“… In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,” (Ephesians 1:4-5)
It is often said by the critics of the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints that such security trends to lead to lasciviousness. There is some cause for concern in this area, especially when this doctrine is mixed with “free will” salvation. I’ve met more than one poor deluded soul who, despite living a godless life, considered himself saved on the basis that, at one point in his life, he went to an altar and repeated a prayer (more on this tragic practice in a few weeks). In such cases, the problem with the “once saved, always saved” approach isn’t with the “always saved”, but rather with the “once saved”. Eternal security is not meant to be fire insurance for the wicked, and abuses of doctrine are not the cause of the doctrine itself. Those who profess such a vain religion would to well to heed the words of our Saviour.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'" (Matthew 7:21-23)
For the believer, however, the Doctrine of Eternal Security should lead to greater sanctification, for it is the secure believer who has the freedom to dig deep within his wicked heart and purge whatever great deformity he may find. He may pray as David did, with confidence:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalms 139:23-24)
In contrast, those who fear losing their salvation are rarely led to greater sanctification. They are dangerously relying on what Charles Spurgeon referred to as “Carnal Security”. Rather than take joy in their adoption, they rely on their own works to maintain their justification, and then foolishly think that they have succeeded. They must lower God’s standard of perfection, and cannot be honest about their own sinfulness. They think well of themselves if they attend a church service, say a few prayers and devotions, and avoid any “big” sins. I would ask such a person, “How much is required in order to maintain ones justification? How many sins does it take to lose it? Do sins such as gossip and private, lustful thoughts count?” Indeed, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength…” (Jeremiah 17:5)
Look at these beautiful words. “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons…” (Ephesians 1:4-5). What glorious confidence that should provide for us as we continue to examine our hearts! Friend, there is no reason to hold anything back, for the Lord already sees it. Let us approach the Great Physician as a son approaches a father, allowing Him to perform the necessary heart surgery, confident that He is preparing us for glory.