(See also Section 13.10)
According to William Burt Pope:
“Unconditional grace may be spoken of as provided for the world as such, and for the mystical Church as such: as received by individuals it is conditional. Whether in the beginning of preliminary life, or in the mature life of the regenerate, or in the most confirmed saints, its very nature as grace is bound up with the condition that it is used by the free concurrence of him who receives it.
The conventional dogma of Final Perseverance belongs to the Augustinian or Calvinistic type of doctrine. There have been sundry attempts to attach this doctrine to other systems, but they have been in vain; it comports with no other theory of the economy of grace than which limits it to a definite and elect number, predetermined in the councils of eternity…A more thorough examination of the Christian covenant tends to show that this generous interpretation of the doctrine of persevering grace cannot be made consistent with the freedom of will and personal responsibility which lie at the foundation of universal redemption. The arguments for the indefectibility of grace in the Elect are such as rest, first upon the nature of the Christian Covenant and then upon misunderstood Scriptures.
What is called Final Perseverance, or the doctrine that grace can never be finally lost, is defended generally not so much by Scripture as by the necessary principles of the so-called Covenant of Redemption. So absolute and all-pervading in this view of the Gospel is the idea of a fixed and unalterable division of mankind that it is made a canon to which the interpretation of every passage of Scripture must conform.”
Reformed preachers are fond of saying, “If I thought I could loose my salvation, I would be afraid of going to sleep at night; I might wake up unsaved.” These preachers don’t really need a doctrine of Eternal Security or Perseverance of the Saints. They need Assurance of Salvation!
If you pray this simple prayer every day, God will give you that assurance!
Almighty God, I pray that the Holy Spirit will occupy and purify my heart, make known to me the will of God, help me discern the truth, be Lord of my life and keep me on the path of repentance, faith and obedience continually reaffirmed and renewed.