Israel My Glory In Depth: Interview with Dan Price
Are you afraid that you can lose your salvation? Don’t worry—Scripture makes it clear that you can never lose it! If you trust in Christ for salvation, His promise to save you lasts forever. If you have any doubts about your eternal security in Christ, this week’s show will reassure you that your salvation is everlasting from the moment you place your faith in Jesus’ finished work!
Dan Price joins this week’s show to talk about his recent Israel My Glory article, which addresses common misconceptions about the eternal security of our salvation. Whether you might believe you can sin so much that you forfeit your salvation or that you can outright reject it, Dan explains why we can trust that nothing can separate us from God’s love because of Christ’s sacrifice. Find practical answers of reassurance in this week’s show!
Take a look at Dan’s recent Israel My Glory article: 4 Common Misconceptions About Eternal Security.
Steve Conover: Welcome to the Friends of Israel Today. I'm Steve Conover. With me is our host and teacher, Chris Katulka. In today's program, we're highlighting our latest issue of Israel My Glory magazine.
Chris Katulka: That's right, Steve. We're looking at our most recent issue of Israel My Glory, which is titled Sealed: Exploring the Hope and Security of Our Salvation. We're going to have Dan Price, who is the Assistant Director of International Ministries, on to talk about his article in this issue, which is titled Four Common Misconceptions About Eternal Security. You're not going to want to miss that, and also we're going to share with you how you can get a one-year free subscription to our award-winning Christian Magazine, Israel My Glory. But you got to stick around to hear how to do that.
Steve Conover: Yes. Before we do that, we're going to have some news from Israel. The Jerusalem Post reports that over 1400 Jewish pilgrims visited the Temple Mount. This in honor of the Jewish High Holy Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is also called Sukkot. One of the visitors managed to sneak in the Lulav and Etrog onto the Temple Mount. These are traditional elements used to celebrate Sukkot, and the Jewish visitors were informed upon entering the complex that prayer and religious items were forbidden.
Chris Katulka: That's right, Steve. He had to sneak on the Lulav and the Etrog, which is how the Jewish people worship during the Feast of Tabernacles. And now the Temple Mount is the holiest site to the Jewish people, and it's the third holiest site to Muslims. And that's why it's actually sad to hear that Jewish people are prohibited from worshiping there, especially on Sukkot, the time of the year when they remember God's provision, God's protection, and God's presence in their lives.
Chris Katulka: Well, it's always a great joy to have Dan Price, the Assistant Director of International Ministries in the studio with us to talk about his most recent article in Israel My Glory, which is called Four Common Misconceptions About Eternal Security: Why You Can't Lose your Salvation. And all of this can be found in our most recent issue of Israel My Glory, which is titled Sealed. And so Dan, it's great to have you back on the program.
Dan Price: Thank you. Thank you, Chris. Yeah, it's great to be able to be back. I love every opportunity I get to see you guys, and it's fun to be able to be in the studio with you.
Chris Katulka: I love hanging out with you. But before we get to your article first, why don't you highlight something that's going on globally with Friends of Israel?
Dan Price: Well, one thing that we enjoy talking about when we get chances to is our ministry in New Zealand. They're in New Zealand. We have this really unique opportunity to show the love of Christ to Jewish people, specifically Israelis as they travel around the world. We have this really cool ministry of hospitality. We have this opportunity to talk with these young Israelis, many of them just out of the IDF, and share the love of Christ with them while they're kind of in a stage in life where they're in transition, and they are willing to have conversations that they would not ever have when they're in Israel or very unlikely have when they're in Israel for cultural pressure, for religious reasons, for lots of other things. And we get to tell them about Messiah while they're abroad, and it's just this incredible ministry by our team there, and we love that ministry. It's called Meet at the Mountain, and we even get to do a little hiking sometimes along the way.
Chris Katulka: Yeah, hiking up Mount Doom.
Dan Price: Yes.
Chris Katulka: The ultimate mountain. Straight out of the Lord of The Rings.
Dan Price: It is. It is. It looks just like the movie without all of the flames.
Chris Katulka: That's great. Well, Dan, I'm thankful that you could share that update with us and for our listeners, but I want to get to your article, Four Common Misconceptions About Eternal Security. In the article, Dan, you talk about a woman who's experiencing anxiety over the possibility of losing her salvation due to unconfessed sin. Can you speak more to how common this fear is among believers, and how the doctrine of eternal security can help actually alleviate these fears?
Dan Price: Yeah, yeah. Well, it is something that you run into fairly frequently, at least in my pastoral experience in the past. It was something that various groups of Christians have believed throughout history that it is possible for a person to lose their salvation. Sometimes it comes from more traditional Catholic teaching about dying in unconfessed mortal sin, or various other groups that sometimes believe this. But for folks that read sometimes difficult passages in scripture, it's easy to read them in such a way that it sounds like you can lose your salvation. For example, I've heard First John 1:7 used in the past that says, "But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin."
And that “if” really throws some people for a loop, right? And they say, "Oh, I have to confess my sin or He won't forgive me of my sin." So the Bible's clear I have sin, so I have to constantly keep confessing it, keep confessing it, keep confessing it. And that puts a Christian in a constant state of anxiety over whether I've said enough, whether I've remembered enough. What if there's some, I can't remember.
Chris Katulka: Are you talking too about a confessed sin that would bring about salvation, so they're constantly confessing sin in order to find salvation. I mean, we are called to confess our sins, but you're saying it's that anxiety of losing salvation, gaining it back.
Dan Price: Well, the question really boils down to what if I die in the 10 seconds in between I sin and I haven't confessed it yet? So if I pass away, God forbid, in a car accident or whatever. So there are Christians who try to keep very, very, very short lists of their sin, and keep short accounts with God in order to try to ensure that if they were to pass away, then they would still be saved.
Chris Katulka: But that's not the direction that we're going here. This isn't the picture of eternal security that we want to...
Dan Price: Absolutely not.
Chris Katulka: In the article you mentioned that some people might misinterpret eternal security as well as a license to sin, so it's the opposite side of all of this.
Dan Price: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. The doctrine of eternal security says that, "When the payment of Jesus Christ has been made on your behalf, that when his death, burial and resurrection is applied to your account, that that account is in good standing with God forever." Jesus paid it all. Past, present, and future. You are now justified in front of God. Why? Because you do a lot of good things? No. Because you managed to keep short accounts with God? No. It's all because of what Jesus did on our behalf. And so the idea of eternal security as Jesus says, "No one can ever take someone out of his hand. You are always eternally forever secure in Jesus Christ." Now, there are some people that misinterpret some of these things with kind of a knee-jerk reaction. I mean, it's a good question, right, to say, "Does that mean that I can just sin as often as I want to?"
“You just said ‘past, present and future.’ That means that all my future sins are taken care of, and okay, so now we can just do whatever we want to do, live however we want to live, right?” Well, any Christian that understands the cost of what Jesus did for us is going to have a question at that point of saying, "Well, you can't just live however you want to, right." Bonhoeffer calls this “cheap grace.” On this issue I love Bonhoeffer's statement about that. He says, "Cheap grace is the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner." And the truth of scripture is that when we are regenerate, when God gives us new hearts, when he changes us from the inside out, from that moment of the Holy Spirit's indwelling in our lives, from that moment where we become his and he indwells us, that we have a new heart and we don't want sin, we don't pursue it, we won't constantly live in a state of desiring that sin. So it's unreasonable that a Christian would continue on in sin as though it's a license, as though grace is a license.
Chris Katulka: It seems like justification, which is a part of the doctrine of being saved, that you're justified, you're found right before God. Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ as we yield to the Spirit, but it seems like eternal security is connected to that as well. It's knowing with the absolute truth that we are, like you said, "In the grip of God eternally. We can't lose our salvation." And part of knowing whether or not someone is saved, it's difficult to do that. That's the hard part.
Only God knows that, but the gospels talk about the fact that there is fruit. We can see fruit from someone's life. And so it's interesting when you begin to think about eternal security. I can see where somebody might take a license from sin or take a license to begin to sin and to do whatever they want because they, "Oh, don't worry about it. I'm saved eternally. I'm perfectly fine." On the other side of the coin, you also have those people like you've been talking about who have an anxiety. In the few moments that we have left here, where should a Christian live on both of those extremes?
Dan Price: Yeah. You mentioned the difference between justification and sanctification, Chris, and I think it's really important for Christians to understand that justification is a positional thing, that God has made us justified by the work of Jesus Christ and that will never change. But understanding sanctification is the process of how the Holy Spirit works in our hearts and in our lives in order to slowly make us more and more holy. There's positional sanctification, progressive sanctification, and ultimate sanctification, and understanding that our growth in Christ is not a straight linear upward growth. Right?
Chris Katulka: Praise God.
Dan Price: Yeah. My life is that story of up and down, back and forth as we grow, but in a general progression towards what God has called us and is making us to be.
Chris Katulka: As we're going to close our first segment, I want to read this passage and it's going to really show the heart of what's going on here when we talk about eternal security, and that comes from Ephesians Chapter 1:13. And it says this, "And when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, when you believed in Christ, you were marked with the seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance until the redemption of God's own possession to the praise of His glory." So when we come back, we're going to continue our discussion with Dan Price, the Assistant Director of International Ministries. We're going to continue talking about his awesome article that can be found in Israel My Glory, which is called The Four Common Misconceptions about Eternal Security. We'll see you on the other side.
It's been fantastic so far to discuss with Dan Price, his article Four Common Misconceptions about Eternal Security in our most recent issue of Israel My Glory, which is titled Sealed: Exploring the Hope and Security of Our Salvation. Now, here's the thing. If you're listening and you've never subscribed before to Israel My Glory, we want to give you a one year free subscription to this award-winning Christian magazine. It's a fantastic opportunity for you to learn more about Israel and the Jewish people from a biblical perspective. Israel My Glory has been in publication since 1942. Now listen, if you sign up, you'll get a opportunity to either take a print edition of Israel My Glory, or you can get a digital edition of Israel My Glory, which will give you more than 50 years of Israel My Glory content right at your fingertips, whether on your phone, your tablet, or your computer. It's a great way to connect the scriptures to what God is doing with Israel and the Jewish people. Steve, can you share with our listeners how they can get their free copy of Israel My Glory?
Steve Conover: Sure, Chris. The easiest way is to go to foiradio.org. That's foiradio.org. There you can find out more about the radio program, listen to our archives, but you can also take the opportunity to sign up for one year of Israel My Glory magazine.
Chris Katulka: Welcome back everybody. We are with Dan Price, who is the Assistant Director of International Ministries. We're looking at our most recent issue of Israel My Glory, which is titled Sealed: Exploring the Hope and Security of Our Salvation. And Dan wrote a fantastic article titled Four Common Misconceptions About Eternal Security. Dan, glad to have you back.
Dan Price: Thank you, Chris.
Chris Katulka: In your article you mentioned those who are "deconstructing their faith." I hear this all the time. It seems like it's becoming more popular these days. Personally, I see it all the time on social media. Can you elaborate on eternal security and those who actively walk away from their belief in Christ? Does eternal security apply to them? How should the church and believers respond to these individuals?
Dan Price: Right. Yes. Yeah. That term, "deconstructing your faith" seems to be a popular term nowadays. We used to just call it walking away from God or apostasy even, but now it's got a catchy lingo. So ultimately it boils down to the same thing we talked about: how no one can ever take you out of Jesus' hand, right? God won't let you go. No one can pull you away. Satan can't take you away, but can I jump?
Can I leave the faith on my own and thereby nullify the work that was supposedly saving? Right? Ultimately, we can't answer what happens in a person's heart. God knows hearts. We don't know hearts, okay? But logically speaking and biblically speaking, there's really only two possibilities for someone who walks away from the Lord, right? Either their profession of faith was not real at whatever point they made it in their lives. It wasn't genuine faith. Maybe they were trusting in their family or their culture or having grown up in the church. I've heard people say, "I was born a Christian." And there's a lot of different reasons why someone might think that they are saved when they may in fact not have been saved, so that's one possibility, that person may never have been saved.
But the other possibility is that the profession of faith that they made was real, right, and that they actually have a true understanding of the gospel, and that they're simply living in complete rebellion to God and making that choice to say, "Okay, I no longer want to have anything to do with God." While the complex of everything spiritual that has happened in their hearts is still real and still active, and God is still in the process of holding them even though they are very, very far from God's heart.
Chris Katulka: Yeah, deconstructing is interesting because we used to say, "You're just losing your faith," but there are some people who might enter into a season of doubt and that can be very real as well, and they might consider themselves deconstructing. Like you said, "The best thing that we can do for someone like that is to pray for them."
Dan Price: Yes.
Chris Katulka: And so I'm glad that you brought that topic up in your article, but there are some passages in the New Testament that interpret the idea that you can lose your salvation. Can you clarify how believers should approach and understand these scriptures in light of the context of eternal security?
Dan Price: Yeah, absolutely. There certainly are some passages that if you read them, it's possible for some interpreters to come away thinking that the Bible teaches you can lose your salvation. I don't want to pretend like those passages are not there, but there's a Bible study principle that's really important in this issue. It's very basic Bible study principles 101. It's the idea that we are supposed to let very clear passages help us understand passages that are difficult or unclear. Those clear passages should inform the way that we interpret those unclear passages. It's all the word of God. It's all true, but we can use scripture to interpret scripture. That's an important principle to remember, but essentially several of these passages, there's five famous ones in Hebrews for example, or in other books of the Bible.
Generally, interpreting them falls into two different categories. Either the passage is referring to people who are attending a church but are not actually saved and never have been saved, and so it's trying to address those folks spiritually, or the passage might be warning passages emphasizing that Christians should not continue in their sin and that there are spiritual and sometimes even physical consequences for Christians who continue to walk away from the Lord.
Ultimately, I think it's important for us to remember that there are some things that the Bible tells us very, very clearly. Philippians 1:6 tells us that "He who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it." That's clear. Another passage I'd like to bring up on this issue and in discussions of assurance of salvation in II Corinthians 4:4,6. In this passage it says that, "Jesus and the good news of what he's done and how it reflects God and his heart, it's only visible to believers." It says that, "The God of this world has blinded the eyes of those who are unbelievers, so they can't look at the gospel and see that it's good." And I find that to be an incredibly encouraging passage, because it reminds folks that if you can look at the gospel of Jesus Christ, see what he's done on your behalf, see the cost of it and say that is the heart of God, that is good. If you can do that, that's only possible because of the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
Chris Katulka: This has been a great conversation, Dan, about eternal security. The thing that always gives me great confidence in eternal security is knowing that it's actually wrapped up with God's prophetic Word. You had just read Philippians chapter 1:6, which talks about the fact that God's going to complete the work that he started with us. When? Until the day of Christ Jesus. That's His coming.
Dan Price: Amen. Amen.
Chris Katulka: Same thing with Ephesians chapter 1, when it talks about the fact that we've been marked and sealed with the Holy Spirit, a down payment for the inheritance that's coming, that means God has sealed us until what? The day of redemption, which again is a prophetic calling, a day that we can all look forward to, but God has sealed us for that day and it's an eternal security so that we don't have to fear God any longer.
Dan Price: Amen.
Chris Katulka: And fear the idea of losing our salvation, but we can have confidence in God that we can approach him and confess our sins. We can approach him and let him know how much we're thankful for his eternal security that he's so graciously given to us.
Dan Price: Amen, Brother.
Chris Katulka: Dan, thanks so much for being with us. We really appreciate it.
Dan Price: Thank you, Chris.
Steve Conover: Now, Apples of Gold, a dramatic reading from the life and ministry of Holocaust survivor Zvi Kalisher.
Mike Kellogg: Recently I was waiting for the bus for Jerusalem when two young men asked me for directions to a synagogue, which I gladly gave them. One replied, "We want to pray, but we have already been to that synagogue and it is locked up tight." I asked, "If every synagogue were locked, would you not pray?" They looked strangely at me and then one asked, "How can you pray without a minyan?" A minyan is 10 people required to conduct a Jewish worship service. I responded, "God is not looking to see if you pray in a synagogue, he looks at your heart. If you pray to Him from your heart, your prayer will be heard in heaven." As we were talking, more people joined the conversation. Some of the men belonged to the synagogue that was locked and because they knew me, one asked, "Why are you trying to brainwash these young men?" I said, "My duty is to bring them closer to God, not according to the old traditions, but according to Zechariah chapter 1:3. "Return to me says, the Lord of host and I will turn to you."”
Zechariah also refers to your old traditions. Do not be like the fathers to whom the former prophets preach, saying, "Thus says the Lord of hosts, turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds, but they did not hear, not heeded me," says the Lord. It was like a small miracle to be able to give them facts from the Bible. It was also a small miracle the bus was late giving me more time to share the truth with them. Eventually, the two young men said they wanted to repent and they asked me to take them to the rabbi. I said, "If you really want to repent, you do not need a rabbi. Go before the Lord and open your hearts before him. Then you will know you are saved from your sins." God is pleased when you come before him and say, Lord, save me. You can say just as King David did in Psalm 25: 1, 2, "You, Lord, I lift up my soul. Oh my God, I trust in you. Let me not be ashamed."
I read the remainder of Psalm 25 along with some other passages including Jeremiah 31:33, "But this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days says the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. And I will be their God. They shall be my people." And as soon as I spoke the word covenant, some of the old men said to the young men, "You must fear him. He is speaking from the New Testament, the book those Christians believe." I told them how blind they were as I showed them. I had read from the prophet Jeremiah, all was surprised. This was the first time most of them had seen that the Jewish prophets spoke about the new Covenant. I then showed them some Old Testament passages that clearly speak of the Lord Jesus. I pray I will have more opportunities to meet with them, especially the two young men, and tell them how they can truly repent by putting their faith and trust in Messiah.
Steve Conover: Thank you for joining us for today's episode of The Friends of Israel Today. Our thanks to Dan Price for being our guest. Next week we pick up our study in Romans. Chris, where are we headed?
Chris Katulka: That's right. We're getting back to Romans and we're actually going to look at Romans 9-11. A very important part of the letter to the Romans where Paul talks about Israel and the Jewish people's significance in God's plan of redemption. Is God through with his people? Well, as Paul says, "May it never be." You're going to want to come back next week to hear why.
Steve Conover: Our host and Teacher is Chris Katulka. Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione, edited by Jeremy Strong, who also composed and performs our theme music. Mike Kellogg read Apples of Gold, and I'm Steve Conover, executive producer. Our mailing address is FOI Radio, PO Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. Again, that's FOI Radio, PO Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. And I'll give you one last quick reminder to visit us at foiradio.org. The Friends of Israel Today is a production of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide evangelical ministry proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.
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Apples of Gold: ‘Return to Me’ Says the Lord
Two young men asked Zvi for directions to the nearest synagogue after they explained to him that their synagogue was locked and they could not pray. Zvi asked them, “If every synagogue were locked, would you not pray?” The men were shocked by his disregard for Jewish customs that they felt were necessary to earn God’s favor. Though some of the older men warned the younger men not to listen to Zvi, they received more than directions when he used the opportunity to share truth and God’s love with them.
The Friends of Israel Today and Apples of Gold theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong.
Your gifts help us to continue proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.