Q. Re: 2 Tim. 2:11-13. I believe in eternal security. Even when we stumble and fall, God will be faithful to his word. But I know many commentaries try to make it sound like if a Christian denies Christ, Christ will turn his back on that Christian. Even in Matthew, Jesus says is someone denies Christ, Christ will deny him before the father. So what is this “denial” referring to since we are eternally secure in Christ?
A. The Greek word translated “deny” in 2 Tim. 2:12 also means “to refuse or reject.” Therefore, I believe Paul was referring to someone who refused to accept the Lord’s death as payment for his sins in the first place. It shows the contrast between the Lord’s relationship with a believer (2 Tim 2:11-12a) and an unbeliever (2 Tim. 2:12b).
The same is true of Matt. 10:33 where Jesus said if someone denies Him before men, He will deny them before the Father. He was talking about people who reject Him, saying He will reject them, too.
Otherwise both Jesus (John 10:27-30) and Paul (2 Cor. 1:21-22) would be contradicting statements they made that confirm eternal security.