Refuting Eternal Security Or Once Saved Always Saved Doctrine
by Jeffrey L Girling
I’m writing this note to refute the “Once Saved Always Saved” doctrine or eternal security that is taught by fundamental Calvinists. .
I will give a few Bible scriptures that contradict that doctrine, because the Bible doesn’t support that doctrine in my view of scriptures. I believe the Bible makes it very clear that a Christian can lose their salvation, if they turn away from the Lord and walk in the flesh, or return to their sinful life.
I will start with three Bible references where Jesus speaks about servants, where these servants can be defined as Christians, and I believe they may very well apply to modern day Christians today.
Notice in Luke 12: 45, 46 below where Jesus speaks about a servant who refers to the Lord as his Lord, meaning this servant is a Christian because he or she is a servant of the Lord. Yet in verse 46 Jesus said he would appoint this servant or Christian his portion with the unbelievers, so all one has to do is consider what the fate of an unbeliever is, to know just how secured the salvation of this once saved Christian really is. (It’s not very secured in my opinion.)
Luke 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
In Matthew 25: 1-12 Jesus speaks about the ten virgins, and can we define these ten virgins as Christians? Yet 5 of these virgins or Christians are rejected by the Lord in Matt. 25.12 for not having their oil lamps filled, so it appears the salvation of these once saved virgins or Christians wasn’t very secured as the “once saved always saved” doctrine teaches.
But I really want to jump down to Matthew 25:24-30 in that same chapter of Matthew, where Jesus said in verse 30 that the unprofitable servant or Christian will be cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gashing of teeth. (One should consider if being cast into outer darkness can be defined as being eternally secured, or still saved?) I don’t believe it can be defined as being eternally secured, but actually implies a Christian can lose their salvation.
Matthew 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
Below in Matthew 18:23-35 Jesus speaks about another servant who has been forgiven by the Lord, and it seems to me that someone forgiven by the Lord can be defined as being a Christian, but in this scripture, if that servant or Christian fails to forgive his fellow servant as he or she themselves were forgiven, then in verse 34 Jesus said they will be delivered to the tormentors, so one has to consider here if being delivered to the tormentors can be defined as being eternally secured or still saved? (I don’t think so.)
Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses
In Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 Jesus speaks to the seven churches, so Jesus is speaking to Christians in these two chapters, but in Rev 3:16 he says he will spue the lukewarm Christian out of his mouth, and I don’t believe for a Christian to be spued out of the mouth of Jesus Christ can be defined as being eternally secured (Remember he’s speaking to Christians here)
Revelation 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Also in Revelation 3: 5 Jesus says that he will not blot their names out of the book of life to those Christians who overcome, but what about those Christians who don’t over come, will he blot their names out of the book of life.? (Again: Remember he’s speaking to Christians)
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Jesus makes it very clear as he speaks to these seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, that the salvation of these Christians isn’t eternally secured, as one can read for themselves.
Jesus said in John 15:2 below that he will take away any branch in him that doesn’t bear fruit, and one has to be a Christian in the first place to be a branch in Jesus Christ, yet he says he will take away that branch or Christian who doesn’t bear fruit. (That implies loss of salvation to a Christian who doesn’t bear fruit in my opinion.)
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Paul also said something very similar to John 15:2 above in Romans 11:17-22, but I’ll shorten it to Romans 11:19-22 to make the point, that Paul refers to the natural branches of the Jews that were cut off, and then the Christian branches being grafted in their place, but then Paul says the branches of Christians can also be cut off if they don’t continue in the goodness of God, so Paul isn’t implying eternal security to Christians in this scripture, unless a Christian being cut off can be defined as still being saved, and I don’t believe it can be defined that way in my opinion.
Romans 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off
Paul said in Philippians 2:12 below to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and one should ask, why should a Christian fear and tremble if their salvation is secured as the “once saved always saved” doctrine teaches?
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Paul didn’t even take his own salvation for granted in 1 Corinthians 9: 27, when he said he kept his body under subjection, so he himself wouldn’t be a castaway. Paul doesn’t speak as though he felt eternally secured in this scripture.
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Notice in Philippians 3: 11, 12 below that Paul didn’t speak as though he already attained the resurrection as if it were a sure thing, but he pressed forward in hopes of attaining it the resurrection, but he didn’t take his own salvation for granted.
Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
2Peter 2:20-22 below strongly implies that the end will be worse than the beginning for a Christian who once again gets entangled in the pollutions of the world, after they have been cleanest through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I don’t believe worse off in the end than the beginning can be defined as being eternally secured in my opinion.
2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour 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.
1Peter 4:17 says that judgment begins at the house of the Lord. (The Church) So Christians will be judged according to this scripture, and judgment doesn’t imply eternal security to me.
1 Peter 4:17 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?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Jesus said in Mathew 10:22, 24:13, as well as Mark 13:13 that he that endures to the end shall be saved, but the condition is if a Christian endures to the end. Eternal Security teaches that a Christian is already saved and can’t lose their salvation, but that isn’t what Jesus or other scriptures say.
Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved
Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Paul said in Romans 2:7 that those who continue in well doing seek for immortality or eternal life, so it implies here, that some continue effort is made by those seeking eternal life and salvation.
Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Hebrews 3:14 says we are partakers of Christ if we our confidence stedfast unto the end, but the condition is if we hold it unto the end.
Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
Hebrews 3:12 implies that some Christians can depart from the faith as well as some other scriptures do, so Christians who depart from the faith aren’t still saved, because they have departed from the faith. See also Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26, 27 below, that contradict eternal security, and strongly imply that a Christian can indeed lose their salvation.
Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin
Hebrews 6:4 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,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 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.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Ezekiel 18:21-24 shed some light on how the Lord looks upon sinners who turn away from sin, and also on the righteous who turn away from righteousness and commit iniquity. I believe this scripture speaks for itself and contradicts eternal security or the “once saved always saved” doctrine.
Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according 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.
I referred to Ezekiel 18:21 -24 above, because those who preach and teach eternal security doctrine also teach that our own works or deeds have nothing to do with our salvation, yet there are scriptures that also contradict that doctrine, that leads to another question: Can faith alone save us, or does our works play a part in it?
First: I will agree that only the blood of Jesus can wash away, blot out, or forgive sin, so it’s the blood of Jesus that cleans us and washes a Christian clean of sin, and the blood of Jesus was shed for the remission or forgiveness of sin, and no one can be saved, except through the blood Jesus shed on the cross. Hebrews 9:22 makes that quite clear.
Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Forgiveness)
Yet are we saved through faith in Jesus Christ only, or does he expect righteous works from a Christian? I will let the following scriptures answer that question, as we refute eternal security doctrines.
I do believe saving faith produces works, and faith without works is dead faith, and good for nothing, so let’s look at a few scriptures..
James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their
affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
I could give more scriptures refuting eternal security doctrines, and these have just been a few of them, but I’ll let Jesus answer the question himself, because after all, Jesus will be the judge who decides who will be saved or who won’t be in the end, so shouldn’t we strongly consider what he says about it, because he tells us how he’s going to judge, and he’s the judge.
Look closely at Matthew 25:31-46 below, and notice that the sheep on his right inherit the Kingdom prepared for them in verse 34, and also notice that the goats on his left are cursed into everlasting fire in verse 41, so the sheep on his right are saved, but the goats on his left aren’t saved.
The point of this scripture is: The works Jesus himself listed in this scripture make the difference between being saved or cursed into everlasting fire, and Jesus didn’t even mention the word faith here. (Just works) It was these works that will make the difference between those on his right or left, so he will judge us by our works according to Jesus Christ himself, who will be the final word and judge on this matter.
Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
I will finish with this last scripture spoken by Jesus himself in Matthew 7:21. Who does he say shall enter into the kingdom of heaven? Did he say those who have faith here? No! He said those who do the will of his Father shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.