Does No Condemnation in Rom 8:1 Prove Eternal Security?
Some folks teach that a real Christian won’t ever be condemned based on Rom 8:1 which reads:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
However, the no condemnation mentioned in Rom 8:1 refers only to those who are IN Christ Jesus! This can only be the case if we continue in the faith, since it is definitely possible not to remain in the Son after salvation (Jn 15:6; 1 Jn 2:24; 2 Jn 9). The KJV renders the no condemnation in Rom 8:1 as conditional for only the ones who “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
The same God-inspired writer of Scripture who gave us Rom 8:1 also gave us 1 Tim 3:6.
He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.
There Paul spoke of possible condemnation for a new convert who would be elevated to the spiritual position of overseer and fall through pride into the same condemnation as the devil, that is, the lake of fire (Rev 20:10; Mt 25:41). Clearly, Paul did not believe in an unconditional eternal security for those truly saved.
Popular Southern Baptist Charles Stanley is highly regarded and well respected as an evangelical fundamentalist. He is the senior pastor of a mega church in Atlanta, Georgia and served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Charles Stanley has authored many books and preached numerous sermons on 500 radio stations, 300 television stations and several satellite networks during his illustrious religious career. Many people believe this type of enormous popularity indicates that his doctrine is Biblically sound, but under the close scrutiny of the Word of God, frightening deviations from the Bible truth can be easily detected and must be exposed so that sincere people are not deceived and led astray. Charles Stanley’s controversial divorce from his wife Anna has unfortunately done little to curtail his gargantuan worldwide influence. It goes well with his doctrine.
As a hunter of any well known heretic that has turned aside from the truth, holiness preacher Dan Corner is widely regarded as an evangelical Bible teacher with an extraordinary ability to expose and refute false theology and doctrines dangerously presented to Christians. Dan Corner’s love for God and desire to see precious eternal souls (for whom Christ Jesus died) endure to the end for salvation motivate his steadfast approach to contending for the faith and refuting theological errors of all shapes and sizes.
Dan Corner is a former Roman Catholic and an ordained minister. He has extensive personal experience in street and campus evangelism as well as thousands of hours dealing one on one with people from all walks of life and all religious beliefs.
Charles Stanley Heretic Beliefs Refuted by Dan Corner
Charles Stanley is well known for his belief in eternal security. Dan Corner has exposed these doctrinal heresies in a powerful book entitled, The Gospel According to Charles Stanley. To give the reader an idea of the unbiblical beliefs promoted by Charles Stanley and other eternal security teachers, the following points will be cited. Charles Stanley has sadly stated the following:
“Where is this place represented by the ‘outer darkness’ in Jesus’ parables? To be in the ‘outer darkness’ is to be in the kingdom of God but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfulness on this earth earned them a special rank or position of authority. The ‘outer darkness’ represents not so much an actual place as it does a sphere of influence and privilege.” (Eternal Security Can You Be Sure?, page 126).
“But let’s look at the Prodigal Son for just a moment…. So, here he is living in sin and his lifestyle is such that’s absolutely wicked…. It doesn’t make any difference how wicked and how vile you act…. You never get away with sin. But it doesn’t mean because you sin against God, God rejects you for your disobedience because in this story, God is pictured as running toward a backsliding son who came home to his father.” (Eternal Security You Can Be Sure, Part 2, Tape #4, RH190.)
“… You can’t sin and live like the devil down here and get by with it even as a believer. The Bible says you will lose your reward but you’ll be saved so as by fire. You won’t lose your salvation, but there’s a whole lot to lose, brother, by sinful living.” (Eternal Security You Can Be Sure, Tape #3, MH190.)
Heretic Concept of Eternal Security Exposed
Because the heretical doctrine of eternal security is so widespread and accepted even though it is dreadfully spiritually dangerous, it needs to be exposed and refuted as never before. Dan Corner is known for the following quote: “The greatest doctrinal threat to holiness is the heretical doctrine of eternal security or once saved always saved.” Dan Corner has masterfully dealt a deathblow to this doctrine of demons on his apologetic website and in his many evangelical writings, not the least of which is his greatest work entitled, The Believer’s Conditional Security: Eternal Security Refuted.
Dan Corner preaches that once saved always saved teaching logically leads to a license to sin. Anyone who falls prey to this heretic deception will, in the least, let his guard down by believing that all his past, present and future sins have already been forgiven even before they were committed. How long could it take before such a person would lose his salvation and not even think his sins would have to be confessed or forsaken for salvation? Many eternal security teachers even claim that King David did not lose his salvation in both adultery and murder together before he repented. Such is clearly a heretic concept.
Background on Eternal Security
Dan Corner has skillfully exposed the historical elements of eternal security in his well researched work cited above. Many will be shocked to learn that the first time eternal security is taught in the Bible is Genesis 3:4 which states, “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
Eternal security was apparently a problem in the first century church which had to be exposed in an emergency epistle by Jude, as he explained in verses 3 and 4: “… I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”
Jude wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that those who change grace into a license to sin (which is exactly what eternal security teachers do) are godless men who deny Jesus. Jude does not state one good thing about the grace changers and instead urges true Christians to contend against this heretic lie of the devil. Jude states in verse 19 that these scoffers are divisive and do not have the Spirit of God. How then could they be saved brothers with whom Christians should associate, support or promote in any way?
Have you ever heard an eternal security teacher use the following argument?
If we could lose our salvation it would have to be because of sin. Since sin can’t cause this, we, therefore, can’t lose our salvation.
The only thing that could cause us to die again spiritually—sin—has been dealt with once and for all! (italics his). (Bob George, Eternal Security, p.8 )
If one who has been saved could be lost because of sin (and remember that is the only thing that can cause anyone to be lost) … (J. F. Strombeck, Shall Never Perish, p.94)
Surprisingly, there are other ways to negate one’s salvation besides sin. Scripture declares accepting a false plan of salvation will cause a Christian to fall from grace (Gal. 5:2-4) and be without God (1 Jn. 2:24,25; 2 Jn. 9). The third way is by disowning Christ (Mt. 10:33).
The unforgiving in heart will nullify their own forgiveness, according to the ultimate authority—the Lord Jesus (Mt. 18:21-35)! Furthermore, the Father forgiving us of our sins is conditional upon us forgiving others who have sinned against us. Jesus taught:
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Mt. 6:14,15).
This can only be referring to the saved, for the unsaved have the devil as their spiritual father (Jn. 8:44), and he can’t forgive our sins!
Also, Jesus elaborated on this important subject of forgiving others at another time when Peter asked him about the number of times he should forgive his brother who sins against him (Mt. 18:21-35). [See the chapter addressing this teaching entitled, The Importance of Forgiving in our 801 page volume, The Believer’s Conditional Security.]
Scripture elsewhere reiterates the dangers of hatred and bitterness. Gal. 5:15 and Heb. 12:15, respectively, read:
If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Unforgiveness, hatred and bitterness seem to be implied here, as are other works of the sinful nature.
The servant who backslides to the point where he begins to beat others and get drunk is another time Once Saved Always Saved is confuted with Scripture. Read Lk. 12:45,46. Notice, he began to do evil acts as he pondered the long-time delay in his Master’s return. Was that servant unconditionally eternally secure? Not according to Jesus! Verse 46 reads:
The master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
His portion with the unbelievers is clearly shown to be the fiery lake of burning sulfur, according to Rev. 21:8. Also, no unrepentant drunkard, like that servant, will inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6:9,10; Gal. 5:19-21. This is true even if he was once a faithful servant. It is, therefore, impossible to be a drunkard and a Christian at the same time, in contrast to what some would like to believe!
In Mt. 19:28, we have a clear New Testament promise, without any attached condition, but that glorious promise was negated in the case of the Apostle Judas Iscariot. That verse reads:
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Judas was promised one of those twelve thrones, thereby proving:
he was once saved and
he once followed Jesus just like the other Twelve
Yet Judas will never see the fulfillment of that promise in the Kingdom, because of his after-conversion sins. Rather than a throne in God’s kingdom, Judas’ future beyond the grave was changed and is described as:
“The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born” (Mk. 14:21).
“While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled” (Jn. 17:12).
Note: the same Greek word found in Jn. 10:27-29 and translated follow, which describes Jesus’ sheep that will never be plucked from his hand, is also found in Mt. 19:28, thereby proving the popular Once Saved Always Saved proof texts of Jn. 10:28,29 only hold true for the sheep that continue to follow Jesus (Jn. 10:27), unlike Judas. This truth is a deathblow to the Once Saved Always Saved proponents.
Copyright, Dan Corner. See his popular 801 page volume, The Believer’s Conditional Security, for more information about eternal security.
Regarding persecution, a very important parable (the Parable of the Sower) declares there are four different types of people who hear the word of God. The second type mentioned “believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away” (Lk. 8:13). In Mt. 13:21, the explanation of this type of person is given:
But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
This type of person does not continue to live spiritually because of persecution.
Please realize, therefore, that persecution does not come to build us up or promote growth, as some Once Saved Always Saved teachers wrongly proclaim. Neither does it come to weed out the mere professing believers from the real Christians, as others teach. The word of God is given to build us up (Acts 20:32) and for growth (1 Pet. 2:2). Persecution comes as a test (Lk. 8:13 cf. Mt. 13:21; Acts 20:19; Rev. 2:10) which will cause some genuine Christians to fall away or die spiritually!
Furthermore, the Scriptural meaning of fall away in context is die as evidenced by the withered plants. To fall away is equated here with ceasing to believe. The seed (or word of God) produced (spiritual) life, for there was a living plant that afterwards withered, or as Jesus taught, such “believe for a while, but in the time of testing, they fall away.”
Notice: after they initially believed through the word of God in such a way as to produce life, they ceased believing. Such occurred because of the persecution or trouble in their lives that came from the word of God. Clearly then, persecution for godly living can potentially be spiritually fatal to the real Christian!
Again, from the Parable of the Sower, we see that it is possible for a Christian to have a genuine, life-producing faith that doesn’t continue, as evident in Jesus’ words, believe for a while.
The Once Saved Always Saved teachers are wrong to say it was “a temporary faith,” meaning that such people never had a true faith, since it didn’t endure. One can only wonder, how could a temporary faith be equated with a false faith, since such did produce spiritual life?
Similar to that faulty interpretation is what we read in the notes for Lk. 8:13 of The NIV Study Bible. It wrongly states:
This kind of belief is superficial and does not save. It is similar to what James calls ‘dead’ (Jas 2:17,26) or ‘useless’ faith (Jas 2:20). (The NIV Study Bible, p. 1,554)
The point made by Jesus regarding this type of person, is that there was real spiritual life produced by the word of God and personal faith that didn’t endure. It wasn’t a dead faith, as James 2 mentions, for it produced genuine, spiritual life that lasted until the persecution came and the spiritual life, at that point, was terminated. In other words, it wasn’t a dead faith, but a living faith that became dead!
Unfortunately, besides The NIV Study Bible, other study Bibles (and reference Bibles) slip in Once Saved Always Saved from time to time. The Ryrie Study Bible, MacArthur Study Bible and the Scofield Reference Bible are some other examples.
There are many erroneous beliefs regarding the Book of Life. David Breese said the following:
I believe that every person who is born has their names written in the book of life. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, so the will of God is that everybody be saved. If, however, they do not believe Christ, then on the basis of their not receiving Christ, then their names are taken out of the book of life whereas it could have been otherwise. But it does not say that a person’s name is blotted out of the book of life because he has committed a sin. But it’s because he has not believed in the Savior from sin, namely Christ. (Front Page, Unconditional Eternal Security, WWIB-FM, 11/10/94)
J. Vernon McGee wrote:
Our churches are filled with a great many people who are not saved. I’m sure you agree with me. Are they in the Lamb’s Book of Life? I think so. But their names are not going to stay there unless they make a decision for Christ. (Questions and Answers, p. 104)
What are the Scriptural facts about the Book of Life? First, we know the names of the saved only are written in it:
And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life (Phil. 4:3).
Paul could not have written that verse if every person who was physically alive had his name in it.
Also Lk. 10:20 must refer to the Book of Life, since this is the only book in heaven, mentioned in Scripture, that has names recorded in it. That verse reads:
… rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
That was also clearly directed to the saved, but the ultimate question here is: Can the names of the saved be blotted out of God’s book through sin?
Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a God of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin; but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” And the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book” (Exo. 32:31-33).
According to God himself, personal sin committed can cause God to blot the names of the righteous out of his book in heaven. Furthermore, we read:
Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous (Psa. 69:27,28).
Clearly, the righteous can get their names blotted out of the Book of Life, according to Scripture.
With all of this in mind, notice the following warning given to Christians:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Rev. 22:18,19).
Since those who don’t have their names written in the Book of Life get thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15), and the names of the saved can be blotted out by personal sin (Exo. 32:33 cf. Psa. 69:27,28), then it’s impossible for Once Saved Always Saved to be true!
By comparing Rev. 20:15 and 21:8, we learn that those who don’t have their names written in the Book of Life are also the cowardly, unbelieving, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, those who practice the magic arts, idolaters and liars. This is obvious since these people will be thrown into the lake of fire. Again, note the list doesn’t end with the unbeliever!
Conversely, those that do have their names written in the Book of Life are not the cowardly, unbelieving, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, those that practice the magic arts, idolaters or liars, according to the two passages.
Robert Glenn Gromacki gives his strange interpretation of Rev. 22:18,19:
This was a double-sided warning. For addition, God would add these plagues. This was basically a physical judgment. But how could God add the plagues of the great tribulation (Rev 6-16) to a person who has lived and died within the church age? It could only be possible to the unsaved person living at the time of the rapture of the church. In that case, he would enter the tribulation and be exposed to these plagues. For subtraction, God would remove a man’s part from the book of life. (Most Greek texts read this as the “tree of life.”) Again, if this person was living at the end of the church age, he would lose his life during the tribulation and would not be able to enter into the millennial kingdom or into the holy city, which may be on earth during Christ’s earthly reign. (Salvation is Forever, p. 155)
Robert Glenn Gromacki’s strange interpretation crumbles with the fact those warnings were given to the saved not the unsaved!
Also, when it comes to Rev. 22:18,19, Once Saved Always Saved teachers like to quote some translation other than the KJV! Harold Barker gives his reason for this:
The Greek manuscripts do not say “book of life” but rather “tree of life” (italics his).
But does it really make a difference regarding the believer’s security? Let’s look at the NASB version:
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book (Rev. 22:18,19).
Even if one goes by this version of the Bible, Once Saved Always Saved is still refuted by this passage! This is true because:
That warning was still given to Christians (1:4-6,11); and
A Christian can still have his part taken away from the holy city, according to all reputable translations, even the ones the Once Saved Always Saved proponents will cite to show verse 19 should say tree of life not book of life.
For one to have his share in the holy city negated means the only other place to be is outside that city:
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying (Rev. 22:14,15, NASB).
The overlap between verse 15 and Rev. 21:8 shows such will be in the lake of fire. Hence, in the end one will either be in the holy city with access to the tree of life and his name in the book of life, or he will be in the lake of fire. Since a Christian’s share in the holy city (and to the tree of life) can be revoked by taking words away from the book of this prophecy, as John cites, then Once Saved Always Saved can’t be true!
Joseph Dillow has a strange interpretation of Rev. 22:18,19:
To have a share in the tree of life and in the holy city does not, as discussed above, refer to going to heaven. (Reign of the Servant Kings, p. 487)
Remember, only those who have their names in the book of life will enter the holy city (Rev. 21:27). All others will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).
Once we overcome in the sense of Rev. 3:5 and enter the kingdom of God, we won’t have our names blotted out of the book of life. This is a promise for all who enter the kingdom of God, as all the other promises cited in Revelation 2 and 3 are also given to overcomers. This can’t be the same kind of overcomers mentioned in 1 Jn. 5:5, since those addressed in Revelation 2 and 3 already overcame in that sense, which refers to initial salvation!
By the way, Robert Glenn Gromacki states the following about the warning given to Christians in Rev. 22:18,19:
Would any genuine believer ever add to or take away from the revealed truth of the Bible? Certainly not.
For this Once Saved Always Saved teacher to write such is to render meaningless that warning given to Christians. Why would anyone give a warning not to do something if it was impossible for them to do it? Such doesn’t hold up in Scripture regarding God’s warnings (2 Ki. 17:13-15 cf. v. 23).
Apparently, Robert Glenn Gromacki understands the implication of Rev. 22:18,19 to Once Saved Always Saved and therefore tries to nullify the obvious meaning of that warning given to Christians.
Harold Barker takes a different approach and says:
The one spoken of here has never been saved and has never had his name in the book of life and so will not be allowed in the Holy City where the “tree of life” is (Revelation 22:2), and will, therefore, have no part in the “tree of life.” (Secure Forever, p. 154)
So now a Once Saved Always Saved defender has people who were never saved not being allowed in the holy city for some sin other than unbelief in Christ! Harold Barker also has people who never had a part in the holy city losing that share which never existed in the first place. This is a strange interpretation indeed.
Contrary to popular opinion, Samson did not commit suicide. Samson prayed that God would let him die with the Philistines, but he left the matter completely in God’s hands. Judges 16:28-30 read:
Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
Unlike Samson, suicide victims take the termination of their own physical lives into their own hands. God did honor Samson’s prayer, but God didn’t honor Jonah’s similar prayer (Jonah 4:3) or Elijah’s prayer (1 Ki. 19:4)!
In addition, Psa. 66:18 states:
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
This means at the very end of Samson’s life, he apparently was forgiven. Otherwise, God would not have heard his prayer.
For many more Biblical answers to eternal security arguments, please consult the 801 page volume entitled, The Believer’s Conditional Security by Dan Corner.
The following is an email received by Evangelical Outreach regarding how a person gets sins forgiven after conversion. Below the letter please read the response.
Thank you for the teaching on the Eucharist. I have another question. I never believed in “once saved, always saved.” Since Protestants don’t have confession how is a persons sins forgiven? What are we judged on after we die? My friend (a protestant who believes in once saved always saved said we are not judged by our sins, we are judged on gaining or losing rewards. This I don’t understand. If this is true then how are we held accountable for our sins? Please don’t see these questions as a debate or argument. I am just confused and I am trying to learn the truth. Thank you for any help you can give me regarding these questions.
[Evangelical Outreach’s Response: Greetings in Jesus’ name. Let me answer your question like this: There is ONLY ONE WAY to get sins forgiven. This is at the point of a trusting and submitting faith in Jesus, when a person turns from his sins (Acts 20:21 cf. 20:26; 1 Thess. 1:9b; Prov. 28:13; etc.). That point in time is when he/she gets “born again.” (Catholics are NOT “born again” at infant baptism, like they think.) After conversion, if a Christian yields to the devil’s temptations, to be cleansed of those sins he MUST:
confess them to God, 1 John 1:9; Psa. 32:5
turn away from them with an attitude to SERVE God as the Prodigal did, Luke 15:18, 19 and
forgive those who have sinned against him (Mt. 6:14,15).
(Catholics do NOT get their sins forgiven by confessing to the priest and saying three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys, even though they have been taught this.) A person will enter the kingdom of God or go to hell based on his spiritual condition at the end of his life. If person X has spiritual life in him, he goes to Paradise. If not he goes to eternal fire.
Sin can cause a Christian to lose his salvation by bringing him to spiritual death. A faithful Christian, known as an “overcomer” in the book of Revelation, will be rewarded based on his labors while saved which were done with the right motive.
Please carefully read Mt. 6:1-18 where Jesus teaches about this. Rewards will be lost if a good deed (like praying, fasting and almsgivings) is done to be honored now by man. Such a person will receive no reward. Heretics, like Charles Stanley, teach that Christians will see their rewards burn up in heaven because of adultery, theft, murder, etc. His message, though popular, is NOT the message of the Bible, so don’t be deceived.
PLEASE, for your own SOUL’S sake, go by the Bible. Catholicism has a FALSE salvation message. Don’t believe their message. Your soul hangs in the balance. GOD BLESS YOU. Remember 2 Tim. 3:15-17.]