This has been the biggest struggle I’ve faced and tried to come to terms with. I’ve had many doubts while researching this topic. Nevertheless, I have finally realized that the answer to this question is a resounding yes. The one time decision you make to repent of your sins and trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is the single most important decision in your life. Because He paid the price of sin for us through life, death, and resurrection, we can accept the gift of salvation and be born again. Many people prior to accepting this gift are far from God and face many past and present struggles such as addiction, anger, lust, among other sins. Once you are saved, the penalty of these sins goes away but the guilt and torment doesn’t subside right away. Bad habits that persist over many years can take a while to get rid of. Some might think that because they haven’t completely changed their behavior that they might lose their salvation. I’m going to explain why that’s not the case and prove eternal security is a key element of salvation.
First, I want to dispel the argument against eternal security. There are verses in the New Testament that could appear to question eternal security. This is because they are taken out of context and a tool used by the evil one to create confusion leading to doubt. There are many examples but I will stick with two that affected me the most. Here are two verses in Hebrews:
Hebrews 6:4-6 -“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”
Hebrews 10:26-31 -If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
These verses are discussing the consequences of committing apostasy. If you were once saved and at some point in your life you have a change of heart and choose to reject Christ as your Savior then you will go to hell. Not very many people commit true apostasy but they do backslide and sin at times. Only a true rejection, usually verbal, can result in the loss of salvation. Does that mean you have a license to sin? Technically you do but the goal is that over time as you grow your faith, you will sin less and less while edifying yourself. There are also three major ways to contribute to this growth. Prayer directs the heart towards God. Reading Scripture directs the mind towards God. Lastly, worship directs your will towards God.
Now that we have addressed the argument against eternal security, let’s look at the countless examples that support it. The most widely recognized Bible verse is a perfect place to start. It sums up how to obtain salvation clearly. John 3:16 says:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Another powerful example is given by Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast
Aside from these wonderful verses, many of the most important people in the Bible failed numerous times but were still counted as righteous through repentance and salvation. King David was described by God as a man after His own heart. However, David had a woman’s husband killed so he could marry her. He repented and was forgiven. Peter, counted as one of Jesus’ greatest disciples, denied he knew Jesus three times. The Lord still forgave him. Paul, the man who wrote two thirds of the New Testament was a persecutor and murderer of Christians and Jews. The Lord forgave him and used him to do many wonderful things. We all make mistakes, most of us daily, but we can come to God and repent and He will always forgive us. Rest assured knowing the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you even when you fail. As Christ followers, rejoice in his grace and mercy towards us and await to meet him in heaven.