It seems to me that taking promise of assurance of salvation passages and warning against failing to persevere passages pit themselves against one another. Perhaps you can convince me otherwise. I would love to reconcile this tension, and keep both. Without such a reconciliation, I do not see how PROMISE and WARNING can coexist at the same time. One’s truth seems to negate the other. In my schema, once a person lifts up one, they are forced to push down the other. Hard reconcile the tension and let both speak with the weight that each particular Bible passages intends.
If the promise is true (assurance of salvation once a believer), than the warning (make sure a person keeps the faith, or the person will lose salvation) has no real bite. It would be an empty warning with no recourse for follow through, because, God, after all, already promised salvation.
If the warning is true (you better make sure you persevere in the faith, otherwise you will not have eternal life), than the promise of assurance once a believer is null and void.
Promise passages that believers will never fall away:
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.30 I and the Father are one.” -John 10:28-30
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:37-39
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians 1:623 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. -1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Of course to complicate matters, I’m not always sure exactly what God’s promise is encompassing in the passages.
Warning passages that if believers turn away from the gospel they will face eschatological destruction:
6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. -John 15:6-8
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 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. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. -Romans 11:19-23
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. -Hebrews 6:4-6
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? -Hebrews 10:26-29
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. -2 Peter 1:10-11
Of course to complicate matters, I’m not always sure exactly the warning is pertaining to loss of eternal life and final justification in the passages.
A SIDEBAR ISSUE:
I got weeds growing in my exegetical grass, and want to honor all the different passages, can anyone help me?