Question: I have been aggravated for some time with the controversy surrounding the security of the believer. In other words, the "Once Saved, Always Saved" issue is very controversial in many Christian circles, and there seem to be few resources on this issue. Could you please address this in a future issue of the Berean Call newsletter?
Response: We first addressed the security of the believer in the June 1989 issue of the newsletter. This article has since been reformatted and is now available as the tract "Once Saved, Always Saved?"
Regardless of our own perceptions or convictions, we must begin with the words of the Lord Jesus Christ and compare all other scriptures (such as James 5, Ezekiel 18, or the "difficult" passages in Hebrews) to His words. The clearest statement of the Savior's intent can be found in John:10:26-29. He makes six declarative statements with absolutely no qualifications:
1) My sheep hear My voice. 2) I know them. 3) They follow Me. 4) I give unto them eternal life. 5) They shall never perish. 6) Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand, nor out of My Father's hand.
The language used in the original is very adamant, as the phrase translated "any man" is all inclusive—which includes "us" in the "any man" category. Hebrews:12:5-12 is an excellent (albeit painful) example of how God works in the lives of His children as He disciplines them. There are no qualifiers re how closely they follow, how far they stray in their waywardness, or how dim the voice of the Shepherd may become to them. Furthermore, "If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (1 Cor:3:14-15).