“An I give unto them eternal life: and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of [M]y [H]and.” (John 10:28)
[Nothing] shall be able separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Roman 8:39b.)
“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel… (Colossians 1:23a.)
“He that shall endure to the end shall be saved.” (Christ in the Gospels)
One can see plainly from the (4) four texts from above that the Scriptures teach (2) two opposing doctrines. Since there are no mistakes or contradictions in Scripture we have no choice than to believe the (2) two opposing doctrines. We have taught in the past the difference between a contradiction and a paradox. A paradox is a seeming contradiction that is proven not to be after being studied.
The doctrines above are neither a contradiction or a paradox. They are both true while being different. The top (2) two passages teach that salvation is a gift that is without recall yet the following (2) two passages teach that salvation is kept by those that “continue in the faith grounded and settled and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel” and “that endure until the end shall be saved.”
We have a couple of choices in how we react to the above doctrinal teachings. We can accept them as both true and seek to understand what that means or we can seek how we might explain one of the doctrines away so that our favorite remains. Taking the second choices first: The person or denomination that seeks to explain a doctrine away does so in order to wrest Scripture away so that their favorite remains. Another reason one is taught while the other is evaded may be that both are simply not known due to an ignorance of the whole counsel of God. The person that seeks to understand how both doctrines can both be true in one that is true to Scripture.
The way this writer teaches these doctrines is that the person that continues in the faith grounded and settled and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel will endure until the end and they will be proven to be recipients of eternal life and they shall never perish and nothing shall separate them from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus the Lord.
These (2) doctrines can also be used by the pastor in his dealings with differing persons in order to meet their differing needs for example: The person that is stuggling with their salvation yet they be faithful to God is in need of being comforted with the doctrine of eternal security and that nothing will separate them from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus [their Lord]. However, the person that is backslidden or is possibly not even saved is in need of the dire warnings of Scipture and the warning of not enduring until the end or the failure to continue in the faith grounded and settled in the gospel!!! For a pastor to teach “once saved always saved” to one that is not displaying a born again condition is a great danger himself.
The person that confesses and repents of a backslidden state proves to be one that may endure to the end and prove to be one of God’s own. The person that fails to repent may prove not to be one of God’s own.
The purity of the church and the spiritual well being is a most important responsibility of the faith pastor and minister of Christ. The means of keeping the church pure is by the sound preaching of the whole counsel of God and by being a faithful shepherd to the Lord’s flock which includes the disciplining of the flock. The minister is not fulfilling his responsibility to God or the church if he fails in any of these tasks regardless of the pain involved.
The above mentioned responsibilities of the minister should be in the oder listed and in they are faithfully administered they should take care of the next one. The faithful administering of the whole counsel of God should take care of the flock and limit the need for disciplining. While the one on one dealing with a backslidden believer the preaching of God’s Word should take care of most of the discipline.
May God bless this article to God’s faithful minister and to those that need to be reproved and possibly rebuked. [Sidenote: There is not a minister in mind as we write these words.]