The following is correspondence by a brother from the Pensacola, FL congregation to his uncle who believes in unconditional eternal security. It depicts the deceptive consequences of unsound doctrine afloat in today’s religious world.
From Uncle Freddy to his nephew:
“I have now read Life In The Son by Robert Shank and am impressed by his theological and analytical skills. However, there is nothing said here that I have not previously read and refuted. People are either (1) lost-without Jesus as Saviour (2) saved and currently walking in obedience or (3) saved and currently walking in disobedience... I think the key verse on which this debate turns is Heb. 12:5-8...? It is a serious debate and good men differ in their understanding... I once believed as you do now......when I changed my mind....my Christian walk became so much sweeter.....may God direct your course....”
Dear Uncle Freddy,
I’m glad you got to read “Life in the Son”. It would have taken me 6 months to get through it with my schedule. As you know I wasn’t raised in a Christian environment nor did I have any religious training as a child except for the few times Grandma Barton took me to church. So when I got saved I was a “clean slate” so to speak without any preconceived ideas already implanted in my heart. After the Lord saved me I spent hours upon hours reading God’s word. All I’ve ever wanted to know was, “What does the Bible say about it so I can obey it.”
In all of my studies of scripture it never crossed my mind that there is such a thing as “unconditional eternal security.” The first person to expose me to this doctrine was my Uncle Morris when I first shared my testimony with him. He totally shocked me by saying that he was a Christian too and has been since he was a teenager. I was floored, “How can a practicing, unrepentant homosexual claim to be a Christian.” I asked him about this and he gave me a little booklet to read and guess what it was about? Yes, it was about “unconditional eternal security”! This false teacher went so far as to say that “legally God must allow every sinner into heaven even if they have just once in their lifetime had a nanosecond of faith.” Saved, even if they have never served God or Jesus since.
The second time I ran across this doctrine was with Grandma and Grandpa Barton. After I shared my testimony with mom and Aunt Ann they began complaining severely about the hypocrisy of Grandma and Grandpa’s Christianity and told me several incidents of ungodly behavior by them. As a naive new Christian I was hoping to be God’s instrument of reconciliation in the family. So one day when I was alone with Grandma and Grandpa at their house I shared with them the hurts and bitterness of their children. I honestly thought that they would be ready to do whatever it took to make things right. Was I ever wrong. Grandma’s response was, “Nobody’s perfect! They did a lot of wrong things too! Grandma’s got her ticket to heaven!” Grandpa also jumped in with his own comments agreeing with Grandma. It was that last statement of Grandma’s that floored me. Immediately I recognized that same doctrine of “unconditional eternal security” at work in the life of professed believers justifying ungodly behavior. After that incident I began working to change their minds about this doctrine and show them scripture after scripture but they would have no part of it. They were unmovable and solidly entrenched in this doctrine.
I hope that you can understand why I have such a hatred for this doctrine. I believe that right now as I’m writing this that my Uncle Morris is burning in hell this very moment. I ache in my heart when I think how had he viewed homosexuality from a Bible perspective he may have been spared his untimely death from AIDS. I believe there is a connection between the doctrine he had been led to trust in and the misery he faced/faces.
I can show you scripture after scripture upon which my belief is based. Yet, I cannot come up with one verse that allows a willful, unrepentant sinner to continue to live in sin and presume on the grace and love of God. And if you can read the Bible and study it day after day and still believe in such a doctrine then there is absolutely nothing I could ever say to change your mind. Nor would it be profitable to even talk about it.
Sorry Freddy, but we are on different paths and our paths will only grow further apart as the years roll on. I will continue to pray that the Lord will open your eyes to see the truth.