Pastor Charles Stanley’s False “Eternal Security” Teaching EASILY Exposed by the Scriptures!

The topic of the eternal security of the believer is an interesting topic indeed. In this short article I examine the teaching of Charles Stanley (Atlanta, GA) and compare it with the simple teaching of Jesus Christ regarding those who are cast into the furnace of fire.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times SOME shall DEPART from THE FAITH, giving heed to SEDUCING SPIRITS, and DOCTRINES OF DEVILS. (1 Timothy 4:1)

This is a very interesting passage of scripture. The Jewish apostle Paul, the same one who was converted on the road to Damascus, and a former murderer of Christians, wrote those words. Paul knew what it was like to be deceived. Paul was a Jewish Pharisee, and if one were to examine his life they would probably find an extremely moral man. One might even call him “holy”, but in the sight of God he was religious but lost! He did not know the true and living God until he met Him that day on the road to Damascus.

Keep that in mind whenever you read the letters of Paul, because you are hearing from a man who was ever so grateful for the mercy shown to him on that day. His desire was that others would come out of deception and come to know Jesus Christ. In the passage above, which is from the first letter that Paul wrote to Timothy, Paul tells us that the Spirit had spoken, that in the latter times [the latter days] there would be some who would depart from the faith, and give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines [teachings] of devils.

The Greek word for DEPART in that passage is the word APHISTEMI and it is defined as follows: To remove, instigate to revolt, to desist, desert, depart, draw [fall] away, refrain, withdraw self.

Now is this talking about people who truly knew the Lord at one time, or is it talking about those who merely professed to be saved, but in reality they were lost.

The passage above is talking about GENUINE believers in Jesus Christ, who allow themselves to be seduced by false teachers, and their doctrines of DEVILS, and depart from the faith.

1] An UNSAVED man cannot depart from the faith, because they never had faith to begin with.

2] Why on earth would the Holy Spirit [of truth] come forth with a warning about the UNSAVED departing from the faith?

3] How can the UNSAVED be seduced away from a place of faith that they were never at to begin with?

4] Why would the devil come with his doctrines to seduce the UNSAVED, who he already holds captive at his will? [2 Timothy 2:26]

Taking The Warnings Seriously

It is spiritually dangerous to attempt to make the scriptures say something that they are not saying. An example of what can happen, when you try to make the scriptures fit your own preconceived theology, can be found here:

In the book of Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus spoke about the parable of the talents. He is speaking on the subject of the “Kingdom of Heaven”. Jesus shows us the fate of the “unprofitable servant” in the following verse from that passage:

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)

Interpretation Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley, the well known Pastor and media minister from Atlanta, Georgia, said this concerning that same passage of scripture:

Here is Matthew 25:30 as it is found in the King James version of the Bible:


This is what Pastor Charles Stanley (Atlanta, GA) wrote regarding Matthew 25:30  from his “Eternal Security” book.

“The final verse of this parable is so severe that MANY COMMENTATORS assume it is a description of HELL. It is NOT.”

Stop the clock right there folks. Charles Stanley just made an incredible statement in his best selling book “Eternal Security” when he said that Matthew 25:30 is NOT a description of Hell. Pastor Stanley said that many commentators assumed that the passage was giving a description of Hell, but he said that it is not. You are going to see that it is Pastor Charles Stanley who has a bogus interpretation of this passage, and NOT the commentators of whom he spoke about. When you study the scriptures for yourself, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, (John 16:13) I assure you that you will find that Matthew 25:30 is most CERTAINLY a description of Hell. I assure you that the very point that Jesus Christ was making in that parable was that people can TURN away from the Lord and end up in Hell.

You have a choice to make here. You can CHOOSE to believe the words of a mere man by the name of Charles Stanley, or you can CHOOSE to believe the words of the infallible Son of God who came down from Heaven to save mankind! Charles Stanley went on to say the following in his book:

“Where is THIS PLACE represented by the ‘OUTER DARKNESS’ in Jesus’ parables? To be in the ‘OUTER DARKNESS’ is to be IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfulness on this earth EARNED THEM a special rank or position of authority. The ‘OUTER DARKNESS’ represents NOT so much an actual place as it does a sphere of influence and PRIVILEGE.”

This interpretation by the famous pastor Charles Stanley is simply mind-boggling! Pastor Stanley has taken the scriptures, and twisted them to make them say something that they do not say. Do his followers really believe that a person can be in outer darkness and still be in the “Kingdom of God” at the same time? Not only that but it sounds like Pastor Stanley is preaching a “works gospel” with believers earning “special privileges” according to him.

Concerning the “GNASHING OF TEETH” Charles Stanley goes on to say that these people were

“extremely FRUSTRATED with themselves” and

“As some are celebrated for their faithfulness, others will gnash their teeth IN FRUSTRATION …” And

“we DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG this time of rejoicing and sorrow WILL LAST. Those whose works are burned up WILL NOT WEEP AND GNASH THEIR TEETH FOR ETERNITY.” [Charles Stanley: Eternal Security, Can You Be Sure? Pages 124-127]

Please pay close attention to the section below as I show you how the the words WICKED, WEEPING/WAILING and GNASHING were translated from the very same Greek words in ALL instances, in  both Matthew 25 and Matthew 13. In plain English folks, Pastor Charles Stanley is telling you that the place described as outer darkness is not Hell, and I am telling you that it most certainly is Hell! Folks you do not have to be a Bible scholar to understand these things. It is simply a choice that you have to make as a believer. You have to come to the point where you can say, I choose to believe the word of God over the words of a mere man. According to Charles Stanley there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in the outer part of the “Kingdom of God”, BUT they will NOT weep and gnash their teeth for eternity! I don’t know about you but the place that he is describing sure sounds a lot like Hell to me. Why? Because it is Hell!

True Interpretation: Jesus Christ

If you read the full parable in Matthew 25:14-30 you will see that the Lord Jesus Christ referred to the ‘unprofitable servant’ as “WICKED” in Matthew 25:26

Are the WICKED going to enter the kingdom of Heaven along with the faithful? Not according to Jesus Christ, the creator of all things.

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the WICKED from among the just, And shall cast them into the FURNACE OF FIRE: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:49-50)

Jesus said that the WICKED were going to be cast into the “FURNACE OF FIRE” and that is where there is going to be ‘wailing and gnashing of teeth.’

The Greek word for WICKED in Matthew 25:26 is the word PONEROS and it is the very same Greek word used in Matthew 13:49 describing those people whom Jesus said would be cast into the “FURNACE OF FIRE”.

The Greek word for WEEPING in Matthew 25:30 is the word KLAUTHMOS and it is the very same Greek word used for WAILING in Matthew 13:50 describing those people who Jesus said would be cast into the “FURNACE OF FIRE”.

The Greek word for GNASHING in Matthew 25:30 is the word BRUGMOS and it is the very same Greek word that is used in Matthew 13:50 describing those whom Jesus said would be cast into the “FURNACE OF FIRE”.

Are there people weeping and gnashing their teeth in HEAVEN?

When a Christian shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the unsaved, should they tell them that they have a CHOICE between Heaven or Hell, as to where they can wail and gnash their teeth? The answer to the questions above are obviously an emphatic NO!

In fact the whole idea of wailing and gnashing of teeth in HEAVEN is ludicrous.

Pastor Charles Stanley is adored by his millions of “fans” throughout the world, and yet his preaching is totally unbiblical in this case. People will often line up at “Christian” bookstores to get an autographed copy of his books when he goes on his book tours.

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”  2 Timothy 4:1-4

Other Helpful Scripture Passages

Other Scripture References which are in agreement with the Lord’s teaching of having a continuing FAITH until the end are found here:

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”  Luke 8:11-13

Did you notice that the first group of “hearers” heard the WORD, but then the Devil came along and STOLE the WORD out of their hearts, LEST they should BELIEVE and be SAVED!

If the FIRST group of hearers had BELIEVED the WORD, then they could have been SAVED.

The second group of people HEARD the WORD and they BELIEVED for a while, BUT then they FELL AWAY in a time of temptation.

The word BELIEVE is translated from the Greek word PISTEUO which means to have faith in, or entrust oneself to another. It is obviously talking about FAITH in the LORD. That same Greek word PISTEUO is used for both the first and second groups of hearers. The second group of people were TRUE believers who eventually turned away from the Lord. Millions today simply refer to that group of people as FALSE professors who were NEVER SAVED in the first place, but that is twisting the scriptures, to make them say something that they did not say. In fact it destroys the whole meaning of the parable that the Lord was trying to impress upon the people.

The Jewish apostle Paul is known as the apostle of GRACE, so let us hear what he had to say about this whole thing:

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made PEACE through the BLOOD of his CROSS, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present YOU holy and UNBLAMEABLE and UNREPROVEABLE in his sight: IF YE CONTINUE IN THE FAITH grounded and settled, and be NOT MOVED AWAY from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;”  Colossians 1:19-23

The word CONTINUE is translated from the Greek word EPIMENO which means to stay over, remain persevere, or to continue.

The Jewish apostle Paul exalted the Lord Jesus Christ, and the absolute joy of being reconciled back to God. Paul ALSO made a point of exhorting his followers to CONTINUE in the FAITH. Do not miss the use of the words IF and CONTINUE, there, because they speak volumes. Paul was not talking with people who did NOT know the Lord, but he was talking with people who were already walking with the Lord. Those people had already BEGAN their “race” and Paul made it clear that they would be presented as holy and unblameable IF THEY CONTINUED in the FAITH! Paul was simply talking along the same lines as Jesus Christ when he spoke about “enduring to the end.”

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that ENDURETH TO THE END shall be SAVED.”  Matthew 10:22

The word ENDURETH is translated from the HUPOMENU which means to stay under, remain, have fortitude, and persevere.

The Jewish apostle Paul was also concerened about becoming a “CASTAWAY” as he wrote in the following passage:

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So RUN, that ye may OBTAIN. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but WE an INCORRUPTIBLE. I therefore so RUN, not as uncertainly; so FIGHT I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: LEST that BY ANY MEANS, when I HAVE PREACHED to others, I MYSELF should be a CASTAWAY.”  1 Corinthians 9:24-27

You do not have to be a Bible scholar to understand the point that Paul was trying to make there. Paul was telling the people to keep going, to persevere, to continue the race until the end.

The word CASTAWAY is translated from the Greek word ADOKIMOS, and it is defined as follows: unapproved, that is, rejected; by implication worthless (literally or morally): – castaway, rejected, reprobate. Paul was telling the people (and us too) that he was concerned himself about the possibility of becoming unapproved, rejected and worthless according to the scriptures!

That Greek word ADOKIMOS is the very same word which Paul used to translate the word REPROBATE in the following scriptures:

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a REPROBATE mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”  Romans 1:28

“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, REPROBATE concerning the faith.”  2 Timothy 3:8

“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work REPROBATE.”  Titus 1:16

A person can CHOOSE to believe whatever they want to believe, and the apostle Paul said this:

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”  2 Timothy 4:1-4