Skip to comments.What if ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ is Wrong?
Posted on 10/20/2013 11:29:26 AM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Once upon a time, Groucho Marx hosted the popular game show, You Bet Your Life. At the start of the show, a secret word was revealed to the studio audience. If a contestant said the word during the course of the show, a reward would descend from the rafters (a one hundred dollar bill).
Whether we know it or not, we are all, Christians and non-Christians alike, contestants in the spiritual equivalent of You Bet Your Life. If we bet wisely, our reward is eternal life. But if we bet foolishly, we condemn ourselves to eternal damnation.
That brings to mind Pascals Wager, credited to the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal. He famously posited that every human being bets his or her life on whether or not God exists.
Let us, he wrote, weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.
To put this in terms to which most of us can relate, even if the odds of Gods existence are, say, 1 in 175 million the odds of winning Powerball on a single ticket it is worth the wager.
Because, if we have bet on God, and God does not exist, we lose nothing. That is, save for indulging in certain behavior proscribed by God, including sexual promiscuity, idol worship, adultery, homosexuality (and other sexual perversions), thievery, greed, substance abuse, slander and robbery.
But if we bet against the Almighty, and indeed He does exist, we shall be cast into the lake of fire, eternally separated from God. We shall be condemned to place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Where we will be burned with unquenchable fire. Where we will be tormented day and night forever and forever.
Most of us are rationale. So we heed Pascals advice.
Even if we are uncertain there is a God, we hedge our bet. We respond to an altar call at some point in our lives. We say we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. We get baptized.
In so doing, we believe we have ensured our eternal security. We believe that, because we went through the ritual of being saved, we have a lifetime Get Out of Hell Free card. And that we can live our lives as it pleases us not God with impunity.
But what if we are wrong? What if this doctrine of Once Saved, Always Saved, espoused by many Godly pastors, preached in many purpose-driven churches, is errant? What if it actually is possible for us to forfeit our eternal salvation, to condemn ourselves to hell, by living brazenly and unrepentantly in defiance of Gods law?
That presents a corollary to Pascals wager, one that has not been considered by those who profess themselves Christ followers, but who are not truly leading a Christian life.
Let us call this corollary the Salvation wager, in which we weigh the gain and loss in betting on Once Saved, Always Saved.
Those who reject the doctrine, who believe those of us whom the Son sets free, must go and sin no more, must faithfully strive to live in obedience to God, have everything to gain if the doctrine is wrong and nothing to lose if the doctrine is right.
But those who subscribe to the doctrine, who believe that, having been saved, they can commit any and all manner of sin and it doesnt matter in the eternal scheme of things, have hell to pay if they are wrong.
So what might Pascal advise?
That even if its more likely that once a person is saved, there is absolutely nothing they can do to lose their salvation, and that even if the odds are, say, 175 million to 1 that the widely-accepted doctrine of Once Saved, Always Saved is right rather than wrong, it still is wise to bet against the doctrine.
Because there are many who claim themselves Christians, who think their names have been written in the book of life, who will appear before the great white throne of judgment, who will find themselves sinners in the hands of an angry God.
They will look to Jesus and say, Lord, Lord, hoping He will spare them from punishment. But He will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice wickedness.
Thats a warning to those abiding unabashedly and unrepentantly in sin. They have bet their lives on Once Saved, Always Saved. And if they are wrong, eternal torment awaits.
But we cannot, every day, watch porn, get drunk, get stoned, cheat on our spouse, overcharge our customers, chase strange flesh (homosexuality, pedophilia), falsely accuse others or commit other sins and assume Gods automatic forgiveness.
Indeed, after forgiving the woman caught in adultery, the Lord told her, Go and sin no more.
But Pascal doesn't specify which of the 115,867 gods to be found in the various pantheons of Mankind we should believe in: Brahma, Odin, Zeus, Allah, Ahura Mazda...
The chances are overwhelmingly high that one will choose the wrong god to believe in. Fortunately, only a few gods - like that of the Christian religion - casts non-believers into a lake of fire for making the wrong educated guess.
“Indeed, after forgiving the woman caught in adultery, the Lord told her, Go and sin no more. “
Strange that you should mention that. Just heard a sermon from a ‘fill in’ pastor and she cited that piece of scripture in expressing His love, but conveiniently forgot to mention the “sin no more” aspect.
There is a fundamental difference between the Arminian concept of “once saved always saved” and the reformed concept of “perseverance of the saints”. Both conclude that salvation cannot be lost but differ at a basic level regarding the foundation of that truth.
I think the doctrine of “once saved always saved” is actually true, and there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. I just think that — as my pastor said in church this morning in so many words “if your faith hasn’t changed you, it hasn’t saved you.” In other words, if there is no evidence of conversion in the form of a changed life (not a perfect life but one always striving to be more Christ-like), then there has likely not been a conversion.
Paul described salvation as a rebirth, a change of heart from the old man to the new man. Continuing to sdin as before salvation is not salvation. Unless the saved perosn is fundamentally changed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit there is no salvation. It is not a crap shoot. It is a total sacrifice of self to Christ’s redemption. In order for the new man to be born the old man must die.
Another way of looking at that is by thinking of ‘being saved’ as something that happens after we die.
Exactly. I have never understood the concept of once saved. It’s wrong.
The argument may sound like Christian reasoning, but it is just another way for the accuser of the Brethren to sow doubt in the minds of humans. But you must admit, it is a clever way to spittle in the 'doubting God's Promises' ploy and push the 'by my works and Jesus's blood I am saved', very Mormonistic argument.
So, are you saying that, after salvation, one ceases to sin, and so remains "saved?" Or that one does NOT cease to sin, but is "saved" anyway?
It's a pretty safe bet for me because I really don't think I would like living the way some do or treating others the way some do.
I think I see the problem.
“So, are you saying that, after salvation, one ceases to sin, and so remains “saved?” Or that one does NOT cease to sin, but is “saved” anyway?
Obviously it is impossible to stop sinning, though the fact remains that the Christian is entirely changed from what he once was before:
“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
I am saying precisely what Jesus and Paul said.
That “Once saved, always saved” has always been wrong. I should think the experience of the Israelites would easily demonstrate that.
bump for later read
Down To The River To Pray - Alison Krauss
Pascal’s wager is stupid, it’s based on the premise that you can fool God.
You can lose your salvation, if during the tribulation you are saved but then take the mark, you’re done for.