DOES PREACHING ETERNAL SECURITY ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO SIN?

Pastor James J. Barker

Text: ROMANS 6:17-23




INTRODUCTION:


1.     There are many churches and many preachers who are opposed to the doctrine of eternal security.

2.     Before I proceed I should stress that the doctrine of eternal security is taught over and over in the Bible (cf. John 10:27-29).

3.     Ephesians 1:13 and Ephesians 4:30 teach that when you were saved you were sealed with the Holy Spirit.

4.     Jude 1 says we are “preserved in Jesus Christ.”  And in Jude’s benediction at the end of his little epistle, he writes, “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).

5.     We are not able to keep ourselves saved, but God is able.  We are saved by grace and we are kept by grace.  Some churches teach you are saved by grace but kept by works.  No, it is all God’s grace.

6.     Salvation is all on the basis of grace.  However, rewards are based upon our works.  That confuses people but it shouldn’t because the Bible is clear (cf. I Cor. 3:12-15).

7.     Another problem: we believe in the eternal security of the genuine believer, not the eternal security of the make-believer (cf. II Peter 2:20-22).  Some people profess to be saved but after a while they go back to the world the same way a dog returns to his vomit.

8.     I have noticed that people who object to the doctrine of eternal security seldom use Scripture to back up their position.  And often they will say, “If I believed like you do then I would go out and get into sin.”  To me this shows that their heart is not right because those of us who love God hate sin (cf. Psalm 97:10; 119:128).

9.     Those who say such things do not understand the cross.

I.    PREACHING ETERNAL SECURITY DOES NOT ENCOURAGE SIN BECAUSE SOUND DOCTRINE NEVER ENCOURAGES SIN

II.    PREACHING ETERNAL SECURITY DOES NOT ENCOURAGE SIN BECAUSE WE MUST VIGOROUSLY WARN OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN

III.    PREACHING ETERNAL SECURITY DOES NOT ENCOURAGE SIN BECAUSE WE MUST TEACH VICTORY OVER SIN

I.    PREACHING ETERNAL SECURITY DOES NOT ENCOURAGE SIN BECAUSE SOUND DOCTRINE NEVER ENCOURAGES SIN

1.     Sound doctrine builds people up in the faith.  It does not encourage them to sin (cf. Romans 6:14, 15).

2.     Christians that know their Bible, and are walking in the Spirit, and are praying, and are in church all the time are not likely to backslide.

3.     The key to victory in the Christian life is to abide in Christ (John 15:1-14; I John 3:6-10).

4.     Warning born again believers that they are in danger of going to hell is unscriptural and therefore unwise.  There is not one verse in the Bible that teaches Christians go to hell.

5.     I remember a few years ago, Andy Andersen on WMCA radio interviewed a crazy woman who wrote a book about her trip to hell.   She claims that she met many backslidden Christians down in hell, and they asked her to come back and warn Christians about the danger of eternal security.  What nonsense!

6.     People who teach this false doctrine insist that if a Christian dies in a backslidden condition he goes to hell.  The problem is – how do you define “backslidden”? 

  If a Christian does not pray regularly is he backslidden?  Many Christians pray only a few minutes each day but the Bible says, “Pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17).

  If a Christian does not tithe is he backslidden?  Malachi 3:8 says that a man who does not tithe is robbing God.

  Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature,” but many Christians never go soulwinning and never even pass out tracts.  Are they going to go to hell?

   These churches who teach backslidden Christians go to hell usually refer to gross sins like adultery, not common sins like pride, envy, bad thoughts, a bad temper, materialism, driving over the speed limit, etc.  But as I said, they cannot back up their position with any Scripture.

7.     Adultery is a terrible sin, but God can forgive an adulterer.  David committed adultery.  God was ready to kill David but nowhere in the Bible does it suggest that God was going to put David in hell (cf. II Samuel 12:12, 13).

8.     You may recall the immoral man in I Cor. 5 (cf. I Cor. 5:1-5).

9.     This brings us to my second point.  Rather than preaching error, it would be better to warn of the consequences of sin.  David was forgiven but he suffered greatly for his sin.

 

II.    WE MUST WARN OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN

1.     There are terrible consequences to sin.  David and Bath-sheba lost their baby (cf. II Samuel 12:14, 15).  Notice, “And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick” (II Sam. 12:15).

2.     David fasted and wept for seven days and then his baby died.  David suffered much over his sin, but this was only the beginning of his sorrows (read Psalms 32 and 51).

3.     Not long after losing his baby with Bath-sheba, David’s oldest son Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar (II Sam. 13). 

4.     Then two years later, David’s wild son Absalom, murdered his half-brother Amnon in revenge for what he did to Tamar (his full sister).

5.     Then after living in exile for three years, Absalom returned and tried to steal the kingdom from his father David.

6.     Then in the battle of Mount Ephraim, Joab, David’s general and cousin, killed Absalom, defying direct orders from David.

7.     Then Sheba revolted against King David.  And finally, David’s son Adonijah attempted to take the throne, even though he knew it was David’s intention that Solomon succeed him.

8.     I reviewed all of this to emphasize that sin has serious consequences.  Nathan said to David, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house” (II Sam. 12:10).

9.     If you were to just read the OT, you would assume that Lot was not a saved man, but the NT tells us that he was (II Peter 2:7, 8).  Unfortunately there are many Christians like Lot – worldly and carnal.

10.Lot lost his wife and he lost his family.  His own daughters committed a horrible sin right after leaving Sodom and Gomorrah.  Unfortunately there are people like this in our churches.

11.The solution is not threatening them with hell, but warning them that sin has consequences.

12.Of course, many of these carnal church members have never been genuinely born again, so we must also warn them to make sure they are saved (cf. II Cor. 13:5).

13.Before moving onto my third and final point, I want to mention that sometimes God kills people prematurely.  This is referred to in I John 5:16 as the “sin unto death.”

14.If these people are saved they will still go to heaven, as we have already seen in I Cor. 5:5 (cf. I Cor. 11:28-31; Hebrews 12:5-11; James 1:13-16).

15.There is some question over whether or not Ananias and Sapphira were saved, but I think they were (Acts 5:1-11).

16. Finally, let us not forget that all Christians must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  This is not to determine whether or not we shall enter heaven.  That was settled the moment you trusted Christ (cf. II Cor. 5:10, 11; I Cor. 3:14, 15; I John 2:28; II John 8).

 

III.    THE SOLUTION: PREACHING VICTORY OVER SIN

1.     I sincerely believe that the reason some preachers teach that backslidden Christians go to hell is because they do not understand the Bible very well.

2.     The solution is not to warn Christians that they can lose (or forfeit) their salvation, the solution is teaching them that we can have victory over sin (Gal. 5:16-26).

3.     This is too great a topic to deal with in these few minutes, but the Bible teaches through the blood of Christ, and through the resurrection of Christ, and through the indwelling Holy Spirit there is no reason for Christians to continue in sin.

4.     These great truths must be proclaimed and they must be understood and they must be put into practice.

 

CONCLUSION:


1. Salvation has three aspects:

(1)   We have been saved from the penalty of sin (hell).

(2)   We are being saved from the power of sin (by depending on the Holy Spirit).

(3)   Some day we will be saved from the very presence of sin (in heaven).

2. We must judge all doctrine by the Bible and I have attempted to do that tonight.  Now, after we have examined the Scriptures we should ask, “Does this teaching make better Christians?  Does threatening carnal Christians with hell make them spiritual?”  I say it does not.

 



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