I don’t typically choose to turn my blog into a doctrinal debate center. It’s typically more focused on worship, leadership, and family.
Over the years, I’ve often struggled with the “eternal salvation” doctrine. It usually boils up to the point where I make a case and the response from the “eternal salvation” crowd is the typical “well, in that case, we just have to believe that person was never really, truly born again to begin with“.
This morning, sippin’ my 1st cup of coffee … I run across Hebrews 3:13-14. This is one of those mysterious Scriptures that I’ve struggled with …. reading commentary, searching various translations, etc. Read it this morning during my study/prayer time on YouVersion.Com:
“13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.”
To better understand the context of this verse, you have to look back a few verses. We see that God was warning this current generation, the readers of Hebrews, and comparing them to the children of Israel who rebelled in the desert and had unbelief. He was so angry with their non-stop rebellion and unbelief that he finally said “they shall never enter my rest“.
It’s easy to say these Scriptures are referring to “unbelievers”, but in Verse 14, it’s clear that they “had it” at one time, and if they “hold firmly till the end”, they’ll keep it.
I suppose one of the most troubling verses I’ve ever seen is in Rev 3:5. (note, I really thought a similar verse was in the OT, but after finding this reference, I stopped searching, but I’m positive the notion is mentioned more than once in the Scriptures).
“He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.”
As we know, the “book of life“, also known as the “Lamb’s Book of Life”, is the book of salvation. As Christians we believe that when you are born again, your name is “entered” into the “book of life”. (see specifically the “References in Christian Bible” section at Wikipedia)
Here we see that God promises that for those who overcome, their names will NOT be blotted out of the book of life. I struggle to see any other way to interpret this other than concluding that a name COULD be blotted out.
In conclusion, let me assure you of this … I’m in no way suggesting that we have no means of eternal security. I’m in no way suggesting that we must walk each day questioning our salvation. By no means! On the contrary, we’re promised that the Holy Spirit “seals” us for the day of redemption, and by the Holy Spirit, we bear witness of our salvation. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can convince me that my salvation is questionable. At the same time, I do walk out my salvation with “fear and trembling”, and I’m not so proud to think that I couldn’t be swept away in such deception that I fall into unbelief, eventually even denouncing Christ and coming to a place of apostasy.
We know in the Word that nothing can separate us from God’s love … but God loves those who are saved as much as those who are lost, so that’s not really the issue.
Makes me ponder, makes me study, makes me pray. What do you think?