Articles by Bob Martin, Senior Pastor

The Antichrist, Christ And The Future

Eternal Life, Life Everlasting, Eternal Security - Which?

Have You Ever Wondered Why No One Had To Teach You
How To Lie?

The Slipping, Shifting, Side Stepping Church or
The Church in Her Relative Position to the World




Perhaps no other question poses such a problem for the believer as the matter of “The Perseverance of The Saints” or, “Can a Believer Lose Their Salvation.”

There are two camps with respect to this question. Those who say you can, and those who say you cannot. I myself am in the latter camp, and have prepared this document to explain my reasoning for my position. To me, the scriptures support my position. Admittedly there are two or three scriptures that would seem to argue against my position. However, when we take the scriptures line upon line, comparing scripture with scripture and that in their context, I am convinced that they support my position, and those that appear not to do so, are in my opinion, in the vast minority and at best provide obscure and less than conclusive answers to the question.

Perhaps the question will be best answered on the basis of ones personal relationship and fellowship with our Lord as based on the scriptures and confidence in the totality of His sacrifice on the cross for our sins, rather than an academic exercise in inductive and deductive reasoning.

One thing is sure. Until one is secure in their relationship with our precious Lord and Savior Jesus, The Christ, they will never pose a threat to the Kingdom of Darkness.

This is no small matter, for, the very joy, peace and security of the believer rests on their understanding of this most important doctrine.

For the purposes of our discussion on this matter, we want to examine the doctrine keeping in mind three very essential points that bear on the issue.


We want to make sure that we use as a scriptural basis that which the Word of God states in clear, un-mistakable terms.

In Ephesians 2:8 we read: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

We are saved, according to the bible, not by our works, nor our own righteousness, nor by our connection or association with any religious movement or denomination, but, by the grace of God, it is “the gift of God”.

The individual who believes does so on the basis of a “faith” that is itself a gift of God as is plainly taught in the verse quoted above inasmuch as we are “saved through faith and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God.”

To whom is this gift of faith and grace given.

It is given to whosoever will receive the gift.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

You ask, can anybody be a whosoever will?

Again, we go to the scriptures for our answer.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Therefore, if God is not willing that any should perish, He did not will that some would perish. It is God who initiates the call to all; and, all who respond to the call by virtue of the faith which He alone can provide, and does provide to all who are willing to receive the grace and faith He offers.

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44)

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)

Said another way, we might say that God chooses for salvation those who He knew from before the foundation of the world those that would choose to be saved given the opportunity and thus He draws them to Christ by His Spirit, and those so drawn are accepted and kept by Christ Jesus..

It is in that light that we better understand I Peter 1:2 “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

God has never learned anything new and has never been caught by surprise.

When a soul comes to Christ, that soul is merely one of the elect who were foreknown by the knowledge of God, and became one of the elect by virtue of their being willing to become willing to be born again which God knew from the foundation of the world.

Further evidence of Gods involvement in the call of individuals to be born again is found in Philippians.1:6 where we read:

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

We also discover in that verse that not only did God initiate the work, the call to salvation of each soul that is saved, but, He also committed Himself to the overseeing and completion of the work.

To further insure completion of the work which He began in the believer, He “seals” the believer as His own at the time that the believer truly believes, at which time the believer is not just a “professor” of salvation, but, is in fact a “possessor” of salvation, as is revealed in Ephesians.

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:13)

The word sealed in this scripture carries the idea of both identification and protection. No power out of hell nor on earth can break that seal. We also discover that, at the time of salvation, (the new birth), the new believer is both “sealed” as stated above, and “baptized “ into the Body of Christ.:

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (I Corinthians 12:13).

At the time of conversion, the believer becomes the “Temple of the Holy Spirit”, God, indwells the believer, Jesus Christ takes up residence in the believer.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (I Corinthians 6:19-20)

The believer is now “born again”, “saved”, “sealed”, placed in the Body of Christ and indwelt by Christ Himself.

Further protection is then made real when we realize that we are in Christ, Christ is in us, and God is in Christ.

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” (John 17:23)

So dear believer, who worries and frets over your security and safety in Christ Jesus, hopefully now you are beginning to see from the scriptures that you are a product of the work of The Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, and of God the Father, as well as God the Holy Spirit. All are involved in your salvation, your sealing and your security.

Perhaps you are beginning to see that your salvation was a sovereign work of God in you, based on nothing other than His love for you, and His knowledge that you would, if you were afforded the possibility want to be born again, and become a child of His, thus it is written:

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)


“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)

As a believer, you have been “adopted” by God into His family as one of His children. He paid a most significant price for your adoption, that is, the life of His Son, Jesus, The Christ. Christ died on the cross that you might be reconciled to Holy God, and then “adopted” into the very family of God. For the Bible says:

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

Therefore, the true believer having been “adopted” into the family of God, has the “witness of the Spirit” within:

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.(Rom 8:16)

The true believer has the “witness of the Spirit within their spirit that they are the children of God.

The true believer, thus saved, sealed and indwelt by the Holy Spirit will hate sin, and will, as they grow in grace and the knowledge of the Word of God, shun sin, they will not walk in darkness, but rather in light. As a matter of fact, one of the evidences that one has truly been “born again” is just this, that, they begin to hate sin. And, when the believer does sin, it grieves him that he has done so.


Having begun a good work in you, Jesus Christ Himself has pledged Himself to the completion of that work. For our scriptural support of that reality, we go once again to Pauls letter to the Philippians

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Php 1:6)

The true believer will not continue to walk in sin, thus in darkness. John writes of this:

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (I John 1:5-7)

Does that mean that the believer never sins? Not at all, for what does the Bible say?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (I John 1:8)

And yet, the bible teaches us that when we sin forgiveness is available.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

Have you considered the fact that the believer has an “Advocate”, an attorney if you will, who sits at the right hand of God making intercession for us and pleading our cause and our case when we fail, when we sin. That my friend is exactly what the bible teaches. Consider the following verses if you will.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1John 2:1)

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:25)

Jesus Christ our Advocate has never lost a case.

And, further, the bible teaches that the true believer cannot go on in a known lifestyle of sin and rebellion against God.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (I John 3:9)

You may think that I John 3:9 contradicts I John 1:8 but it does not. I John 1:8 teaches that all of us sin. However, I John 3:9 teaches us that the true believer cannot go on in a known lifestyle of rebellion against God. Ones on-going, continuing life of sin against God is proof that such a one is not in the faith, and thus not saved or that one is in a backslidden condition which case we will deal with a little later.

Every believer sins, some more than others, but, as they continue to grow in grace and knowledge, the true believer sins less and less, and hates the fact that they have sinned when they do.

Accordingly, they run to the cross, confess their sin, and receive Gods gracious forgiveness based on the blood atoning death of Jesus that covers the sin so confessed.

Therefore we are encouraged to come boldly to Christ with our temptations and our sins, for, as it is written:

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:14-16)

God knows our every weakness. He knew the weaknesses of King David, who committed adultery and murder. Yet God never “forsook” David. He dealt with the sin of David, but, He kept covenant with David. Our God is a covenant keeping God.

In the Old Testament, Israel continually back-slid and involved herself in immorality and idolatry. Yet, God never forsook her. He chastised her for her sins, yet, He kept covenant with her, and has to this very day. Our God is a covenant keeping God.

Jesus did not condemn and banish Peter even after Peters dismal failure wherein he denied Christ, swore and cursed and denied that he even knew Jesus. On the contrary He restored Peter.

In the church at Corinth, Paul addresses the matter of fornication in the church:

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (I Cor 5:1-5)

In line with this thinking we must also consider scripture that speaks of Gods dealing with sin in the believer:

If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. (I John 5:16)

In other words, when the believer continues to flagrantly sin and rebel against God, they can expect the Holy Spirit to (1) “convict” them of sin, and, if the believer continues to rebel and ignore the convicting influence of the Holy Spirit, the believer can expect to be (2) “chastised” (punished) for their sin, and if, after conviction, and chastisement, the believer continues to flagrantly disobey God, they open themselves for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit might be saved. In short, the believer then exposes themself to an untimely death.

For again the scripture speaks:

Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time? (Ec 7:17)

If a “professing” believer is living a lifestyle of ongoing sin, and is not being convicted of their sin by the Holy Spirit, that “professing” believer is not a true believer.

On the other hand, a “true believer” who is living a lifestyle of ongoing sin, and who is being convicted of their sin by the Holy Spirit, and who steadfastly resists the urging of the Holy Spirit to confess and repent of their sin is on a collision course with the judgement of God, that could result in an untimely death.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7)


There is great division over the understanding of Hebrews 6:4-6 which states as follows:

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6)

Make no mistake about it, some of the most knowledgeable Bible Scholars and authorities in the Greek are at variance over the true meaning of these verses.

One rule of Biblical interpretation is that, the more obscure verses, the less clear verses must give place to those verses that are more clear in any given area of doctrine. For me to accept Hebrews 6:4-6 as proof that a believer can “lose” their salvation, means that I have to ignore so many, many other verses that make clear statements about the believers security in Jesus Christ.

Most who believe that a believer can “lose” their salvation, think that it occurs when one commits a sin significant enough for them to lose their salvation, and that, if they die in that state, without repenting, they are thus lost, damned and doomed for ever. However, in so doing they tend to “catagorize” sin, making some sins more sinful than other sins. Sin is sin. Period.

If one knowingly violates a parking ordinance or the posted speed limit, that is sin. For it is written:

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. (I Peter 2:13-15)

And, Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

Does one “lose” their salvation over such a sin as this? I think not!

Sin is sin. All sin is sin!

Hebrews is written to certain Jews who were inclined to resort to the Levitical Sacrifices under the Law. If they did so, such actions would prove they were not placing their full confidence and trust in the death burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation. In short, they were trusting in their own self efforts and the blood of bulls and goats as a remedy for their sin.

The writer of Hebrews is saying to them, in effect, if one were to do such a thing, it would be impossible to renew them to repentance inasmuch as they had already been “once enlightened” (illumined with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) had “tasted of the heavenly gift” (tasted without receiving) and “made partakers of the Holy Ghost” (having received the convicting, illumining ministry of the Holy Spirit) and “have tasted the good word of God” (again, have tasted but not received so as to internalize), if one were so exposed to the Gospel and the Divine Influence of the Holy Ghost, and then decide against Christ and reject the convicting, illumining power of the Holy Spirit, it would be impossible for them to be renewed to repentance for they had already been exposed to the Gospel, and had decided to reject it.

In school I was “enlightened” in algebra and geometry, but failed to fully comprehend either. I have been “enlightened” in many areas of academic disciplines but failed to fully comprehend or grasp them in their fullness.

I have been introduced to foods that I did not like, I “tasted” the food but did not “receive” the food, and left it on my plate or waited for an appropriate time and place that I could dump it in a trash container, or left it on my plate to be removed by a waiter.

I have been a “partaker” in certain activities that I did not continue in because they did not suit me, or I did find them enjoyable.

However, I note that the writer of Hebrews does not say that this has ever occurred to any of his readers, but, is simply warning them to be sure of their faith, that they were trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation, and in no other person or system of works or sacrifices.

Nor does the writer of Hebrews indicate that he thinks it could or would ever happen to any of his readers, but rather, expresses his confidence in their faithfulness.

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:9-12)

If it were possible for those described in Hebrews 6:4-6 to have been so exposed to the Divine Influence, and still remain unconvinced of the fullness of the remedy for sin that the Lord Jesus Christ provides they would thus remain in the camp of the unbelievers, the unsaved.

Paul makes the same argument in his letter to the Galatians when he says to the Galatians who were trying to work out their own salvation by their own fleshly, human endeavors and reverting back to the Levitical sacrifices:

“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4)

Having “fallen” from the “Grace” of God, that is, having rejected the free offer of salvation based on the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and having decided to place their faith on their own works and the Levitical sacrificial system, they had rejected Gods one and only means of being reconciled to Him, and thus, Christ could be of no effect to them.

That which was true then is true now.

When one places their confidence and faith in their own works, or on a religious system with its rules, regulations and rites, or even a combination of the two, they have then rejected the grace of God and thus rejected His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The beloved Apostle John spoke to his followers in his day, and to us in our day, with his observation by the Holy Spirit:

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:19 )

By not “continuing” in the faith, they proved themselves to never have been in the faith.

Jesus himself gave us a standard by which to evaluate those who “profess” Christ as their Savior.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Matt 7:16)

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matt 7:20)

The “professor” of ‘Christ Jesus as Savior, who is also a “possessor” of Christ Jesus, will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in the life they live, they will walk in light, they will shun darkness, and they will hate sin, or grow to hate sin as they continue to grow in the Lord..

Accordingly, the one who hates sin does not habitually and continually live therein.

As believers we all come into the Kingdom of God with our own baggage, the results both of our own sins and the effects of the ancestral and generational sins of our parental heritage.

Believers grow in the Lord at different rates depending on the spiritual atmosphere they are in, and how well they are grounded in the Word of God.

Thus many believers grow in grace and spiritual maturity differently, and often fall, stumble and fail while growing.

Others “profess” Christ in a time of chaos or crisis in their life hoping for some sort of Divine intervention in the affairs of life that will provide relief in their present distress. However, those often are not regenerated and therefore, are not saved, are not “possessors” of Christ.

For me the issue is simply this. Either one has been born again or one has not. If one has, been “born again” they then enjoy all of the security, grace and benefits attendant to their salvation.

One who has been “born again” cannot then become “un-born”. For theirs is a “spiritual birth” in and of the Holy Spirit.

As stated earlier, for me not to believe in the concept of “Everlasting Life, Life Eternal or the Eternal Security” of the believer I would have to ignore and walk away from numerous scriptures to the contrary, and, I am not prepared to do that. I have to say with the Apostle Paul:

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2Ti 1:12)

I am not sure that anyone will ever grasp the Doctrine of Eternal Security strictly from a scriptural point of view, but rather, as they grow in grace and knowledge of the one who loved them, died for them saved them and has promised to keep them safe in Himself.

I am likewise convinced that those who arrive at the place of fellowship in their relationship with our Lord, will never use their liberty in the Lord as license, and will certainly enjoy their walk with Him in an ever increasing intimate relationship.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1Jo 4:18)

One last point on the subject. I note that in Matthew Chapter Seven our Lord makes a point we should not ignore concerning the final judgement.

Mt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Mt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Mt 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Note that our Lord never said “I once knew you and you walked away from me”, or “I once knew you and forgot you”, but rather he says, “I never knew you.”

The true believer, the true “possessor” in the Lord Jesus Christ, does not use their “liberty as license”, nor do they “continue in a known lifestyle of sin”, but rather, are so convicted by the Holy Spirit and grieved by their sin, they run to the Lord Jesus Christ, confessing their sin, or sins, and He, according to His word, forgives and forgets.

So dear believer, keep the three “R”s lined up in your thinking and in your life.

  1. Recognize when you have sinned.
  2. Repent of the sin.
  3. Rejoice in your forgiveness and go on the the Lord in love and submission to His will - and may God bless you - - real good!!


Bob Martin, President
Challenge Ministries International
P.O. Box 32344
Jacksonville, Florida, 32237
(904) 880-3500
FAX (904) 880-4100



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