Once Saved Always Saved?
Salvation is such an important spiritual issue, that one would
expect that every believer would make it their mission in life to
check out the certainty of their eternal destiny with an open
mind and a searching heart. Sadly, the opposite is true.
The great liar, the enemy of all mankind, has been exercising
his God-appointed power to deceive in mammoth proportions in
these last days. Although most religions promise heaven and give
earth, we should be particularly concerned with the beliefs that
are connected to the Bible, which of all Holy books, has the
credentials, the authority, the history, the archaeology, the
Numerics and the spiritually miraculous as its defender to its
claim as being God’s Word.
Any serious searcher should immediately be highly concerned
that even within the Christian faith, there are numerous groups
which claim the status of being the ONLY channel through which
one may gain eternal life. That is a preposterous claim, and
obviously untrue. Yet millions of Roman Catholics, Mormons,
Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Exclusive Brethren to name some,
along with scores of splinter groups, and even certain branches
of Pentacostalism, promote a "one way, our way" brand of
Christianity. To be sure, many are coy about voicing this claim,
but scratch the surface and the lie is there all right!
If we are successful at negotiating our way through the "one
way, our way" false doctrine of various cults, we are by no means
home and hosed. Lurking in the shadows of Christian life is an
evil, malicious lie, which like all its bedfellows, is designed
to lure as many into hellfire as possible. This lie is "Once
saved, always saved."
I cannot begin to tell our readers how grieved we are at Omega
when we see what is happening in Church life, with apostasy,
false doctrine, psychology teaching, and success motivation
rampant in the pulpits, having replaced solid Bible teaching.
Seekerfriendly without the Word is nothing less than
hell-friendly. "Once saved, always saved", is the Holy Grail of
the "Jesus loves you" brigade, which like all error, is a belief
based on just part of what the Bible teaches.
The whole story must be presented before we form an opinion.
We must check out the New Testament in particular, for salvation
is found only through Jesus Christ, who is our advocate standing
between us and a Holy God. Therefore we need to see how the New
Testament in particular, reveals the attributes of God.
In our search, we find that (1) God is Light, (1 John 1:5) which
speaks of His character; (2) God is love, (1 John 4:8) which speaks
of His heart; (3) God is True, (John 3:33) which speaks of His
integrity; (4) God is Spirit, (John 4:24) which speaks of His form,
and (5) God is Faithful, (1 Corinthians 1:9) which speaks of His
There is still one more revelation of God in the New
Testament, and this is the balance to those who stop just at "God
is Love." Hebrews 12:29 tells us that "Our God is a consuming
fire" which speaks of His judgement of sin. Romans 1:18 is
one of many Scriptures which confirms this. It says "For the
wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men."
To clarify this for you, let me tell you a true story. Some
years ago, I was staying with a husband and wife overnight in
North Queensland while inducting them into a business contract
with a company I was involved with. These folk attended a
Pentecostal Church but came from an Open Brethren background.
They were "once saved, always saved believers." We stayed up most
of the night in strong discussion of what the Bible did or
didn’t say regarding this subject.
In frustration at the lack of logic they showed when clear
Scripture was shown to them, I finally shared this scenario with
them. I said, "Suppose this person went to a meeting, heard the
Good News, responded by coming to the altar, thoroughly repented
of their sin, asked Jesus to come into their heart as Lord and
Saviour, and were obviously ‘born again’ by the
Spirit of God.
I continued by saying, "This person began to serve God, was
faithful in years of service, being used in deaconing and house
church meetings. Then something happened. Without naming anything
in particular as a reason, this person began to show signs of
lack of commitment, and over the span of a year gradually
withdrew from Church life. Quickly other interests developed
outside the Church, most being ungodly. Alcohol began to feature,
and one night, with immoral behaviour as the starting point, a
blow was struck and this person killed someone in anger. This
person lied to Police but forensic evidence convicted him."
"According to Scripture" I said, "This person, if they died at
that moment, would clearly be judged and condemned to hellfire on
the authority of Paul’s writings alone. How then," I asked,
"Do you explain this Biblical result if you believe in
‘Once saved, always saved?"’
The answer floored me. They said, "We believe he was never
really ‘born again!’" Their answer of course, was
incompatible with the scenario I had laid out, and the horrible
thing is, that sort of a scenario of the story I told is not
unknown. These people simply had an entrenched belief, and had
become unteachable. This proves to me the reasoning and the
concern behind Jesus’ words when He said, "Let him who has
an ear, let him hear." Because of this experience I often pray
for myself, that God might release me from the potential snare of
stubbornness, foolishness and pride. David did so as well.
Remember his cry? He said, "Create in me a clean heart, O
God, and renew a right spirit within me."
The bottom line is this – we must have a love of the
truth. If you have been caught up in this error, why don’t
you pray, repent of this attitude, bind and break any deception
or false doctrine that has been taught to you, and ask the Lord
to reveal His truth, to forgive you and set you free.
TRAPS FOR THE UNWARY BELIEVER
The Bible teaches that it is possible to:
- drift away (Hebrews 2:1)
- wander away (Matthew 18:12,13)
- wander away from the faith (1 Timothy 6:10,21)
- wander away from the truth and destroy the faith of others (2 Timothy 2:18)
- lose your saltiness (Luke 14:34,35)
- fall away (Matthew 11:6; Mark 14:27,29)
- fall away from grace (Galatians 5:4)
- stop believing and fall away in time of testing (Luke 8:13)
- turn away from the faith (Matthew 24:10)
- wander away from a pure heart, a good conscience and a
sincere faith and turn to meaningless talk (1 Timothy 1:5,6)
- turn back and no longer follow Jesus (John 6:66)
- have your faith shipwrecked (1 Timothy 1:19)
- leave the straight way and follow the way of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15)
- be like a branch that is thrown away and withers (John 15:6)
- go astray (John 16:1)
- turn away to follow Satan (1 Timothy 5:15)
- depart from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1)
- turn your ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:4)
- acquire a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the
living God (Hebrews 3:12)
- fall away to the point where you can’t be renewed to
repentance (Hebrews 6:6)
- turn away from Him who warns us from heaven (Hebrews 12:25)
- become lukewarm and get spit out of the body of Christ (Revelation 3:15,16)
- not remain faithful and be hurt by the second death (Revelation 2:10,11)
- have God take away your share in the tree of life and in the
holy city (Revelation 22:19)
- be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from
your secure position (2 Peter 3:17)
- be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings (Hebrews 13:9)
Not one of these instances is the admonition directed at the
unsaved. Every single one is a warning to the committed