The doctrine of “eternal security” or “once saved, always saved” is a dangerous one because it will lead many people straight to the pits of Hell. So many people have already been deceived by this doctrine that the early Church fathers certainly did not believe in. In fact, take a look at these quotes:
"And pray ye without ceasing in behalf of other men; for there is hope of the repentance, that they may attain to God. For ‘cannot he that falls arise again, and he may attain to God.’ " Ignatius of Antioch,To the Ephesians,10(A.D. 110),in ANF,I:53-54
"Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ye ready, for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh. But often shall ye come together, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if ye be not made perfect in the last time. " Didache,16(A.D. 140),in ANF,VII:382
“And as many of them, he added, as have repented, shall have their dwelling in the tower. And those of them who have been slower in repenting shall dwell within the walls. And as many as do not repent at all, but abide in their deeds, shall utterly perish…Yet they also, being naturally good, on hearing my commandments, purified themselves, and soon repented. Their dwelling, accordingly, was in the tower. But if any one relapse into strife, he will be east out of the tower, and will lose his life.” Hermas,The Shephard,3:8:7(A.D. 155),in ANF,II:41-42
“[T]hat eternal fire has been prepared for him as he apostatized from God of his own free-will, and likewise for all who unrepentant continue in the apostasy, he now blasphemes, by means of such men, the Lord who brings judgment [upon him] as being already condemned, and imputes the guilt of his apostasy to his Maker, not to his own voluntary disposition.” Justin Martyr,fragment in Irenaeus’ Against Heresies,5:26:1(A.D. 156),in ANF,I:555
“Now, in the beginning the spirit was a constant companion of the soul, but the spirit forsook it because it was not willing to follow. Yet, retaining as it were a spark of its power, though unable by reason of the separation to discern the perfect, while seeking for God it fashioned to itself in its wandering many gods, following the sophistries of the demons. But the Spirit of God is not with all, but, taking up its abode with those who live justly, and intimately combining with the soul, by prophecies it announced hidden things to other souls.” Tatian the Syrian,To the Greeks,13(A.D. 175),in ANF,II:71
"Christ shall not die again in behalf of those who now commit sin, for death shall no more have dominion over
Him; but the Son shall come in the glory of the Father, requiring from His stewards and dispensers the money
which He had entrusted to them, with usury; and from those to whom He had given most shall He demand most. We ought not, therefore, as that presbyter remarks, to be puffed up, nor be severe upon those of old time, but ought ourselves to fear, lest perchance, after [we have come to] the knowledge of Christ, if we do things displeasing to God, we obtain no further forgiveness of sins, but be shut out from His kingdom. And therefore it was that Paul said, ‘For if [God] spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest He also spare not thee, who, when thou wert a wild olive tree, wert grafted into the fatness of the olive tree, and wert made a partaker of its fatness.’ " Irenaeus,Against Heresies,4:27:2(A.D. 180),in ANF,I:499
"But some think as if God were under a necessity of bestowing even on the unworthy, what He has engaged (to give); and they turn His liberality into slavery. But if it is of necessity that God grants us the symbol of death, then He does so unwilling. But who permits a gift to be permanently retained which he has granted unwillingly? For do not many afterward fall out of (grace)? is not this gift taken away from many?"
Tertullian,On Repentance,6(A.D. 204),in ANF,III:661
"Confession is the beginning of glory, not the full desert of the crown; nor does it perfect our praise, but it initiates our dignity; and since it is written, ‘He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved,’ whatever has been before the end is a step by which we ascend to the summit of salvation, not a terminus wherein the full result of the ascent is already gained. " Cyprian,Unity of the Church,21(A.D. 251),in ANF,V:428
"Therefore, my beloved, we also have received of the Spirit of Christ, and Christ dwelleth in us, as it is written
that the Spirit said this through the month of the Prophet: --I will dwell in them and will walk in them.Therefore let us prepare our temples for the Spirit of Christ, and let us not grieve it that it may not depart from us. Remember the warning that the Apostle gives us:–Grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby ye have been sealed unto the day of redemption. For from baptism do we receive the Spirit of Christ … And whatever man there is that receives the Spirit from the water (of baptism) and grieves it, it departs from him until he dies, and returns according to its nature to Christ, and accuses that man of having grieved it."
Aphrahat,Demonstrations,6:14(A.D. 345),in NPNF2,VIII:371-372
“Thou art made partaker of the Holy Vine. Well then, if thou abide in the Vine, thou growest as a fruitful branch; but if thou abide not, thou wilt be consumed by the fire. Let us therefore bear fruit worthily. God forbid that in us should be done what befell that barren fig-tree, that Jesus come not even now and curse us for our barrenness.” Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,I:4(A.D. 350),NPNF2,VII:7
“For what the Word has by nature, as I said, in the Father, that He wishes to be given to us through the Spirit
irrevocably; which the Apostle knowing, said, ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?’ for ‘the gifts of God’ and ‘grace of His calling are without repentance.’ It is the Spirit then which is in God, and not we viewed in our own selves; and as we are sons and gods because of the Word in us, so we shall be in the Son and in the Father, and we shall be accounted to have become one in Son and in Father, because that that Spirit is in us, which is in the Word which is in the Father. When then a man falls from the Spirit for any wickedness, if he repent upon his fall, the grace remains irrevocably to such as are willing; otherwise he who has fallen is no longer in God (because that Holy Spirit and Paraclete which is in God has deserted him), but the sinner shall be in him to whom he has subjected himself, as took place in Saul’s instance; for the Spirit of God departed from him and an evil spirit was afflicting him.” Athanasius,Discourse Against the Arians,3:25(A.D. 362),in NPNF2,IV:407
"Clerics who are guilty of the sin unto death are degraded from their order,but not excluded from the communion of the laity."
Basil,To Amphilochius,Letter 199:32(A.D. 375),in NPNF2,VIII:237
"This temple is holier than that; for it glistened not with gold and silver, but with the grace of the Spirit, and in place of the ark and the cherubim, it had Christ, and His Father, and the Paraclete seated within. But now all is changed, and the temple is desolate, and bare of its former beauty and comeliness, unadorned with its divine and unspeakable adornments, destitute of all security and protection; it has neither door nor bolt, and is laid open to
all manner of soul-destroying and shameful thoughts; and if the thought of arrogance or fornication, or avarice, or any more accursed than these, wish to enter in there is no one to hinder them; whereas formerly, even as the Heaven is inaccessible to all these, so also was the purity of thy soul."
John Chrysostom,To the Fallen Theodore,Letter 1(A.D. 378),in NPNF1,IX:91
"But these sins were not after Baptism, you will say. Where is your proof? Either prove it–or refrain from condemning; and if there be any doubt, let charity prevail. But Novatus, you say, would not receive those who lapsed in the persecution. What do you mean by this? If they were unrepentant he was right; I too would refuse to receive those who either would not stoop at all or not sufficiently, and who would refuse to make their amendment counterbalance their sin; and when I do receive them, I will assign them their proper place; but if he refused those who wore themselves away with weeping, I will not imitate him
Gregory of Nazianzen,Oration on the Holy Lights,39:19(A.D. 381),in NPNF2,VII:359