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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 38008
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Security and Apostasy

What security is promised to God's children?

The comforting words of Jesus in the Gospel of John, chapter 10: "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."

What do these verses teach us?

That God is greater than any adversary of our souls, and therefore we are safe while we remain in His care.

In other words, once we become God's children, we are then eternally secure?

Only if we meet the conditions. We must give heed to the Good Shepherd's voice and follow him.

What of those who claim to be Christians, yet do not follow Christ in their daily lives?

If they do not obey His commandments, we must conclude they are not Christ's sheep. (John 14:15, 23; 1 John 2:4; Luke 6:46, etc.) Therefore, those who do not follow him are not secure.

If Jesus said no man is able to pluck His sheep out of His hand, or out of his Father's hand, how is it possible to fall away from God?

By refusing to meet God's conditions, or by backsliding into sin. God has done His part toward man's salvation, but it remains for man to do his part to avail himself of this free gift of God. We can liken this to a man caught in a storm. God has provided a shelter, and if man by the drawing of God's Spirit is willing to enter that shelter and remain there, the rain and wind can do him no harm. But as a creature of free will, he can choose to leave the shelter and walk out into the storm.

Are there any examples in the New Testament of believers who fell away from the true faith, or voluntarily turned back to a sinful life?

There are. We will list several here:

(1) "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world" (II Tim. 4:10).

(2) "Holding faith, and a good conscience, which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme" (I Tim. 1:19, 20).

(3) "But now, after that ye [Galatians] have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?. . .I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain" (Gal. 4:9, 11).

What things are not able to separate us from the love of God?

"For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38, 39).

Note anything missing from the above list? Sin is not listed.

What however can and will separate us from God?

"But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have made him hide his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isa. 59:2).

"He that committeth sin is of the devil" (I John 3:8).

"Any man see his brother sin . . . . There is a sin unto death" (I John 5:16). What warnings are given us to beware of apostasy?

Here are a few:

(1) "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62).

(2) "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God" (Heb. 3:12).

(3) "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32).

(4) "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Heb. 4:11).

(5) "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (I Cor. 10:12).

(6) "Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness" (II Pet. 3:17).

What emphasis did Jesus place on abiding in Him?

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me . . . If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned . . . If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love" (John 15:4, 6, 10).

What do we make of the teaching, "Once a son, always a son"?

It is faulty. If it were true, we could never become God's children in the first place, for the Bible says we are all born "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3) and with Adam's nature.

Others insist that a child of God cannot fall from God's favor, no matter what kind of life he leads. They say that "Once born, it is impossible to be unborn." Are they right?

This is a dangerous teaching that has given false hope to many a backslidden Christian. Even the analogy is distorted -- the opposite of birth is not unbirth, but death. A child may die, and it is likewise possible for a child of God to fall away from God and die a spiritual death. "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Rom. 8:13).

What does the prophet Ezekiel write about this?

"But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth accord-ing to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die" (Ezek. 18:24).

What does the writer to the Hebrews declare is impossible?

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" (Heb. 6:4-6).

What is even worse than to never have known the way of righteousness?

To have known it, and then turn away from it. (See II Pet. 2:20, 21).

To what does Peter compare the apostate Christian?

"To a dog that eats its own vomit, or to a sow that having washed herself goes right back to wallowing in the mire again." (II Pet. 2:22; also Prov. 26:11).

Does the Bible predict a period of apostasy is coming?

Yes, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [of Christ] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" (II Thess. 2:3).

What did Paul write to Timothy on this subject?

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron" (I Tim. 4:1, 2).

How can we summarize these teachings?

It is not God's will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9), yet He will not force His will upon anyone. Man is given a free will to choose whom he will serve, and therefore he has his part to do to avail himself of God's free gift of salvation.

Our eternal destiny is conditional not only on our becoming a child of God, but on remaining one --persevering in the faith unto death. "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (II Cor. 7:1).

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Pet. 1:10, 11).

From 1001 Questions and Answers on the Christian Life Copyright 1992 by Pathway Publishers, LaGrange, Indiana USA
Available from:
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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2011/11/17 13:23Profile

 Re: Security and Apostasy

Excellent post. Very encouraging!

Total obedience to every word that comes out of the mouth of Yahweh is not legalism;
Its Love, true love.

 2011/11/17 14:16

Joined: 2007/6/29
Posts: 342

 Re: Monnkz

"Excellent post. Very encouraging!

Total obedience to every word that comes out of the mouth of Yahweh is not legalism;
Its Love, true love."

Monnkz -

1. Must we be circumcised to be saved?

2. Must we keep the law contained in the written ordinances of Moses, over 600 of them, to be saved?

 2011/11/17 14:27Profile

Joined: 2007/6/29
Posts: 342

 Re: Security and Apostasy

Excellent post Brother Greg.

Yes, many may hold to grand systems, super-imposed above the text, "connecting dots" that the apostles themselves never took the time to connect for us in Scripture. But when we read the inspired words literally, and take them at face-value, we must of necessity arrive at the same, simple, ancient understanding that inspired and propelled the early Church.

Some may quibble with the wording, but it all boils down to this: Repent, and keep on believing in Jesus Christ, and you will keep on being saved. Keep on walking in the light that you have, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son will keep on cleansing you from ALL unrighteousness.

Truly, we will keep on being "kept by the power of God, through faith"...

Praise God for His merciful grace. Praise God that we are even able to love him at all, because HE FIRST LOVED US!

God bless you,

 2011/11/17 14:41Profile

 Re: Security and Apostasy

"Note anything missing from the above list? Sin is not listed".

So does this mean that whenever we sin God ceases to love us?

This subject of assurance as baffled and perplexed me for many years. I've never been a fan of or believed in eternal security, but I've always been freaked out by this notion that you must be more or less perfect to have assurance of salvation. I can remember hearing Andrew Strom once say that if you have any sin on your conscience then you're going to hell.

Is God really that unforgiving towards his children?

Please note, I'm not talking about persistent, willful sin - that, of course, leads to death. I'm on about the ways in which we mess up on a daily basis, and the bad attitudes and selfishness that can never seem to be weeded out fully.

 2011/11/17 16:23


I can remember hearing Andrew Strom once say that if you have any sin on your conscience then you're going to hell.

I trust that you simply heard him wrong, because if he said that then he would have been terribly wrong. Even the Apostle Paul wrote clearly about his own struggle with his flesh (sin)... and surely no one thinks that at those times Paul was going to hell. Paul certainly did not believe that.

We are not saved by our works... so how can works keep us saved? If it can then we have something to boast about.


 2011/11/17 16:27


Dear dietolive, No, you don't have to be circumcised to be saved.

But you have to repent from INIQUITY and I will receive you he said, I will blot out your past sins said Yahweh.

The word INIQUITY is used throughout the Holy Scriptures. here is the dictionary definition

in·iq·ui·ty   [ih-nik-wi-tee]
1.gross injustice or wickedness.
2.a violation of right or duty; wicked act; sin.

So we see here that iniquity is Sin

Now lets look at the scriptural definition of sin;

John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

All I hear on this forum is "Paul said this, Paul said that"
Forget about what the Savior said in Matthew 5:17, forget what Yahweh said; let's just stick to what we feel.

Brethren, Yahweh is not forcing anybody to be a part of his kingdom. By free will you can partake, if you qualify.

Zechariah 14:16 --Isa 66:23 tells us point blank that the Laws will be kept during the Millennium Rule

..And it shall come to pass in that day that everyone who is left of all the nations which come against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts and to keep the "FEAST OF TABERNACLES"

Suprise, suprise, the Feast of Tabernacles is one of the Laws. Why won't we believe what the scriptures say.

 2011/11/17 16:31

Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1926

 Re: Security and Apostasy

Brother Greg, who is the author of this article.
Excellent article, this is what I tried to say in my thread on people falling after experiencing the gift of Holy Spirit and then using this Gift to deceive people.

John 6-39:-
This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.

So the will of Father is no one he sends to Jesus should be lost. We still have our own will and we have inherited a sinful nature from Adam that is always pulling us to death. God have us Holy Spirit to overcome this sinful nature, but I can always grieve the holy spirit and listen to my own sinful nature. If I don't repent after this then I am no longer his sheep.


 2011/11/17 16:38Profile

Joined: 2007/6/29
Posts: 342

 Re: Monnkz

You said:
"Zechariah 14:16 --Isa 66:23 tells us point blank that the Laws will be kept during the Millennium Rule

..And it shall come to pass in that day that everyone who is left of all the nations which come against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts and to keep the "FEAST OF TABERNACLES"

Suprise, suprise, the Feast of Tabernacles is one of the Laws. Why won't we believe what the scriptures say."

Your answer to my second question is "Yes", we do need to keep the written ordinances of Moses in order to be saved.

You said:
"No, you don't have to be circumcised to be saved. "

Your answer to my first question is "No", but I am afraid you are very confused and I hope and pray you actually stop and take the time to really think about what you are trying to teach others. You do not know the Scriptures, nor the power of GOD.

Would not fleshly circumcision be required in your supposed future millenial kingdom too?

"Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor UNCIRCUMCISED IN FLESH, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel." Ezekiel 44:9

 2011/11/17 17:17Profile

Joined: 2007/6/29
Posts: 342

 Re: Butters

Hi Butters

""Note anything missing from the above list? Sin is not listed".

You said:
"So does this mean that whenever we sin God ceases to love us?"

God's "Love" doesn't stop when we rebel against Him and remove ourselves from His protection. What is jeopardized is His promised protection over us when we choose to do so.

We need to understand what kind of "sin" is meant in this quote. In order to do so, let us go to the account of Jesus with the adulterous woman in John 8. Jesus, who would know best, by direct inference defines the kind of sin that is being spoken of:

Jesus told the woman: “Go, and SIN no more.” Was our Lord then, requiring the impossible? Was He saying in essence “Go, and be PERFECT”? No, it ought to be clear that our Lord and Master understood what “sin” was and what He requires from us regarding it.

Obviously, He could not have been referring to the “incidental”, “unforeseen”, or “unknowable” sins, but rather to “willful”, “deliberate”, and “rebellious” sinning against the Moral Law of God. “Go”, says our Lord, “and do not rebel against what you know to be God’s commands again.”

 2011/11/17 17:29Profile

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