A New Name In Pencil

Topic: Salvation

Type: Article

Author: John C. Lewis


The doctrine of perseverance of the saints or eternal security means nothing to those who have not received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. To argue over whether one can lose salvation or not is a vain subject for one who is lost and on his way to an eternal Hell.

The thing that is necessary is for one to become a Christian. There is only one way to become a Christian and that is by Christ’s shed blood. Being born in a so-called "Christian" nation, or being born into a family which is a member of a church which may call itself Christian, or submitting to some ritual does not make a true child of God--a Christian. One must be born again by the Spirit of God. He must have his sins covered--washed in the blood of the Lamb. A person has to realize that he is a sinner and that he deserves to go to Hell. When, and only when, a person understands and accepts this fact will he come to Jesus and ask forgiveness for his sins. God’s promise to those who come to Him is put very simply in John 1:12, But as many as received Him, to those gave He power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on His name. Make sure that you have eternal life.

"In our present-day evangelism, men are urged to be saved before they know they are lost, to believe without being convicted of their need. The fruit is picked before it is ripe, and the work is sure to come undone. The Holy Spirit must convict of sin before men can believe. This ‘accepting Christ’ theory without conviction is not the new-birth. It isn’t a born again experience. What a mockery it is!" [O. Smith].

Those who say that a Christian can lose his salvation are making excuses to account for the many who have apparently lost their salvation. When Jesus, in fact, says of them, I never knew you [MAT 7:23].

A true Christian cannot lose his salvation because the Bible says that he cannot. A true Christian is kept by the power of God [1PE 1:5]. God keeps His promises. This knowledge is a great encouragement to holy living and a comfort to the child of God who is simply trusting Jesus to keep His promise. With the apostle Paul the TRUE Christian can say with confidence: I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day [2TI 1:12].


The terms eternal and everlasting mean the same thing. According to Webster’s dictionary they mean, "lasting or enduring forever." John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Titus 3:7 and John 6:40 mention this everlasting life. All of these verses make it clear through the very meaning of everlasting that once a person has this new life, that it is his FOREVER. It is a present reality. A person can KNOW that he has everlasting life. The Christian has a home with the Lord the very second that he accepts Christ as his personal Savior, and this will never be taken away from him.

Ephesians 1:13, 14; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Timothy 2:19 and Ephesians 4:30 all refer to the sealing by the Holy Spirit of a Christian into God’s Family. The word sealing means to secure or to "fasten tightly or to settle," as Webster put it. Whether the word refers to a wax seal on a letter, the seal on Christ’s tomb or to the sealing of the Christian in God’s family, the meaning is to secure the sealed object. The Bible goes on to say that the sealing of the Christian is the earnest [pledge, guarantee, or down payment] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory [EPH 1:14]. The words There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus [ROM 8:1] is one of the greatest statements in the Bible.

When a person becomes a Christian he becomes a child of God, that is, he is born into God’s family. A few places where the Christian is referred to as being in God are: Galatians 3:26; Romans 8:14, 17 and Acts 9:26. I was born into the Lewis family almost 17 [age when this high school paper was written] years ago. The Bible makes it clear that this is a good analogy. There is no way in this world that I can ever lose that relationship. I could have amnesia and forget that I ever was a Lewis, or I could change my name in the courts of the land and call myself by some other name, or I could do terrible things and hurt the Lewis name, but I am still a Lewis. It is the same with God’s family. The Bible history of the saints such as Moses, Abraham and David show the truth of this point. Peter denied and even cursed that he ever knew Christ, but he never lost his salvation. He repented of his evil and it was forgiven by God. The carnal-minded Christians at Corinth never lost their salvation even though they had let their church get in a very bad state of moral decay [see 1 and 2 Corinthians]. Some Christians lose their rewards because of sin [1CO 3:12-15] and others even have their lives cut short because of sin, however, they are still Christians [1CO 11:29-32].

Many people say, "but if, as Peter did, a Christian can deny Christ, then a Christian can go and do as he pleases." This is not so. The doctrine of perseverance makes it clear that God saves men by securing their perseverance in holiness, not ungodliness [see ROM 8].


"The believer who receives Jesus as Lord in all sincerity and truth will never go back into the practice of sin, will never trample on the Son of God [HEB 10:29] he will never regard the shed blood as unholy or profane . . ., and will never wantonly insult the Holy Spirit. Anyone who can bring himself around to that kind of ungodliness and contempt toward the Savior never gave his heart to Him in the first place" [G. L. Archer].

The following verses of Scripture back up and enforce the above statement. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes on Him Who sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death to life [JOH 5:24]. This verse cannot make it any plainer but that anyone who is truly saved will not come into condemnation. In other words it is impossible for anyone to lose his salvation.

Even to those will I give my house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off [ISA 56:5]. And I give to them eternal life: and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, Who gave them Me, is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of My Fathers hand [JOH 10:28, 29]. This last verse says that no Christian will ever perish, and that they cannot be plucked out of His hand. Need anything more be said?

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name those who You gave Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition that the Scripture might be fulfilled [JOH 17:12]. The son of perdition refers to Judas Iscariot, who was never a true Christian, or real possessor of salvation.

The next three verses give examples of things that are not able to separate us from God. Thus if these big things cannot separate us, the inference is that nothing can. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord [ROM 8:35, 38, 39].

Finally the Bible states that you are not your own, and that you are bought with a price. This very clearly shows that once we become a Christian we have no "free will" to decide to leave God because we are God’s slaves. God owns us. Yes, just as the Negroes were slaves in the old South, we are God’s slaves to do what He bids. When the word [douloV - doulos]" is used in the New Testament and is simply translated "servant," such as in Philippians 1:1, it really means slave. The above verses could not make it any clearer, but that a true Christian cannot lose his salvation. He has everlasting life.


Many object to the Bible doctrine of perseverance of the saints. We will now look at some of their most common arguments against eternal security. One of the most common is, "But Judas lost his salvation when a demon entered him just before he betrayed Christ." This is not what the Bible says at all. A closer examination of the Scriptures makes it very clear that, although Judas was one of Christ’s chosen disciples, he was never a Christian–never a true believer. Two passages which bear out this fact are: John 6:64-71 and 12:4-6. Verse 64 of John 6 very plainly says that one of the disciples was not a believer even from the beginning. Verse 71 names Judas as the one who did not believe from the beginning. If anyone can call Judas a Christian after reading these verses he is not willing to accept the plain statements of the Scriptures. Judas never was a believer–a true Christian.

Hebrews 6:4-6 and 10:26-39 are the two other often used passages in the Bible to defend the idea of a true Christian losing his salvation. These verses at first sight may SEEM to contradict the rest of the Bible, by APPARENTLY saying that a true Christian can fall away and lose his salvation. Since we have already seen some of the abundant, plain teaching of the Bible that the true Christian CANNOT lose his salvation, this explanation would create a contradiction in the Scriptures therefore it cannot be the correct explanation. Therefore we need to look at these passages more closely. Verses 38, 39 show that this passage in verses 26-39 is referring to those who did not believe to the saving of the soul. They are the same as those the Lord spoke of in John 6:59-71. They are the many of His disciples of verse 66 who were followers, but not true believers. They professed to be believers, but Jesus said of them and to them that there are some of you who believe not [verse 64].

The explanation of Hebrews 6:4-6 that appears to be best, says that: "This passage in Hebrews 6:4-6 is hypothetical, as is proved by verse 9: We are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. A supposition which is not an actual or even a possible case is sometimes made, for the sake of illustrating or enforcing truth. In 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Paul supposes the existence of Christian faith without that of Christian love. In Galatians 1:8, he supposes that an angel from Heaven may preach another gospel than the true one. In Matthew 13:21, 22 the stony-ground hearer is not a true believer. In 2 Peter 2:20, 21 the dog who turns to his own vomit is a false professor. His knowing the way of righteousness is superficial knowledge like that of the stony-ground hearer" [W. G. T. Shedd]. It should be pointed out to those who teach, based on this passage, that one can lose his salvation, that "that lost salvation" could not be regained. The passage states that, It is impossible . . . if they fall away, to renew them again unto repentance. The problem with these passages in Hebrews is no more real than the supposed problem between Paul and James about faith and works.


The doctrine of the perseverance of the saints teaches that a TRUE Christian will be finally and everlastingly saved. The Bible clearly teaches the eternal security of the saints.

The Bible definition of a true Christian has a great deal to do with this doctrine. Nowhere in the Bible does it state or even imply that a true Christian ever turns his back on God and loses his salvation, though certainly a vast host of false professors have and will turn away [see JOH 6:59-71].

I have given them Your word and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world [JOH 17:14]. This verse teaches that once a person is a Christian, he is not of the world. It does not say he might not be of the world, rather, it very plainly states that he IS NOT of the world. The second part of the verse says that the Christian is no more a part of the world than is Christ. Can Christ go into the world and turn His back on God the Father? Christ can never turn His back on the Father because He is God. This is not to say that Christians are God. The verse simply shows that the Christian will no more turn against God than will Christ.

Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature old things are passed away behold all things are become new [2CO 5:17]. This verse shows that once a person becomes a Christian he will not want to turn his back on God, because he is a new creature--God’s child.

But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [ROM 8:9]. According to this verse, once a person becomes a Christian, the Spirit of God dwells in him, and that he is not in the flesh. The next two verses state clearly that once a person is a Christian he will overcome the world because of the help that God gives. For whoever is born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he who overcome the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [1JO 5:4, 5]. A person will not turn his back on God unless the world can overcome him, and since the world cannot overcome the Christian, therefore the Christian will not turn his back on God.

The Bible plainly teaches that as Christians we are part of Christ’s body and will never be separated. The whole idea of 1 Corinthians 6:15 is that Christ would not cut off His arm. In other words He would not remove a part of His body. Does God neatly write each new name down in the Lamb’s book of life in pencil so that it can be neatly erased?! Thankfully, He does not. Know you not that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid [1CO 6:15]. This verse makes it indisputably clear that Christ will not sever a member from His body and give it back to the world, which He compares to a harlot. Since God will never cast a person off from Himself, and a true Christian will never turn his back on God, as shown above, then it is impossible for a person to lose or give up his salvation. A distinction needs to be made between one who merely professes salvation and TRUE BELIEVERS. The false professors are but pigs returning to their wallowing in the mire [1PE 2:22] because they were not TRUE Christians to begin with.

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This Page Last Updated: 12/05/98 A. Allison Lewis aalewis@christianbeliefs.org