The God-Dishonouring Despair of Arminian Insecurity

Hebrews 3:12-14

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): The words strongly imply, as indeed does the whole epistle of Hebrews, the possibility of falling from the grace of God, and perishing everlastingly.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): God keeps them by His grace from falling away entirely, and finally brings them safe to glory.

ADAM CLARKE: Final perseverance implies final faithfulness―he that endures to the end shall be saved, Matthew 10:22―he that is faithful unto death shall have a crown of life. And will any man attempt to say that he who does not endure to the end, and is unfaithful, shall ever enter into life?

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Our Saviour reminded His disciples of the personal responsibility of each one of them in such a time of trial and testing as they were about to pass through. It is not the man who starts in the race, but the one who runs to the goal, who wins the prize: “He that shall endure to the end shall be saved.” If this doctrine were not supplemented by another, there would be but little good tidings for poor, tempted, tried, and struggling saints in such words as these. Who among us would persevere in running the heavenly race if God did not preserve us from falling, and give us persevering grace? But, blessed be His name, “The righteous shall hold on his way,” Job 17:9. “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,” Philippians 1:6.

ADAM CLARKE:We are made partakers of Christ.” Having believed in Christ, they were made partakers of all its benefits in this life, and entitled to the fulfillment of all its exceeding great and precious promises relative to the glories of the eternal world. The former they actually possessed, the latter they could have only in the case of their perseverance; therefore the apostle says, “If we hold fast the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end,” for our participation in glory depends on our continuing steadfast in the faith, to the end of our Christian race…If this were not held fast to the end, Christ, in His saving influences, could not be held fast; and no Christ―no heaven.

C. H. SPURGEON: It is not your hold of Christ that saves, but His hold of you.

AUGUSTUS TOPLADY (1713-1778): I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any 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. I and my Father are one, John 10:28-30. How we are to understand that part of the passage that expressly declares concerning Christ’s people, that they shall never perish, since perish they necessarily must and certainly would, if eventually separated from Christ?

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): We are made partakers of Christ.”―And we shall still partake of Him and all His benefits, if we hold fast our faith unto the end. If―but not else.

AUGUSTUS TOPLADY: I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, Hebrews 13:5…If any of Christ’s people can be finally lost, it must be occasioned either by their departing from God, or by God’s departure from them. But they are certainly and effectually secured against these two only possible sources of apostasy. For thus runs the covenant of grace: I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me,” Jeremiah 32:40. Now if God will neither leave them, nor suffer them to leave Him, their final perseverance in grace to glory must be certain and infallible.

ADAM CLARKE: Why should the apostle exhort a believer to persevere, if it be impossible for him to fall away?

C. H. SPURGEON: How can God be God, and let His people be plucked out of His hand? Sure He were no God to us, if He were unfaithful to a promise so oft repeated and so solemnly confirmed. Besides, mark ye this. If one saint should fall away and perish, God would not only break His Word, but His oath, for He hath sworn by Himself “that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us,” Hebrews 6:18.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The honour and glory of Jehovah is bound up in the final perseverance of the saints.

ADAM CLARKE: Angels fell; Adam fell; Solomon fell; and multitudes of believers have fallen, and, for aught we know, rose no more; and yet we are told that we cannot finally lose the benefits of our conversion!

JOHN WESLEY: A child of God, that is, a true believer―for he that believeth is born of God―while he continues a true believer, cannot go to hell. But if a believer “make shipwreck of the faith,” he is no longer a child of God! And then he may go to hell, yea, and certainly will, if he continues in unbelief. If a believer may make shipwreck of the faith, then a man that believes now may be an unbeliever some time hence; yea, very possibly, tomorrow; but, if so, he who is a child of God today, may be a child of the devil tomorrow. For, God is the Father of them that believe, so long as they believe. But the devil is the father of them that believe not, whether they did once believe or no.

STEPHEN CHARNOCK (1628-1680): Can these men fancy God so unconcerned as to let the apple of His eye be plucked out, as to be a careless spectator of the pillage of His jewels by the powers of hell, to have the delight of His soul tossed like a tennis ball between Himself and the devil?

A. W. PINK: If the final perseverance of the saints be a delusion, then one must close his Bible and sit down in despair.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): The doctrine of the saints final perseverance asserts the unchangeableness of God, and does honour to it; but the contrary doctrine makes Him changeable in His nature, will, and grace, and reflects dishonour on Him…God is unchangeable; this is asserted by Himself: “I am the Lord; I change not;” and He Himself drew this inference from it: “Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed;” ye that are Israelites indeed perish not, nor ever shall―if they are consumed, or perish everlastingly, He must change in His love to them―which He never does―and in His purposes and designs concerning them. And those whom He has appointed to salvation, He must consign over to damnation; and His promises of grace made to them, and His blessings of grace bestowed on them, must be reversed. But He will not alter the thing that is gone out of His lips, nor change His mind; for He is “of one mind, and who can turn him?” Job 23:13.

C. H. SPURGEON: God promises to keep His people, and He will keep His promise.


This entry was posted in Doctrine & Practice and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.