Part 2 of 3


Some “departed from” the faith. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron”—1 Tim. 4:1–2.

Some “cast off” the faith. “But the younger widows refuse; for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith”—1 Tim. 5:11–12.

Some “made shipwreck” of faith. “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme”—1 Tim. 1:19–20.

Some “turned aside” unto Satan. “For some are already turned aside after Satan”—1 Tim. 5:15. The agency of the great adversary, the devil is promoting the defection of those who have once entered upon the Christian life is here recognized by the Apostle Paul. The fearful possibility of a fatal and final turning aside by true believers is here clearly implied.

Some had become “cursed children,” forsaking the “right way” and going “astray,” “Having eyes full of adultery that they cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls (unsettled Christians); an heart they have exercised with covetous practices: cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray following the way of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness”—2 Peter 2:14–15. Some had fallen from grace, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel”—Gal. 1:6. These had been saved. They had begun in the Spirit. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”—Gal. 3:3.

They had been bewitched. “O foolish Galatians (Christians) who hath bewitched (fascinated) you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth crucified among you”—Gal. 3:1.

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

These scriptures clearly teach that a number of people in the days of the Apostle Paul, accepted Christ and His gospel, were spiritually born again, converted, saved from sin, and error, and lifted to the high state of the redemptive grace of Christ, who later forsook the way of the New Testament gospel, and fell from this lofty plain of holiness of heart and living, reverting back into sin and error. That Bible record gives many such instances.

The issue in this matter is not will a Christian fall from grace, or must he fall from grace, but can he fall from grace? As set forth the scriptures teach this is possible.


King Saul of Old. He was the first King of Israel, was remarkable for his strength and activity, of gigantic stature, taller by head and shoulders than the rest of the people, in personal appearance “every inch a King.” He was anointed by Samuel to be King of Israel. “And it was so that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him and he prophesied among them”—I Sam. 10:9–10. This makes it clear he was God called, God anointed, with the Spirit of God upon him, enabling him to do the works of God. He disobeyed God, was rejected, and died on his own sword. This great leader and man of God lost God, his glory and power in this life, and heaven in the world beyond.

Judas Iscariot by transgression fell from the high plane of redemptive grace. Judas with the other eleven was called and commissioned to preach the New Testament gospel, heal the sick, cast out devils (Matt. 10:1–5; Mark 3:13–19). Judas performed his work with the others. “And he called unto him the twelve, (Judas one of twelve) and began to send them forth by two and two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.… And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them”—Mark 6:7, 12–13; Luke 9:1–2. If Judas had been a devil from the beginning he would not have had the power to perform these works.

Christ said that God had “given” Judas to him once. “While I was with them in the world I have kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition. That the scripture might be fulfilled”—John 17:12. Peter said that Judas obtained part in the ministry. “For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry”—Acts 1:17. Peter also said that “Judas by transgression fell”—Acts 1:25. Jesus said that Judas was finally lost (John 17:12). Judas only became the son of perdition because of his wilful malice, his neglect, and abuse of the grace and instructions of Christ and was condemned through his own covetousness, faithlessness, treachery, and despair.

Demas, “my fellow-laborer” (Philemon 24). He is saved at this time, and a fellow-laborer of Paul. Demas “greets you” (Col. 4:14). Nothing is said about his labors in the work of the Lord now. Demas “hath forsaken me having loved this present world … “—2 Tim. 4:10. If Demas ever recovered himself from the present world we do not know it. Angels, meaning God’s messengers, or preachers, and leaders in the patriarchal age, the world before the flood that disobeyed God, sinned and fell. “And the Angels (minister, messengers, preachers) which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation (patriarchal standards of God) he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day”—Jude 6. God did not permit, allow, sanction, or even tolerate disobedience in any, even among the greatest, and earliest of his messengers and leaders.

The Bishop, meaning pastor of the Church at Ephesus fell. “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candle stick out of his place, except thou repent”—Rev. 2:5.

The writer of the book of Hebrews shows the possibility of falling. “Let us (believers) labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief”—Heb. 4:11.

It is possible for sanctified people to backslide and fall from grace. “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift (saved) and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost (sanctified), And have tasted the good word of God (obedient disciples) and the powers of the world to come (the supernatural), If they shall fall away (apostatize or fall from grace) to renew them again to repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame”—Heb. 6:4–6.

This teaches the possibility that one saved and sanctified, can fall from grace. It does not teach, however, that if one is saved and sanctified, and backslides, falls from grace, he cannot be saved again. It is clear that when one falls, or apostatizes, there is the danger his heart will become so hard he will not repent, or to renew him to repentance. Jesus says, “I tell you nay, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”—Luke 13:3. There is no salvation short of repentance. If one comes repenting he can be saved. If his heart is so hard he will not repent, there is no possibility of salvation.

A great number of the Jews fell. “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God; on them which fell (from a state of grace and favor with God) severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou shalt also be cut off”—Rom. 11:22.


A warning against an impossibility would be ridiculous and an insult to God’s intelligence. Note carefully the various warnings sounded in the Bible against falling from grace.

About becoming careless in this life. “And take heed to yourselves (you disciples), lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares … watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of God”—Luke 21:34, 36. Our being ready for the judgment day is conditioned by our watching and praying.

About being over confident. “But many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness”—1 Cor. 10:5. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”—1 Cor. 10:12.

About continuing in God’s goodness, as we have already considered (Rom. 11:22) and about being overcome as we have also noted (2 Peter 2:20–22).

Against getting bitterness into the heart. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of (fall from) the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”—Heb 12:15.

Against the Christian sinning a “sin unto death.” “If any man see his brother (in the Lord) sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not a sin unto death. There is a sin unto death (eternal death) I do not say that he shall pray for it”—1 John 5:16. This shows the possibility of a Christian falling and sinning a sin that is beyond the reach of God’s mercy, or never will be forgiven.

Against not being sanctified. “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end”—Heb. 3:14. “Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it”—Heb. 4:1. Being ready to meet God is strictly conditional as the scriptures clearly prove.

The Bible warns against becoming intemperate. The great man of God, the Apostle Paul, “But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway”—1 Cor. 9:27. This text clearly shows us that particular persons are not in Holy writ represented as elected unconditionally to “eternal life,” but that believers in general are elected to enjoy the Christian privileges on earth, which, if they abuse, those very elect persons will become reprobate. Saint Paul was certainly an elect person, and yet he declares it was possible he himself might become a reprobate. He actually would have become such if he had not thus kept his body under, even though he had been so long an elect person, a Christian, and an apostle.

Against becoming devoured. “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour”—I Peter 5:8. This text shows that it is possible for any and all Christians to be overcome by the devil and be destroyed spiritually in this world, and lost in the world to come. The exhortation is strongly given to be watchful and diligent at all times, and in all places.


Some say Christ gives eternal life. If we can lose it, it would not be eternal. The Bible teaches that eternal life is strictly conditional. God has created man a free moral agent, with the power of choice for life or death. Man will live his God given allotted time here on earth if he lives by the laws of physical life. This being true, God has given man the right to forfeit physical life if he so desires. This can be done by committing suicide or violating the many rules and laws for safety of this physical body, and life. Man has power to forfeit his physical living any moment he so desires. The laws of spiritual life is likewise conditional which will be considered in detail later.

There is a common statement often stated by those who believe in the Calvinistic theory of eternal security. “If once born you cannot be unborn.” This is true physically, but not spiritually. We are exhorted to compare spiritual things with spiritual (1 Cor. 2:13).

The consideration of a physical birth is in order here. A physical birth is the bringing forth of life in a physical form, a beginning, or origin in a fleshly body. It is a law of the physical that we are not born to be unborn, this is a physical impossibility, but we are born to die physically. This will happen when the laws for physical life cease to function, or are not in proper operation. Physical death will never happen as long as all the laws for physical life are fully and properly adhered to and functioning.

Did you ever hear of anything being born that could not die? Certain conditions enacted will forfeit life spiritually and physically. A dead child belongs no longer to the parents, likewise, a sinning individual belongs no longer to God. He is spiritually dead. When God forgives and saves from sin he gives eternal life, and no man can take it away. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

“My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand”—John 10:28–29. This reveals what God does in the way of salvation is eternal in nature, and that one cannot take away another’s salvation, but it does not teach that the one possessing it cannot forfeit this spiritual life, or ceases to have the power of choice, and is unable to act at will.

The Bible says, “The soul that sinneth it shall die”—Ezek. 18:4. Man loses spiritual life by sinning which means dying. When a man sins, or dies spiritually he will be blotted out of the book of life. “And the Lord said unto Moses, whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book”—Exodus 32:33. “Behold therefore the goodness and the severity of God: on them which fell severity, but toward thee goodness; if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise thou shall also be cut off”—Rom. 11:22.

This makes it clear that it is possible for the soul to sin after being born again, converted, and saved. It also teaches that it is possible for a believer in Christ to fall from grace, be cut off, and lost forever.

When one disobeys God, he will be blotted from, or have his part, or name taken out of the book of life (Rev. 22:18–19). God’s work makes it clear that “whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”—Rev. 20:15.

Always keep in mind the spirit of Christ entering the soul is the birth, and the birth is the soul receiving the Spirit of Christ. The continual abiding of Christ in the soul is strictly conditional on the part of man. If man lives by the standard of his word, and the laws of spiritual life He will remain. If one manifests disobedience and sins, Christ is grieved, and will depart from that soul. When Christ departs, his Spirit departs for He is the Spirit. When His spirit departs the birth departs. Bear in mind it is impossible to have spiritual life, when the life-giving Spirit is gone. When this condition exists the soul reverts back to its former state, which means separated from God, lost, and is as though it had never been saved.

Another thought to remember, God or Christ never relinquishes the power of choice, or freedom to act in accordance with His word. To state when he once moved into the soul of man that he was unable to move out would say, when a believer accepted Christ, Christ would forfeit all His rights of the power of choice, and be powerless to act according to His divine plan as revealed in the Scriptures. This means he ceases to be deity, and the all-powerful God, and Savior the Bible speaks so much about. To say that all trespasses, past, present and future are forgiven when one trusts in Christ is gross error.

Salvation does not destroy man’s free moral agency, nor make a machine out of him. But leaves him the power of choice. He can choose evil and fall from grace, the same as accept Christ and choose grace.


This doctrine teaches that if one is saved he will be eternally saved and cannot be lost. Many honest Christians believe this, but it is dangerous in that it is gross error, causes believers to become careless, and backsliders to be eternally lost.

1. If the doctrine is true, we must admit the following facts.

Man, after he is saved is no longer a free moral agent. That the devil has been a fool, ever since the Garden of Eden, in soliciting believers to backslide. That we Christians are safer than Adam and Eve. God said to Adam and Eve, “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die”—Gen. 3:3–4. Adam and Eve disobeyed God, partook of the forbidden fruit. The results, “So He (God) drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”—Gen. 3:24. If God would have ever allowed or tolerated sin, it would have been in the beginning. It further means that Christ and New Testament writers are guilty of folly in warning the Christians against falling. That God will condone sin in a Christian while condemning sin in a sinner.

2. God’s part of salvation is eternally secure for us.

Christ made one eternal atonement for sin. “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him”—Heb. 5:9.

Christ’s death made possible an eternal relationship between God and man. “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”—John 3:16.

The life imparted by the Spirit is eternal in essence, but not eternal in that it is impossible to forfeit it. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God: that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”—I John 5:11–13.

The Holy Spirit which effects our salvation, is eternal in nature. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”—Heb. 9:14. God had made an “everlasting covenant” with his people “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant”—Heb. 13:20.

Christ built a Church that “the gates of hell cannot destroy.” “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”—Matt. 16:18.

Note all of this is on God’s side, and has nothing to do with man’s will in the matter.

3. Salvation to us is eternal if we cooperate with God’s plan.

This little word “if,” meaning on condition. In formal usage, if is used to express conditions. Notice carefully the voice from God’s word. The nature of the original creation reveals that man was created a moral being, with the power of choice, and freedom to act according to his will. One is not a moral being if he cannot fall from grace. First man, Adam, was put on probation, meaning a testing period. God told Adam, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”—Gen. 2:17. This proves that life was given to man on condition of obedience.

Life is promised on conditions we come to God and forsake sin. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, and call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and he will abundantly pardon”—Isa. 55:6–7

If we repent. “I tell you, nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”—Luke 13:3. If we confess. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”—I John 1:9. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth, and forsaketh them shall have mercy”—Prov. 28:13. Man must pray. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”—Rom. 10:13. Believe, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house”—Acts 16:31.

If we continue. “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God; on the which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off”—Rom. 11:22. “And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind, by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.

“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy, and unblameable, and unreproveable in his sight.

“If ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister”—Col. 1:21–23.

If it remains. “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father”—I John 2:24.

If we abide in him. “Abide in me, and I in you as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.

“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned”—John 15:4–6. Jesus places strong emphasis on continued spiritual life, and relationship with him is conditioned on our abiding in him. This means we have power to forsake him and be lost if we so desire. If we follow. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”—John 10:27. “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be; if any man serve me, him will my Father honour”—John 12:26. Note how Jesus stresses the condition “if.” Not compulsory, but voluntarily.

If we abound. “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”—2 Peter 1:8. If we hold fast. “But Christ as a Son over his own house; whose house are we (Christians) if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end”—Heb. 3:6. “Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown”—Rev. 3:11. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death”—John 8:51.

Note carefully; all of these “ifs” teach that if we do not meet these conditions we forfeit the divine life in us. This union to be eternal must be alive and continuing and not a mere once-for-all affair that we can presume upon.


To backslide means to fall from grace, to apostatize, or lose the life of the spirit out of the heart after one has been converted. There are two main schools of thought on this subject.

1. The Calvinists teach one cannot backslide and be finally lost, once he has been saved.

2. The Armenians teach that one may be saved and afterwards forfeit this divine life by yielding to temptation, and unless he is restored, will be eternally lost.

1. The Scriptures Teach the Possibility of Backsliding.

This possibility is taught by the direct statements of Christ (Matt. 5:13, 10:21–22), and by the parables of Christ (Luke 12:41–46; Matt. 25:1–12; with John 15:1–16). It is also taught in the warning of the Epistles (I Cor. 10:10–12; Rom. 11:22; with 2 Peter 2:20–22).

The scriptures on the direct statements of Christ, the parables of Christ, and the warnings of the epistles have been considered, and given in detail in a former part of this book, hence it would be superfluous to use space here for repetition.

2. Some Reasons Why People Backslide.

Their conversion is too shallow to begin with. “Those by the wayside are those that hear; then cometh the Devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved”—Luke 8:13.

They do not watch and pray like the disciples in the garden. “And when He arose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation”—Luke 22:45–46. Some start drifting and following afar off, like Peter, the account given in Luke 22:54–60. Some will not go on to perfection, or entire sanctification, hence are found backsliding, and dying in the wilderness of sin, because of lack of obedience to, and belief in God, and his word (Heb. 3:16–19, with Heb. 4:1–6).

There are some who refuse to walk in the light. “Then Jesus said unto them, yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them”—John 12:35–36.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”—John 8:12. Others turn aside to the world. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God”—James 4:4.

3. Conditions of the Backslider.

Filled with his own ways. “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways, and a good man shall be satisfied with himself”—Prov. 14:14.

Miserable and unhappy. “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee; know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts”—Jer. 2:19.

“Then Judas which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the Chief Priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood, And they said, what is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself”—Matt. 27:3–5.

A backslider is worse off than before he was saved. This truth is given in 2 Peter 2:20–22, which has been considered in detail previously in this book.

4. The Destiny of the Backslider.

He will be chastened in this life. “And that servant, which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: And to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more”—Luke 12:47–48.

He will be eternally lost. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God”—Ps. 9:17, with Matt. 24:45–51. Note carefully the attitude and ways of this unfaithful and unwise servant, and the ending and result of his life.

A “sorer” punishment than physical death awaits the backslider, “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, and unholy thing, and hath done despite to the Spirit of grace?”—Heb. 10:28–29.

God loves and will restore the backslider if he will return, confess, repent, pray and believe, “Go and proclaim these words toward the North, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause my anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep my anger forever.… Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God”—Jer. 3:12, 22.

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