By Harlan Sorrell

Author’s Contact Information:

Harlan Sorrell

Rt. 91 Box 118A

Myrtle, MO 65778

Phone: 417-938-4336




Having recently felt the moving and inspiration of the Holy Spirit on my heart and mind regarding a much abused New Testament doctrine, that of the eternal security of believers, I humbly present the following pages to the reading public, believing that all who read them will find them informative and enlightening and completely in line with the teachings of the New Testament and historical writings of the early church fathers.  I would also invite the reader, as did another author who wrote on another subject:

“If aught I have written you understand better,

Please pay me a visit or write me a letter.”

The things I have written on the following pages were not written in a spirit of contentiousness, but rather with a burden and earnest desire to help my fellow travelers to the judgment understand the seriousness of the solemn charge our Lord has committed to us.  As Charles Wesley (stanzas 1 & 4) and T. O. Chisholm (stanzas 2 & 3) so well state in the following song lyrics:

A charge to keep I have, 

A God to glorify;

A never-dying soul to save,

 And fit it for the sky.

“One life to live! What shall it be –

 For wining or for losing?

It falls to me and none beside, 

The solemn right of choosing.

“One life to live! I feel the urge 

To earnest, high endeavor;

For what I am and what I do

 While here shall be forever!

“To serve the present age, 

My calling to fulfill –

O may it all my powers engage

 To do my Master’s will.”

Feeling assured that I have followed the Holy Spirit’s directions in writing the following pages, I now cast the bread He gave me on the waters, trusting God’s providence will direct it as He desires for the enlightenment of souls and accomplishment of good.

Yours in the love of God,

Harlan Sorrell

January 2015




The Eternal Security Zone


“There’s salvation full and free, at the cross.

Sinner, come and pardoned be at the cross:

Lo, the Savior waiting stands,

See His bleeding side and hands,

He will break sin’s awful bands,

At the cross.


“There thy soul shall find sweet rest, at the cross,

Heaven’s peace shall fill thy breast, at the cross:

All thy guilt shall pass away,

All thy night be turned to day,

When thy burden thou shalt lay

At the cross.


“There is grace for every need, at the cross,

Thou shalt find a friend indeed at the cross:

Jesus will abide with thee,

He thy helper e’er will be,



– W. J. Henry


“Oh, the cross! The precious cross!

‘Twas there I counted all but loss;

‘Twas there I gave my heart to God, ‘Twas there He washed me in His blood,

And spake the words ‘Thy sins forgiven’ And filled my soul with peace from Heaven.


“Oh, the cross! The precious cross!

The only way for sinners lost,

The only way that we can gain An entrance to this heavenly plane,

‘Twas there my night was turned to day, ‘Twas there I found the heavenly way.


“Oh, the cross! The precious cross!

‘Twas there I counted well the cost,

‘Twas there my soul was sanctified, ‘Tis there I ever will abide;

‘Tis there we find the purest gold, And joys that never can be told.


“Oh, the cross! The precious cross!

To me this world is naught but dross;

Far richer treasures now I own, While up the shining way I run;

When in that heavenly land I’ll see The One who bore the cross for me.”

– Lucy M. Lewis



AT THE CROSS, WHERE JESUS DIED, you may feel the blood applied,

If you’ll own Him conqueror, Who for you the cleansing fountain opened wide.”

– Barney E. Warren


“In the shadow of the cross let me hide,

There the Savior for my sins bled and died;

There the precious cleansing fount

Flows so free from Calvary’s mount,

In the shadow of the cross let me hide.


“In the shadow of the cross, blessed place!

Living only for the Lord by His grace;

What He says I’ll gladly do,

Ever standing firm and true,

In the shadow of the cross, blessed place!


“In the shadow of the cross, safe retreat,

Ever sitting lowly at Jesus’ feet;

While His presence is so near

I shall never, never fear,

In the shadow of the cross, safe retreat!


“In the shadow of the cross here I meet,

In communion with my Lord, O how sweet!

And my soul is borne above,

While I revel in His love,

In the shadow of the cross, O how sweet!


“In the shadow of the cross I will rest,

For with everlasting peace I am blest;

Here I dwell in love unknown,

Streaming down from Heaven’s throne,

In the shadow of the cross I will rest.”

– W. J. Henry and Clara M. Brooks


“I’m hid away with Christ in God,

Yes, hid away with Jesus;

I’m now beneath the dripping blood,

I’m hid away with Jesus;


I’m walking with my blessed Lord,

I’m trusting in His precious Word,

I find His service is not hard,

I’m hid away with Jesus.”

– John F. Starcher


Salvation is a wonderful treasure! It is the “pearl of great price.”  As another songwriter expressed it:


“Salvation is the sweetest thing That mortal ever found;

My soul can never cease to sing, Such love and peace abound.


“Salvation is omnipotence, Combined with love supreme,

Come down in pity so intense, To rescue and redeem.


“Salvation flows from Father’s heart, A stream of holy love;

It covers me with glory bright, And wings my soul above.


“Salvation is a perfect plan; It heals the saddest one

Who seeks the Father’s boundless grace Through His beloved Son.


“JESUS, our Friend and Redeemer! JESUS, our wonderful Light!

Saved by Thy grace, we’re forever Singing the blood that makes us white.”

– D. S. Warner


JESUS IS OUR SALVATION.  He is “The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6), therefore our SALVATION IS ETERNAL!  Isaiah 12:2 says, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid:  for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”


Psalm 90:1-2 says, “LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”


We are indeed SECURE in this dwelling place of eternal salvation!  Let us read Psalm 91:

1: He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2: I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress:  my God; in him will I trust.

3: Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4: He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:  his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5: Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6: Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7: A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8: Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9: Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 

10: There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11: For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12: They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13: Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:  the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14: Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:  I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15: He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:  I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.

16: With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.


Praise God!  What wonderful security, when we make the LORD, even the most High, our habitation, and permit Him to make His habitation in us!  He is our refuge and security when we abide under the shadow of His wing.  Let us also read

Colossians, chapter 1:

1: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

2: To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse:  Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3: We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

4: Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

5: For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

6: Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

7: As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;

8: Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

9: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10: That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11: Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12: Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

15: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

19: For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

20: And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

21: And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

22: In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight:

23: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

24: Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

25: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

26: Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

28: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

29: Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.


Here is the mystery and secret of salvation – CHRIST IN US!  As long as our spirit is united with His Spirit, He dwells in us and is our hope and salvation.  “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” 1 Cor. 6:17.  “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:3.  Salvation unites humanity with divinity.  Salvation is a reconciliation of man to God through a matrimonial bond with His Son, Jesus Christ.  “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Rom. 7:4.  Our spiritual union with Christ makes us free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2; John 8:36) and enables us to become “the servants of righteousness” to bring forth “fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life”               (Rom. 6:18-22).


There is eternal security in this matrimonial relationship with Jesus Christ.  There is nothing more consoling and satisfying to the human spirit than feeling the embrace and comfort of God’s sweet Spirit and knowing that “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” Song of Sol. 6:3.  The following song expresses the Bible doctrine of the security of the believer so well.  Take notice of the words!


The Secure Pathway


“I’m walking in the safest path that anyone e’er trod;

It leads straight through this world of sin up to the throne of God.

“I’m walking where the good and blest with songs of praise have gone;

My Savior went this way before, and I will follow on.


“I could not choose a better path, it rises steep, I know;

But holding fast His blessed hand I cannot fear to go.


“’Tis the good old way, the gospel way that my Savior’s feet have trod;

‘Tis the blood-stained way, the Calvary way, but it leads straight up to God.”

– Lizzie DeArmond


Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matt. 7:13-14.  “Strive to enter in at the strait gate:  for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:24.  “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23.

I clearly remember a motto that hung on a wall of my parent’s home when I was a child.  I believe my mother said it was given to her and my father as a wedding gift.  The motto read:  “The Way of the Cross Leads Home.”  I never forgot that motto.  The directions to Heaven are really quite simple:  just turn right at the cross, and then stay in the strait and narrow way.  All who follow these directions will be sure to reach Heaven safely.  There is eternal security in “the way of the cross,” the “strait and narrow way,” that is, following in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is the ONLY safe pathway and the ONLY road that leads to Heaven and eternal life.  The prophet Isaiah called it “The way of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8).  Another good old song says:


“I have given up all to my Savior so dear, And His praises I ever will sing;

And tho’ all of this world should forsake me while here, To my Savior I ever will cling.


“I’ve received such great light, and its beams are so bright, That the past of my life’s way seems dim;

I will walk in this light by day and by night, Still closer I’ll cling unto Him.


“I have a good home in the fold of my Lord, Where His sanctified children all dwell;

I am glad that I heard the truth from His Word, And now with my soul all is well.


“He leads me each day in the heavenly way, So onward and upward I’ll climb;

In the strait, narrow way I’m determined to stay, Till I leave this old dark world behind.”

– Gertrude E. Worthington


The “heavenly way” and “the strait, narrow way” is one and the same thing.  The strait, narrow way alone incorporates the elements of Heaven, and it is the ONLY WAY that ends in Heaven.  The “strait gate” that Jesus says “leadeth unto life” and exhorts us to “strive to enter” is a “narrow, close, contracted, strict, tight, confined, rigorous, exacting, difficult” passageway [see Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary for definition of “strait”].  “Straight,” as used in other scriptures may refer to “a direct, undeviating, and continuous course,” etc., but this was not the word that Jesus used in Matt. 7:13-14 and Luke 13:24.  In those passages He used the word “strait.”  Although the two words are pronounced exactly the same, their meanings are totally different.  You can check out their derivatives in the Greek Dictionary of the New Testament.


The “strait gate” makes no “provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14); yet, it provides a way where there is just enough room for you and Jesus to walk along together, hand in hand.  That makes it a HEAVENLY WAY!!!  What could be sweeter or more heavenly than walking with Jesus?  As the songwriter, D. S. Warner, expressed it so beautifully:


“How sweet is my walk with Jesus! What blessings He breathes on me!

We walk in the golden morning – And oh! how my soul is free! –

And onward together journey, As swiftly the moments fly;

I sing of His love at evening, As twilight illumes the sky.


“How sweet is my walk with Jesus! His whispers of peace I hear;

His banner of love is o’er us, And angels are hov’ring near.

I walk in the light with Jesus, He shines in the narrow way;

The shadows of sin are vanished, I walk in the light of day.


“How sweet is my walk with Jesus! I love all the way He trod;

Embraced in His sweet communion, I’ll walk with the Son of God.

I turn from the paths of pleasure [the bypaths], And closer to Jesus press;

I’ll walk with my dear Redeemer, In His perfect holiness.


Refrain: “Oh! sweet is my walk with Jesus! How gently He smiles on me!

Yet, nearer, my Lord so precious, Oh, help me to walk with Thee.”


Another songwriter, Johnson Oatman, Jr., penned these beautiful lyrics:


“From the strait and narrow way, Praise the Lord, I cannot stray,

For I’m walking every day, Hand in hand with Jesus.

“Hand in hand we walk each day, Hand in hand along the way,

Walking thus, I cannot stray, Hand in hand with Jesus.”


All who keep their hand in Jesus’ hand and continue to walk with Him are safe and secure!  They will be sure to end up in Heaven, for Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  However, to walk hand in hand with Him in His strait, narrow way does require denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily, as He requires.  This can be the “rigorous” and “difficult” part sometimes!  Walking with Jesus will be a “strait-laced” walk, yet He invites everyone:  “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:29-30.  The love of God that He will shed abroad in our hearts by His Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5) will make His yoke easy and His burden light.  We will find that “His commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).

Considering the love, joy, peace, freedom, spiritual pleasure, and rest I have found to my soul personally in taking Christ’s yoke upon me, walking with Him and learning of Him, it is hard for me to comprehend why anyone would choose to take their hand out of Jesus’ hand and depart from His heavenly way.  Yet, it is a fact that there are some who do.  Because they fail to keep vigilant guard over their hearts, the desires of other things entering in cause them to lose their fervent love for Christ and His Word.  Their determination to stay in His strait, narrow way subsides, the way begins to seem too strait-laced for them, the yoke of Christ too cumbersome, and diverging from the way of the cross, they enter into bypaths of fleshly lusts and pleasures of sin.  In view of the fact that God’s Word declares, “She that liveth in [sinful] pleasure is dead while she liveth” (1 Tim. 5:6), let us now focus on the following question:


Does Eternal Life and Security Exist Apart From the Cross – 

The Strait and Narrow Way – The Way of Holiness?


(To be continued)