|Timothy as a child, learning the Scriptures.|
According to the Arminian, Paul could fall from his faith before his death, and thus lose his salvation. Yet, Paul expresses his secure hope in a successfully-run race, for which he would soon receive the crown of righteousness in glory. Where is his insecurity? He shows none.
Further, a few verses later, Paul tells Reverend Timothy (II Tim. 4:18), "The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom." Not "my strength," not "my faith," not "my holiness." In fact, not "my" anything! Rather, he looks to Jesus to carry him through, just as he described in Philippians 1:6: "I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." That is why I dislike even the phrase "once saved, always saved," because it gives the misimpression that it is the strength of the individual that brings him safely through this life. Rather, I use the historical phrase "perseverance of the saints," because it is God Who carries the believer by means of faith and sanctification until the day of his glorification (Romans 8:30). That is why Paul is secure as he sees death approaching, because he knows he can trust his divine redeemer, Jesus Christ (Deut. 33:27, Psalm 145:20, II Tim. 1:12 NASB, John 10:28).
Since the earliest days of my Christian life, thirty-three years ago, I have never understood why people hate this doctrine. Why do they prefer the terror of believing that they may be saved today, just to lose it tomorrow? Even if it were true - and I thank God that it isn't - such a doctrine would be too horrific for me to hold. What does such a doctrine say about the efficacy of Christ's blood and the ministry of the Holy Spirit?