The Perseverance Of The Saints

Dan Corner

Calvinism's Fifth Point

If one is acquainted with the various ways eternal security is presented, he will notice there are two versions of this false doctrine. The Reformed version that the Calvinists embrace is called the Perseverance of the Saints. Because of the way they most often present their perseverance of the saints teaching, many who know eternal security is not a Christian teaching, are sometimes not so aggressive and outspoken on this particular version as they are the other one, which some call antinomianism. Calvinism's most common presentation has also apparently mislead some (who rightly reject eternal security) to give web site links and verbal endorsements of so-called great Reformed preachers of the past like Charles Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards, etc. Shocking, but true!

Dear reader, please know that Calvinism and its doctrines of grace are a total perversion of grace, how one gets saved, God's sovereignty, etc., but specifically related to eternal security, the fifth point of Calvinism -- the perseverance of the saints -- dangerously downplays the seriousness of sin in the life of a believer (as the other version also does.) Besides that, the Calvinistic rendering of eternal security is the most deceitful and inconsistent version of the two. (The other version is more obvious a license for immorality, while this one seems to be not so bad at times.)

Again, the reason for this confusion is probably the way the perseverance of the saints or eternal security is sometimes taught by the Calvinists, that is, if a professing believer turns away from following the Lord to immorality he was never really saved to begin with and a true Christian can never permanently fall away. Hence, for the Calvinist, the real issue is true or false conversion and not if a true Christian can lose his salvation or not, since they flatly reject that possibility. (This is why Calvinist, John MacArthur, will ludicrously say those of Heb. 6:4-6 were never saved, being forced to declare this because they did clearly fall away and could not be renewed again through repentance. He would also wrongly say the ones of Luke 8:13 only had a spurious faith.) If you read the first sentence in this paragraph carefully you should have noticed the words sometimes. Please also know that the Calvinists don't teach eternal security consistently.

Let me cite a personal witnessing experience I had with a man who seemingly embraced this view, at least in part. We were talking about eternal security and he dogmatically insisted that it was not a license for immorality. He went on to say if one turns from the Lord he was never saved. Then approximately two weeks later the same man told me that the head deacon in his own Baptist church announced that he has been having an adulterous affair with another woman and was going to divorce his wife for her. Then he said that this man is still going to heaven, but he is going to have his rewards burn up! I reminded him what he said just two weeks before to show him he was not consistent and then added that he thinks there are two types of adulterers -- one type being a Christian bound for heaven and the other being an unsaved person. In contrast, the Bible speaks of only one type of adulterer, who is always unsaved (1 Cor. 6:9,10; Rev. 21:8; etc.)! This is exactly what Calvinism is like.

The Perseverance of the Saints is just as much a license to sin
as anything Charles Stanley has every taught with his distortions.

Calvinists will talk about people professing to believe on Jesus turning to immorality that were never saved, then turn right around with their false version of saving faith and in their confessions cite King David as an example of an elect person who strayed into grievous sins and for a time remained therein. Question:

How then can you say that one particular person was never saved because he turned to adultery, but a different person was and still is saved while he also commits adultery?

As I stated before, they are inconsistent which reflects false teaching. Furthermore, their explanations reveal a license for immorality, just like the other version of eternal security. The implications are clear about David. If he remained saved while in adultery and murder, then any Christian can do the same and likewise remain saved. (David is the acid test issue.) This is their version of both grace and the gospel. (Both versions of eternal security reject the Biblical truth that a righteous person can die spiritually because of sin. King David is a clear example of such. See our article on Spiritual Death. Beyond that, Calvinism has gone on record at the Reformed synod of Dort to say that heretics oppose the teaching of the perseverance of the saints. See The Believer's Conditional Security for little known information on Dort, which has been suppressed. (They apparently correctly knew that the Arminians are not teaching the same about salvation as they are.)

Also, consider how Calvinists misinform others about 1 Cor. 5:1-5. Though not blatant, the Calvinist will have to admit that the unnamed man who was committing a type of sexual sin, which even pagans don't commit, was a Christian while still unrepentant, just like the other version of eternal security! Hence, again their non-holiness, license for immorality doctrine surfaces its deadly head again. (See our article on 1 Cor.5:5 .) Please note that both versions of eternal security rely on the same feeble arguments and misuse the same Scriptures!

Thirdly, the same Calvinist who will speak of the truly saved as enduring unto the end in the way of holiness will also teach a license for immorality when giving their faulty understanding of the sin unto death. Calvinist, D. James Kennedy is a clear example of this. He put in print how a man from his congregation started to have an affair with a married woman and suddenly died physically. This same man remained unrepentant and was an example of God chastening those who are truly his own, according to this Calvinist. (Dave Hunt, the one point Calvinist, teaches the same way with his version of eternal security.) Question:

Where is the enduring to the end in holiness with such people remaining unrepentant and still going to heaven after death?

(Here's another example of Calvinism teaching there are Christians who are adulterers.) Calvinists similarly teach that a suicide (an unrepentant self-murderer) goes to heaven if he was saved before that point.

Fourthly, John MacArthur is a scholarly Calvinist. This same man often says one is never saved if he turns away, but that is not all he says. Note the following as he comments on 1 Cor. 6:9-11 in his own MacArthur Study Bible:

While believers can and do commit these sins, they do not characterize them as an unbroken life pattern....Some who used to have those patterns of sinful life were falling into those old sins again, and needed reminding that if they went all the way back to live as they used to, they were not going to inherit eternal salvation, because it would indicate that they never were saved.

The eternal security version embraced by Calvinists is again shown to be inconsistent and a license for immorality. There MacArthur is allowing the following for a Christian (one with saving faith) to be guilty of: sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, theft, greed, drunkenness, slander and swindling. He adds to that in the second quote, if one does go all the way back and submerges himself in these sins again, that would indicate he was never saved. This leads one to think, but if Christians stop short ever so slightly from going all the way back to live as they used to, then they have been saved even if they commit this list of sins. Though MacArthur hates the carnal Christian teaching given by Ryrie, Charles Stanley and others, here he is teaching almost identically. He is inconsistent!

For some perplexing reason, some who obediently contend against the counterfeit grace message of eternal security seem to be unacquainted with these deceitful inconsistencies about the Calvinistic version of eternal security. However, after considering the above, it should be clear that the Calvinistic version of eternal security is not associated with holiness as claimed, but is in reality a license for immorality just like the other version, but presented in a more deceitful and devilish way.

May God raise up thousands of Christians who will, without compromise and spiritual treason, aggressively refute both versions of eternal security for the sake of all the millions of souls that hang in the balance. People who were once saved but are now a prodigal in adultery, drunkenness, homosexuality, theft, etc. need to repent for salvation's sake, not reward's sake (1 Cor. 6:9,10; Jude 7; Rev. 21:8; etc.), but the eternal security proponents cannot issue this life-giving charge because of their false doctrine. May God also reveal the serious spiritual ramifications of endorsing any Calvinist, even from the past, for their false theology will be woven throughout their writings. To say the least, to certify such grace changers is counterproductive to the kingdom of God and to precious souls.


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