Eternal Security: Problem Passages - Part 3
By Dr. Arnold Frutchenbaum
Another area of passages that people use to try to show that one can lose his salvation are Scriptures that speak of mere reformation or outward profession, but not of real salvation.
One such passage is Matthew 7:22-23. Notice what Yeshua says to those people who even did miracles in His name. Jesus does not say, "I used to know you, but you lost your salvation, so I don't know you any longer." Rather, He says: I never knew you. Miracles are possible in the name of a counterfeit Yeshua, because Satan can duplicate many of the miracles of Jesus. Just because these people claimed to have done things in the name of Yeshua does not necessarily make it true. They had outward profession, but Jesus said: I never knew you, and that clearly means they were never saved to begin with.
Another passage that people like to use is Matthew 13:1-8, which deals with the parable of the four types of soils and four different types of responses. It should be noted that this is a parable and the purpose of a parable is to illustrate a point. One cannot develop doctrine from the parables themselves. In any case, He never once said that those who believed lost their salvation. He pointed out that there are some who believe but are never rooted in the Word of God, so they will never mature. Others believe, but the cares of the world keep them from maturing, so they remain baby believers and lose out on rewards. But in this parable, there is no statement about losing one's salvation.
Another passage often used is Luke 11:24-26. "Is this passage speaking of someone who became a believer and then lost his salvation?" People who use this passage do so by claiming that, when the demon left, it meant that the person was saved. The demon's return showed that he then lost his salvation. But the mere removal of demons is not salvation. A person can have a demon cast out of him, but that does not mean he is automatically saved. He is not saved until he exercises faith. It is entirely possible that a demon can come out of a person without that person himself exercising saving faith. So the removal of a demon does not equal salvation. And in this case, the demon was not even cast out; the demon simply left on his own volition. Of his own free will, he went looking for a better place to live. When he was not able to find one, he came back to the man in whom he was living earlier. But the person himself was never saved to begin with, and mere removal of a demon does not equal salvation.
Another passage that fits into this category is I Corinthians 15:1-4, where Paul deals with the issue of the gospel and salvation. This passage does not say that the Corinthians were lost. He simply tells the Corinthians that he wants them to know the content of faith, which saves. He is saying that if they truly believe this gospel, then by this gospel they are saved. If they believed something else, then they believed in vain and they do not have salvation. Throughout the Book of I Corinthians, he treats them as truly saved people and, in this passage, he spells out the content of the gospel to let them know clearly, what it is that saved them. It is not their works, nor their gifts, nor their actions, but believing the simple content of the gospel. Paul simply wanted to clarify for them the content of the gospel that saves.
 This post is a modified version of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum's original Messianic Bible Study. The full version may be obtained here.