We post many of the messages from our annual conference on our YouTube channel. We’ve been putting up one per week.
I like looking at these videos and reading the comments.
Our September 6 video is titled “The Changing State of Free Grace Theology” by Mike Lii. An anonymous comment grabbed my attention: “Is Mike Lii saying here that one must hold to the doctrine of eternal security to be saved? Is that the position of GES? If so, my faith in GES as an organization is quite shaken, as that is insane.”
The expression eternal security is not found in Scripture. What is found is everlasting life. Everlasting life lasts forever. It cannot be lost. The Lord Jesus promised that whoever believes in Him will never perish but has everlasting life (John 3:16). Can you believe that and simultaneously believe that you might perish? Nope.
Before I came to faith in Christ for everlasting life, I believed that Jesus is God, that He died for my sins on the cross, that He rose bodily from the dead, and that He gives temporary salvation to all who turn from their sins and begin to follow Him. I thought that salvation was insecure until death. I had to live a sinless life in order to keep my salvation. One sin, and I’d forever be lost. (Yes. I believed in an extreme form of Lordship Salvation.)
I thought I believed John 3:16. But I did not. I did not understand it.
I had to be convinced that my eternal destiny was secure simply by faith in Jesus. I was a modern-day self-righteous Pharisee until God opened my eyes to the truth that once anyone believes in Jesus, he will never perish. He has everlasting life that cannot be lost.
Why is this controversial?
Why would the commenter say, “That is insane”?
The reason is that it would exclude many wonderful people who believe in Jesus’ deity, death, and resurrection and are doing their best to be worthy of heaven when they die. Would Jesus really exclude from the kingdom people who never believed in Him for the guaranteed gift of everlasting life?
Yes. He would. And He will. At the Great White Throne Judgment, many will call Him “Lord” and will point to their works to prove that they should be admitted to His kingdom (Matt 7:21-23). Yet He will exclude them because they never believed in Him for everlasting life (John 5:39-40).
James and the apostles declared at the Jerusalem Council that salvation is by faith alone, apart from works (Acts 15:1, 5, 7-11).
It may not seem fair to us that the Lord Jesus would exclude from His kingdom people who believe that they have to be good enough and stay good enough to be worthy of entering His kingdom. We may think that is insane.
However, the issue at stake is where we will spend eternity. If it is possible that your view of the saving message is wrong, wouldn’t it be wise to pray about it? Wouldn’t it be wise to take another look at John 3:16?
Jesus does not offer an insecure salvation. He never has. He never will.