John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The beauty of John 3:16 is that it is clear, concise, spoken with authority, and by the ultimate Authority. If there were any exceptions to the truth of this statement, then it wouldn’t be true. Accordingly, any time we find ourselves looking for, or considering exceptions to this statement, we are on the wrong track.
John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 5:24 highlights that the eternal life spoken of in John 3:16 begins the moment a person believes in Jesus as Savior, and can never be lost or forfeited. In other words, that eternal life is…eternal. And, there are NO additional conditions given for assurance of eternal life.
Please note that the “great debates” about grace vs. Calvinism/Lordship “salvation,” unconditional eternal security vs. conditional security of the believer, and the only legitimate basis for assurance of eternal life have ALL been settled by the words of Jesus Himself.
Much of my ministry, both here, and at the Expreacherman site, has been to help dispel the endless searches for exceptions to the gospel truth. The permutations are almost endless, but here are some of the types of objections raised:
- What about head faith vs. heart faith?
- What about Matthew 7:23?
- What about demon belief?
- What about fruit?
- What about life change?
- What about repentance from sin?
- What about verses that seem to say people can lose eternal life?
- What about people who don’t want to change their lives?
The “what about” questions have lots of sources, including: a pre-existing mindset; a natural understanding of man’s ways (“there’s no such thing as a free lunch”) as opposed to God’s ways (“…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”); biblical scripture misused or not used in the proper context; “church history;” denominational creeds; and authority figures.
Anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior needs to be aware that he will likely face a barrage of “what about” questions regarding the truth of the gospel, and he should be able to confidently answer them.
Our adversary is very cunning, and will try to use any and every device to create doubt as to how to have eternal life, whether or not eternal life is unequivocally eternal, and the proper source of assurance.
Our statement of faith includes the following:
We reject any purported scriptural interpretation or other teaching that violates any of the following clear tenets of scripture:
- Eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone
- Eternal life can never be lost or forfeited
- Assurance of eternal life can only be based on God’s promise
I have learned to be particularly alert to false scriptural interpretations that violate our source for assurance of eternal life. Any teaching that even hints that one must look to positive life changes as either the basis for assurance of eternal life, or even as “supplemental” assurance of eternal life should be rejected outright,
If you have heard the “what about” questions, and would like to know what the Bible says about how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL