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.
yes, when you are saved, you are saved until you die. the Bible clearly states that even the saved will be judged after death.. So if there is a judgement for saved peeps, that means there was wrong doing. No wrong doing means no judgement
Are you actually touting reincarnation as a Christian tenet?
To say that he chose him for the purpose of fulfilling God's will is the most extreme example of "limited atonement" for "the elect."
Didn’t Judas throw the 30 pieces of silver back at those that paid him and then went and hung himself (and had help—wasn’t he “gutted”?) Sure sounds like he regretted what he had done and asked forgiveness.
Matthew 27: 3-6
and, not to pick nits, but when you say “ALL disciples performed miracles”, I’m certain you meant God performed miracles through His disciples.
Is that Scriptural? Did Jesus say that?
It DOES mean that if you are truly saved, you will never fall away.
So those who "fall away" although they "were once enlightened and ... partakers of the Holy Spirit" were not truly saved?
Jesus knew when He called Judas that Judas would betray Him. Jesus knew this before He formed Judas in Judas’ mother’s womb.
I’m just going by what the Bible says, what God tell us. Judas was not saved. Yes, Jesus chose him and Judas also made his choice—that does not mean Judas was ever saved.
At the last supper Jesus told judas “ this is your hour of shadows”— there is a passage in the bible that only one of his diciples wouldnt see the kingdom of heaven (talkng bout judas) but i cant remember where it was.. Peter also denied jesus 3 times, but jesus forgave him-
No, not in those words. But there are some places that make me think that. Acts 1 starting at verse 15 is one.
I should not have spoken on this thread (my mistake). There is not enough time to argue back and forth with all that will come argue. I have too much work to do this evening. Sorry!
This is the most egregious misapplication of scripture I can think of and it's just completely wrong.
First of all people who believe you can lose your salvation have to believe God's promise to keep them is a lie. John 3:16 has to be false. You do not "jeopardize salvation," if you could Jesus never had to die for ALL sin. It is immature and such undeveloped, deceptive thought to think scripture teaches you could lose salvation. Salvation is only God's to give, not anyone's to control at will. And frankly, quite arrogant to think one can give up, or lose salvation God has promised you.
What I think many of us Christians might not grasp is what HEAVEN is really like. Will there never be strife or struggle? I would like to hear the angels answer to this.
What boggles my mind is, why is it that people who profess faith in Jesus are interested in knowing just how close to the cliff's edge they can walk without falling off?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, salvation is just the beginning of the Christian life, not the end. You engage in that daily walk, you pray without ceasing, you interact with the Lord Jesus at every opportunity. As you learn that He answers your prayers, you will learn more and more to trust him. Continue to do this, and you will find yourself in a ministry of one kind or another. You will have people to help, and battles to fight.
Yes, you could potentially binge on sin at this point... but if you do so, it will be with the knowledge that it's not just wrong, but hurtful. You will have abandoned your post, let down both your Lord and the people depending on you. That [insert your favorite sin here] kind of loses its luster under those circumstances... and even if you do fall, you won't be able to sustain it. The pleasure of it turns to ashes, and you will want to repent.
Oh, and that's another thing a lot of Christians get wrong... repentance isn't a one-time thing. It's a daily thing. Metanoia, the "changing of the mind" as the Holy Spirit works on you, doesn't stop this side of Heaven.
In the middle of such a walk, why need anyone be concerned about "once saved, always saved"? Know your Lord and trust Him, and it becomes a peripheral concern.
Was Judas predestined to betray Jesus and in so doing go to Hell? What choice did he have?
The account of Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8 is sufficient to disprove OSAS.
Regardless of the answer to this question we have to believe that, if we were to have the same wisdom, the same perspective, and the same perfect mercy and justice that the Lord has, we would agree with His explanation.
Many of the world’ greatest monsters may have been saved at one point in their lives.
“Judas was never saved from the start”
And you know this how?
Personal Divine Revelation?
What choice did he have?
The exact same choice we all have - just say no to sin.
Would be very interested in seeing a reference for that.
God Gave us the 10 Commandments the Beatitudes the Bible and His Church to protect us from ourself. Violating these Commandments have consequences.
my simple understanding is that there is no sin grave enough to cause one to lose there salvation on account of that sin, but you still need to repent and make amends for every sin.
Tricky one, Judas being saved or not.
Not only did Jesus predict that betrayal (without naming the turncoat), He also predicted being denied by Peter.
Judas didn’t protest Jesus’ prediction but he wasn’t deterred by Jesus effectively saying “I know you’re going to do this”.
Jesus knew Judas would be the betrayer and protected his identity to ensure Judas didn’t get set upon by the other disciples.
I struggle to make sense of the argument that Judas wasn’t saved, to be honest. He knew it was going to happen AND he knew Jesus knew. But he still went ahead with it.
Why? For a few bits of silver?!
Who in their right mind would betray the son of God and send himself to the lake of fire having already been told by Jesus “I know what you’re going to do” and later being stricken down by his own conscience?
I mean, COME ON!
Judas’ betrayal has “not only was this all part of the plan, he was in on it from the start” written all over it.
As we know Jesus’ resolve waivered but he played his part, is it not possible Judas reluctantly played his part but couldn’t handle the guilt?
Compelling arguments exist on either side”
Salvation posted the arguments against OSAS
Kindly post the compelling arguments FOR
It’s not biblical at all and does just what the author says.
Hebrews chapter 6 puts the nail in the coffin of once saved, always saved:
Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
Heb 6:5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
Heb 6:6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Using the verse quoted (Hebrews 6:4-6), Catholic doctrine would, it seems to me, be able to readmit someone, like say, Nicole Kidman back into fellowship. Which they did. Not that I know a lot about Catholic doctrine. If someone cares to explain it to me. I will listen.
But what do we make of these two verses, if not "once saved; always saved"?
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
“So let me make sure I understand this. If someone totally rejects and repudiates their Christianity, they are just showing that they were never actually saved in the first place?”
That’s the doctrine, yes.
“Can anyone know for sure that they will never repudiate their Christianity (or more properly, Christ?)”
The Bible seems to be replete with reassurances on this. For example, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3).
Also the examples of Job, and Peter, Satan is allowed to do so much, and no more. Throughout Biblical history, God keeps his people.
“At the least the teaching that a person can reject his salvation still allows for present assurance based on present faith”
That may be so; but it should be of concern to us to think Biblically, and accept what the Bible says, not be pragmatic about it.
Even Hitler could have repented at the last and gone to heaven. My money doesn’t go that way, however
John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up: (notice the punctuation)
John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him, may not perish; but MAY have life everlasting.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, MAY not perish, but MAY have life everlasting.
Where did it say that those who, when bitten by a snake, looked to the serpent Moses lifted up in the desert to be healed they were also assured of never being bitten again and therefore again in need of looking to the serpent Moses raised? It says that when bitten they had to look at the serpent Moses had raised up. Not a thing is said about their then being assured of never being bitten again.
MAY have is NOT the same as WILL have. Sorry, but John 3:16 in no way says anything about "once saved always saved" unless you prefer to twist it to suit your personal preconceptions.
I think it means nothing more than that God foreknows who will be saved at the time of their death. They are the ones the Father has given to the Son. The one who believes (present tense, continually) has everlasting life by the grace of God through faith.