In the above banner I state that the fear of the Lord cancels out this false "eternal security" doctrine. Because if you believe in "once saved always saved" (OSAS) then there is never any need to fear the Lord. The only reason why one would fear God is because of a potential negative judgment and its consequences. And that can happen due to a large variety of reasons. Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” ~ Matthew 7:13. If we are striving to enter the narrow way, the Lord will know about it, and He will bless that one. (1 Corinthians 8:3)
These two verses pinpoint the need for evangelism (preaching the true gospel):
1. Jeremiah 23:21, 22 "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings."
2. 1 Timothy 4:15-16 “Be diligent in these matters and absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to your life and to your teaching. Persevere in these things, for by so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
Becoming born anew (again), studying God's Word with a sincere heart, and repeating it to others can lead a soul to repentance. God says so many times throughout His word.
"The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me." Luke 10:16
"Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever receives the one I send receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives the One who sent Me." John 13:20
"Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ." Romans 10:17
"And when He (the holy Spirit) comes [to dwell within us], He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:" John 16:8
We clearly see what the work of the holy Spirit is through reading God's Word. The only problem is, many people try doing all this without being baptized in the holy Spirit. Those are the false prophets God is talking about in Jeremiah 23. He hasn't sent them, but they ran... and they ran with a lot of false doctrine. Because unless you are born again or baptized in the Spirit, and made a new creature in Christ (these three things are one and the same event), then you cannot be His witnesses. Not properly. Because you haven't first experienced His reality by first becoming born anew through immersion in God's holy Spirit. That is what Jesus said; Unless you are born again, you cannot SEE or ENTER the kingdom of God. Jesus said, "You MUST be born again (John 3). And without Him baptizing you, and you experiencing His reality and power, you cannot be His witness. Jesus said "But you will receive power AFTER the holy Spirit has entered within you. And [THEN] you will be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:8
“My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, he should know that the one who turns a sinner back from his wandering path will save that person’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19, 20)
But many people who believe in and embrace [a twisted version of] predestination feel there is no reason to ever share the gospel of Jesus Christ. They think, "if people are predestined, what difference does it make if I tell them about Christ? No matter what I do, that soul will go wherever God predestined him to go."
They won't preach to others because they're not really allowing the Word of God to be preached to themselves when they read it. The gospel can't get through all the false doctrine these people are harboring in their spirit. It's like the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:1-15.
"When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side (the road)." Matthew 13:19
Those who believe the gospel must continue feeding on that gospel themselves. That includes preaching the gospel to ourselves because we need to read and take heed to God's Word just as much as anyone. We need to "love ourselves" so we can love our neighbor AS ourselves. We can't love our neighbor if we don't first love ourselves. And we love ourselves by loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. That means cleaving and adhering to the performance of God's instructions with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. And we can only do that properly if we have been truly born anew by the Spirit of God, and God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are living in our heart. Like Christ said through Ezekiel in 36:26, 27.
This twisted teaching of predestination only limits people from executing God's Word in their lives. They will not repent of their sins and strive to be overcomers as the Word of God commands. The flesh is weak, sluggish and lazy. That is why Paul said he forced his body to execute God's Word in the fear of the Lord! He says,
19 For since I am free from all I can make myself a slave to all, in order to gain even more people. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew to gain the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) to gain those under the law. 21 To those free from the law I became like one free from the law (though I am not free from God’s law but under the law of Christ) to gain those free from the law. 22 To the weak I became weak in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some.
23 I do all these things because of the gospel, so that I can be a participant in it.
24 Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win. 25 Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.
26 So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air. 27 Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
You see, just as Peter said, Paul's writings are sometimes hard to understand. And those who are unlearned and unstable wrest (wrestle and twist) his words unto their own destruction, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:14-18). And Peter was talking to people who knew the ancient languages very well. We now have at least two more major layers between ourselves and the ancient texts which can make certain writings of Paul even harder to understand than they were back then.
1. The ancient Greek language was/is a much more descriptive, beautiful AND complicated language than English. It can take 20 or more English words to describe one Greek word properly! And that doesn't include the grammatical peculiarities that come with the Greek and are very important to understand in order to understand what is actually being said by the authors (or Author).
2. The translators themselves can be open to error. I get a lot more out of reading the Bible when I can open up a good lexicon, concordance or commentary and look at the Greek words underneath the English translation myself. And read the synonyms, antonyms and contextual usages of that word in other passages.
But even though Peter warns us that Paul's writings may be hard to understand, people still twist what Paul said into their own little cult.
[When you read the whole Bible, become well acquainted with it and then you read a verse that doesn't seem to fit in, it isn't that the Bible contradicts itself. Rather, take it as a sign that you don't understand those verses. Or perhaps you have a badly translated English bible. God's word will NEVER contradict itself! I would pray about it and study the Greek words underneath the English translation. But if you still don't understand it, leave it alone for a time. When you need to understand it, you will. God will make sure of that. I've done this for over 23 years now. And MANY things I didn't understand at first, I now understand. Glory to God in Christ Jesus.]
Just because God knows the end from the beginning, what does that have to do with us? We will STILL be judged according to every deed we have done whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14), and every idle word we have spoken (Matthew 12:36). We STILL need to keep the first and greatest commandments with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. When it comes to Scripture, many people are disconnected to the reality of it. Many people are disconnected from the severity of it. Paul said, "For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ," Philippians 3:18 Paul was talking about those who claimed to be followers of Christ! Look at yourselves and ask yourselves; "Have I REALLY been converted? Have I been born again? Have I been baptized in God's holy Spirit? Am I SERVING God with all my heart? Am I striving?" ....Or are you completely disconnected from the reality of God? Now's the time to be honest with yourself and God. Tomorrow may be too late. Being religious wont help you on the day of judgment. Jesus will say to many of them "I NEVER KNEW YOU!, DEPART FROM ME YOU WORKERS OF LAWLESSNESS!" (Matthew 7:23)
Again, and I want to elaborate on this, one of the biggest refutations of these twisted teachings of "predestination" and "Eternal Security" is that if these teachings are accurate, you will no longer need to FEAR God. And we know that the fear of God has NOT been done away with. Not at all. And the only thing to fear about God is JUDGMENT and a potential negative result of that judgment. Which is eternal damnation and torment with no hope of it ever ending. THAT is the only thing to fear in this life. And therefore these twisted teachings are completely false. Jesus said, those who endure to the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13). He doesn't say "those who are predestined, the same shall be saved." Why? Why is Jesus talking about enduring to the end? Why are so many of the promises from Jesus conditional? The fear of the Lord is a major part of the gospel. Because the fear of the Lord propels us into sound spiritual health. But this is the part that falls to the wayside with "predestination" and "eternal security" adherents.
The fear of God is "Wisdom" and is an actual attribute of God (Isaiah 11). God specifies our need to fear Him all through the whole entire Bible. And Wisdom, God says, is "the principal thing." (Proverbs 4:7) Here is 32 more Bible verses about the Fear of the Lord.
I, more than anyone I know would love to say "I'm predestinated, and there's NO WAY I could fall away, because when I was born again I was sealed with God's holy Spirit and I'm the elect and was foreordained and nothing can pluck me out of God's hand and He who begun a work in my will finish it as the Bible says, 'He is the author and finisher' of our faith..." and so on and so on.
I would love to have the ability to take all these verses out of context, isolate them from the rest of the Bible so I can say, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (Isaiah 22:13; 1 Corinthians 15:32). Because then I wouldn't have to deny myself. I wouldn't have to fear God or keep His word. I wouldn't have to strive, or fight the good fight of faith. There would be no cross. Because "I'm predestined."
As Paul said about the resurrection, "Why too are we in danger every hour? Every day I am in danger of death!..." 1 Corinthians 15:30, 31a
Why? Ask yourselves why. According to you, wasn't Paul predestinated, eternally secure and sealed with the holy Spirit? Why would he then RISK HIS LIFE? Every day, every hour? Because Paul KNEW much was given to him and much was required OF him by GOD. Paul FEARED for VERY good cause!
Let's also briefly look at some key Greek words applicable to this study (definitions are from the Strong's concordance.).
"Sealed" 4972. sphragizo sfrag-id'-zo from 4973; to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literally or figuratively); by implication, to keep secret, to attest:--(set a, set to) seal up, stop.
"Predestinated" 4309. proorizo pro-or-id'-zo from 4253 and 3724; to limit in advance, i.e. (figuratively) predetermine:--determine before, ordain, predestinate. Four usages in the whole Bible.
"Elect" or "Chosen" (same exact Greek word) 1588. eklektos ek-lek-tos' from 1586; select; by implication, favorite:--chosen, elect.
One definition of "Sealed" means "attest". "predestined" simply means "foreknowledge" and "Elect" means "Chosen". The "Elect" or "Chosen" are the people of God who the Apostles speak to in their Epistles. The Apostles warn these same "Elect" and "Chosen" that they need to "Strive, Press On, run the race with patience, Endure, Follow the Lord, Walk in the ways of the Lord, Grow in Grace, Put on the Whole Armor of God, seek God, Pray unceasingly, Pray Always, Watch, fast, etc etc.
And these same "Predestinated" ones are warned specifically about falling away in these verses:
Hebrews 10: 26-31: "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins,
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense, says the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
And 2 Peter 2:17-22:
"These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
1 Peter 4:17, 18 "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"
"And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
And now 1 Corinthians 10:
1 Moreover, brothers and sisters, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
12 Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
You may also read my two-part message on election (1, 2), and a third which is about justification (3), love (ἀγάπη) and many more topics in the link section below.
May God the Father bless you through faith in His Christos Son Jesus!
You can be saved!
God loves the people in the world so much that He came down to die for us. If God is opening your heart to His message and you feel convicted for your sins which have separated you from a holy God and you feel the need to be forgiven, then say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully converted to the Christ in 1997!
Say, "My Lord and my God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe Jesus the Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and is now on the right-hand side of God listening to this prayer. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You in, Lord Jesus. Thank you, God, for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen."