By Dan Corner
Copyright 1995 by Daniel D. Corner. However, for the sake of truth and eternal souls,
you have our permission to copy this booklet for free distribution but NOT TO SELL.
Table of Contents
Very few people who have been saved for any length of time are unacquainted with the name Charles Stanley. His national TV and radio program, “In Touch,” is regularly broadcasted throughout the United States. As the senior pastor of a 12,000 member Baptist church in Georgia and twice elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, his religious influence is staggering. He has complete global recognition, being found in every nation in some form via TV, radio and/or the distribution of his books. In fact, his “In Touch” broadcast is aired in many more than 196 countries around the world. His book entitled Eternal Security Can You Be Sure? is a major focal point of this booklet dealing with his view of the gospel.
Anyone who has heard Dr. Charles Stanley teach a dozen or so sermons has certainly heard some fine teachings! Without a doubt, this is true! But does this mean that everything he teaches is Biblically sound? Is it possible that this popular preacher might have some teachings that are not consistent with Scripture? In this booklet we will not address his sound sermons, but instead we will critique Stanley’s conception of the gospel and how his gospel compares with Scripture. Are they one and the same or is there an important difference that will adversely affect people, to some degree, throughout eternity?
For those who are regular listeners of his broadcasts, to hear eternal security taught, directly or indirectly, is not uncommon! This is so because to him, the gospel itself is very closely connected with the teaching of eternal security. Stanley has put forth his view of this with these words:
“The very gospel itself comes under attack when the eternal security of the believer is questioned. … the very foundations of Christianity begin to crumble once we begin tampering with the eternal security of the believer.”
“Yet I reject the notion that eternal security is just a Baptist doctrine. As you read, I believe it will become apparent that this doctrine is first and foremost a biblical one.”
“You see, it isn’t just good news. It is good news about Jesus Christ, Who paid our sin debt in full to a holy God Who required death for sin and the shedding of His blood, satisfied that requirement, and made it possible for you and me to be accepted in the eyes of God and to be eternally secure in Him. That’s why He called it the grace of God.”
A close examination of these aforementioned statements from Charles Stanley clearly reveals his views on eternal security. To him it is: (1) intrinsically linked to the gospel, (2) foundational to Christianity, (3) a first and foremost Bible doctrine and (4) included under the grace of God!
The following is his definition of eternal security:
“… eternal security is that work of God in which He guarantees that the gift of salvation once received is possessed forever and cannot be lost.”
One of the objectives of this booklet is to precisely identify what Stanley means when he says that our salvation “once received is possessed forever and cannot be lost.” Remember, this internationally known religious figure has linked this concept to the gospel and the grace of God. The following elaborates his view:
“The Bible clearly teaches that God’s love for His people is of such magnitude that even those who walk away from the faith have not the slightest chance of slipping from His hand.”
“Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy.”
“… believers who lose or abandon their faith will retain their salvation ….”
By these statements, Stanley’s gospel shockingly declares someone still “saved” who becomes an apostate, that is, one who “becomes an unbeliever” or “lose[s] or abandons their faith.” In other words, one’s salvation is always “possessed forever and cannot be lost” even if such a person no longer believes.
As might be expected, Stanley’s understanding of what a Christian is surfaces throughout his teachings, but even this has naturally been affected by his adherence to eternal security:
“… a Christian who at no point in his entire life bore any eternal fruit. And yet his salvation is never jeopardized.”
“… there are Christians who show no evidence of their Christianity as well.”
“Consequently, God does not require a constant attitude of faith in order to be saved – only an act of faith.”
“It [saving faith] is a singular moment in time wherein we take what God has offered.”
According to Stanley, it is possible for a Christian to bear no fruit at all throughout his entire life, show absolutely “no evidence” of his Christianity at all and not maintain a “constant attitude of faith”! Is this really what the Bible teaches or is it a dangerous distortion of the true gospel of grace to the point where it has now been turned into something different? Jude urged Christians in his day to fight against a grace teaching which, in reality, was not true grace teaching but instead a distorted “grace” message which allowed for immorality (Jude 3, 4).
To understand what a real Christian is, is most basic to Christianity itself. To be in error over this issue must produce a faulty understanding of salvation itself, since only a true Christian possesses salvation (1 Jn. 5:11-13 cf. Jn. 14:6)! With regard to the identity of true Christians, the Lord Jesus described such in more than one way. He not only said they “believe” in Him (Jn. 3:15, 16, 18, 36; 6:47; etc.) but said they “follow” Him (Jn. 10:27). Similarly, Jesus said:
“My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice” (Lk. 8:21).
This is a very important verse, for in it Jesus clearly gives us His definition of who the real Christians are and didn’t stop with one who has at least a moment’s faith in Himself.
Moreover, Heb. 5:9 states:
“… he [Jesus] became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”
Likewise, the Apostle John described a Christian with the following:
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:3, 4).
These descriptions of true Christians given by the Lord and His Apostles are mutually exclusive to Stanley’s! Without a doubt salvation is a gift which comes at the point of a trusting-submitting faith in Christ. Furthermore, the recipient has spiritual life now. But this does not assume such can afterwards stop believing on Christ and turn to a life that behaviorally is no different than the Christ rejecters, yet still remain a Christian.
The following passages will help us understand the real Christian even better for they refer to those who will actually enter the kingdom of God:
“… those who have practiced doing good [will come out] to the resurrection of [new] life” (Jn. 5:29, Amplified Bible).
“To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” (Rom. 2:7).
“… with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers” (Rev. 17:14).
These all describe the “overcomers” as mentioned in Rev. 21:7 or the “sheep” who enter the kingdom in Mt. 25:31-46. Spend time pondering these Scriptures to illuminate your understanding of these issues.
One final verse needs to be mentioned on this subject which shows the close connection between one’s faith and his behavior:
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?” (Jam. 2:14).
Though Stanley’s gospel would answer in the affirmative, the answer “No” is clearly implied to James’ question regarding saving faith. Again, from this verse we see that a true, living, saving faith will have good works attached to it! This is fact, even though we are not saved by our own good works (Eph. 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). We are saved by our faith, which must be in the Lord Jesus (Lk.7:50; Acts 10:43; 20:21; 26:20b; etc.).
Since we are saved by grace and not by our own good works (Eph. 2:8, 9), as already mentioned, it is imperative to find out what grace is. Perhaps the true, Biblical grace of God is most concisely given in Titus 2:12:
“It [the grace of God] teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”
In other words, true grace teaching, according to the Bible, promotes holy living and does not allow for immorality! In fact, it may surprise some to learn that true grace teaching goes even further than this. Paul expands upon holy living and the seriousness of rejecting such with the following:
“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 4:7, 8).
In stark contrast to these truths about New Testament grace and holy living, Charles Stanley shockingly limits the penalty for the most extreme, unholy and flagrantly disobedient lifestyle to just a loss of rewards:
“… You can’t sin and live like the devil down here and get by with it even as a believer. The Bible says you will lose your reward but you’ll be saved so as by fire. You won’t lose your salvation, but there’s a whole lot to lose, brother, by sinful living.”
This last quote explicitly shows that Stanley’s gospel message allows for one who was once saved to afterwards “live like the devil” yet not lose his salvation. Hence, to him and his gospel of grace, a saved person may be one who is presently living “like the devil”! If this isn’t a grace message that is a license for immorality, what is? If it isn’t extreme enough to be a license for immorality, how much more extreme could one get? Reader, seriously ponder these two questions and the ramifications of such before moving on.
Stanley similarly goes on as he comments on the “carnal” Christian:
“And so, sometimes out of ignorance or whatever it might be, they attempt to gratify and meet those needs the same way they did before they were saved, and therefore, you can’t tell a carnal believer from a lost man. That is, you can’t tell the cold from the carnal because the truth is, they’re both acting the same way. Now, one of them is in Christ and one of them isn’t. One of them is lost and the other one is in Christ. One of them knows about God and knows him in the experience of salvation; the other doesn’t know him at all.”
[Unfortunately, Stanley is not alone as he teaches like this regarding the "carnal Christian." Other influential teachers such as Charles Ryrie, Zane Hodges, Robert Thieme, Tony Evans, June Hunt and many others all declare the same.]
Let’s take a close look at 1 Cor. 3:3-5, the primary passage used by Charles Stanley and the others as the basis for this “carnal” Christian teaching. Paul wrote:
“For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?” (New King James Version).
Please notice that it was envy, strife and divisions and those alone which made Paul address them as “carnal,” as the immediate context shows! This is clearly what verse 4 declares, as it cites why Paul called them “carnal.” Furthermore, all the envy, strife and divisions were over their favorite gospel preacher, according to verse 5. (See also 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:21.)
To read into “carnal” and openly teach, as Stanley does around the globe, is to dangerously distort the image of true Christianity. By fabricating this new type of saved person that is behaving just like the darkened, God-hating, Hell-bound, Christ-rejecters multitudes are re-opened to the greatest danger yet are unaware of it.
Besides the immediate context of 1 Cor. 3:3, this Stanley concept of the “carnal” Christian is also refuted Scripturally by the following:
First, Paul stated the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9), then told us in the next verse how to identify someone who is wicked from their behavior. The sexually immoral, drunkards and the greedy are included in this group and will, therefore, be excluded from the kingdom unless they turn from their sins. No exception is made for one previously saved! This is the true grace teaching, according to Scripture.
Second, Paul demonstratively used this 1 Cor. 6:9, 10 gauge in the preceding chapter regarding a sexually immoral man who was attending their Christian gatherings in Corinth. In reference to him, Paul wrote:
“… Expel the wicked man from among you” (1 Cor. 5:13).
Paul, who could not see this man’s heart, could tell by his sinful behavior (sexual immorality) that this man was wicked and therefore unsaved.
His advice regarding this man, who was previously saved, was totally unlike the advice to those never saved — though both need salvation:
“Hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord” (1 Cor. 5:5).
Obviously, the Corinthian congregation had only one sexually immoral person in it at that time, whom the others were to expel from among them. If there would have been others who were known to be sexually immoral, they too would have been treated like that man. This point alone is devastating to the “carnal” Christian understanding which Stanley and other eternal security proponents embrace.
Before we proceed, one other vital point regarding the issue of “carnal” Christians needs to be made. 1 Cor. 5:11 says:
“But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.”
This verse also clearly refutes the view that a carnal Christian behaves indistinguishably from the unsaved, since Paul made a clear distinction between the “carnal” Corinthians and those who were to be avoided, as cited in this verse. In other words, the Corinthians (who were labeled “carnal” because of strife and divisions over their favorite gospel preachers) were told not to even eat with those who professed to be saved but were sexually immoral, drunkards, greedy, etc. Without a doubt, the latter were not present-tense possessors of eternal life (1 Cor. 6:9, 10 cf. Rev. 21:8). There is a clear distinction between the two. 1 Cor. 5:11 proves that even the carnal Christian could not be in any of these categories! Consequently, for the Calvinists who embrace a contradictory view of the “carnal” there is also a major problem with this verse and the aforementioned descriptions of the truly saved. This “carnal” Christian question is a watershed issue, since it really affects the definition of a Christian and, therefore, who will ultimately be saved. To be wrong about this is to be wrong about who will be excluded from the kingdom of God and thrown into the lake of fire.
The Lord declared, “A tree is known by its fruit” (Mt. 12:33, New King James Version). This is a prevalent teaching throughout the New Testament.
Paul similarly taught the following:
“But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives” (1 Tim. 5:6).
Paul could categorically make such a statement based solely on one’s behavior. For him to declare that such widows were spiritually dead if they were presently living for pleasure is a flat contradiction to eternal security. If Paul believed in eternal security, he could never have said this because such widows might have been saved at an earlier time and therefore would still be spiritually alive even though they were presently living this way.
Like Jesus and Paul, consider also what the Apostle John asserted regarding this:
“This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother” (1 Jn. 3:10).
What they knew in first century Christianity about one’s spiritual status from his behavior is now being flatly rejected by Stanley and others through the rampant teaching of our day known as “eternal security” — the very teaching Stanley says if questioned is to question the gospel itself. Wow!
The Apostle John, who often wrote to counter false teachers of his day, declared something else very relevant about the link between one’s behavior and his salvation:
“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil … ” (1 Jn. 3:7, 8).
It is also apparent from these verses that, again, the Lord’s Apostles, in contrast to Charles Stanley and other eternal security teachers, did not believe that it was possible to be in Christ and at the same time to be “living like the devil”! Therefore, we are talking about two different grace messages and two different images of Christianity. One allows for the most unholy and immoral behavior among the saved and one doesn’t.
With suicide abounding, this is a very important issue to address. While commenting on this subject, Stanley also reveals at the same time how he understands the forgiveness of sins which the Lord Jesus provided on the cross. Stanley starts off by saying:
“When He died on the cross, He took care of all of our sin.”
Again, what is Stanley’s interpretation of this fundamental truth of Scripture? It becomes apparent as he elaborates:
“When He died on the cross, He took care of all of our sin. You say, ‘You mean to tell me that if a person takes their own life, after all these things that you just talked about, all these things of sins that that person’s forgiven?’ Forgiven …. that person is going to lose reward.”
“A believer who commits suicide is already forgiven. Now I didn’t say it was gonna be good for him, I said they’re forgiven. They are pardoned of that sin.”
From this we learn that Stanley’s gospel allows the unrepentant murderers (suicide victims) in Heaven, that is, if they ever for a moment of time had a saving faith in Christ!
[Some others who teach the same are David Breese, Bob George, June Hunt, David Jeremiah, Hank Hanegraaff, Ron Rhodes, and the deceased J. Vernon McGee.]
In the 1980′s, John MacArthur, Jr.’s congregation had a lawsuit brought against it related to this issue because of clergy counsel rendered to Kenneth Nally, a suicidal young man who killed himself afterwards. Testimony indicated the pastors taught the following:
“… that a ‘saved’ person would go to heaven despite committing suicide; according to attorney Barker, such teaching could have been interpreted as a ‘green light’ by Nally to kill himself.”
In another even more convincing instance, Ron Rhodes and Paul Carden counseled a suicidal woman on “The Bible Answer Man” radio broadcast who told them, “If I knew I was going to Heaven, I would do it [commit suicide].” (This personal testimony proves eternal security is conducive to suicide.) Although Carden made somewhat of an attempt to deter her, Rhodes shockingly, on the other hand, ultimately assured her, “You are eternally secure. Anyone who has trusted in Christ is eternally secure ….”
According to Stanley’s gospel, which is based on eternal security, one’s spiritual condition at the very end of his life is totally irrelevant to his eternal destiny! In contrast, see Mt. 10:22; Heb. 3:14; Rev. 2:10, 11 cf. Jam. 1:12. Let God’s word speak to you!
By teaching as he does about suicide, Stanley [and others] places a loaded gun in the hands of the intensely suffering Christian, completely drained of all hope. For those who buy into Stanley’s counterfeit gospel, the sin of self-murder is actually a blessing, for it prematurely will end one’s pain here and send him quickly to a paradise Heaven (so he thinks)!
Just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ erroneous teaching on blood transfusions, Stanley’s teaching could possibly be sending multitudes to a premature grave — but even worse sending the same to Hell. According to the Bible, the lake of fire is clearly the destiny of all unrepentant murderers (Rev. 21:8; 1 Jn. 3:15). Remember it is impossible for one who murders himself to afterwards repent!
Getting back to Stanley’s understanding of Jesus’ death on the cross, which has been adversely affected by his acceptance of eternal security, he says:
“No matter what you do as a child of God, you are forgiven. You say, ‘Murder?’ Forgiven. ‘Stealing?’ Forgiven. ‘Adultery?’ Forgiven. ‘Worshiping idols?’ Forgiven.”
Pandora’s box is widely opened now. Limitless kinds of the most heinous sins known to mankind are no longer something to be avoided for salvation’s sake since, according to Stanley’s gospel, the Christian is already forgiven even before the sin is committed! Elsewhere, Stanley said:
“It is not lying, cheating, stealing, raping, murdering, or being unfaithful that sends people to hell.”
“To hold to a theology in which man can do something that throws him back into a state of spiritual deadness, thus denying God His predetermined purpose, is to embrace a system in which man is in the driver’s seat and God is just a passenger.”
In other words, the bogus gospel of eternal security declares that no sin committed after salvation will send one to Hell. This is a common deception in our day, which is certainly sending multitudes to Hell.
If there ever existed a distortion of Scripture and a counterfeit grace message that is, in reality, a “license for immorality” this type of teaching has to be it! This isn’t the good news the Bible speaks of. It is bad news for all who accept it. There is no way to know how many suicides, broken families through divorce, and criminal acts that occurred because of this type of teaching, which continues to spread, seemingly unchallenged, through Stanley’s global ministry and Calvinism as a whole.
Unconsciously laying a snare for the Christian by teaching “once saved always saved,” Stanley says the following as he comments on the Prodigal Son:
“Sometimes you and I may resort to looking and acting like we used to behave before we were saved, but just because we behave that way doesn’t mean we have lost our salvation….But let’s look at the Prodigal Son for just a moment…. So, here he is living in sin and his lifestyle is such that’s absolutely wicked….Let me tell you something. When you are born again by the grace of Almighty God, and you become a child of God, you are born again. You become a new creation in Christ. You are adopted into the family of God. It doesn’t make any difference how wicked and how vile you act….You never get away with sin. But it doesn’t mean because you sin against God, God rejects you for your disobedience because in this story, God is pictured as running toward a backsliding son who came home to his father.”
Please note that Stanley gives the reason for his belief that the Prodigal was always saved as being because the Father is pictured as running to him when he came home. It is vitally important to remember that this occurred only after the Prodigal turned away from his lifestyle of sin in a humble and sorrowful attitude to return to the Father to serve Him.
Furthermore, amidst all this Biblical terminology, Stanley slips in his “gospel” of eternal security, that is, salvation “cannot be lost” regardless of any type of habitual sinful living and/or abandonment of the faith. Here this respected, international figure states that even a lifestyle that is “absolutely wicked” won’t negate one’s salvation! Gal. 5:19-21 is a clear refutation to this. Paul wrote:
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
[The aforementioned passage declares that one can be perfectly sound in his doctrine yet miss the kingdom of God because he yields habitually to his sinful nature! Similarly, Paul told Christians in Rom. 8:13:
"If you use your lives to do the wrong things your sinful selves want, you will die spiritually. But if you use the Spirit's help to stop doing the wrong things you do with your body, you will have true life" (New Century Version).
In part, the New International Version renders this same passage "put to death the misdeeds of the body." The Greek reveals a continuous tense here regarding the "putting to death" of our sinful natures. This is done through our free will and human responsibility. Most importantly, it is only possible with the help, not dominance, of the Holy Spirit.]
Lk. 15:24, 32 are two essential verses for the proper understanding of the Prodigal Son. Both of these Scriptures, declared by the Father, reveal the spiritual condition of the Prodigal both before and after the time of his “living in sin,” as Stanley states it. Verse 24 spoken by the Father to his servants says:
“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found,”
while verse 32, spoken to the older son says:
“… this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
The important point the Father was emphasizing was the complete reversal of the Prodigal’s spiritual condition now that he repented. He went from “dead” to “alive again” which is equated in the same sentence as going from “lost” to “found.” Hence, there is great reason to rejoice over such a sinner that repents, as already mentioned two separate times in this same chapter in the parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin.
Perhaps the English words “alive again” are most revealing. The Greek word from which “alive again” comes is found five times in the New Testament — in these two verses just cited, Rom. 7:9; 14:9 and Rev. 20:5. It means live again or revive. This meaning is easily seen in Rom. 14:9, “… Christ died and returned to life ….” Here it is stated that the Lord’s physical condition went from life to death [on the cross] to life again [when He arose from the grave]. Similarly, the Prodigal’s spiritual condition went from life to death [when sexually immoral, etc.] to spiritually alive again [after he repented and returned to the Father's presence].
There are times that adamant eternal security teachers proclaim obvious absurdities to defend, and thereby perpetuate, their doctrine. The following interpretation of Mt. 25:14‑30 from Charles Stanley is an example of this. His unique – even weird interpretations may come as a shock, even to some Stanleyites, but they are real! From these interpretations it is clear that Stanley has been forced to teach as he does to consistently maintain his doctrinal position regarding the believer’s security:
“Where is this place represented by the ‘outer darkness’ in Jesus’ parables? To be in the ‘outer darkness’ is to be in the kingdom of God but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfuness on this earth earned them a special rank or position of authority. The ‘outer darkness’ represents not so much an actual place as it does a sphere of influence and privilege” (emphasis in original).
Please note that Stanley actually teaches that the outer darkness that Jesus taught about is “in the kingdom of Godd”! He further comments on the related phrase “gnashing of teeth” with the following.
. . . ‘gnashing of teeth’. . . does not symbolize pain as many have thought. . . . They were extremely frustrated with themselves. . . . And so it will be for many believers. Just as those who are found faithfull will rejoice, so those who suffer loss will weep. As some are celebrated for their faithfulness, others will gnash their teeth in frustration over their own shortsightedness and greed. We do not know how long this time of rejoicing and sorrow will last. Those whose works are burned will not weep and gnash their teeth for eternity.”
Is Charles Stanley representing the truth of Scripture by teaching as he does about the weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness? Let’s compare his teaching to other related Scriptures.
In the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, Jesus addressed this very issue:
“The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear” (Mt. 13:41-43).
Please note that Jesus taught there are only two groups: (1) those who do evil will be gathered out of His kingdom to be cast into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and (2) the righteous who are in the kingdom of their Father.
Similarly, Jesus’ teaching in the Parable of the Net drives home the same truth about “weeping and gnashing of teeth”:
“. . . the angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt. 13:49,50).
According to Jesus, it’s the wicked who will experience the weeping and gnashing of teeth and who will also be cast into the fiery furnace. The righteous don’t experience this.
One other combination of passages speaking of the same event clarifies this even further:
“I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt. 8:11, 12).
“But He will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out” (Lk. 13:27, 28).
Notice that outer darkness is where people will be cast into. Its location is clearly outside of the kingdom of God! Also, the weeping and gnashing of teeth will occur, not when shortsighted Christians see their works burn up, as Stanley’s gospel declares, but when those who experience this see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but themselves thrown out into the darkness. The difference compared to Stanley’s view of this is infinite!
So, why does Stanley give a conflicting interpretation of this? The answer is obvious – To perpetuate his gospel of eternal security! If the weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness as found in Mt. 25:30 refers to Hell, then there can’t be an unconditional security for the believer, since the one subject to this destiny was previously saved! This is obvious since he too, like the others in this same parable, was entrusted with his master’s property and expected to bring forth gain over time, which could only be true in the case of real believers. God knows those who are His and expects “fruit” (Jn. 15:1‑6; Lk. 13:6‑9). The others in the Parable of the Talents who, did bring forth gain heard the Lord say.
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Mt. 25:21, 23).
On the other hand, this other servant, who had the same potential future, was consequently called wicked (v.26) and given a different eternal destiny.
“And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (v.30).
Carried to an extreme, the gospel according to Charles Stanley could not dogmatically state that the next serial murderer or serial rapist you hear about on the news is an unsaved man! According to his gospel – intrinsically linked to [unconditional] eternal security – which is no gospel at all, that person might have had faith in Christ at one point in his past life and is, therefore, still a Christian destined for Heaven. To be precise, they could be carnal Christians. Since Christ died for their sins, they don’t need to confess, forsake or turn from those sins to obtain forgiveness of them, according to Stanley. They are already forgiven for their criminal acts before they are ever committed. All they could possibly lose are their spiritual rewards. While they will temporarily suffer weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness for their multiple criminal acts, they will ultimately enjoy a paradise in the kingdom of God! This modern day fairytale, produced by eternal security, needs to be boldly addressed and refuted as never before.
According to the Bible, only some sins committed after salvation are automatically cleansed by Jesus’ blood (1 Jn. 1:7). This same verse, however, states that automatic cleansing is only true for those who meet the condition of “walk[ing] in the light as He is in the light.” Other sins committed after salvation must be confessed to be forgiven (1 Jn. 1:9). Therefore, we know forgiveness of future sins is not always automatic. An attitude of repentance is understood with this confession of sin, based on Prov. 28:13. Finally, according to the Lord Himself, if we do not forgive others who sin against us, our sins will not be forgiven (Mt. 6:14, 15; 18:21‑35; Mk. 11:25). [In contrast to what many are saying, Jesus taught we must forgive others so that our sins can be forgiven, not just so that our prayers won't be hindered.] Remember, all of your future sins from the point of salvation on are not automatically forgiven, according to the Lord’s teachings and the Apostle John’s. There are conditions which must be met to obtain forgiveness after initial salvation. When Jesus personally shed His blood and died for all our sins, John was actually there at the foot of the cross when it occurred. Yet both the Lord and this Apostle deny an unconditional, automatic cleansing of all future sins.
One final Stanley quote is needed at this point:
“When you believe that Jesus took your place and that His blood counts as the payment for your sin, then God sees you as sin‑free and pure for all time. (John 3:16)”
Incredibly, Stanley reads into Jn. 3:16 and sees that one who gets saved is “sin-free and pure for all time”! Besides what was just stated regarding this issue, Paul, the true grace teacher, wrote the following to those already saved, which would be nonsensical if staying “sin-free and pure for all time” were automatic and guaranteed from the point of salvation on:
“. . . let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Cor. 7: 1).
“Keep yourself pure” (1 Tim. 5:22).
Charles Stanley taught the following:
“But a man or woman who has been rescued once from a state of unforgiveness need not worry. For once 100% of a man’s or woman’s sins have been forgiven, the potential for being unforgiven has been done away with. The risk factor is zero. There are no more fires from which the believer needs to be saved.”
Remember the term believer to Charles Stanley can include a person who is presently “living like the devil” and has ccompletely abandoned the faith. [One might ask, "How can a believer be a person who no longer believes?" According to Stanleys gospel, this is a possibility!] This must also be his definition of a Christian, since a believer and a Christian are synonyms. This also goes hand‑in‑hand with his unique interpretation of Jn. 3:16, as already cited.
In contra-distinction to this type of Stanley message, Jesus taught the following about sin to those who were already believers, as the immediate context clearly shows:
“If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell” (Mt. 18:8, 9).
Sin is obviously still an issue, even for Christians. According to the Lord, sin can send previously saved people to Hell. This is true New Testament grace teaching.
Moreover, God Himself seated on His throne, who infinitely loves us and understands everything about grace, gave the following truth. Also, let it be emphasized that it was declared after the Lord Jesus shed His precious blood for all of our sins:
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
Plainly, the unbelieving are not the only ones who will be in the lake of fire, as the Calvinists teach. In fact, unbelieving is not even listed first among the eight categories cited in this verse that will be in the lake of fire. This Biblical fact is devastating to the Calvinists! Perhaps that is why this verse is almost never mentioned by them.
Charles Stanley teaches that I Cor. 3:11‑15 is a primary supporting passage for eternal security. His exact words in reference to it are:
“This statement is one of the strongest supporting eternal security to be found in the entire Bible.”
As Stanley would see it, the ones who have their works burned up represent:
“. . . believers who have no time for the things of Christ, who live their lives for themselves. One by one his deeds are evaluated, and one by one they burn. His works are described as ‘wood, hay, [and] straw.’ His works have no real substance, no eternal value.”
According to other statements made by Charles Stanley, as already cited, one’s rewards will be lost through sinful behavior such as “living like the devil” and suicide. But is all this really consistent with what the Bible teaches about the loss of rewards?
The clearest paralleling passage in the New Testament to 1 Cor. 3:11‑15 is found in Mt. 6:1‑20. In these verses, tile Lord Himself told us why people will or will not receive rewards and what type of works will actually be considered for a possible reward. Some will be quite surprised:
“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full…. When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you…. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves not break in and steal.”
Clearly from the lips of the Lord Jesus, our acts of righteousness, such as giving to the needy, praying and fasting, all carry a potential reward, but only if we do these with the proper motive – one of not seeking to be honored here and now by man. Our motive is the “quality” of our good works (I Cor. 3:13) that will be revealed on that Day (I Cor. 4:5 cf. Prov. 16:2b). Notice, in contrast to Stanley’s message, a motive of being honored by men now attached to an act of righteousness will cause that good work to be burned in the fire (I Cor. 3:11‑15)! Nowhere does Mt. 6:1‑20 even remotely hint, as Stanley teaches, that sinful behavior such as “living like the devil” or suicide will cause our good works to burn up. Please make a note of this! Sinful behavior is a totally different subject unrelated to the believer’s rewards. Furthermore, it is impossible to properly equate the motive to be honored by men when doing commendable things to “living like the devil” by saying such is the cause of loss of rewards! Stanley connects the two without any Scriptural backing in an effort to support eternal security – a teaching which removes the fear of sinning.
Remember, according to Stanley, I Cor. 3:11‑15 is one of the “strongest” statements supporting eternal security “in the entire Bible.” In light of Mt. 6:1‑20, Stanley’s interpretation of I Cor. 3:11‑15 is dearly destroyed, thereby greatly jeopardizing the teaching of eternal security as a whole, since this strong supporting passage obviously means something else altogether.
Charles Stanley and others who endorse his Scriptural misinterpretations have exalted a spiritually dangerous teaching, which they say should not even be questioned, to the place where it is inseparable with the gospel of grace! Since there is only one true gospel (Gal. 1:8, 9), and it is the only gospel which brings salvation, then this is the most serious error one can make as a teacher. Eternal souls hang in the balance. People continue to be misled and exposed to the ultimate danger of Hell by the false gospel of eternal security.
Is the believer’s security, as revealed in the gospel, conditional or unconditional? Let I Cor. 15:1, 2, written by the true grace teacher himself, settle this question forever:
“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”
The Apostle Paul, who is noted for emphasizing grace, stated as an integral part of his gospel the basic truth that the believer’s security is conditional, even before citing Jesus’ atoning death, burial and resurrection! Since this was so emphasized by him, how dare some today omit this condition yet claim at the same time to be truly representing the teachings of Scripture. I Cor. 15:2 is often entirely omitted by the Calvinists when describing the gospel of grace from verses 1‑4 in this chapter. The reason for this omission is obvious!
By teaching that one can be sexually immoral, among other things, and a Christian at the same time because of grace is to change the grace of God into a license for immorality. The Bible makes no distinction between one who has never been saved and is sexually immoral and one who has been saved and afterwards becomes sexually immoral. Both will go to the lake of fire unless they repent and get forgiven!
The difference between the real gospel and Stanley’s gospel, for those who carry it to the sinful extreme, is as infinite as the kingdom of God is to the lake of fire! Undoubtedly, millions throughout the world are presently in danger of Hell because of the teaching of eternal security but don’t recognize it. The allurement and tendency for a real believer to sin in this age is great. Even some Christians who reject eternal security “fall away” (Lk. 8:13), “die” spiritually because they choose to live according to the sinful nature (Rom. 8:13 cf. Lk. 15:24, 32) and turn away from Christ to follow Him no more (Jn. 6:66). Since this is true, how much more readily will one “fall away” who accepts Stanley’s type of gospel which is so lenient toward sin’s spiritually deadly effects on the soul (Jam. 1: 14, 15)? One can only assume it must be incredibly high! Only in eternity will the number be known, but it will be too late for those who died physically in a “dead and lost” spiritual condition, as the Prodigal was in before he repented.
How a man like Charles Stanley could teach this type of gospel message and have a thriving, worldwide ministry that goes unchallenged is mind boggling, especially in a nation like the United States where so many own Bibles! This reflects how little time most spend directly in the Bible for themselves and/or how widespread the predicted doctrinal apostasy actually is (2 Tim. 4:3, 4). Perhaps for those in ministry, another possibility could be the promotion of their own personal ministry and finances. Woe to such who know the truth, yet remain silent on these issues at the expense of eternal souls.
[Beyond this, Stanleys book on eternal security, from where many of these cited quotes have been drawn, is endorsed by other influential people such as Hank Hanegraaff who has an international influence through The Christian Research Institute. Before this booklet you are now reading was printed, Hanegraaff was notified by certified mail of its preparation and warned that he too would be indicted unless he removed his endorsement of Stanley’s book on eternal security. His refusal to respond is an indirect acknowledgment of the same extreme teachings given directly by Stanley himself. Together with Stanley, Hanegraaff and other advocates will, one day answer to the Lord for the effects of this type of teaching!]
Reader, one final point must be mentioned. True grace teaching, which is not a license for immorality, will always be compatible with all of the following Scriptures. Please ponder them carefully.
“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them” (Eph. 5:5-7).
“But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (Mt. 10:33).
“. . . They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away” (Lk. 8: 13).
“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him (Jn. 6:66).
“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain” (I Cor. 15:2).
“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. . .” (Col. 1:22,23).
“You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.’ Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again” (Rom. 11:19-23).
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6:9, 10).
“Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9).
“Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace” (Gal. 5:24).
“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13).
“We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first” (Heb. 3:14).
“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Mt. 10:22).
“The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:8-10).
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissentions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21).
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
“. . . they destroy the faith of some” (2 Tim. 2:18).
“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (I Jn. 5:2 1).
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him” (Titus 1: 16).
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?” (Jam. 2:14).
” . . . your work produced by faith ” (1 Thess. :3).
“… holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith” (I Tim. 1: 19).
“Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan” (1 Tim. 5:15).
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned” (Jn. 15:5,6).
“But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards…. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt. 24:48-5 1).
“See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you will also remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us‑even eternal life” (I Jn. 2:24,25).
“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” (Lk. 13:24).
“Any one who (abominates, detests) hates his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding (persevering) within him” (I Jn. 3:15, Amplified Bible).
“. . . be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position” (2 Pet. 3:17).
The true plan of salvation is repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21). We prove our repentance by our deeds (Acts 26:20). The Lord Jesus taught the road to life is “hard” and only a “few” will find it (Mt. 7:13,14, NKJV).
Many get saved, but afterwards fall away (Lk. 8:13; Jn. 6:66; 1 Tim. 1:19; etc.). In other words, after initial salvation we must endure to the “end” to enter the kingdom of God and escape the lake of fire (Mt. 10:22; Heb. 3:14; Rev. 2:10,11).
Eternal life comes to the repentant the moment such believe on Jesus for salvation (Jn. 3:16; 6:47; 1 Jn. 5:12,13), but there is another important aspect of eternal life that many are totally unware of in our day because of the false teaching of eternal security. According to true grace teaching, eternal life is also a HOPE (Titus 3:7), yet to be REAPED (Gal. 6:8,9) in the AGE TO COME (Mk. 10:30) for only the ones who PERSIST IN DOING GOOD (Rom. 2:7) and DO NOT GROW WEARY AND GIVE UP (Gal. 6:9).
If a saved person sows to please his sinful nature he’ll die spiritually (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 6:8,9). The prodigal is a clear example of this (Lk. 15:24,32). The end result of sin is spiritual death, so DO NOT BE DECEIVED (James 1:14-16). For more information regarding the believer’s security, see our what’s new page. Our 801 page book, The Believer’s Conditional Security, is the most exhaustive and comprehensive refutation to eternal security ever written. It will not be refuted!
Because of the teaching of once saved always saved, grace has been taught as a license for immorality for so long, and without challenge, that when Scripture is quoted, such as 1 Cor. 6:9,10 or Rev. 21:8, it is disregarded, and the giver of God’s Word is falsely accused of teaching legalism, bondage, works, etc. This reflects how truly dark are the days in which we live!
One ACID TEST question to know if a ministry or local congregation is teaching a license for immorality as condemned by Jude 3,4 is: Does true grace allow the sexually immoral in heaven? If their answer is “YES,” avoid it like the AIDS virus! To sit under this teaching influence could mean that your soul and the souls of your loved ones will be eternally damned as a result. To support and promote such a ministry and teaching is to share in its wicked work (2 Jn. 9-11). This includes your financial donations! Flee from such a ministry or congregation and encourage others to do the same before it’s eternally too late.
Dan Corner, the author of this article, has written an 801 page book, The Believer’s Conditional Security: the most comprehensive and exhaustive refutation to the teaching of once saved always saved that has ever been written! See it described under “What’s New” at the website for
Address: P.O. Box 265, Washington, PA 15301-0265, USA
 In Touch, July 1995, p. 31
 Charles Stanley, Eternal Security Can You Be Sure?, Oliver-Nelson Books, 1990 (p. 195).
 Eternal Security Can You Be Sure? (P. 192).
 Ibid. (p. 43).
 Ibid. (p. 8).
 Grace: God’s Second Chance – The Gospel of the Grace of God, Tape #6, RC283.
 Eternal Security What Do We Have To Lose?, Tape #6, MI090.
 Eternal Security Can You Be Sure? (P. 74).
 Ibid. (p. 93).
 Ibid. (p. 94).
 Ibid. (p. 121).
 Ibid. (p. 71).
 Ibid. (p. 80).
 Ibid. (p. 81).
 The word believe here, and as found in numerous other verses like Jn. 5:24, is a continuous tense in the Greek. This is an all-important difference from Stanley’s Gospel.
 Follow is a continuous tense in the Greek. Jn. 10:28, 29 can only be correctly understood with this in mind.
 Continuous tense in the Greek.
 Continuous tense in the Greek.
 Eternal Security You Can Be Sure, Tape #3, MH190.
 Spiritual vs. Carnal – Study in 1 Cor., Tape #8, PQ092.
 Suicide: Is It An Unpardonable Sin?, Tape #MH074.
 The Christian Century, 5/29/85, p. 549.
 “The Bible Answer Man,” 12/9/92.
 Grace: God’s Second Chance – Grace and Continuing Sin, Tape #4, MC213.
 Eternal Security Can You Be Sure? (p. 70).
 Ibid. (p. 77).
 Eternal Security You Can Be Sure, Part 2, Tape #4, RH190.
 Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Greek Dictionary, 1976, p. 11, #326
 Eternal Seaifiy Can You Be Sure? (p. 126).
 Ibid. (p. 127).
 The New Geneva Study Bible which offers a Calvinistic interpretation of Scripture, contradicts Stanley’s understanding of Mt. 25:30: “It [Hell) is described as a place of fire and darkness (Jude 7, 13), of 'weeping and gnashing of teeth' (Mt. 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30) ..." (p.1580). Notice that Mt. 25‑30 is cited as a reference for Hell. This is just one example of many that can be cited to show that Calvinists frequently contradict themselves!
 This same Greek word used here is also found in Mt. 13:49 referring to those whose destiny is the fiery furnace.
 The word confess in I Jn. 1:9 is a continuous tense in the Greek, not indicating multiple confessions to God of the same sin, but confessions regarding subsequent sins committed during the course of one’s walk with God to obtain forgiveness for those sins.
 In Touch, April 1995, back cover. Stanley omits the need of repentance, an essential in Jesus’ gospel. The Lord taught, “But unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Lk. 13:3, 5). See also Lk. 24:45-47. Paul’s gospel reiterates this basic truth (Acts 20:21 cf. 26:20).
 Eternal Security Can You Be Sure? (pp. 79,80).
 Ibid. (p. 120).
 Ibid. (p. 120,1).
 Hank Hanegraaff, CRI Perspective, Christians and the Assurance of Salvation.
 After theyinitially believed through the word of God in such a way as to produce life, they ceased believing (which is likened unto withering) because of the persecution that came from the word of God in their lives. See also Mt. 13:21.
 In contrast to Stanley, some Calvinists would say that if one doesn’t remain with Christ he was never erally saved to begin with. This verse powerfully refutes that view. Also, don’t be misled byother Calvinists who would say “disciples” of Christ might not be real Christians! Scripture declares they are (Mt. 12:49, 50; Lk. 14:33; Acts 11:26). Hence, Jn 6:66 and other Scriptures show that some once saved did not persevere but turned away from Christ never to return.
 Some homosexuals claim to believe on Jesus while at the same time they continue in this lifestyle. Clearly, Paul’s grace and gospel message, as explicitly revealed in these verses, shows such people will be excluded from the kingdom of God unless they repent! See also Lev. 20:13; Rom. 1:27; Gen. 19:4, 5 cf. Jude 7.
An example of a practicing homosexual who thought he was a Christian at the same time was Jerry Arterburn who died with AIDS. In his book, How Will I Tell My Mother? (Oliver‑Nelson, 1990) he wrote, “My double life as a Christian and a practicing homosexual had become too much for me to bear” (pp. 105,6). His Southern Baptist background, with his faulty belief in eternal security, caused him to have this dangerous misconception as many others do today. Let I Cor. 6:9, 10 correct this error once and for all.
 These important words regarding the believer’s security, spoken to the disciples (not Israel), originated from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, not a cultist as some Calvinists infer.
 This verse is just like Paul’s command, “Keep yourself pure ” (I Tim. 5:22). The Apostle taught against adding to grace; yet taught keep yourself pure. Therefore, such can’t be apart from true grace.
 Where will the hypocrites be? In Mt. 23‑23, Jesus called the teachers of the law and Pharisees hypocrites. In the same chapter, he later asked them, “How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (v.33). Therefore, we can only conclude that all hypocrites, including the one referred to in Mt. 24:48‑5 1, will end up in Hell unless they repent.
 Two very important points need to be stressed from this verse. First, the word rendered effort in the English is the Greek word from which we get our word agony. Hence, Jesus commanded us to exert agonizing effort to enter the kingdom! Second, this effort is a continuous tense in the Greek to enter through the narrow door. See also 2 Pet. 1:5‑10.
 The Amplified Bible here is true to the original language since it does not omit the Greek word remaining (a synonym for abiding) as do other English translations! The thought conveyed in the Greek is that eternal life will not be remaining in one who hates his brother! This is a clear refutation to “once saved always saved,” but has unfortunately been obscured by this omission.