Eternal Security – Dealing with the Difficult Texts (Romans 11:22)

One of our leaders asked me about Romans 11.22, which says…

22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. (ESV)

22Consider 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. (NIV)

22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (KJV)

John MacArthur comments on this verse:

And so, verse 22 says, “Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God on them who feel irretrievably, fell (Greek: pipto), never to get up again, and those who fell never to rise, those apostate unbelievers, severity.” Strong word. It means to cut right off, to cut short. It’s a very severe act as if something is going along and all of a sudden…boomp…it’s cut off instantly. The word is apotomia, to cut off shortly. “On thee goodness.” The word really means kindness. It’s used in Romans 2:4, the kindness of God, “If you continue in His goodness,” otherwise you also will be…what?…cut off.

You see, to be in the place of blessing we must believe. And when Israel ceased believing, they were cut off and only the remnant remained. It doesn’t mean they lost their salvation. The trunk of blessing is just that. And the nation as a whole was blessed. And God blessed that nation. Some of the people who were even unbelieving in that nation were blessed because He blessed the whole nation. There are people who are in the church of Jesus Christ today, who are blessed by just being a part of this association, even though they don’t believe. But the time is going to come when that apostate church will be cut off and there will be no more blessedness. And the only thing that’s going to be left is going to be the remnant of true believers. Christianity is going to go just like Judaism did. Believe me it is, that’s the promise of Scripture. We have the same sins in the church, self-centeredness, pride, idolatry, adultery, unbelief, all of it. And much of the visible church today is apostate and headed for judgment.”

One thought on “Eternal Security – Dealing with the Difficult Texts (Romans 11:22)”

  1. Hey pastor, thanks for your post. been doing research on this topic over the last year or so and Romans 11 is definitely a very interesting passage. The only question I have is what you do with the word “severity/sterness”? To me that doesn’t sound like simply removing blessing. It sounds more “severe” than that. It sounds like the overall message of this passage is yet another urging to believe….. continue to believe, endure, finish,etc. What say you?

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