Does the Bible Teach Eternal Security?


     Introduction:  There is every reason to believe that those who make heaven will enjoy security (Rev. 21; 22).   As a rule, when a question is asked about eternal security, though, it pertains to this life. More often than not, when asked it pertains to once saved, always saved. We shall herein attempt to balance out what the Bible teaches about the eternal security of the believer.

I. The Christian presently has eternal life in prospect.

  A. Salvation is enjoyed when one obeys the gospel (Acts 2: 36-46).

  B. Regarding eternal life, Paul penned the following "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Tit. 1: 2).

  C. However, in a certain situation, eternal life is so certain that it is proleptically spoken of as a present acquisition (I Jn. 5: 13, more later).

II. Conditionality is taught throughout the scriptures.

  A. On occasion, the condition regarding a specific matter is resident within the same verse (Jn. 3: 16).

  B. Sometimes the condition is exterior to the verse. For instance, John wrote "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (I Jn. 2: 2).

    a. Other verses show that salvation is conditional and not universally automatic (I Jn. 1: 6; 3: 9).

III. The answer to our question about eternal security is "yes" and "no."

  A. As mentioned, eternal life is certain in certain conditions (I Jn. 5: 13). These conditions involve obedience to the truth as taught in the scriptures (I Jn. 4: 1, 5: 3).

  B. Peter taught that if the Christian adds to his faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love, "ye shall never fall" (2 Pet. 1: 5-11). This is what Peter terms "making your calling and election sure" (2 Pet. 1: 10).

  C. Hence, the faithful child of God enjoys eternal security in prospect (Tit. 1: 2). However, one can elect to fall away (Gal. 5: 4).

     Conclusion:  Regarding the apostate, the Bible does not teach unconditional eternal security. In fact, for such it would be better had they never known the way of righteousness (2 Pet. 2: 21).