If you know me well, you know that I have an irrational fear of Ferris wheels. I love roller coasters of all kinds. And flying in an airplane doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I truly love it!
Heights aren’t the problem. So, I don’t know why I can’t stand Ferris wheels.
I tried the new one at Pidgeon Forge, TN, a couple years ago. It had nice glass-enclosed seating. Because of this I thought I could surely handle it and maybe even teach myself to enjoy it.
I was a nervous basket case the whole time. I had to talk myself through it. Remind myself of ALL God’s promises that I could make my fear-choked brain remember. Repeatedly. No joke.
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My husband hates heights, but like me, decided to try the Ferris wheel for our daughter’s sake. He is such a comedian, thank goodness, that his joking (his coping mechanism) made the ride bearable for me.
Until he caught sight of the ONE bolt connecting our cage to the wheel! Then he goes off on a monologue about that ONE bolt! Wish you could have been there. He really is hilarious. Especially when he’s nervous.
From then on all I could think about was that ONE bolt. Was it going to hold?! I mean it had already held many times. Right? It probably would hold for two more minutes for us to make it off this thing.
Amidst all my mental verse quoting, I was thanking Jesus for my salvation! I was also praising Him because I knew that even if that bolt didn’t hold, He was holding me in the palm of His hand!!
And 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. John 10:28-29
If that ONE bolt didn’t hold, I knew that my salvation would! Why? Because of the doctrine of eternal security.
What is Eternal Security?
According to the above verses in John chapter 10,
And that is what is meant by the doctrine of eternal security.
Does that truth rejoice your soul like it does mine?
There are many proofs for the doctrine of eternal security in the New Testament. But I used to wonder…
Did the Old Testament saints have eternal security, too?
I used to wonder if the believers in the Old Testament times knew that once they belonged to the Lord, they were forever His. Did they understand that they would not lose their salvation? Is the doctrine of eternal security also found in the Old Testament? The answer…Yes!
5 Old Testament Verses That Teach Eternal Security
As I read our chapters in Ecclesiastes this week, this verse caught my attention.
Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall bewell with them that fear God, which fear before him: Ecclesiastes 8:12
Maybe not in this life—as injustice is prevalent in this life (verse 14)—but surely in Heaven when those who feared God, His children, stand before Him at the judgment. They will rejoice in the presence of God. And Heaven, with all its wonder, will forever be their home. All will surely be well with them then!
Solomon had a “know so” faith. He was secure in the knowledge that those who fear God would surely go to Heaven. He knew they would not lose their salvation. They would be in Heaven!
Solomon understood that whatever God does lasts forever.
I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever:nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. Ecclesiastes 3:14
With that in mind, Who is it that saves the soul?
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:7
It is God…Who causes His gospel message to take root and bear the fruit of salvation in a soul. Salvation is God’s work. And since whatever God does lasts forever, we conclude that salvation lasts forever!
Solomon understood that from the moment God saves a soul, that soul is secure. That soul forever belongs to God the Saviour. “Nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it:” “It” in our application here being that person’s salvation.
3—2 Samuel 12:23
King David is another Old Testament saint who knew that he was secure in his salvation. When his son, born of his sin with Bathsheba, dies, David says these words…
But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again?I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. 2 Samuel 12:23
Under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David writes that he knows that He would go to be with his son in Heaven. David knew he hadn’t lost his salvation, in spite of his sin!
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
God does not change. That means His offer of salvation is consistent whether a person lives now or lived in the Old Testament times. If believers today have eternal security, then the Old Testament believers did as well.
And it is abundantly clear in the New Testament that believers do, in fact, have eternal security.
Let’s look at some of those New Testament proofs next before going on to the 5th Old Testament verse teaching eternal security of believers.
How do we know New Testament believers have eternal security?
1) Salvation is eternal life, not short-term life. (John 10:28 above)
2) Salvation is a gift we receive by grace through faith in Jesus’ death for us. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Salvation is not something we might have…if we work hard enough at it and do enough good to earn it. Which is impossible anyway, since in God’s eyes the best good we can do isn’t good enough. It is “filthy rags” to God. (Isaiah 64:6) Good works will never save anyone.
Since salvation is a gift and isn’t earned with good works to begin with, it cannot be “un“–earned, or lost, by our bad works, or sin.
3) Once we are saved we can never be separated from God’s love. Ever!
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
4) More New Testament proofs—1 John 5:13, Hebrews 13:5, John 6:37,39, 1 Peter 1:5
Again, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, His salvation is the same…and grants eternal life… no matter the time in which a believer lives.
Salvation has always been a gift. Old Testament believers received salvation by faith (Romans 4:2-5) in what God had revealed to them about His promise to send Messiah. Their works revealed their faith. New Testament believers receive salvation by faith in what Jesus already did. And our works reveal that faith.
Now let’s look at the 5th Old Testament verse that shows eternal security of the believer.
5—Judges 16:20 and Hebrews 11:32-33
I know for me, the biggest confusion with this question of salvation and eternal security of Old Testament believers was the role of the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testament times.In New Testament times, after Jesus ascended to Heaven, the Holy Spirit indwells every believer from the moment of spiritual rebirth, or salvation. And never leaves. He, in fact, seals us in the Lord.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13
The work of the Holy Spirit in Old Testament times, however, was different. He would only indwell a believer for a short time in order to enable him or her to accomplish a particular purpose. But this in no way means that these believers ever lost their salvation.
Samson is one example. Even though we read that at one time the Lord (His Spirit) left Samson, he was clearly a saved man of faith. For we find his name listed in the “hall of faith” in Hebrews.
And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. Judges 16:20
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Hebrews 11:32-33
Blessed be the name of the Lord! (Psalms 68:19-20, 1 Peter 1:5)
Let us ever rejoice in the God of our salvation! And keep…
Drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.
Have you ever, like me, wondered about salvation and eternal security for people in the Old Testament? Did this article help clear up any of your questions? Which ones?
Do you ever worry about losing your salvation? Or, do you worry sometimes that you might not be saved? If so, please reach out to me in the Comments below, or private message me on Facebook, or in the Contacts. I’d love to talk with you about it and try to be a help.