Just How Secure is the Believer? Part 3

Clearing Up the Confusion about Eternal Security

1 John 5:11-13

July 16, 2017 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Luke 18:10-14)


A.    We have all sinned against God, and we all deserve God's judgment. THAT is the negative message of the Bible. Sorry. Not what most people want to hear


1.      Romans 3:10 says, There is none righteous enough to walk into heaven as we are

2.      There is only one other place for law-breakers – a devil’s burning hell, for all eternity

3.      Hell is an eternal death, that never finishes – it goes on forever and ever and ever!


B.     Yet there is a very positive message of the Bible… that God did something marvellous to give ANYBODY who wanted it, eternal life!


1.      What did He do?

2.      He gave us MERCY! “Have mercy on me a sinner!

3.      He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus to take all our places under that judgment for those who would just believe in Him.

4.      Jesus, and only Jesus lived a sinless life, loved us enough to willingly die for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead. Only Jesus did that!

5.      All so that any person who willingly, humbly, repents of the sinfulness of his or her life, and believes in the perfect work of Jesus on the cross, that person, though an ungodly sinner, will be INSTANTLY saved from hell, and spend eternity with God in heaven (Acts 16:31; John 6:37; John 14:6).

6.      THAT’s the good news of the GOSPEL!


C.    Salvation is once and for all, instant, eternal, and secure. So, Once a person has been saved, they will remain saved always and forever!

D.    But what about if you sin again AFTER getting forgiven?


1.      Are there some sins that are just too much for Christ to have paid for?

2.      Is there ANY WAY for a Believer, to lose his or her eternal life???

3.      Sounds like a crazy question, but many, many Christians struggle with such issues.


E.     This morning, I want to try and clear up some more confusion about the Eternal Security of the Believer!


II.    Review – Last Week…


A.    The Impossibility of Saving Yourself!

B.     The Work GOD did to Save You… was perfect! There is nothing more to do!


1.      It’s All Finished! It is a finished work of God – nothing left to do… FOREVER!

2.      Salvation is settled – it depends only and completely on Jesus


C.    The Work that Brought Us Salvation is the SAME that Keeps Us Saved!

D.    The Only Thing to do to BE Saved is turn away from sin and to Christ – Just Believe It!

E.     The Only Thing to do to STAY Saved – is nothing – Jesus keeps you saved! Period!


III. Background


A.    Three Views on Salvation


1.      It is a once for all time event where a sinner believes on Christ and is saved forever more - Biblical

2.      It is a change of direction from hell towards God, but can be forfeited by certain extreme sins - Charismatic

3.      It is none of your business – only God knows who is saved and who is lost - Calvinism


B.     Three Warnings About Salvation!


1.      Don’t NEGLECT so great salvation (Hebrews 2:3)!

2.      Don’t TWIST so great salvation (2Peter 3:16) to mean what you want it to mean!

3.      And definitely don’t ABUSE so great salvation (Jude 1:4) thinking you can live any way you want!


C.    Three Proofs of Security - Three proofs you cannot lose Salvation:


1.      Jesus promises He will NEVER leave you - NEVER (Heb 13:4)

2.      He abideth faithful when we don't (2Tim 2:13)

3.      And He will finish His work in you (Phil 1:6)!

4.      There are about 4 dozen more Scriptures, but Ponder these three great over ridding Bible facts and then REST in His salvation! Not in your works!

5.      If you do try and do anything MORE for your salvation, Paul says you will only end up frustrating the grace of God – not helping it!


D.    People Who SHOULD Have Lost Their Salvation, but DIDN’T


1.      Christians have a funny view of God’s expectations –


a.       Believe there HAS to be some limits to what we can do before we blow it and lose our eternal life!

b.      They believe there are normal sins that you can get away with

c.       And there are really bad sins that will send you straight to hell!

d.      Basically they believe in venial sins (not so bad) and mortal sins (deadly sins)

e.       Sorry. Not in the Bible! James 2:10 says if you break one of God’s laws, you are guilty as if you broke ALL of them at once!!!


2.      The following examples in the Bible SHOULD have lost their salvation if it was possible:


a.       John the Baptist (Luke 7:19,20) – he stopped believing Jesus was Saviour and Messiah

b.      Peter (Mt 26:69-75) – publically denied even knowing Him and cursed His name


1)      Mat 26:73,74  And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.  Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 

2)      So Peter LIED (3 times), denied Christ, Cursed Christ – WHEW!


c.       David (Lev 20:10; 2Sam 11:2,3,14,15)


1)      Lev 20:10  And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

2)      5 heinous sins: lust, adultery, lying to cover it up, murder, no remorse until caught


d.      Abraham stopped believing God and did his own thing trying to get the promised baby!

e.       Paul (Rom 7:24) – wretched man that I “AM”! Sinned greatly AFTER his salvation!

f.        Moses publically disobeyed the clear command of God about speaking to the Rock for water, and struck it in anger instead, breaking a perfect symbol of what Christ is like.

g.      Aaron was an idolater – even made a golden calf and led all Israel to sin! Didn’t lose his salvation – just his testimony, and his life – died early and short of the perfect will of God!



E.     Modern “Christian” Confusion


1.      So many modern Christians are confusing to listen to when they talk about Salvation.


a.       Talk a lot about God’s Grace, but then they expect everyone to work at keeping it? An OXY-MORON

b.      It is a FALSE Gospel that offers sinners eternal life, and forgiveness, and adoption, and a new birth into God’s family, only to REDEFINE those words as soon as someone "believes" thereby putting people back under the yoke of good works (see Galatians 5:1)!


2.      Once Saved Always Saved is NOT the freedom to sin


a.       Critics of the “once saved, always saved” doctrine claim that it gives Christians a license / freedom to sin. They presume that those who believe in eternal security intend to accept salvation, and then continue to willingly sin.

b.      That is not taught in the Scriptures at all – it is HERESY

c.       The idea that a Christian can now get away with sin is not a part of the teachings of any true Christian church (Romans 3:8). IT is heresy!


1)      A Christian is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17) – not the same person at all

2)      Has the conviction of the Holy Spirit at work in them (John 14:26; 1 Thessalonians 4:8),

3)      And now WANTS to live for Christ. New desires, new heart, new reason for living!


d.      Someone who continues to willingly and blatantly live in sin…


1)      Either has not truly accepted Christ (1 John 2:19; 1 John 3:6; James 1:26)

2)      Or is on their way out of this life – going to be chastised by the Lord


3.      New doctrines are confusing


a.       Judas LOST his salvation? Judas NEVER was saved! He was a devil (John 6:70,71). Never a saint. Don’t point to Judas as an example of someone who LOST their salvation – he never had it

b.      Jesus went to hell?


1)      So many charismatics and televangelists now teach that Jesus didn’t really finish paying for all our sins on the cross, but had to finish suffering in hell

2)      That implies that Jesus’ sacrifice was incomplete and may still be incomplete

3)      Maybe purgatory is true after all? NOT!


c.       All the emphasis on PEOPLE and not on God anymore – our happiness, our goodness, our best efforts – instead of on the perfect work of God


1)      Churches focus on meeting people’s emotional and even physical needs

2)      Constantly learning about themselves, and how to handle their problems and heartaches and poverty and depression

3)      Instead of on their ONE spiritual need – Christ!


d.      That people can be saved, and then lose it? – yet the VERY Scripture that should teach the loss of salvation teaches the exact opposite – they never were saved to begin with (Mt 7:21-23)!


4.      Modern bibles are confusing


a.       John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but may have eternal life." (Roman Catholic NAB)

b.      Is it HARD to be saved?


1)      Mark 10:24 (NIV) Jesus said again, Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

2)      Mark 10:24 (KJV) Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

3)      Not hard for US Bible believers!


c.       Are believers SAVED, or BEING saved?


1)      1Cor 15:2


a)      ESV and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

b)      KJV By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.


2)      1Cor 1:18


a)      CEV The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work.

b)      ESV For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

c)      KJV For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

d)      NKJV For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.


3)      2Cor 2:15


a)      NKJV 2Co 2:15  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.


5.      The Problem is PRIDE!


a.       Only self-righteous pride would cause a Christian to believe a person has to STAY good enough to go to heaven. Period.

b.      The attitude and approach of the Pharisee against the sinner BEFORE salvation is very present in some people AFTER salvation!

c.       Don’t go there!


F.     Just suffice it to say, If you are born again, NOTHING can now get you to become unborn again, lost, unforgiven, condemned again, headed for hell once you have been truly born again of the Spirit of God!


1.      The devil can’t take your forgiveness and salvation away – GOD won’t let him!

2.      No sin you commit can cause you to lose it – you got saved in SPITE of your sins, and you are kept saved in spite of your sins!

3.      Failure can’t take it away – YOU are not responsible for staying saved!

4.      Confusion and unbelief can’t take it away – or else a lot of Dementia patients have lost theirs!

5.      Why? Simply because, CHRIST is our righteousness – not us!


a.       Christ died, and was buried, and rose again

b.      Christ ever lives to intercede for us

c.       Christ promises to NEVER leave us or forsake us

d.      Christ IS our Saviour, our Salvation, our Rock and our Rest!


6.      Your conduct can affect your FELLOWSHIP with God, but not your RELATIONSHIP with Him. 


II.    Message - What Happens Then When A Christian Sins?


A.    FACT: When a person gets saved, they move from being treated by God as a sinner, to being treated as a SON! God takes care of sin in our loves like a parent, and not like a judge anymore!

B.     So, You CAN’T lose your salvation – you CAN’T lose such a gift!

C.     But you WILL end up losing just about everything else

D.    Seven things you WILL lose as you sin:


1.      Loss of Joy (Psalm 51:12) – the Joy of the Lord is a gift you can lose when you sin!


a.       The first thing that you will experience is Conviction – sense of guilt and shame when you sin. Every time!

b.      If you are saved, the Holy Spirit is in you and WILL grieve you of your sin

c.       If you claim to be a Christian, and yet never have a sense of guilt when you sin, then you had better be very afraid, and get truly born again – not just acting the part!


2.      Loss of blessings from God – God WILL not bless you when are living in disobedience


a.       Yeah you can make your money

b.      Enjoy your holidays

c.       But none of it will be from the Lord – it will be empty!


3.      Sin itself will take its toll on you (2Pet 2:8; Rom 6:23)


a.       You still WILL reap what you have sown – healthwise, emotionally, physically

b.      You will dry up from the inside out!

c.       Just not eternally anymore


4.      Then comes Chastisement (Heb 12:6-8)


a.       Not punishment, but corrective actions – God is a perfect parent, who won’t let us get away with our sins

b.      When God starts to bring troubles into your life to break your stubborn pride

c.       And then starts to take away your joy, your closeness of fellowship, your health, your family, and ultimately your sanity


5.      God’s Silence – goes quiet in your life (Psalm 66:18)

6.      God then starts working against you (James 4:6) – it will be like He has become your enemy!


a.       You will no longer be missing His help

b.      But He will start hindering you, and resisting you, and blocking you

c.       Because of your pride (James 4:6) and rebellion (Titus 3:1; Rom 13:2)


7.      Unexplainable sickness and early death – the end result of chastisement (1Cor 11:29,30)


a.       King Saul died early

b.      Moses died early

c.       Aaron died early

d.      Ananias and Saphira died early





a.       If these are NOT present when YOU sin, then YOU ARE NOT BORN AGAIN (Heb 12:8; 2Cor 13:5)

b.      Be careful folks – don’t be so quick to judge people when they are going through the fires


1)      It COULD be God

2)      But probably the devil


E.     The Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-12)


1.      Folks, it DOES matter how you live (Eccl 12:14)

2.      We must all stand before the Lord Jesus – He IS Lord


a.       This happens in heaven while the Tribulation is going on down on the earth

b.      We will bow, submit, honour Him as Lord of all

c.       We will see everything that happened in our lives from God’s view – and will be amazed

d.      That judgment will be SO real, so embarrassing, and so terrifying


3.      Good works started to count AFTER salvation (Eph 2:8-10)

4.      All our works as Christians will be judged openly by Jesus Christ (Rev 22:12; Eccl 12:14; 1Cor 3:11-15)


a.       All your actions and attitudes in defiance against what the Bible says, will be exposed

b.      You will have to review your conduct since getting saved

c.       What you did for Christ, all your efforts, sacrifices, struggles, tears, will be rewarded

d.      If you wasted all the gifts and blessings that God invested in you – talents – then there will be the loss of rewards – burned up – the WORKS, not YOU!

e.       There will be NO loss of eternal life

f.        But the Loss of rewards


1)      What you could have earned will be known by everybody!

2)      What you already earned, can be taken away


5.      We will all give an account – present our view, and answer for our actions as Christians (Lk 19:15)


a.       You will have to explain what you said and why you said such things – and it will shame you deeply!

b.      You will have to explain Your plans, what you did with your second chance life

c.       You will have to explain Your WORDS, flippant, idle as they may have been

d.      You won’t have to answer for anyone else – but you will have to take responsibility for how you treated people, and how you lived for God!


6.      Folks! We will never get away with sin


a.       What you have done in secret will be broadcast for all to see!!!

b.      God does not


7.      So, FEAR GOD still! (2Cor 5:10,11) – and fear sinning against God and people!


III. Conclusion


A.    We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment.

B.     Yet God, the creator of this entire universe, sent His only Son to take all our places under that judgment for those who would just believe in Him. Jesus, and only Jesus lived a sinless life, loved us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible.

C.     If you truly believe in your heart and trust what he did for you, you will receive Jesus alone into your spirit as your Saviour, and he will become your Lord, and you will be saved from hell and spend eternity with God in heaven.

D.    A person who willingly, humbly, repents of sin and turns towards the cross, trusting Christ alone as their Saviour, is from that moment saved (Acts 16:31; John 6:37; John 14:6). That salvation is once and for all, eternal, and secure.

E.     Those who truly trust in Christ are saved once, and saved always.

F.      How does that sound to you? Sounds pretty good to ME!

G.    If “I” wasn’t saved, I certainly would get saved right now!

H.    Why not you?