Zac Poonen

Jesus said, “Man shall live by EVERY (single) word that proceeds from the mouth of God” – and not just by any one word of God (Matt.4:4). So, if we take just one verse of Scripture without comparing it with other verses in Scripture, we can arrive at wrong conclusions and end up believing what is false. Many preachers have deceived people by giving them false hopes through quoting just one verse of Scripture, ignoring other verses.

Many a wrong understanding of Biblical doctrines arises from not comparing Scripture with Scripture. When Satan quoted a Scripture to Jesus saying, “It is written”, Jesus balanced it by saying, “It is ALSO written” (Matt.4:6,7). God created birds with two wings, so that they could fly straight. Biblical truth is also balanced in the same way.

When considering the doctrine of eternal security, we must find a balance between the two great truths of the sovereignty of God and the free will of man.

God has given man a free will and never forces anyone to choose Him. But He knows from all eternity who will choose Him and who will not. So His election of some people as His children is based on His foreknowledge (as made clear in 1 Pet.1:1,2) – and not on arbitrary choice.

God created the planets without freedom of choice. And so, even though they have obeyed God’s laws implicitly for thousands of years, they cannot be either holy or sinful or God’s children. God created the animals however, with a free will. But they have no conscience. And so they too cannot be holy or sinful or God’s children.

But when God created man, He gave him both a free will and a conscience. Therefore, man can be either holy or sinful – and can choose to become a child of God.

If God were to take away our conscience, we would become like the animals - incapable of moral choice and therefore incapable of being holy or sinful.

If God were to take away our free will, we would become like robots – and again we would be incapable of being holy or sinful. So God never takes away our free will – even after we become believers.

We must recognize this truth if we are to understand the doctrine of eternal security aright. The teaching that it is impossible for believers to fall away from God, reduces believers to robots, who have no freedom of choice.

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Philippians 2: 12,13 commands us: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling;   for it is God Who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Revelation 20:15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.