Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Adult Sunday School Notes -

Part X: Understanding Passages Errantly Used To Teach One Can Lose His Salvation
(Revelation 22:19 and John 15:6 et al.)
  1. Introduction
    1. A troubling belief caused by the mishandling of Scripture is the idea that one can lose his salvation!
    2. John F. Walvoord's revision of Lewis Sperry Chafer's book, Major Bible Themes (1974), p. 220-223 describes 9 ways the Bible is misused in up to 85 passages by those who hold one can lose his salvation.
    3. So, in this lesson, we will show (1) Scripture's true teaching on salvation security, and (2) view these 9 ways the Bible is misused, (a) and show how to interpret them correctly (b) by the examples of key verses:
  2. Understanding Passages Errantly Used To Teach One Can Lose His Salvation.
    1. Scripture clearly teaches that one can not possibly lose his salvation, and here are two verses on that truth:
      1. John 5:24 - After one trusts in Jesus and has eternal life, he will not come into condemnation, but is "once-for-all" passed (metabebayken = perfect tense, U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1963 ed., p. 340; Zond.'s Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 265) from death unto life. This is unconditional salvation security!
      2. 1 Corinthians 3:15 - Paul revealed that, at Christ's "bema" seat where believers are judged for rewards, one's work, or the deeds done in his Christian life, could all be burned up, but "he himself" would be saved "so as by fire" KJV ("through the flames" NIV). This is unconditional salvation security!
    2. Thus, all other Bible verses used to deny unconditional salvation security are misused. We then view the 9 ways they are misused, and give examples of key passages misused with their respective corrections:
      1. Some verses like 2 Peter 2:1 are errantly said to teach believers can lose their salvation when they only refer to the lost: Christ's death paid for the sins of all men, even lost teachers, Ryrie St. Bible, KJV, ftn.
      2. Some verses like Matthew 7:16-20 are errantly said to teach a loss of salvation when they refer to the evidences of salvation: the teachers' bad fruits in Matthew 7:16-20 show they are unsaved, cf. 7:21-23.
      3. Some verses like John 6:66-71 are errantly said to teach a loss of salvation faith when they warn of an artificial faith: Judas did not lose his salvation, for Christ here reveals he was a deceiver all along!
      4. Some verses like Hebrews 6:4-20 are errantly used to teach one can lose his salvation when they talk about rewards: no conditional "if" clause exists in the Greek N. T. at verses 4-6, so the author warns of the practical danger of a believer's hardening against a life of faith, and its consequent loss of reward and ineffectiveness in Christian service, cf. Bible Knowledge Commentary, N. T., p. 794-795.
      5. Some verses like Acts 11:21-23 are errantly said to teach a loss of salvation when they deal with a loss of rewards: by "cleaving" (KJV), Barnabas meant staying in fellowship with God (cf. 1 Cor. 5:1-2).
      6. Some verses like John 15:6 are errantly thought to teach the loss of salvation when they speak of God's discipline with a loss of earthly life: were this verse to teach a loss of salvation, men would be said to cast men into hell, an idea foreign to the rest of Scripture, cf. Matthew 13:41-42! Rather, Jesus taught a removal from usefulness to God, the worst case being the sin unto physical death, cf. 1 Cor. 5:3-5.
      7. Some verses like Galatians 5:1-4 with the "fallen from grace" (KJV) phrase are errantly said to teach a loss of salvation when they speak of falling from the lofty life of living by grace to living in legalism.
      8. Some verses like Ezekiel 33:7-8 are errantly used out of the correct context to teach one can lose his salvation: were Ezekiel to fail to warn the people of Israel to repent with the result they were killed by the invading Gentiles, God would punish him with physical death! This verse addresses physical discipline for disobedience -- it does not teach a potential loss of the eternal salvation of Ezekiel's soul.
      9. Some verses like Revelation 22:18-19 KJV are errantly misused to teach one can lose his salvation due to an ignorance of the Bible's background, i.e., the Bible's original languages, manuscript readings or customs: the best Greek manuscripts at verse 19 read "share" versus the KJV's "part" and "tree of life" for the KJV's "book of life". John spoke of the failure of the lost to gain salvation in rejecting the Gospel of salvation that is offered in the Revelation! (Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Rev. 22:19) [Incidentally, the Ryrie Study Bible and Bible Knowledge Commentary are good sources on the Bible's background.]
Lesson: Since verses like John 5:24 and 1 Corinthians 3:15 clearly show believers are unconditionally eternally saved, verses used to claim one can lose his salvation are misunderstood (as we have shown).

Application: May we affirm the Bible truth that believers are unconditionally eternally securely saved.