March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
Eternal Security is a subject that scares a lot of Christians. The reason for the fear towards the subject is that most have never taken the time to understand it. I am not writing to debate or defend the Arminian or Calvinist position. My only goal is to bring to light the biblical perspective of salvation and what it means for the believer in the present tense.
The topic that I want to discuss is the fragility of salvation. Many Christians have a very skewed view of God and his commitment to the covenant of salvation. This is a very important subject because without a correct perspective Christians will end up living in fear of losing their salvation. The result of this fear is that the majority of changes believers make are not “faith based God changes” but instead they are changes made because they fear going to hell. I think we would all agree that living to miss hell and living for God are two very different things. So it is important that we teach people appropriately regarding salvation so that they can experience God to the fullest.
I know that no analogy ever works flawlessly, but I think that the best imagery I can use to explain my point is marriage. Marriage, like salvation, is a covenant. Every marriage comes with challenges and some days are better than others. The fact about marriage though, is that it is a commitment. If I do something terribly wrong to upset my wife the relationship may be strained, but the covenant is in tact.
The same goes for salvation. When we sin, our relationship with Christ is strained. We repent and we try again, but the covenant remains in tact. We are not in danger of losing our salvation every time we make a mistake. God knew that we would continue to sin after our conversion, but he still sent his son to die for us. The covenant never implied that you or I would have to live sinless lives to experience salvation. If that were the case no one would be able to live up to that standard. The truth is that Jesus had to die because it was understood that it is beyond human ability to be sinless. So does this excuse us to continue to sin? Absolutely not. God’s lone interest is our heart. If we are pursuing God but we stumble along the way it’s okay. In fact, It’s more than okay, it’s expected. Everyday you and I sin, but that doesn’t mean our hearts are out of line with God. I can be pursuing God with all of my heart and still sin. We will never conquer sin. We will always battle it.
On your way to work in the morning lets say that you pass a billboard with a very attractive woman wearing very little clothes. Since this is totally a hypothetical situation and you would never do this, lets say that you take a really really good look at this billboard (and its not because you are interested in the product). You’ve lusted. We all know that lust is a sin. Now, its also a fact that almost 100 people are killed in traffic related accidents each day. Do you feel the need to pull over your car and ask God for forgiveness just in case? No. You know that God knows your heart and that is all that really matters. Obviously, in your devotion time you will ask forgiveness for the lust in your heart and you’ll ask God to strengthen you, but you don’t feel the urgency to stop everything and talk to God at that moment because you’ve lost salvation. I think we get this concept, but for some reason we struggle with the notion that we can be secure in God’s covenant of salvation.
Eternal Security is not a loophole for people to live after their own lust and still be saved. When you really study the subject you will find that not even then best Calvinist believes that. It is simply a biblical truth that God is not fickle and he honors his covenant. We do not need to live in fear that one slip up is going to land us in hell. All God cares about is the condition of your heart. If your heart is after him everything else will fall into place along your journey. It is impossible for you to have a heart that is completely surrendered to God and still be lost. But know that even with a heart completely surrendered to God you will still sin. That is what Jesus had to die for.