Skip to comments.Does the Bible Teach ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’?
Posted on 09/09/2012 3:08:47 PM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
A recent sermon by Pastor David Jeremiah has been weighing heavily upon my mind.
He recounted the true-life story of contemporaries William Franklin Graham and Charles Templeton, up and coming young evangelists who began their ministries during the 1940s.
Most thought Templeton, rather than Graham, would achieve greater things in the name of the Lord.
But, in fact, the former fell away from his Christian faith actually declaring himself atheist while the great Billy Graham remained a good and faithful servant of the Most High.
Pastor Jeremiah shared the story of Graham and Templeton to remind his congregation (as well as those of us watching on TV or listening on radio) that, as Christ followers, we are expected to run with endurance the race that has been set before us.
Yet, in his next breath, the pastor said that, while Templeton did not finish the race he started, he still has a place in Gods kingdom.
Because, said Pastor Jeremiah, it mattered not that Templeton renounced the Christian faith he espoused as a young evangelist, nor that he went to his grave an atheist, since he one time gave his life to the Lord, hes secure for all eternity.
That is the doctrine preached in many, if not most Christian churches, with which I have the most difficulty:
Once saved, always saved.
No matter how it is preached, or by whom it is preached including Pastor Jeremiah, whom I greatly admire I am unable to accept it.
For why would the Apostle Paul encourage us to run with endurance the race set before us if simply answering an altar call one Sunday gives us a lifetime Get Out Of Hell Free card?
And speaking of the Apostle Paul, suppose his life story was reversed. Suppose he spent the first part of his adult life preaching Christs salvation, but the second part persecuting Christians.
Would he be today in Paradise?
I think not.
For it is impossible, the Scripture warns, for those who were once enlightened and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
The takeaway from that Scripture is that it is not enough to give our lives to Christ for a season, then fall away from our faith. We do not have a free pass to sin as it pleases us. We are expected to abide in Christ, as He abides in us; to live our lives according to his Word.
So those of us who believe ourselves saved should not be deceived. The Scripture warns, Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
Those who abide in such sins will spend eternity separated from their Creator. Even if they were one-time Christ followers, like Charles Templeton.
Its a perpetual struggle and not one of us will win every battle.
True, these passages of Scripture were the subject of this morning’s fellowship discussion.
If Paul, as you hypothetically state, had spent the first part of his life in a godly way and the last half persecuting Christians, no, he wouldn’t have gone to heaven.
But, someone who believes that once saved always saved, would say that therefore he was never actually saved.
The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints - “once saved, always saved,” is often applied in a backwards fashion. I suppose, that in our naturally sinful mindsets, it is natural to us.
It does NOT mean you can say the sinner’s prayer, live a life of evil, and go to heaven. That is totally unbiblical.
It DOES mean that if you are truly saved, you will never fall away. Not because you are so faithful, but because God is so merciful.
So, Templeton (presumably) was never really saved. That’s all his apostacy showed.
It really depends upon which side of the telescope you are looking through.
If he repented-—genuinely—at death, perhaps he received forgiveness from our Lord.
Only God knows.
If we could get to heaven by being good why would it have been necessary for God to send His Son to die on a cross?
He paid a price He didn’t owe because we owe a price we cannot pay.
Brace for impact....
So many people think that salvation is the end of Christianity. In fact, it’s just the beginning.
Because God calls us to continue to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and do His work on earth after He saves us (notice HE saves us...we do not save ourselves).
One can live dissolutely if one wants...but it is not a life of spiritual peace. Paul's way is more glorifying to God and a life lived in harmony with Him.
Was Judas EVER saved? He did believe Jesus was the Son of God at one time. When Jesus sent out the disciples two by two, ALL disciples performed miracles (including Judas). He didn’t persevere. Satan did. Judas was replaced (as all who forfeit their place in the Kingdom of Heaven will be replaced).
**Does the Bible Teach Once Saved, Always Saved?**
No, otherwise someone could say “I am saved” and then go off and commit all kinds of sin.
Christ will greet this sort of person with the words, “I did not know you.”
Judas was never saved from the start.
It’s bad enough so many people interpret scriptures to mean God, out of infinite love, created people ignorant, with one shot - and one shot only - to receive heaven, otherwise everlasting hell.
Reincarnation? You mean that thing accepted all over the world as being completely rational, the foundation back through time of all spiritual philosophy, the sole explanation that would mean God really is a God of love and would never create someone who could end up in hell forever, and oh yeah, used to be a part of the original Christian belief system and had to be argued over so hard that its believers had to be killed to shut them up? That reincarnation?
Yet, that’s not enough! No - people then have to set the bar higher - and higher, and higher! You get no reincarnation, but you’re saved? God says - what have you done for me recently!
You’ve done something recently? You’re still saved? Ah, but you’re the wrong faith!
Jesus came and opened his arms.
“Christians” have been trying to close them ever since.
AND close His hands.
AND his fingers.
No wonder Jesus wept.
IT WASN’T THE NAILS THAT HELD HIM ON THAT CROSS - IT WAS HIS LOVE!
HE did THAT to let people IN!
NOT KEEP THEM OUT!
You know that “log” Jesus said to take out of your eye, so you can see the speck in someone elses?
WELL ORIGINALLY HE DIDN’T SAY “EYE.”
Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand - Mother Teresa
Love is the greatest of God’s gifts.
In the parable of the Lost Son we are taught of this exact situation. The end tells the story...when the good son was dismayed...
“Father, all these years I have served you, never disobeying your commands, yet you never gave me even roasted a young goat for me, that we might celebrate with my friends.
“But as soon as he, who squandered your money on prostitutes, waltzes back in again, you kill the fatted calf for him!””
“Son, you have and always will be with me; all I have is yours. It is right that we make merry, and be glad, for your brother was dead, and now lives he was lost, but now is found.”
Since God only knows why do so many debate it? Seems like it would be a done deal and whatever men say or believe it doesn’t really matter.
Heb. 7:27, 9:12,26;10:10; 1 Pet 3:18 - Jesus died once and redeemed us all, but we participate in the application of His redemption by the way in which we live.
Heb. 9:12 - Christ's sacrifice secured our redemption, but redemption is not the same thing as salvation. We participate in and hope for salvation. Our hope in salvation is a guarantee if we are faithful to Christ to the end. But if we lose hope and fail to persevere, we can lose our salvation. Thus, by our own choosing (not by God's doing), salvation is not a certainty. While many Protestant churches believe in the theology of "once saved, always saved," such a novel theory is not found in Scripture and has never been taught by the Church.
Rom. 5:2 - we rejoice in the "hope" (not the presumptuous certainty) of sharing the glory of God. If salvation is absolutely assured after accepting Jesus as Savior, why would Paul hope?
Rom. 5:5 - this "hope" does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Our hope is assured if we persevere to the end.
Rom. 8:24 - this "hope" of salvation that Paul writes about is unnecessary if salvation is guaranteed. If salvation is assured, then why hope?
Rom. 10:1 - Paul prays that the Jews "may be saved." Why pray if it's guaranteed? Further, why pray unless you can mediate?
Rom. 12:12 - rejoice in your "hope" (not your certainty), be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer.
2 Cor. 3:12 - since we have a "hope" (not a certainty), we are very bold. We can be bold when we are in Gods grace and our persevering in obedient faith.
Gal. 5:5 - for through the Spirit by faith we wait for the "hope" (not the certainty) of righteousness.
Eph. 1:18 - that you may know what is the "hope" to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance.
Eph. 4:4 - there is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one "hope" (not the one certainty) that belongs to your call.
Eph. 6:10-17 Paul instructs the Ephesians to take the whole armor of God, the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation, in order to stand, lest they fall. Paul does not give any assurance that the spiritual battle is already won.
Phil. 3:11 - Paul shares Christ's sufferings so that "if possible" he may attain resurrection. Paul does not view his own resurrection as a certainty.
Phil. 1:20 - as it is my eager expectation and "hope" (not certainty) that I shall not be at all ashamed before Christ.
Col. 1:5 - Paul refers to the "hope" (not guarantee) that Christ laid up for us in heaven.
Col. 1:23 - provided that you continue in the faith, not shifting from the "hope" of the gospel which you heard.
Col. 1:27 - to them God chose to make known His mystery, which is Christ in you, the "hope" (not the certainty) of His glory.
1 Thess. 1:3 - remembering before our God your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of "hope" in Jesus Christ.
1 Thess. 2:19 - for what is our "hope" or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?
1 Thess. 5:8 - we must put on the helmet of "hope" (not of certainty) of salvation.
2 Thess. 2:16 - the Lord Jesus and God our Father who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good "hope" through grace.
1 Tim. 1:1 - Paul describes Christ Jesus as our "hope" (not our guarantee). We can reject Him and He will allow this.
1 Tim. 4:10 - Paul says we toil and strive because we have our "hope" (not our assurance) on the living God. This is not because God is unfaithful, but because we can be unfaithful. We toil and strive for our salvation.
1 Tim. 5:5 - she who is a real widow, and is left all alone, has set her "hope" (not her assurance) on God. Our hope is a guarantee only if we persevere to the end.
1 Tim. 5:15 Paul writes that some have already strayed after satan, as God Himself tells us in 1 Tim. 4:1. They were on the right path, and then strayed off of it.
2 Tim. 2:10 - Paul endures for the elect so that they "may also obtain salvation." This verse teaches us that even the "elect, from the standpoint of human knowledge, have no guarantee of salvation.
Titus 1:2 - Paul says that he is in the "hope" (not the certainty) of eternal life. Paul knows that his hope is a guarantee if he perseveres, but his ability to choose sin over God makes his attainment of eternal life less than an absolute certainty until it is actually achieved.
Titus 2:13 - awaiting our blessed "hope," the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Titus 3:7 - Paul says we have been given the Spirit so we might become heirs in the "hope" (not the certainty) of eternal life.
Heb. 3:6 - we are Christ's house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our "hope" (not our certainty).
Heb. 6:11 - we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of "hope" (not certainty) until the end.
Heb. 6:18 - we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the "hope" (not the certainty) that is set before us.
Heb. 6:19 - we have a "hope" that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone before us.
Heb. 7:19 - on the other hand, a better "hope" (not certainty) is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
Heb. 10:23 - let us hold fast the confession of our "hope" without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Heb. 11:1 - now faith is the assurance of things "hoped" for (not guaranteed), the conviction of things not seen (heaven).
Heb. 12:1 let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
Heb. 12:15 see to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness spring up and cause trouble, and by it many become defiled.
James 1:12 - we must endure trial and withstand the test in order to receive the crown of life. It is not guaranteed.
1 Peter 1:3 - by His mercy we have been born anew to a living "hope" through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:13 - set your "hope" (not assurance) fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:21 - through Him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead so that your faith and "hope" are in God.
1 Peter 2:2 - like newborn babes, long for spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation. How can you grow up to something you already possess?
1 Peter 3:15 - always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the "hope" that is in you.
1 John 3:3 - and everyone who thus "hopes" in Him purifies himself as He is pure. These verses teach us that we must cooperate with Gods grace and persevere to the end to be saved. We can and do have a moral certitude of salvation if we persevere in faith, hope and love.
A misunderstanding of the doctrine, either by Jeremiah or by the writer.
This false doctrine has been the cause of millions being lost for eternity. The purveyors of it will be held held accountable for every one.
OSAS is explicitly repudiated in numerous places in scripture.
BTW, I’m an evangelical Christian.
No one really knows the answer to this question. Because compelling arguments exist on either side, the prudent course of action for a believer is to live their life as if losing their salvation is possible.
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