Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 8, 1960
NUMBER 31, PAGE 4,9b

The Security Of The Believer


Cecil B. Douthitt, Fort Smith, Arkansas

When a Baptist or a Presbyterian or any other supporter of the impossibility of apostasy theory is asked why he believes it is impossible for a child of God to so act as finally to be lost, he usually presents passages of Scripture which teach the security of the faithful, and do not have any reference at all to the destiny of the unfaithful among God's people.

The Bible speaks of two kinds of believers: (1) obedient believers; (2) disobedient believers. The Lord, in James 2:14-26, makes a clear-cut contrast of the two. In rightly dividing the word of truth, one must make proper distinction between these two kinds of believers.

All of us understand and admit and rejoice in the security of God's obedient children, and nobody doubts their eternal destiny. In John 10:27-29 Jesus declares that the sheep that hears his voice and follows him is given eternal life; and such shall never perish nor be plucked out of his hand. By the Father's power that kind of a sheep shall be kept secure. Only that believer who hears the Lord's voice and follows him is under consideration in this passage.

John 10:27-29 does not tell us what will become of the old sheep that fails to follow the Shepherd, and wanders off into the wolf-infested mountains. We must go to another passage to find that out. Luke 15:4 tells us that old wilderness-wandering sheep is "lost." While he is "lost" he is not "saved." Neither a sheep nor a man can be "lost" and "saved" all at the same time.

Those impossibility of apostasy preachers must not be permitted to dodge the issue. The issue is not "What will become of the sheep that follows the Shepherd;" the issue is "What will happen to the sheep that refuses to hear the Shepherd's voice and will not follow, but strays into the mountains 'wild and high' and is devoured by wild beasts?" (See 1 Peter 5:8)

God's people who remember him are secure. The issue is: What of God's people who forget him? Jer. 2:32 and Psalm 9:17 say that such "shall be turned into hell."

"If the wicked will turn from all his sins" and obey the Lord, he shall surely live. (Ezekiel 18:21) All admit that. That is not the issue. The issue is: What of the righteous man who turns to iniquity and dies therein? Here is Jehovah's answer to that question: "But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die." (Ezek. 18:24) This verse also deals a death blow to the claim that God will not let one of his lost sheep die in iniquity; that he will not let that lost sheep die till he finds him and brings him back to the fold. Now that would be a new slant on how to perpetuate life. That old apostate could just run and hide somewhere everytime he sees the Lord coming, and the Lord never would let him die; he would live forever. But the verse states clearly: "In them shall he die." The 26th verse says he "dieth in them."

What of the destiny of those who fall away from the faith; (1 Tim. 4:1-2) who make shipwreck concerning the faith; (1 Tim. 1:19) who overthrow the faith of some; (2 Tim. 2:17-18) who have escaped the defilements of the world and are again entangled therein and are overcome; (2 Peter 2:20) who were washed but returned to wallowing in the mire? (2 Peter 2:22) The destiny of all such is clearly revealed in Rev. 21:8. Now let the advocates of this "can't-fall-from-grace" heresy find a passage of Scripture in which the Lord promises eternal salvation to these old apostate sinners mentioned in the above references; then we can all safely ignore all Bible warnings and turn the "grace of our God into lasciviousness" (Jude 4) without any fear at all of going to hell when we die.

These impossibility of apostasy people will accept a man's "experience of grace" because it is just like their own proof of regeneration, and then vote him into their church. If the man later gets drunk and refuses to repent, they vote him out again, arguing all the while that it is impossible to do what the poor drunkard has done right before their own eyes. Verily "the legs of the lame are not equal." (Prow. 26:7) But they try to fix the lame leg by saying that the man who got drunk never was really saved in the first place. However, they did not vote him out of the church because he never was saved in the first place, nor because he lied about his "experience," nor because his "conversion" was spurious, nor because of anything he did or failed to do before or during his "conversion:" they voted him out because of what he did after they thought he was converted.

The poor drunkard once thought he was saved and felt like he was saved, and all the others thought he was saved and they felt like he was saved and they voted for him and he was elected unanimously to membership in their church. If he and all the others were fooled by their feelings, they may all be fooled about themselves and about one another. Then why are they always voting for or against one another when feelings are so deceptive?