Willful and unrepentant rebellion always assures separation from God, and ultimately incurs his wrath.
There is a certain element to the doctrine of “eternal security” that strikes accord with me, but I don’t believe the scriptures ever intended the barebones view established by the Calvinist doctrine (the P in TULIP). Specifically, Calvinist-oriented Baptists will argue themselves blue in the face, saying that if a person is truly saved, no sin whatsoever will damn them to hell (even if dying without repenting), an assertion that is simply not Biblical. One could randomly open the Bible to just about any passage (Old Testament or New Testament) and find a scripture that flatly negates their claim.
On the other hand, I think that overly identifying with the sin nature oftentimes lies at the heart of rejecting eternal-security. Let me explain.
Just as a long-time prisoner is fearful of life beyond walls, I sense that many Christians who oppose this doctrine are scared of a spiritual freedom devoid of rules and regulations (as were the Pharisees in Jesus’ day). They spend more time worrying about not sinning than on deepening their relationship with God. Sure, no one can fault them for trying to guard against sinning, but when that takes precedence over living a rich and power-filled Christian life, spiritual freedom necessarily takes a back seat. Jesus fulfilled the law when he died on the cross, meaning he is the living embodiment of the law. So when Jesus, God, takes up residence in our heart, he empowers us to live up to the law because we then live through him. But, just as Peter sank and began to drown when he took his eyes off Jesus, so too do those individuals who put more stock in the power of sin than on Jesus’ power to keep them from that sin.
In other words, aside from the fact that across-the-board “eternal security” is not scriptural, the people who most adamantly reject it, often do so from a heart that doubts God’s power to keep them from sin, relying instead on rules and regulations, the very thing that takes their eyes off Jesus. I believe the key to understanding this whole issue is to first understand that faith alone, God-given faith, empowers the heart, mind, and will to live free of rules, regulations, restriction, and sin, if we only believe, not doubt, the assurance of that faith. The moment we stop submitting to Christ, is the very moment we start focusing on sin at the expense of spiritual power.
Once again, I know there is a certain aspect of “eternal security” that is scriptural, but it is not an across the board free pass to give our sin-nature free-reign. In the end, I don’t believe it is the sin itself that negates one’s salvation, but instead the state of heart that does the sinning. Willful and unrepentant rebellion always assures separation from God, and ultimately incurs his wrath. This was the downfall of Lucifer, the one who knows, and once gloried in, absolute truth but tossed it away for his own arrogant pride against God.