Examining Difficult Passages Concerning Eternal Security -- By: Richard A. Seymour
CTSJ 14:1 (Spring 2009) p. 32
Examining Difficult Passages Concerning Eternal Security1
Richard Seymour has taught in Bible schools and colleges for over thirty years, and currently serves on the faculty of Frontier School of the Bible in Wyoming. Professor Seymour is the founder and president of Clarity Ministries International and Integrity Press. Dick is the author of several books and numerous articles and pamphlets on the Bible and Christianity. He and his wife, Kathy, have two children and reside in LaGrange, Wyoming. You may contact Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are more than a few passages in Scripture that at first glance seem to indicate that a saved person may lose his salvation if he does not meet certain conditions. Though these verses have raised anxiety in many students of the Bible, a careful examination of each context will quickly dispel misunderstandings. With total confidence that the Scriptures are not contradictory, we will examine a number of puzzling and thought-provoking passages.
Important Passages To Examine
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.2
The assumption that some draw from these two verses is that the “narrow gate” and “difficult way” are strict paths that lead to Heaven. They claim the path signifies a holy life. If you walk on that narrow way—and are careful not to step off it—you will eventually be saved. Of course, if you step off that narrow path of a holy life, you either lose your salvation or demonstrate that you have not yet been saved.
It is amazing how much can be read into a passage of Scripture when we allow our imaginations to run wild. But when we carefully compare Scripture with Scripture, such erroneous interpretations do not develop. For instance, Jesus said in John 10:9, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” So the gate or door is Christ Himself. He is the gate because He is the only entrance into God’s Heaven—there is no other way. In fact, Jesus developed this same thought even further in John 10:1: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”
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