SALVATION AND ETERNAL SECURITY
THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION AND ETERNAL SECURITY
The gospel of Salvation was best stated by the apostle Paul on a Sabbath day in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch sometime during July-September, 48 AD while on his first missionary journey. Paul’s statement was recorded in Acts 13:38-39.
38“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren (Jews), that through this One (Jesus) forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39and (emphasis mine) in Him (Jesus) everyone (both Jew and gentile) who believes is freed from all things (the Law, fear of death, slavery to sin, and for gentiles, freedom from the elemental things of the world), from which you could not be freed by the Law of Moses” (a literal translation—with the author’s parenthetical comments—from The New American Standard Bible (NASB). Anaheim, CA: Foundation Publications, 1995).
1. Every adult human being on earth is irreversibly and inexorably destined to go to hell because of evil sin present in every human from birth (cf. Rom. 7:19-21).
2. Note: an adult human being is one who has knowledge of good and evil (cf. Deut. 1:39).
3. Salvation means that some human beings are called of God, and are therefore irreversibility and irrevocably destined to go to heaven.
4. Eternal security means that once an adult is saved, he or she will absolutely, irreversibly, and irrevocably go to heaven irrespective of whatever deeds (works) were accomplished before departing from the planet.
5. Two views exist for receiving Salvation and Eternal Security:
a. Human deeds or works (an erroneous view, Eph. 2:8-9);
b. Human faith (the genuine view, Eph. 2:8-9), and faith’s inevitable outcome of eternal security (Rom. 8:28-30).
i. A false view: no one is eternally secure—some can lose salvation (Arminianism);
ii. Another false view: no one is eternally secure—some were never saved in the first place (Experimental Predestinarianism); and,
iii. The true view: some are saved and eternally secure (the biblical view of two-step salvation).
6. Two-step salvation means:
a. Simple belief in God’s two promises (Eph. 2:8-9), which follow:
i. Forgiveness of sins (Acts 13:38). Note: the coordinating conjunction “and” which introduces Acts 13:39 was used by Paul to add the additional element of freedom to his proclamation of forgiveness;
ii. Freedom from slavery to sin that is evil (Acts 13:39); and,
iii. The order of the two promises is sequential and not interchangeable.
b. Both steps result from God’s predestined initiative:
i. Forgiveness: God’s call of many (Rom. 8:30); and
ii. Freedom: God’s choice of a few who have been called (Eph. 1:3-4).
7. Those called have eternal security (Rom. 8:28-30).
8. Those chosen from among those called also have eternal security, plus will receive a reward at judgment (Rom. 2:10; 1 Cor. 3:14; 2 Cor. 5:10).
9. Those who are only called are saved only from hell, while those who are both called and chosen are not only saved from hell, but are also saved from slavery to evil sin.
10. Those who are only called are not saved from slavery to evil sin; however, they cannot and do not lose their salvation from hell.
11. Those who are called and chosen will be receptive to, and embrace, two-step Salvation.
12. Confusion can surround Salvation because God’s two distinct promises are sometimes conflated, or forgiveness is emphasized at the expense of freedom.
13. Evangelism and missions emphasize forgiveness only.
14. Sometimes the reality of not being saved from enslavement to evil sin is erroneously misconstrued as an inadvertent loss of salvation from hell.
15. An appropriate prayer: “Our Father, if there remains some on Your list of to-be-chosen, please exercise your choice sooner rather than later.”