Eternal Security – Will God Fulfill His Promises/Part 1
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon; ©2002|
|Because of the trustworthy and holy nature of God, every believer can be absolutely certain of one thing: God will fulfill every promise He makes to us. Drs. Ankerberg and Weldon explain that this applies to those promises of eternal security for God’s children.|
The Eternal Security of the Believer: Will God Fulfill His Promises?—Part One
Because of the trustworthy and holy nature of God, every believer can be absolutely certain of one thing: God will fulfill every promise He makes to us. Every Christian can have the same attitude as Abraham: “being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Rom. 4:21).
When we examine the promises of God to the believer, we can see that they are finally only compatible with the position of eternal security. They do not fit the view of believers losing their salvation.
If we examine the promises of God relating to our a) spiritual abundance, b) Scripture’s straightforward presentation of our glorification, c) God’s infinite love for us, d) being God’s workmanship, e) being God’s children, f) being given the Holy Spirit as a seal and pledge of our inheritance, g) names being in the Lamb’s Book of Life in eternity, and h) the promise of our reward, these can only be true as stated if the believer is eternally secure. Let’s examine these items in order.
A. The spiritual abundance of the believer
No Christian can presently understand all that is theirs by virtue of their faith in Christ, and even Scripture only can give us a foretaste. Nevertheless, consider the following.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Eph. 1:3)
And in him you have been made complete and he is the head over all rule and authority. (Col. 2:10)
For all things belong to you whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God. (1 Cor. 3:21-23)
But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16)
For of his fullness we have all received and grace upon grace. (Jn. 1:16)
Therefore if any man is in Christ he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Cor. 5:17)
He who did not spare his own Son but freely delivered him up for us all, how will he not also with him freely give us all things? (Rom. 8:32)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loves us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come he might show the surpassing riches of his grace and kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:4-7)
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8)
Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works within us. (Eph. 3:20)
For the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever . (2 Jn 1:2)
The above verses and those such as found in 1 Corinthians 2:9, Ephesians 1:18-19, and many others reveal that God desires that the Christian comprehend who they are in Christ. How can the above verses be true if a believer—potentially many or most believers—could lose their salvation?
B. The believer’s glorification
The Scripture straightforwardly offers the believer assurance of their glorification in heaven. Why? Because in the mind of God, who lives in eternity, it is already true—and has been true forever.
Those he justified, he also glorified. (Rom. 8:30)
For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection. (Rom. 6:5)
When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. (Col. 3:4)
When he appears, we shall be like him because we shall see him just as he is. (1 Jn. 3:2)
And just as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Cor. 15:49)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall live even if he dies.” (Jn. 11:25)
Knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. (2 Cor. 4:14)
The Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Phil. 3:21)
Certainly, if any believer could lose their salvation, it would not seem fair to have an abundance of Scriptures which indicate that they will be glorified.
C. The love of God
God’s love is unique as only the love of an infinite God could be. The Bible teaches that “in love he predestined us to adoption as sons” (Eph. 1:4-5). When the Bible teaches that “God is love,” it “means that He has never acquired love, he does not maintain it by any effort whatsoever nor does his love depend upon conditions….”
The love of men may be imperfect, but the love of God cannot be, and in that fact squarely lies eternal security of the believer—for if God could stop loving a believer at some point in time, who is to say this could not happen at any point in eternity? Consider the following Scriptures:
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness. (Jer. 31:3)
And did love them even as you did love me. (Jn. 17:23)
Just as the Father has loved me I have also loved you; abide in my love. (Jn. 15:9).
Keep yourselves in the love of God. (Jude 21)
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; thy lovingkindness, O Lord is everlasting. (Ps. 138:8)
For the Father himself loves you. (Jn. 16:27) Beloved of God. (Rom. 1:7)
But God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father who has loved us and given us eternal comfort. (2 Thess. 2:16)
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 Jn. 4:10)
God is love and the one who abides in love abides in God. (1 Jn. 4:16)
And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved. (Col. 3:12)
But because of his great love for us God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. (Eph. 2:4)
And I pray that you. . .may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. (Eph. 3:17-18)
Therefore, as dearly loved children. (Eph. 5:1)
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you. (1 Thess. 1:4)
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord , because from the beginning God chose you to be saved. (2 Thess. 2:13)
May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2 Thess. 3:5)
What kind of infinite love would allow the objects of one’s love to perish forever?
- Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. 3.1PCStaff0202