There is a view in Christianity that leads to a false sense of security. Thankfully, not everyone who has that view actually lives it out in practice although they will adamantly defend it. We’ll get to that view later, but let’s begin with dealing with a false sense of security.
In 1976, two young guys had developed a personal computer that they thought people would be interested in buying. All they wanted to do was pursue making more, selling them, and developing the concept further.
These two men, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.'
And Atari said, “No.”
So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, who Wozniak was working for at the time, and HP said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'"
Atari and HP missed opportunities because they had a false sense of security. They thought they were heading in the right direction and didn’t need this new approach. As of Friday, April 13, HP is worth 5.84 billion dollars and Atari is worth 38.05 million dollars while Apple, the company they both refused to take on, is worth 580.65 billion dollars.
A false sense of security that is the result of success can cause us to miss opportunities because we think things are just fine. False security can drown out our sense of adventure.
Let’s flash forward to the present time. Apple is now the heavyweight of the computer field, worth more than twice the value Microsoft. And they are invulnerable to malicious programs, or so they try to make us think. Right on their website they state, “With virtually no effort on your part, OS X defends against viruses and other malicious applications, or malware.” Lulling their users into a false sense of security.
Thanks to Apple’s marketing, many Apple users think they are invulnerable to malicious software. But just the other week over 600,000 Apple computers were infected with the Flashback Trojan. Roel Schouwenberg, a senior researcher at Kaspersky Lab, a leading antivirus software company, who has analyzed the malware said, “Mac users have been led to believe they’re safe and turned off their paranoia filter. There is a lot of easy prey out there.”
A false sense of security that is the result of pride and complacency can cause us to compromise ourselves by doing things we shouldn’t do.
This leads us back to our view on the subject at hand. Many Christians have a false sense of eternal security that leads them to miss opportunities for what Jesus wants them to do and compromise their convictions in do things they shouldn’t do.
I can’t do a thorough Bible study in this article, but I will give you some of the key verses. Read the context around them to get a better picture because Scripture isn’t intended to be read in little bites like this.
“The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels” (Rev 3:5 ESV). One’s name would not need to be blotted out if it could not be removed.
“Have fallen away” (Heb 6:6 ESV). This section in Hebrews talks about the impossibility of restoring one who has fallen away. The phrase “fallen away” implies that one can leave.
“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13 ESV). The writer of Hebrews would not give a warning if becoming hardened by sin was not possible.
“If you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2 ESV). The Bible is full of instructions to hold fast, continue on, and remain in the teaching they originally received. These instructions would be unnecessary if those in the faith were guaranteed to never stray out of it.
As for the verses that seem to emphasize that nothing can pluck us from God’s hand. They’re right. Nothing can pluck us from God’s hand. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t flee God’s presence. The early church was going through a lot of trials and persecution. These verses emphasized to them that they could not be removed from the presence of God’s presence nor from receiving His gracious, saving grace.
Nothing in this world has the power in itself to damage our spiritual relationship with God. Our spirit is invulnerable to the physical unless we allow the bad situations we go through to create doubts in us that we allow to fester into inaction or sin.
So when the world is telling us to compromise, we don’t because no amount of suffering or pleasure is worth giving up God’s grace and calling. When circumstances attempt to deceive us into being inactive, we will refuse because we know that God’s work is not done here yet.
Thankfully, most Christians who disagree on the big, theological concept still agree on the practical ways to live it out. And in that, we can continue on bringing about the will of the Lord on earth as it is in heaven while we rest assured that nothing in this world can remove us from God’s grace - except for ourselves.
As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “God save you from the werewolf and from your heart's desire.”