Does Eternal Life and Security Exist Apart From the Cross – The Strait and Narrow Way – The Way of Holiness?

The songwriter, Barney E. Warren, once penned the words of the following song. Is his concept of security right, or is it wrong? I will let the reader judge:

“Keep me near the cross, Keep me near the cross;

Help me count all else but dross, Keep me near the cross.

“Keep me near the cross, Keep me near the cross;

Let life’s foaming billows toss, KEEP ME NEAR THE CROSS.

Did songwriter, W. J. Henry, also express the correct concept of security in the following verses of song?

“Keep me near Thee, blessed Jesus, Keep me near Thee lest I stray;

With Thy mighty hand uphold me, Lead me gently all the way.

“Keep me near Thee, precious Savior, Many snares are by the way;

‘Neath Thy balmy wings protect me, Draw me nearer Thee each day.

“Help me live so near Thee, Jesus, That Thy whispers I may hear;

Let me feel Thy arms around me, When the hand of danger’s near.

“Life without Thee would be dreary; Cheerless all my path would be;

But while walking in Thy presence, Heaven’s glory shines on me.”

Recently, I was deeply impressed by the words a sister in Christ posted on her Facebook page. Having obtained her permission, I would like to share them with you here. The quotation has been slightly edited (also with her permission). I hope each reader will ponder her words deeply.

“Last night I asked the Lord for wisdom concerning recent communications with a friend. I have a hard time opening up this subject because some friends think if I don’t believe in eternal security (as they do), that I don’t truly know the grace of God, or they may think I believe in works saving me or keeping me. I KNOW it’s ‘by grace,’ but I understand they can’t know if I’ve been saved or not, because they don’t know my heart.

“I’ve heard in the recent year how the [so-called] eternal security doctrine is in America more than in other countries, and … is it biblical? So I’ve been reading the history of the eternal security doctrine etc. It sounds like it stemmed from Augustine who believed and promoted all the following unscriptural dogmas: (1) Absolute predestination (2) Impossibility of falling away or apostasy (Eternal Security ) (3) Man has no free will (4) One cannot know if he is saved (5) God commands impossibilities (6) The supreme authority of the Roman Church (7) Purgatory (8) Prayers for the dead (9) Damnation of unbaptized infants and adults (10) Sex is sinful because depravity is inherited. Augustine is accredited with the introduction of these doctrinal ideas into the Church. Then John Calvin came along and developed them even further. This was very interesting as well.

“This morning I was thinking of this subject of eternal security as compared with Christians (the church) as Christ’s bride. It’s beautiful how He calls us His bride!

“I remember how hours after my husband and I were married and had left on our honeymoon driving along the highway, how much I loved my husband – how wonderful to be committed to him forever and ever! I’ve still not forgotten that awesome feeling of true love, as a bride, even more than I ever had dating. I felt this realization came because of my commitment. Fortunately, by God’s grace, I’m certain my love and commitment for my beloved husband today is as strong as it was over 32 years ago!

“However, while I cannot comprehend the hurt and change that has come over many friend’s marriages (how they could stray and hurt their spouses), the fact is, THEY WERE STILL MARRIED just like I was. They probably had felt the same forever commitment at that time.

“SOME WILL CHOOSE to walk away from their marriages during hard circumstances and some will remain faithful. Just because we can’t comprehend this unfaithfulness doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Babies may die; spouses may turn to alcohol, drugs, or unfaithfulness; finances may become tough; health and beauty fail; and on and on. Some will stay; others walk away. But they changed as they began to stray, ponder adultery, and make excuses justifying their sin. But they still WERE MARRIED and WERE A BRIDE AND GROOM just like we, even if they ended up divorced. They may reap many regrets in this life from straying from their marriage and some may not seem to reap until eternity. But if they don’t repent, I believe they will reap consequences in hell. I don’t want them to, but I didn’t make the rules. MY HOPE IS that maybe I can rescue someone.

“IF A CHRISTIAN chooses to walk away from God, he is sinning. He must repent. I feel God’s Word claims that only sin repented of is forgiven. But the one who chooses to walk away from God and live in sin still may have been saved at one time (just like I was)! He may have been just as committed to God when he got saved as I was when I first came to know I was saved, and he (or she) may have loved the Lord just as much as me. No matter how many people think he or she could not have truly been saved in the first place, (because of being unable to comprehend this sad unfaithfulness to God on the part of a fellow blood-washed sinner), yet I believe some were saved through the blood of Jesus just like me, and were a part of Christ’s bride. Their freewill choice to walk away from being a part of Christ’s bride is not His fault. They must repent for God to forgive their sin.    We believe ONLY sin that has been repented of can be forgiven.

“We may not always come up to the standard of perfection, just like we (by far) are not always perfect wives or husbands, but we are loyal to our commitment to endeavor to follow Christ and, if we have sinned, we must repent if we will make heaven our home.

“If our marriage has fallen apart because one of us chose to stray, we aren’t a bride/groom; and if we don’t follow Christ, or if we make sinful choices, and stray away from Him, we are not longer a part of His bride. May we repent and be ready to meet the BRIDEGROOM!”

Our sister in Christ has spoken very well, very correctly, and within the true balance of biblical doctrine. Let us now dig in to what the Bible itself and the early church fathers have to say about the subject.

The doctrine of the believer’s security in Jesus Christ is a beautiful doctrine when kept within the balance that the Word of God places it. However, as with many other sacred doctrines of the New Testament, Satan has perverted it and is promoting a false security – an ideology that allows people to feel secure even if they incorporate elements of the broad way into their lives – elements that are foreign to CHRIST AND THE CROSS. The subtle old foe (who hates Christ, the cross, and all that is associated with the strait and narrow pathway of true security) has transformed himself into an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13-15) and channeled the minds of people into an unbalanced and unscriptural concept that, even if they step aside from the strait and narrow way, err from the cross and go into bypaths of sin, they still remain secure and eternally saved. They think that, even if presumptuous sin is committed, such sinning does not alienate a believer from eternal life once a person has been reconciled to God, has received Christ into their heart, and has become a partaker of His eternal salvation. According to this theory, the initial act of believing and accepting Christ’s atonement for sin eternally seals and secures one’s salvation, and it is henceforth impossible for a believer to ever lose salvation, or become “unsaved” again, no matter what choices are made following their initial conversion. Even if saved people allow their bodies to become defiled again by sin, this does not alienate them from Christ or eternal salvation because, by one act of believing, and one application of Christ’s cleansing blood to the heart, they are pardoned of all sins they have committed in the past as well as sins they are going to commit in the future.

Obviously, many who embrace this theology have never entered the “strait gate;” therefore, they have no comprehension of what real Bible salvation and walking with Jesus is in the first place. They find this belief system consoling because it affords them liberty to bypass or avoid the cross (the crucifixion of the flesh with the affections and lusts – Gal. 5:24) and yet profess to be a Christian, or belong to Christ. However, there are others who really have been saved and sincerely desire to walk with the Lord but have been innocently misled in their minds by unbalanced and false teachings. Mark this, dear reader: God’s holy Word clearly teaches that

Security’s zone is no wider than Christ, And its path just as narrow and strait;

All things of the broad way must be sacrificed, And all sins laid aside at the gate.

They forfeit security who from the cross Do depart into by-paths of sin

To stray from the cross means security loss, And the sentence of death once again.

The concept of irrevocable salvation is NOT the doctrine of the believer’s security that was taught by Jesus Christ, His apostles, and the early church fathers. While I do not doubt the sincerity of some who subscribe to the concept of irrevocable salvation, it is, nevertheless, extremely unbalanced, and has led many to put their faith in a belief system they call eternal security which is, in reality, totally outside the security zone. On the following pages you will read some clear, plain teachings from the Word of God as well as quotations from the early church fathers. If you are one who has embraced the concept of it being impossible to lose salvation, I humbly ask you to lay aside any prejudices you may have and consider the follow teachings from God’s holy Word as they relate to a believer’s security. Let us now diligently “search the scriptures” together.

The Body of a Believer Is God’s Holy Temple and Dwelling Place

But does the Spirit of Christ ever continue to dwell in a temple that has become defiled with sin? Does He ever remain united with the soul of any man or woman who has played the harlot with other lovers? What does God’s Word say? “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Let no man deceive himself.” 1 Cor. 3:16-17, 18a. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4. Are you aware that for backsliding and spiritual adultery the Lord will divorce you? If not, take a good look at Jeremiah 3:8 and Isaiah 50:1.

Hear ye the Word of the Lord: “The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.” 2 Chronicles 15:2.

How clear is this declaration of eternal truth! Since the Lord IS our salvation, we have salvation so long as we are united with Him, abide in Him, and He abides in us. But if we forsake Him and go a whoring after idols, or other loves, He will forsake us. And when He has forsaken us we are no longer saved, for He alone is our salvation.  Therefore, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21. For, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not [continueth not] in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.” 2 John 9. Whosoever has not God has no salvation!

“The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.” Ezra 8:22