SeekersTrove.com—Treasure Beyond Measure

Once Saved, Always Saved

This page deals with the teaching commonly called "Once saved always saved." This is a highly emotional subject for some people, so I will tread softly, but firmly. It is the truth we want to know, not what we want to believe.

It is my belief, that this thinking is held by so very many people, because it is taught so adamantly by so many teachers. It is a case of everybody agreeing to agree, and "Let us kill the fellow who rocks the boat."

I have had more spiritual and emotional rocks thrown at me over this topic than any other. Well my brothers and sisters, why do you think people attack me so venomously over this topic? These, my brothers and sisters, yell; "You are a Bible twister!", "False prophet!", "Heretic", "Blasphemer."; they attack me because of fear. They are weak in faith and perceive my disagreement as condemnation. They are secretly afraid that they are not saved from destruction, so they constantly affirm their salvation with one another, and think that I am saying that they are not in Christ.

Let us not panic. Let us remain calm. If we are to learn we must have our eyes open, and our ears open, and seek to understand the truth. The last thing I want is for any of you to be lost. Please believe me. If you read through my other web pages you will see that I earnestly try to draw people closer to Christ. I try to show Christ's beauty and loving kindness.

My brothers and sisters, I am very very shy. Around people I am generally quiet. I hate confrontations. I have said to the Lord, "Have someone who is stronger deal with these problems. I am just me. O Lord I love you, and your Word. I have faithfully read your Word, and you have graciously revealed its meaning to me, and I thank you so much, but have some one else speak against this erroneous teaching." But my brothers and sisters, my heart grieves within me when I remain silent, so I cry out; "Look out! That is dangerous, my brother, you might get hurt! Please stay away, my sister; please!

I am not suggesting that I am anybody in the Lord. I am not suggesting that I am some special person sent by the Lord. I am just a fellow believer like you. But I have loved the Lord, totally and have spent many years and long hours seeking to know him better. When the Lord makes something known to me, can I remain silent when my brothers and sisters are moving in the wrong direction? Can I let them walk off a cliff in the fog, when I know the danger? No. Heaven forbid that I ever do such a thing. O my brothers and sisters I love you. I really do. Even when you call me names I love you, because I know that you think that you are right.

But my brothers and sisters be careful. Consider that the Pharisees and the Sadducees, almost the entire Sanhedrin, rose up in fear and condemned Jesus of blasphemy, when he only spoke the truth. And they too thought that they were doing the right thing.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV84)

Sounds pretty secure doesn't it? Nothing is strong enough to separate you from Christ. Nothing at all. It is comforting to know that Satan cannot separate me from God. Nothing can separate me from my God. This is true, but this does not mean that separation from God in Christ is not possible though. It is possible for me to drift away and lose my faith. I entered into the relationship with God by faith, and faith sustains the relationship, but what if I become unfaithful?

2 Peter 3:17

Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. (NIV84)

Here Peter warns that this secure position can be lost. He warn us to be on guard concerning false doctrine.

2 Timothy 2:11-13

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (NIV84)

Notice the conditional "if". If we do not endure, we will not reign, we will then be found faithless, and he will disown us.

2 Peter 2:20-22

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud. (NIV84)

This Scripture is very clear; Peter says that it is better to have never been a Christian than to have been one and then fall away.

Colossians 1:21-23

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation- 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (NIV84)

Do you see that our relationship is sound, so long as we remain faithful? (verse 23). It says "if"; it's conditional. This does not mean that we earn our salvation, but it does mean that we must remain faithful to our holy and righteous and just God. When the Spirit of Christ says that we must live sanctified lives, in all holiness and purity, then we must.

When you first come to Christ you were filled with joy, and thankfulness, because you saw in Christ the salvation of your soul. You saw that you were trapped in the world and were guilty before God. You had no hope.

Ephesians 2:12

...remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. (NIV84)

Because you believed the message that was presented to you, you put your faith in Jesus Christ, and he marked you with a seal of ownership, so that the enemy cannot touch you without permission, and gave you a personal tutor, the Holy Spirit. Through the personal teaching of the Spirit we are to grow-up into Christ-likeness. We are to walk like Christ, talk like Christ, and to think like Christ. God expects you to be as holy and righteous and pure and just as Jesus Christ.

Do you think I am kidding, or am wrong? Zechariah, prophesying what Christ would do for us said: ...to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. Luke 1:74-75 (NIV84)

But, you say, Christ makes us holy and righteous in the Father's sight. Indeed he does, when you first come to him with a repentant heart, and ask him to enter into you, and purge out every unclean and unrighteous thing, but once cleansed you must maintain your holiness and righteousness.

But Mark, you say, That is by works and we are saved by faith. Yes by faith. By faith I know that the Holy Spirit, my Teacher, has entered into my heart. By faith I have a relationship of love with my God through Jesus Christ. By faith I have received the Spirit of Love. Love leads me in paths of righteousness and holiness and purity and justice. I am now a child of love-by faith. I seek to live a life that pleases my God in every way.

With the Spirit of Love in my heart, how can I touch any unclean thing, and have peace? How can I act selfishly and have peace? How can I not seek to please my God in everything, and have peace?

Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (NIV84)

My brothers and sisters, I don't want you to misunderstand this issue of purification from sin-it's so important.

Hebrews 9:7-14

But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings-external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (NIV84)

Notice that Jesus, our High Priest, offered the real and lasting sacrifice of atonement, that under the old covenant the high priest offered yearly. For under the old covenant the high priest, on the day of atonement, offered the blood of a goat first for his own sins, and then as a cover for the sins of the people that were committed in ignorance. Notice the word "ignorance" above-This is very important.

To say that Jesus is in heaven standing before the Father interceding for us is true, but he is interceding for the sins you commit in ignorance.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV84)

Willful sins you must ask God to forgive. You must maintain your righteous walk.

I am not saying that every time you commit a willful sin, that God runs over and erases your name from the Book of Life. He does however rebuke you in your heart and directs you to repent and to stop sinning. If you harden your heart and refuse to obey, he then may rebuke you through some physical agency. If over the course of time you continue to rebel and harden your heart, then he will let you go the way of your stubborn and rebellious heart.

This teaching that says that once God writes your name in the Book of Life he will never erase it is wrong. This is very dangerous and damaging teaching. If a person believes it, they will have no fear of God. This short circuits God's best tool for your training; your conscience. Without fear of God it is easy to ignore your conscience. This results in God having to get out his bigger guns, as it were, and start disciplining you through physical methods. Frequently Christians wait until their life is almost unbearable before they listen to God and repent.

This sounds great Mark, but are you sure that Salvation can be lost? Yes.

Galatians 6:7-9

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV84)

Well my brothers and sisters, what does the "if" mean in that last sentence? What if we do give up doing good in God's sight? This Scripture means that God knows your heart. Those people who seek to please him with all their heart and don't give up will enter into heaven, and those people who shrink back will not reap the harvest. The above Scripture warns us not to be deceived. There is an enormous amount of bad teaching about; don't be fooled.

1 John 2:29

If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. (NIV84)

 

1 John 3:6-10

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (NIV84)

We who have believed that God raised Jesus from the dead, and have put our faith in him, have turned from the world and everything in it, and have cried out to God; "Wash me with your Word and remove from me everything that is not pleasing in your sight. Make me into your image and likeness. O let me be the son of your delight. Let me be the one your special love shines on. O Lord show me the way and I will walk in it, for it is my delight to please you."

God wants us to seek him, and to desire to be like him. He knows that we are weak and are prone to stumble, but if you press on, he will not let you fall. When you do anything that does not please the Lord, then repent of it immediately, and move on.

2 Timothy 1:8-9

But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, (NIV84)

 

Colossians 1:6

All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth. (NIV84)

The truth is what the Spirit says. We cannot selectively pull out certain Scriptures while ignoring others and claim that this is what God says. We cannot pull up Scriptures that speak of confession, repentance, baptism, and salvation and ignore the Scriptures that speak of the total commitment to obedience and love. The person who understands God's grace in all its truth, has given themselves to God, one hundred percent, and has come to know God, and love God, and everything they do is to please God.

In God's Grace he thoroughly cleans the heart and soul of the repentant seeker and then he calls us to a holy life in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 6:1

As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. (NIV84)

 

Romans 11:17-22

If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. (NIV84)

In this passage the Spirit is telling us that the Jews were cut off from God because of unbelief, and the Gentiles were grafted into God's kingdom because of their belief. Now notice in verse 20: Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, (the Jews), he will not spare you either.

Well, my friend, is this scripture true or what? And let us look again at verse 22: Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. Notice that our continued relationship with God is provisional, that is, dependent upon our continuing in his kindness. Otherwise, you Gentiles (Christians) also, (like the Jews), will be cut off.

My brothers and sisters, I view sin like it is a giant gorge in the earth, like maybe the Grand Canyon. If you play along the edge, well maybe you fall in and are lost. I view the eternal security teaching as a safety belt and tether. With this belt on I can run right up to the edge without fear, and play around. But I tell you my brothers and sisters, the Scriptures say concerning this, to be afraid. I don't want to go anywhere near the pit. I know that my Father doesn't want me to play there, so I won't. I know also that this security belt teaching is a lie, and won't save me, or protect me. If I believe this teaching and drift away from my God, then I am lost. I don't want anything to do with sin, so why would I want a sin safety belt anyway? No, I will abide under my Father's wings and be safe.

Hebrews 3:6

But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. (NIV84)

Notice the provisional "if".

Hebrews 3:14

We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. (NIV84)

Notice the provisional "if".

1 Corinthians 15:2

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (NIV84)

Notice the provisional "if", and what does it mean to believe in vain?

Hebrews 10:35-39

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For in just a very little while,

"He who is coming will come and will not delay. 38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (NIV84)

We are told to persevere and not shrink back. What does the Scripture mean by being destroyed? And what does it mean to be saved?

Jesus, warning of the coming rebellion, said:

Matthew 24:10-13

At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (NIV84)

What of the person who shrinks back and does not stand firm to the end?

In Jesus' letter to the Laodicean church he said:

Revelation 3:16

So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (NIV84)

While they were in his mouth they were in his body and part of the church, but Jesus warns them that he is about to spit them out. Once out of his mouth are they not rejected as unfaithful and subject to destruction?

My brothers and sisters if you have a sin safety belt on, take it off, and throw it to the ground, (it won't work anyway), and run to God. God's arms are open wide--waiting to embrace us in love. He wants you to get to know him, and to love him, and to become like him. He wants you to see that the world is full of empty promises. Only in God, only in a holy and righteous walk, can we find the joy and peace that we long for and need. Be very afraid of teaching that uses God's word like a law book; using Scriptures like loopholes.

The truth is what the whole of Scripture says. Read the Scriptures, praying that God will give you the understanding. If you come upon a Scripture that says something that disagrees with your previous understanding, then pray and ask God what the One Truth is, that is, the truth that agrees with all Scripture.

Ephesians 4:21-24

Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (NIV84)

For those who say that God will not erase someone's name out of the Book of Life, let us look at this:

Exodus 32:30-33

The next day Moses said to the people, "You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin."

31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin-but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written."

33 The LORD replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. (NIV84)

Ah, so we see that God will in fact erase a persons name out of the Book. But, you say, that is the old testament, the old covenant, surly he would not blot out a Christian's name.

Revelation 3:3-5

Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. (NIV84)

Here Jesus is speaking to the church. He says that the one that endures he will not blot out, and by implication, he who follows false teaching will be blotted out.

The Spirit of Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Ephesians 1:13-14

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-to the praise of his glory. (NIV84)

Some teach that this passage shows that a person can't be lost when they come to the Lord, but that is not what this means. We are marked so that the enemy can't snatch us away, thus guaranteeing our salvation. No scripture can be interpreted isolated from the others. Without the constant teaching of the Holy Spirit we wouldn't have a chance of remaining faithful to the end, so God gave us his Spirit to lead us down the road of righteousness, peace, joy, kindness, self-control, gentleness, and love, thus guaranteeing our continued fellowship, if we listen to him and obey, otherwise we will be caught up in false teaching and led to our destruction.

If it is impossible for us to fall away why are there so many warnings about being led away by false teachers.

Hebrews 6:4-6

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. (NIV84)

This talks of a person who received Jesus Christ as Savior, and then received the Holy Spirit, but then fell away. How is this possible if a person can't fall away?

My brothers and sisters, flee from this teaching and run back to God and ask him to forgive you. Live the life that pleases God so that you will come to understand and know God. The church today, by and large, is so immature, and so weak. Have faith in God, and give him your compete self. Trust in God and read your Bible, and do whatever you see that God wants you to do. If you stumble, repent, then get up and continue.

If you never give up seeking to walk a holy and righteous life in him, and before him, you will be accepted. God has wonderful things for the faithful servant. But the servant that buried what the Lord gave him will be cast outside with the unbelievers.

 

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