Q. Re: 1 Timothy 4:1. ” The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” Since you teach eternal security can you please explain this scripture above? The people it refers to must have been in the faith (or believed) to be able to abandon their faith. In my thinking, you can’t abandon something you don’t have to begin with. Am I wrong in thinking this?
A. Your assumption that people must have been in the faith to abandon it is not correct.
In Matt. 7:22-23 Jesus said that He’ll deny ever knowing some of those who prophesy in His name and drive out demons and perform miracles.
And referring to false teachers John said, They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us (1 John 2:19).
In John 10:27-30 Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
By these statements we learn that even some who claim to be believers will turn out not to be. But those who truly are believers cannot abandon the faith or be lost, so the ones who abandon the faith were never really in it. Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Cor. 1:21-22 and numerous other verses confirm His promise that once we believe in Him our salvation is guaranteed and nothing can change that.