Arminian Today

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The Antinomian Eternal Security View

I was listening to a Baptist preacher preach on eternal security on the radio.  Now this man would happily preach on holiness and how we should repent and turn from sin.  Yet this man turned around and preached that all Christians are eternally secure despite not even persevering in the faith.  He attacked both the Arminian and Calvinist views as one and the same by saying that the Arminian holds that one can fall from grace while the Calvinist teaches that one must persevere in the faith or they were never saved to begin with.  He said both were wrong.  He said that once a person is saved, they are always saved.  Period.  End of story.

This same preacher would preach that people should be holy or forsake sin or confess their sins but why?  If I am saved and eternally secure, why forsake sin?  Why pursue holiness?  If eternal life is mine and I am guaranteed heaven despite living in sin, what is the motivation for holiness?  If my ticket to heaven is set, why waste my time confessing my sins or even trying to forsake them?

Now imagine if you are sitting under this man’s preaching.  What did you just hear?  What I hear is, “Sin!  Do what you like!  Nothing can take you away from Jesus nor the gift of eternal life that He has given you.”  This is nothing more than antinomianism plain and simple.  The word Antinomian means “no law.”  It is the teaching that Christians are not under any obligation to obey the moral law of God.  It views the entire law of God as dead and the Christian is free to do what they like, even sin.  This teaching, of course, appeals to the flesh and those who desire to sin.  It appeals to those who desire to rebel against God even while claiming to be saved for eternity.  This view loves Jesus as Savior but hates Him as Lord.  It claims to exalt the grace of God even while ignoring sin, repentance, holiness, perseverance, and of course the clear warning of Jude 4.  Antinomians are seen clearly as well in 2 Peter 2:10.

The antinomian view of eternal security is that once a person believes (just once) they are saved forever.  They do not look for sanctification at all.  They may give lip service to holiness but they often make statements such as “we sin everyday” and “we can never conquer sin.”  They instead teach that God loves people so much (John 3:16) that He gave His Son to save them from their sins forever and thus when they claim Jesus once as Savior, He forever is Savior.  They will typically point to key texts such as John 10:27-29 or Romans 8:38-39 or Philippians 1:6 to teach eternal security while ignoring the warning passages that fill the New Testament.  The antinomian view of eternal security is nothing more than preservation of the sinner.  The sinner can continue in their sins because God doesn’t see their sins but only His Son.  They claim that the sinner doesn’t even need to confess their sins to God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9).  Why?  Because they are once saved, always saved.

This dangerous teaching has filled the Western Church.  I have met people on the streets doing evangelism who claim to be Christians simply because they said a “sinner’s prayer” at one point, joined a church, was baptized, or was confirmed as a teenager.  They are full of sin and living an ungodly life (1 John 3:4-10) but they will claim they are saved forever because they were taught that they are “once saved, always saved.”  They have their “fire insurance” and now they are ready to sin and sin boldly.  They have no passion for Jesus, no desire to be like Him, no love for His Word, no hunger to be holy.  They are simply living in sin and yet claim to be saved.  When I have walked them through John 8:31-32 or 1 John 2:3-6, they will claim they are saved no matter what I show them.  When I point them to Romans 6:23 or Galatians 6:7-9, they will claim again that they are forever saved no matter what.  Their antinomian views have been shaped by a false view of salvation and assurance.

Scripture is clear that we are to be holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).  Scripture is clear that we are to turn from our sins (Luke 13:1-5; Acts 2:38; 3:19-20; 17:30-31; 26:20).  Scripture is clear that Jesus came to save us from our sins but we must be His people to be saved from our sins (Matthew 1:21).  Paul the Apostle is clear in Romans 6:1-4 that since we are buried with Christ in baptism, we are to be dead to sin.  Paul goes on in Romans 6:5-23 to establish that sin is to have nothing in the life of the saint.  The true saint of God turns away from sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  The true saint of God pursues holiness for God is holy and He demands it (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).  Hebrews 12:14 is also clear that we are to pursue holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  Jesus said that only the pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8) and yet He said that sin would keep us from heaven (Revelation 21:7-8).  Peter wrote that we are to be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish and at peace (2 Peter 3:14).  Through perseverance in the faith, we make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10-11).

In closing, James 2:14-26 destroys the case for “once saved, always saved.”  James tells us that the only true faith is the obedient faith (Acts 5:32).  True faith in God does not sit back and do nothing.  True faith in God is a total transformation of the entire person because of the gospel (2 Corinthians 5:17).  True faith knows that Jesus has saved us from sin and He is able to deliver us completely from our sins (1 John 2:1-2).  True faith is not acknowledgement of Jesus (James 2:19) but obedience to Him as Lord (Luke 6:46-49; 2 Corinthians 1:24).  No doubt justification is by faith (Romans 4:5; Ephesians 2:8-9) but is not merely an intellectual faith but a living, obedient faith in the living Christ (James 2:22).  I have more respect for those who teach that a person was never saved to begin with who fall away (such as Ray Comfort) than with this preacher above.  The cheap grace movement has created more false converts than one can count.

5 Responses

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  1. Amen! However I must note that I’ve never heard anybody preach, or even express, the view that you described someone’s preaching in the first paragraph of your message.

    Date: Sat, 17 Aug 2013 14:35:20 +0000 To:

    Bob Hunter

    08/17/2013 at 11:40 AM

  2. “He said both [Arminianism and Calvinism] were wrong. He said that once a person is saved, they are always saved. Period. End of story.”

    That’s just standard Baptist doctrine/

    “This same preacher would preach that people should be holy or forsake sin or confess their sins but why? If I am saved and eternally secure, why forsake sin?”

    Who believes in works salvation now? You apparently. Why do you think that salvation is all Christianity is about? The purpose of the religion is supposed to be about being transformed from glory to glory into the image of Christ — that’s why you should live a holy life in spite of not having to for salvation.

    I’m not saying I agree with Baptist doctrine, but your perspective is demonic, that the only reason to live morally is to earn salvation, and if its not necessary to earn salvation, let’s just go on a raping spree. Only an evil person could think like that. You need to check your heart, because it is not right with God.

    Yet, despite saying all that, I believe that one must live a decent moral life. If you sing really big, like committing rape or murder, you will have your name blotted out of the book of life.

    james jordan

    08/17/2013 at 5:42 PM

  3. I have heard many preachers say what you describe in the first paragraph. You ask why would a person forsake sin believing this teaching and the answer I always hear is “love.” We are motivated by love to forsake sin, not obligation or to maintain salvation. We obey out of love.

    This sounds good and I suppose is based on truth, but taken this way it also seems to imply people don’t love God much. Furthermore, the Bible describes love for God with obedience (1 John). It always seems weird to me to use the love trump card here since the basic point is then “I don’t have to stop sinning because I’m saved anyway, but if I do stop sinning it’s because I love God, but I don’t have to.” Yet I’ve never heard anyone say “I sin because I don’t love God.” They only say it the one way, not the other and I think that is the flaw in the logic.

    Obviously love is a prime motivator of the believer and I do believe it will result in conquering sin, I just don’t get why people say this to defend their sin. I may not be making sense! I know what I’m trying to say, not sure I’m saying it though.


    08/19/2013 at 2:09 PM

    • Great point. Love for God is seen in keeping His commandments (1 John 5:3). I see their point about love but faith trusts God no matter what it feels. I don’t often feel like reading my Bible and sometimes I don’t feel like I love God much but I walk by faith in what Jesus has done for me and His saving me on the cross (Hebrews 11:1). From my faith flows obedience to Christ as Lord (Romans 1:5).

      Thanks brother for your comments. Always helpful.

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