A Part of Eternal Security vs. Conditional Perseverance

by Ray Moore and Mike Stine

We find that in these issues it is perhaps easiest and best to agree to disagree.  This is not an issue that affects our salvation; we are both going to heaven and have full assurance in that.

It would appear then that the issue is did these people truly repent and receive salvation.  Or did they come to the knowledge of God and Christ but never made Christ Lord over their life.  

For years we have watched people claim that they receive Christ as their savior and even get baptized.  After a couple of months, maybe even years, however, many all but disappear only to be found worse spiritually than they were before they became saved.  This is not salvation.

We find that whether there is a loss of salvation or that these people were never truly saved, they are in trouble.  Either way, whatever one believes on the issue of eternity security, these people face eternal damnation if they do not repent of their sins, just as an unbeliever needs to repent.

We have found some questions that have not been fully answered and perhaps cannot be fully explained within our finite minds.  We have asked numerous people as well as researched the answer ourselves and cannot find an explanation.  It is Revelation 22:19, “And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life, from the Holy City and from the things that are written in the book.” (NKJV) [NIV and NASB says tree of life, not book, but this still references to eternity and a loss of eternity with God.]

While we do not believe that this is an unforgivable sin, mentioned right at the end of the Bible, we also do not believe that God is making an idle threat, proving himself to be a liar.  A good explanation for this passage we have not found.

We have found our views possibly best summarized by Erwin Lutzer in The Doctrines that Divides.  In it he says, “Arminianism is the name most often associated with the belief that a saved person can eventually be lost.  Yet Arminius himself did not teach this doctrine explicitly.  He simply said that it was an open question.  He thought that Calvinists who believed that all saints would persevere had no right to be so certain.”  This statement is probably the most intelligent either of us has heard on the issue and it is what we would like to close with.

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