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Once Saved, Always Saved?


The doctrine of “once saved, always saved” has been discussed and debated theologically throughout the centuries.

Basically, it teaches that when people believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him into their hearts as their personal Lord and Savior, they have a one way ticket to heaven. Nothing can hinder that flight to eternal life. In other words, heaven is 100% eternally guaranteed. They have absolute assurance that they will go to heaven after they have prayed the sinner’s prayer and received Jesus into their hearts. Once they are saved, nothing they do will make them lose their salvation, and that includes continual sinning against God.

However, the promise of eternal life comes with a precondition:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life

"Whoever believes in Him" is the prerequisite. "Believes" is in the present tense, not past tense. Now. A faith that is living and still valid today. Not a faith that was dead years ago and not longer valid today.

When we believe in Jesus, God welcomes us into His family. We were once sinners, but have now become saints. We are born again as spiritual babes in Christ. As long as we live, grow, nurture and mature in Christ, and continue believing in the Lord, we will inherit eternal life. But suppose, some spiritual babes grow up, become rebellious, continue sinning and stop believing in the Lord, and leave the family of God, what will happen?

Ezekiel 33:10-20
10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”’
11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
12 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’
13 When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die.
14 Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right,
15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

16 None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
17 “Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair!
18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it.
19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it.

20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”

God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He desires that the wicked turn from their evil ways and live. He is patiently waiting as He is not willing that any should perish. He is giving more time for sinners to repent.

God also desires that the righteous will remain faithful and righteous. God desires that the righteous man will live. But if the righteous man continues to sin against the Lord, expecting his past goodness to save him, then none of his good deeds will be remembered. God will destroy him for his sins. The good works of a righteous man will not save him if he willfully turns to sin against the Lord.

The wicked man will die but if he turns from his sins and does what is right, and walks along the paths of righteousness, not doing evil anymore, he shall surely live. He shall not die. The sins of an evil man will not destroy him if he repents and turns away from his sins. None of his past sins shall be brought up against him, for he has turned good, and he shall surely live.

Some of us will argue that the Lord isn’t fair in His judgment. The trouble is we aren’t fair and righteous in our logic and reasoning. God will judge each of us in accordance to what we believe and do. When the righteous man turns to evil, he shall die. But if the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what’s righteous, he shall live.

Some of us might say that these scriptures are from the Old Testament, and we are now living in the New Testament.

Let's see what are written in the New Testament:

Matthew 10:22
And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Romans 8:13
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

Galatians 5:19-21
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 6:7-8
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

Colossians 1:22-23
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—
23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Hebrews 3:14-15
14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
15 while it is said:
Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

James 1:14-16
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

James 5:19-20
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,
20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

This “once saved, always saved” doctrine gives people an open excuse to sin. No matter what we do or sin, we will still get to heaven. However, the Bible never guarantees that people who persist in living a sinful life will get to heaven.

Philippians 2:12-13
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

The Lord teaches us to be careful always to follow the godly instructions written in His Word. We must be even more diligent to do the righteous things that result from being saved, obeying God with deep fear and reverence, never to do anything that might displease Him. For God is at work within us, helping us to trust and obey Him, and also helping us to do what He desires.

We are also called to be faithful and persevere until the end, and live a holy and righteous life before God.

Galatians 5:16
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Ephesians 4:17-32
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,
18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But you have not so learned Christ,
21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
27 nor give place to the devil.
28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 5:1-2
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

1 Timothy 6:11
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

2 Timothy 2:22
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1 Peter 1:13-16
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Our Christian faith is a continual journey in overcoming of our flesh to become who we truly are in Christ in our spirit.

Romans 12:21
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Revelation 2:11
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

Revelation 2:17
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

Revelation 2:26
And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—

Revelation 3:5
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

He who overcomes will inherit eternal life!

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.


Written on: 13 October 2017