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Articles by Dr. Cathy Burns

Can our Names Be Blotted Out?

The belief in eternal security is probably the most dangerous theory in the world. The reason why I believe this is so is because people can be made to feel sure of heaven even though they continue to live in sin and are really headed for hell.

First of all, I want to state that I fully agree that Christ has accomplished 100% of our salvation. I, in no way, believe in or teach a "works" doctrine for salvation. There is absolutely NOTHING we can add to Christ's infinite atonement. There is NOTHING we can DO to merit eternal life. We are saved by faith, and faith ALONE. On the other hand, we cannot expect to live in sin and still make heaven our home. We are to live a holy life. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this...TO KEEP HIMSELF UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD" (James 1:27). "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth...but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Revelation 21:27).

Names are written into the Lamb's book of life when a person accepts Christ as his or her personal Savior, but these names can also be blotted out. For example, Moses prayed: Exodus 32:32-33: "Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, WHOSOEVER HATH SINNED AGAINST ME, HIM WILL I BLOT OUT OF MY BOOK."

Jesus said, Revelation 3:5: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels."

Revelation 22:19: "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, GOD SHALL TAKE AWAY HIS PART OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE, AND OUT OF THE HOLY CITY, and from the things which are written in this book."

This last verse is especially clear as it states that God will not only blot out one's name but will also take away his part out of the holy city (heaven)! This certainly is far more serious than just losing one's reward (as the eternal security proponents teach). We also see that those who are judged out of this book of life are judged "according to their works": "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works....And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:12, 15).

We cannot commit sin and still have a claim to eternal life. Ephesians 5:3-6 reminds us: "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, LET IT NOT BE ONCE NAMED AMONG YOU, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath ANY inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU WITH VAIN WORDS: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." (See also I Corinthians 6:9-11 and Galatians 5:19-21.)

The Christian walk comes even closer for if we hate our brother, we are a murderer according to 1 John 3:15: "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that NO MURDERER HATH ETERNAL LIFE ABIDING IN HIM."

Many people who claim to be Christians would not think of committing murder or adultery but many of them think nothing about telling a lie. The Bible, however, tells us that lying is a sin and that those who do lie cannot enter heaven: "And there shall IN NO WISE enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Revelation 21:27). "For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie" (Revelation 22:15). "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another" (Ephesians 4:25). "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds" (Colossians 3:9).

The eternal security promoters will use John 10:28-29: "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My 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." It is true that we are secure within the Father's hand--but only AS LONG AS we do not commit sin. These verses hinge on the previous verse: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they FOLLOW Me." Those who FOLLOW Christ are the ONLY ones who are secure within the Father's hand. Notice also verse 5: "And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers." If you start to follow a stranger (which you do when you commit sin), you are no longer secure within the Father's hand. Look also at Isaiah 59:2: "YOUR INIQUITIES HAVE SEPARATED BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR GOD, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear."

Let's observe another passage of Scripture. II Chronicles 15:1-2 tells us that "the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; THE LORD IS WITH YOU, WHILE YE BE WITH HIM; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you; but IF YE FORSAKE HIM, HE WILL FORSAKE YOU." It is quite obvious that NO MAN is plucking anyone from God's hand, but we cannot be kept safe and secure if we are committing sin. In fact, the reason Jesus came was that "He shall save His people FROM their sins" (Matthew 1:21) We are also to produce good works ("bear fruit").

To reiterate: there is NOTHING we can add to Christ's atonement nor is there ANYTHING we can DO to MERIT this FREE gift. Ephesians 2:8-9 says: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast." The very next verse, however, is quite interesting: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, WHICH GOD HATH BEFORE ORDAINED THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM." James plainly adds: "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my FAITH BY MY WORKS....But wilt thou know, O vain man, that FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD?...For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:18, 20, 26).

I Timothy 6:18-19: "That they DO GOOD, that they be rich in GOOD WORKS....Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they MAY LAY HOLD on eternal life." Titus 3:8 clearly admonishes that "This is a FAITHFUL SAYING, and these things I will that thou AFFIRM CONSTANTLY, that they which have believed [past tense] in God might BE CAREFUL TO MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS." Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but IN WORKS they deny Him." "If we deny Him, He also will deny us" (II Timothy 2:12). Peter tells us that AFTER we believe we should ADD to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, etc. "For IF ye DO these things, ye SHALL NEVER FALL."

Remember, Matthew 7:21-23 warns: "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of My Father which is in heaven." What is the will of God? See 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:18; I Peter 2:15; etc. Also notice: Hebrews 10:36: "For ye have need of patience, that, AFTER ye have DONE the will of God, ye might receive the promise."

The Christian walk consists of more than not PRACTICING sin. It also requires living a HOLY life. "Whosoever abideth in Him SINNETH NOT: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD DOTH NOT COMMIT SIN....In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother" (I John 3:6-10). "That ye may be sincere and WITHOUT OFFENCE TILL the day of Christ" (Philippians 1:10). "That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, NOT HAVING SPOT, OR WRINKLE, OR ANY SUCH THING; but that it should be HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH" (Ephesians 5:27). Titus 2:14: "Who gave Himself for us, that He might REDEEM US FROM ALL INIQUITY, and PURIFY unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

AS LONG AS we are doing the will of God we have NO WORRY about losing our salvation for we are secure in Christ. He that DOETH the will of God ABIDETH FOREVER" (I John 2:17), and Christ is "the author of ETERNAL SALVATION unto all that OBEY Him" (Hebrews 5:9). We obey Him by keeping His commandments--"He that hath My commandments, and KEEPETH them, he it is that loveth Me" (John 14:21) and "He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings" (v.24). "His commandment IS life everlasting" (John 12:50). "He that KEEPETH His commandments DWELLETH in Him and He in him" (I John 3:24).

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