The doctrine of eternal security is often argued in the pews of the congregation. Good people are often found on either side of the argument. I thought I would stir the pot a bit today to remind us that the exhortation to stay faithful is a warning to avoid real spiritual tragedy. I once spoke to a brother in Christ who told me that if I could produce one person in the New Testament that lost his salvation he would believe that salvation could be lost. Let me produce a few for your perusal.
1. 1 Tim 1.20 Hymnaeus and Alexander- these two failed to "hold on to faith and a good conscience" consequently the Apostle Paul tells us that their faith had been "shipwrecked". They were no longer in the care of the loving arms of the Savior. They were "handed over" to Satan.
2. Gal 5.2-6 Certain of the Galatian believers had fallen prey to a group known as the Judaizers. They began to seek justification before God by the works of obedience to the Law. These, the Apostle says, have "fallen away from grace" and are "alienated from Christ".
3. 2 Peter 2.20 These teachers had fallen into error. They were once free from the "corruption of the world" which came through "knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ". Now, however, they have fallen into sins of the world, and are "overcome" by them. They are "worse off at the end than they were at the beginning". (In that they were damned at the beginning, they are worse off now, because they are doubly condemned, having once been saved but now lost)
4. Heb 6.4-8 Among the Hebrew believers there was a number who had "tasted the heavenly gift" and "shared in the Holy Spirit". These also had "shared in the power of God" and the "Word of God". But now they had fallen away. The author says that it is impossible for them to be "brought back" or "renewed" to repentance. Then he likens them to land that produces only thorns and thistles, promising that in the end they will be burned. Compare Heb 12.16
While it is sobering to consider the possibility of throwing it all away, it serves as a warning to us to walk with a determination that we will finish well. We need the grace of God in our lives from salvation experience all the way to the gates of glory. Let us, then, "imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised"