptist environment. The fact is that I’ve attended two Baptist churches for the last twenty years; so, no, I am not being led by denominational doctrines over what the Bible has to say. If the Holiness, Pentecostal, Baptist, Lutheran and so on happens to be right, according to the Bible, then so be it and thanks be to God for that. Conversely, if they happen to be wrong then they’re wrong. Therefore, what comes next is not coming with condescension, ill-will or arrogance toward anyone or any denomination.

So now, is Eternal Security conditional or unconditional?

It is conditional but it seems that most believe it to be unconditional. Do research on that one–Unconditional Eternal Security or Conditional Security–and it will be found that there are no quick answers. It takes time, study and a clean and pure heart before God, for anyone to come to the rock solid Truth1. Also,  if the individual’s reading of the Bible, to confirm what their present understanding of this matter is, goes neglected then that person will only regurgitate what has been taught him. This effort of bringing this topic to attention is not for such people, which now brings me to say that one’s eternity depends upon which way life is decided to be lived–without Him or with Him–to the end.

Unconditional Eternal Security Proof-scriptures

Having already mentioned John 10:28 I’ll pass on to the reader what I saw when I read the chapter, after being curious as to why this proof-scripture is quoted so much. In the immediate context of verse 28 the previous verse cannot be excluded and it says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” It does not say, “My sheep, at one time in their lives, have heard my voice, and I knew them, and they once followed me.” No, Jesus clearly explained what he meant by using present tense words–hear, know and follow. This is so simple–it had to be for me to see it so easily. He knows us, if we hear His voice and follow Him. If this can be accepted as a possible evidence (which, as one will soon see, is one of many evidences) to cause question in the heart of the Unconditional Eternal Security believer, then we have a place to begin our studies. Before we go to the next scripture observe James 10:28 in its proper context:

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. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:27-29

After having gotten into this study for myself I began wanting to know if anyone else was seeing the same things and began reading what others had to say and if what they had to say was backed up by correctly (rightly) interpreting the Word (dividing the Word). Of course, I wasn’t disappointed. As a matter-of-fact, I was helped greatly and I  began to see a need, for myself as well as others, to read the Bible and let Him determine the interpretations, teachings and doctrines and to leave alone the idea of learning the doctrines first and trying to come up with scriptures to prove them. I have seen and still am seeing how  often scriptures are taken out of context to prove a belief. When that happens, it has a greater potential to end up being a false belief or at the least, a misunderstanding.

Charles G. Finney 2

The following is a quote from Charles Finney’s, “HOLINESS OF CHRISTIANS IN THE PRESENT LIFE: JUSTIFICATION”

“Legal justification is out of the question, as all the world has become guilty before God. And to maintain that a soul is perpetually justified by once believing, is antinomianism 3, and one of the worst forms of error. It is to maintain, that as it respects Christians, the law of God is abrogated. The law is made up of precept and penalty, and if either is detached, it ceases to be law. It matters not whether it be maintained that the precept be set aside, or the penalty, it is to maintain an abrogation of the law, and is a ruinous error. It is the nature of a pardon, to set aside the execution of the penalty due to past violations of the law, and to restore the person to governmental favor, during good behavior. More than this, it cannot do, without giving an indulgence to sin. If no future sins can incur the penalty, it follows that the Christian could not be in danger of hell, however many or gross sins he might commit, or even should he die in a state of the foulest apostasy. What an abomination is such a doctrine!”

In his RELATIONS OF CHRIST TO THE BELIEVER he said, “…The gospel scheme of salvation manifestly contemplates a real change wrought in the soul from folly to wisdom, from sin to holiness, from unrighteousness to righteousness.”

Quoted from Charles Finney’s THE WICKED HEART SET TO DO EVIL:

“Selfishness takes on a thousand forms and types; but each and all are sinful, for the whole mind should give itself up to serve God and to perform every duty as revealed to the reason. What did Eve do? Give herself up to gratify her propensity for knowledge, and for the good of self-indulgence. She consented to believe the lying spirit who told her it was “a tree to be desired to make one wise.” This she thought must be very important. It was also, apparently, good for food, and her appetite became greatly excited; the more she looked, the more excited she became, and now what should she do? God had forbidden her to touch it: shall she obey God, or obey her own excited appetite? Despite of God’s command, she ate it. Was that a sin? Many would think it a very small sin; but it was real rebellion against God, and He could not do otherwise than visit it with his terrific frown! So everywhere, to yield to the demands of appetite and passion against God’s claims, is grievous sin. All men are bound to fear and obey God, however much self-denial and sacrifice it may cost.

“I said that selfishness often assumes a religious type. In the outset the mind may be powerfully affected by some of the great and stirring truths of the gospel; but it presently comes to take an entirely selfish view, caring only to escape punishment, and make religion a matter of gain. It is wonderful to see how in such cases the mind utterly misapprehends the design of the gospel, quite losing sight of the great fact that it seeks to eradicate man’s selfishness, and draw out his heart into pure benevolence. Making this radical mistake, it conceives of the whole gospel system as a scheme for indulgences. You may see this exemplified in the view which some take of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, which they suppose to be reckoned to them while they are living in sin. That is, they suppose that they secure entire exemption from the penalty of violating law, and even have the honors and rewards of full obedience while yet they have all the selfindulgences of a life of sin. Horrible! Were ever Romish indulgences worse than this?

“Examine such a case thoroughly and you will see that selfishness is at the bottom of all the religion there is in it. The man was worldly before and is devout now; but devout for the same reason that he was worldly. The selfish heart forms alike the basis of each system. The same ends are sought, and sought in the same spirit; the moral character remains unchanged. He prays perhaps; but if so, he asks God to do some great things for him, to promote his own selfish purposes. He has not the remotest idea of making such a committal of himself to God’s interests that he shall henceforth be in perfect sympathy with God, desiring and seeking only God’s interests, and having no interests other than God’s to serve at all.”

What the Early Christians Believed About Eternal Security – David Bercot

Note: I will be adding to this page as time goes on. For now read this page on the Evangelical Outreach website and while on the site read the Christian testimonies and you will see that the answer to this question is important to a lot of people. Also, this site, http://www.eternalsecurity.us/index.htm is very worthwhile and this testimony page is helpful in seeing that other people have had questions concerning the eternal security of the believer and seeing how much they appreciate what they have learned.

God bless.

This page has not been completed and is being added to as time permits. Also, from time-to-time I’ll be editing the existing content.-Freeman

Footnotes:

  1. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31, 32) If we really want to know the truth, we will, if we continue in His word.
  2. After my noticing Charles Finney’s name never being mentioned from behind the pulpit in the previous fifteen years or so, I began to see why when reading his sermons. It is because of the influence of Calvinism. To better understand my making that statement, check out this page on SermonAudio.com to get a whiff of where I’m coming from. But, don’t stop there. Here’s a writing describing Charles Finney as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Books have been written against Charles Finney. Find an example of one on the Amazon website: Search for a book by John D. Gillespie titled “The Gospel and Charles Finney: The Tragic Pastoral Results of Bad Theology”. (Try this link. You can click on the “Look inside” link to read some of the pages of the book.)

    There are hyper-Calvinistic authors, pastors and/or theologians and there are those who are influenced by The Doctrines of Grace (Calvinism) enough to be identified as a fence straddler and thus unable to muster up the courage it takes to KNOW the truth–a truth not lived cannot be taught with conviction. What has been revealed is arrogance showing itself along with the misuse of God’s Word and all-time-high false accusations made against brothers in Christ. Is that what I’m doing–accusing? No, I’m simply saying that the love of God is not coming forth  and shed abroad through Calvinistic doctrines.

  3. Antinomianism defined: Believing that Christians are freed from the moral law by virtue of grace as set forth in the gospel

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