Skip to comments.Finally, A Logical Explanation for ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’
Posted on 06/16/2013 6:39:19 AM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
I belong to an evangelical Christian church. I subscribe to its tenets.
Among them, that there is but one true God. That He created man in His image. That man sinned against his Creator and is, therefore, fallen.
That God so loved the world He gave His only begotten son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Yet, there is one doctrine of the church with which I have long struggled: That once someone is saved, they are always saved. That if a person but calls upon the name of the Lord, from that point forward he or she has a Get Out of Hell Free card.
It doesnt matter how wicked the life a person leads. It doesnt matter if he or she abides, unrepentantly, in the sins listed by the Apostle Paul, including fornication, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, thievery, avarice, drunkenness, slander and swindling.
It doesnt even matter if someone altogether abandons their Christian faith.
They still have a ticket to Heaven.
Well, that simply didnt make sense to me. It seemed to contradict Christs calling upon those of us who would follow after Him: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Indeed, Ive asked myself, why dutifully tithe, why crucify the flesh, why feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the sick if it doesnt matter in the eternal scheme of things once youve been saved?
Indeed, Ive prayed often on that question. And, just recently, the Lord provided me an answer that satisfies my spirit.
It came in a recent sermon by Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California.
For those unfamiliar with Pastor Greg, in 1990 he started-up the Harvest Crusade, which will be held this August at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, and which has previously been held in such venues as MadisonSquareGarden in New York and Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles.
Pastor Greg hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A New Beginning. And, this past May, he led observances at the annual National Day of Prayer in Washington, D.C.
Anyway, in his message, Pastor Greg reaffirmed his belief that, once saved, always saved. And that it applies even to those who at one time gave their lives to the Lord, but are not now living for Him now.
Theyve been forgiven by God, he told the congregation. Theyre still going to heaven when they die.
But heres the caveat the pastor of 40 years added that does not get preached often if at all in most churches: There is a final day of reckoning that is coming not just for the unsaved, but also for the saved.
The unsaved, said Pastor Greg, will be condemned to hell, eternally separated from God.
The saved, on the other hand, will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, where each one will be rewarded or unrewarded according to how they used or neglected to use the spiritual gifts with which they were given for the glory of God.
Pastor Greg explained how the heavenly reward system will work, extrapolating from the book of Revelation, which foretells both a new heaven and a new earth. All those whom the Lord has saved will inherit the new earth, where, according to the writings of John of Patmos, there will be no more tears, nor death, nor sorrow, nor pain.
But the new earth will not be strictly egalitarian, Pastor Greg posits, but more of a meritocracy.
Those who were good and faithful servants in life who, in whatever they did, did all to the glory of God will be lifted up in the afterlife, said Pastor Greg, with position and responsibility.
Indeed, there will be among the saved that inhabit the new earth fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, the avaricious, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers who did little to nothing in their lives to honor and glorify God.
But theyre not going to be on the A-List. Thats reserved for those who dedicated their lives to doing Gods will. Who used the gifts with which they were endowed to glorify their Creator. Who used the blessing He bestowed upon them to bless others.
It also is reserved for those martyred in the name of the Lord. And those who accepted the Great Commission, who have gone, therefore, and made disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things the Lord has commanded.
So, then, when the Lord encouraged the saved among us to lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, he was referring to good works.
For it is by grace we are saved from the fate that awaits the unsaved. But it is by good works we are rewarded for eternity.
Evidently some think they are more powerful than God?
The relationship we have with God requires both God and us. God reaches down to us to save us and in return we begin the process of conforming ourselves to His will. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and in truth, none of us are in any position to question how God measures out His grace to us.
That said, if Greg Lauire is teaching this in his church, I think he is dangerously close to teaching a false doctrine to his followers.
Good to see you back!
I'm slowly healing with the Grace of G-d. Blessings !
MM shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
I'm slowly healing with the Grace of G-d. Blessings !
Look at the context of the sentence.
He is discussing believers. They are a separate group from those who would take them away - this other group He refers to are the “no one’s”.
What He is saying is that if you are a believer there is nobody else who has the ability to make you give up your faith. He doesn’t say that it is impossible for YOU to reject your faith. However He does make the promise elsewhere that if you are His He will finish the good work He started in you.
As we have free will still, we are still able to turn our own backs on God if we become lax and grow further and further distant from Him. It’s not Him taking it away from us, it would be that own person’s decision to say No.
Why on earth they would ever do so is beyond me. But we have seen great people who started out strong, were by all accounts faithful, some even great preachers, by their own words bringing others to Christ, only to later in life fall away.
I just take God at His Word and that He has my back, He wants me with Him, He’s looking out for me, wants the best for me, and will complete the good work in me, despite me, for the sake of what Jesus went through for me and everyone else.
Now if you are a believer and you stop believing, for any number of possibilities, you don’t believe that God has your back, you may stop believing in all of it. People have free will and in this life God does not make it impossible for you to reject Him, before or after you are saved, He doesn’t alter your free will so that it is impossible once saved, to not say no to Him. Mature belivers would find such an act crazy to even think about doing, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Sorry. It’s just that so many people think that merely saying the words is enough. If you don’t mean it, it’s not going to do any good.
I read somewhere this statement .
“ to know the Bible is one thing, to know the author is another thing all together.”
I don’t know who God saves. I don’t know who is saved but for my own self. I have trusted in the shed blood of Christ as an atonement for my sins. We should each know with out doubt if we have the salvation offered for the sins of the world. Our relationship with Him is important in knowing our salvation.
Keep in mind that free will concept also includes the idea that man is responsible for his salvation. He can then take credit for being one of the saved. A dangerous road to walk.
That makes sense. I also love the Evangelical notion that after one dies, there is no more growth from a spiritual or emotional standpoint. --Treeless Branch
That's a new accusation against Evangelicalism for me. Where'd you hear that one? --metmom
I have heard that (or something like that) -- that, where you are when you die, is where you stay. And I think "wow, I certainly hope not." I have no idea how that is justified.
I hate to ask, and no offense)but how have you managed to miss this before? My churches (I am Southern Baptist)Have all taught that.
That is presuming the guy was correct about being saved and was actually saved in the first place.
I have been backslidden at least for one period of time...God may deal with that fella as he did with me...In which case, he'll be back...
It's easy actually, to, just for a moment, convince yourself that God doesn't exist...But if one knows a little bit of bible prophecy, he can't look at the world right now and honestly say God does not exist...
I don't put much stock into what so called atheists claim...If a Christian does turn from God, just as the prodigal son did, God may beat him and whip him into submission, all the way HOME...
I'm not going to do a bible study for you...If you don't know by now, you're not even qualified to be in a bible discussion...
But to give you a hint; those are the verses that hundreds of millions of Protestants of the Reformation have clung to for Centuries now...Surely you can find those...
And your opinion is basesd on what??? Does Greg Lauire have scripture to back up his belief??? Do you have scripture to back up your belief???
no. it doesn’t mean that.
free will simply means the ability to say yes or no without God making either choice impossible for you to accept or reject, as if He did that, you would not be making a 100% choice on your own.
all saved christians realize they are not saved by anything they do or not do. it all is because of Christ’s work.
I don’t know of one believer who has never sinned after initial salvation. If they had, there would be no need for 1st John 1:9.
Every time a person disobeys legitimate authority, they sin, ergo they turn away from God and His Plan.
That also means that when God allows a Satanist to be placed in political office as a leader of a nation, we are to obey through faith in Christ.
Part of this reason is that we are engaged in spiritual warfare and our allegiance is to God through faith in Christ. We bare our Cross daily in these times, not by living to perform good or avoid evil, but by living through faith in Him.
Everyone seems to forget this verse. When you think you can commit a purposeful sin and still be saved. As one Baptist boy said about sinning...”It’s OK. Once saved always saved!”
2Cr 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
It’s funny how many people seem to worship the concept of free will, insisting that God wants men to choose him willingly. This in spite of the fact that God COMMANDS men to love Him. According to Jesus (Matthew 22:36-40) the greatest commandment is that we love God with all of our heart, with all our soul and all our mind. This isn’t a request, or a suggestion; it’s a command.
God commands everyone to love Him, and He promises destruction for those who do not. And yet man deludes himself into thinking that God bows to the “free will” of man? How absurd.
***Youd have to show me from the Bible that suicide is an unforgiveable act.***
Eusebius tells of some Christians who broke from their Roman guards and threw themselves into the river to drown rather than go to what the Romans had in store for them.
So far, nobody has been able to find them. If you have, please enlighten us.