Eternal Security – Verses Against

Aren’t there Bible verses that teach you can lose your salvation?  Yes, there are.

One of the great difficulties among those who believe you can lose your salvation is the inability to see what a verse says in its context.  They are so convinced that they can lose their salvation that they read their belief into any verse that seems to teach what they believe.  So, in this answer, we will look at some of the common verses used to oppose eternal security to see what the verses actually say.

Matt 7:21-23 – Not everyone that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.  There are three problems with using this verse to teach against eternal security in the church age.  First, it was quoted to Jewish disciples before Christ died on the cross.  Thus, they were still under the law, during a time period when men could lose their salvation (Eze 18:24).  Second, the kingdom considered here is the kingdom of heaven, not the kingdom of God (see Sunday school archive, The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, Matt 3:1-2). Thus, we are not dealing with born-again believers, whose kingdom is thekingdom ofGod (Jn 3:3-7).  Third, the Lord said, “I never knew you,” (v. 23).  Hence, these folks were never saved, though they could demonstrate some miraculous works.

Matt 24:13 – But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  There is really only one main problem with using this verse to teach against eternal security in the church age.   The problem is the context.  “The end” is not a reference to the end of a man’s life.  It is a reference to “the end of the world,” (Matt 24:3).  The world ends when Jesus Christ returns at the Second Advent.  That is because the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4) will be chained in the bottomless pit (Rev 20:1-3) while Jesus rules over all the kingdoms of the world (Rev 11:15) for a thousand years (Rev 20:4-7).  So, you can’t teach that a man has to endure to the end of his life in order to be saved, because this verse doesn’t “say” that!

Jn 15:6 – If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered.  The keys here are the two little words “abide” and “as.”  There are many “professing Christians” who hang around God’s people and even go to church with them.  But they are not God’s children.  They do not abide (“dwell”) in Jesus.  And if a person is not “in” Jesus, he is not saved.  Therefore, he is cast forth “as” a branch because he is not literally a branch and he is burned forever in hell (Matt3:12).  A good example of this beforeCalvary was Judas Iscariot who, though he was a disciple, was really a devil (Jn 6:70-71).

Rom 11:20-22 – otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.  The trouble with using these verses to teach against eternal security in the church age is that they are not about individual salvation.  The whole chapter is aboutIsrael and Gentiles.  Gentile salvation opened when the Jews rejected Jesus.  God only extended salvation to them on an individual basis, after that, and not on a national basis (compare Ex4:22; Rom11:25-27 and Heb 8:8-12).  The admonition, therefore, in this passage is not for an individual Gentile to keep his salvation, but for Gentiles as a whole to remember the goodness of God in extending salvation to us.  Unbelief among Gentiles will cut off salvation to them as quickly as it did to the Jews (Matt13:13-15; Acts 28:25-28).  Indeed, if you know anything about the work of the Holy Spirit inEurope four or five centuries ago compared with his work today, you would fully appreciate what Paul said in Rom 11.  The fullness of the Gentiles has just about come in (Rom11:25).

1 Cor 9:27 – lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.  The trouble with using this verse to oppose eternal security is that Paul was not talking about salvation in this chapter.  The whole chapter is about the ministry.  Paul’s concern was not losing his salvation (2 Tim1:12); his concern was being “shelved” as a preacher for not keeping his body under subjection.  Many a preacher has fallen to bodily temptation and has destroyed his ministry.

Gal 5:4 – ye are fallen from grace.  This looks like a person was saved by the grace of God and then fell from it.  But if you look at the verse again, in its context, you will notice that Paul was addressing people who “are justified by the law.”  They were trying to be saved by circumcision (Gal 5:2-3; Acts 15:1).  In other words, he was addressing lost people who were looking to the law to save them.  A Christian is not justified by the law (Gal2:16) but by the blood of Jesus Christ (Rom 5:9).  A man that chooses to reject the blood of Christ for his justification and seeks to be justified by the law instead is “fallen from grace.”

There are several other verses that people use to talk you out of your salvation, but this is enough for now.

Hope this helps,

Pastor Bevans Welder