eternal security

eternal security cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
“Eternal Security” by nakedpastor David Hayward

The way some people are talking about Heaven and Hell and who goes and who doesn’t… well… this cartoon is fitting.

I remember the theological debates we used to get into concerning eternal security. Here they are: eternal security guards. Making sure you have the proper documentation and credentials to enter.

Don’t lose your I.D.!

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  • Carol

    Yes, for many the Church rather than God has become their “Mighty Fortress.”

    There are three common reasons why many sincere followers of Jesus are leaving the institutional churches:
    1. Dogmatic absolutism
    2.Self-righteous judgmentalism
    3.Sectarian triumphalism

    All three exclusivist attitudes support, rather than challenge, the narcissistic egoism that makes it impossible recognize and pass on to others the unconditional transformational love that God has for us and the rest of his creation.

  • I pray that everyone would get into Heaven.

    Nobody deserves to get in, including me. In any event, I hope hell is as thinly populated as God sees fit.

  • Amen, Old Adam.
    I’m not at all a universalist, I don’t at all believe that “all paths lead to the same summit;” and think that that can be a very dangerous belief to ascribe to. But if I get to Heaven and find that I’m wrong, I will happily rejoice with all who are there.

    I think I’m right, but I won’t be unhappy if I find that I’m wrong.

  • Sorry if I’ve already explained this, I can’t remember if I have or not or where it would be; but, here’s an dea I’ve been toying with lately:
    When I conceive of the final judgment for individuals, I think of two doors with Jesus standing in between them. The individual comes before Christ and He says “I don’t care what you’ve done, I want to be with you; if you would like to commune with me enter through this door and it will be so, for all of eternity. If, however, you do not want to be with me, then enter through that door and it will be so for all of eternity.” The individual, seeing Christ for exactly who and what He is, in the fullness of His love and glory; and seeing him or herself for exactly who he or she is then makes the decision to enter the one door or the other. Christ’s grace unlocked the door to Heaven and all may enter in, but they must rely on and trust the grace and mercy of God in Christ to do so. Factual knowledge doesn’t really play a role.

  • Carol

    It might be interesting to share what our difinition of “heaven” is. We did that once in Sunday School when I was a MS Lutheran. The pastor looked at me and said, “And YOU won’t have any more questions!”

    The vision I liked most came from a very non-assuming man whom I always found comfortable to be around although he rarely said much, “Heaven is where there are no misunderstandings.”

    This is one of my favorite quotes:
    “The emergence and blossoming of understanding, love, and intelligence has nothing to do with any tradition, no matter how ancient or impressive–it has nothing to do with time. It happens on its own when a human being questions, wonders, inquires, listens, and looks without getting stuck in fear, pleasure, and pain. When self-concern is quiet, in abeyance, heaven and earth are open.” – Toni Packer

    And then there is this one:
    “Those people who tell me that I’m going to hell while they are going to heaven somehow make me very glad that we’re going to separate destinations.” ~Martin Terman

  • Carol

    That describes my thoughts on the matter of eternal destiny also. I would describe myself as an inclusivist rather than a traditional universalist, because I believe that grace heals and frees our wills, not overrides our willing.

    HOWEVER, I can’t imagine coming face to face with the unmediated fullness of God’s Love and Glory in Christ Jesus and not desiring to be embraced by it; so perhaps there isn’t that much difference in my inclusivist belief and the belief of a universalist as to outcome.

    Scripture reveals that it is God’s will that all men be saved (1 Tim. 2:4) and I have noticed that God’s will usually prevails over time.

    “I used to believe we do not have free will. But then I realized that we do indeed have free will as far as the will to try to make things happen. However, of all the things we try to make happen, the ones that actually do happen, that is God’s will. So, ultimately, your free will is worthless.”
    ~Jessica Maxwell, quoting the *Mystic Golfer* in Roll Around Heaven

  • Carol

    BTW, Luther accused Calvin of being more concerned about the glory of God than with the God of Glory.

    Do you suppose that is why Calvin’s God is so often more like one of the OT Baalim than the Loving/Merciful Father God of Jesus Christ?

    “Whoever shall maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There is no question here of man’s authority; it is God who speaks, and clear it is what law he will have kept in the church, even to the end of the world. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so long as we set not his service above every human consideration, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for His glory.” –John Calvin, defending the execution of Michael Servetus

    “Many Christians still at bottom look upon God as one of  the most selfish, self-absorbed Beings in the universe, far more selfish than they could think it right to be themselves, —intent only upon His own honor and glory, looking out continually that His own rights are never trampled on; and so absorbed in thoughts of Himself and of His own righteousness, as to have no love or
    pity to spare for the poor sinners who have offended Him.” ~Hannah Whitall Smith

  • OK, David, now you have gone too far.
    I was once a Christian but then I left the fold. But I did so knowing that eternal security is true: Once Saved – Always save. How dare you attack the holy T.U.L.I.P. — I would not have moved back to the depraved Atheist filthy state I am in now had I known that my I.D. card would not be honored in Heaven in the future.
    I refuse to believe your cartoonish theology!

  • Lou Lange

    Sounds eerily like the lyrics from the song “Signs” by The Five Man Electrical Band:

    “Sign says you’ve got to have a membership card to get inside”

  • Trevor

    I love that song.

  • Rusty

    Funny, I never before noticed how many people’s idea of heaven–and its entry requirements–resembled those of TSA airport screeners. If it’s as hard as getting into the American Airlines boarding area then I’m S.O.L.

  • I’m not a Calvinist, and I grew up in the South where Calvinists dominate the theological atmosphere so much that it was hard not to see them the way the Red Sox see the Yankees; so, I don’t want to pile on them too much because I know where my bias lies. That said, Calvin was a lawyer before he was a professional theologian. My general assessment of Calvin’s theology is that it makes a whole lot of sense within itself and given certain assumptions. As a logical structure it works and is almost impregnable from logical attacks; it is strong and elegant. But if you start to take out bits and pieces here and there, the whole system collapses. In other words, you can’t really be a three point Calvinist and also retain Calvin’s logical consistency. You have to take all 5 points or none at all.

    I think Calvin’s theology can be valuable to Christianity, but only if we recognize that it is the fallable vision of a single man, one man’s interpretation of Scripture. When we take any single person’s theology and assume that it is infallible truth, we begin to run into severe problems.

  • Huh, you cling to Preservation of the saints? I always hung my hat on limited atonement ; )

  • Carol

    If the presuppositions are wrong, logic will always lead to the wrong conclusions.

    I believe that all five of Calvin’s presuppositions (TULIP) are heretical.

    “You are not thinking. You are merely being logical.” –Neils Bohr

  • Carol


    I received this email this morning. It points out how not only our presuppositions, but also the questions we ask and the attitude with which we approach them influences the answers we get:

    Your image of God, your de facto, operative image of God, lives in a symbiotic relationship with your soul and creates what you become. Loving people, forgiving people have always encountered a loving and forgiving God. Cynical people are cynical about the very possibility of any coherent or loving Center to the universe. So why wouldn’t they become cynical themselves? Of course they do.

    When you encounter a truly sacred text, the first questions are not: Did this literally happen just as it states? How can I be saved? What is the right thing for me to do? What is the dogmatic pronouncement here? Does my church agree with this? Who is right and who is wrong here? These are largely ego questions, I am afraid. They are questions that try to secure your position, not questions that help you go on a spiritual path of faith and trust. They constrict you, whereas the purpose of The Sacred is to expand you. I know these are the first questions that come to our mind because that is where we usually live —inside of our mental ego. They are the questions we were trained to ask, because everybody else asks them, unfortunately!

    Having read sacred text, I would invite you to ponder these questions:

    What is God doing here?
    What does this say about who God is?
    What does this say about how I can then relate to such a God?
    Richard Rohr, Adapted from the webcast A Teaching on Wondrous Encounters

    These are three of my favorite quotes on questions:
    “What if the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?” –Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Prelude

    “I want to ask you, as clearly as I can, to bear with patience all that is unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were rooms yet to enter or books written in a foreign language. Don’t dig for answers that can’t be given you yet: you cannot live them now. For everything must be lived.
    Live the questions now, perhaps then, someday, you will gradually, without noticing, live into the answer.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Worpswede, July 16, 1903, Letters to a Young Poet

    “Bromidic though it may sound, some questions don’t have answers, which is a terribly difficult lesson to learn.” –Katherine Graham


    Perseverance of the saints, commonly referred to as, once saved always saved, is a major tenet of Calvinism. The question is can a Christian fall from God’s grace and be lost?


    John 15:2-6…..If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up, and they gather them, cast them into the fire and they are burned.

    Being cast into a fire does not sound like, once saved always saved.

    Hebrews 2:1-3 For this reason we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift from it….3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation……

    Why would the writer of Hebrews warn of drifting from salvation if it was an impossibility?

    Galatians 5:1-4 It was for freedom that Christ set us free….4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

    The apostle Paul said that some Christians had fallen from grace. Falling from grace was a reality for them.

    Colossians 1:22-23 yet He has reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—23 if you indeed continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul was made a minister.

    The apostle Paul said the Colossians would be holy and blameless on the condition that they continued in the faith. Paul said nothing of “once in grace always in grace.”

    Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

    Blood bought Christians were warned to, not, stop believing. Apostasy means, to cease to believe.

    Hebrews 6:4-6 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

    If Christians fall away (deny the gospel), they will not repent. Those Christians who deny the benefits of the shed blood of Christ simply will not repent; not because God prevents them. They have just lost the will and desire to repent.

    1 Timothy 4:1-4 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons….

    The Holy Spirit says some will fall away. Calvinism teaches apostasy is impossible. Who do you believe the Holy Spirit or the professors of Calvinism?

    Galatians 1:2-9….To the churches of Galatia…6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel….9….if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

    Paul stated that some of the Galatian Christians were falling away. They were practicing the teachings of the Judaizers. Some of the Jewish Christians were perverting the gospel by incorporating the Old Testament ceremonial practices with in gospel of Christ.


    Two things have to occur in order to convince men that the doctrine of, once in grace always in grace, is a Biblical truth.
    1. You need a willing student.
    2. A skilled professional is needed, with a doctorate in MAN-MADE TRADITIONS.

    What is impossible? It is impossible to prayerfully search the Scriptures for the truth and still hold the view that apostasy is impossible.

    A TULIP NOTE: Some say, “I believe in the doctrine of ,Perseverance of the Saints, however, I reject the other four points of Calvinism.”

    1. T–Total Depravity
    2. U–Unconditional Election
    3. L–Limited Atonement
    4. I–Irresistible Grace
    5. P–Perseverance of the Saints

    You cannot separate any of the five points of Calvinism and keep the tulip from wilting. You you either believe them all or none of them.

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