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.
Once saved always saved is another of those doctrines that comes from a completely wrong understanding of eschatology, as demonstrated by the pastor’s use of the parable of the talents and Revelation.
There’s not a day that goes by I don’t sin in one form or another....so very grateful Christ Jesus is always ready to forgive. Otherwise I’d be doomed.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Ijohn 1:8
I work out my own salvation with fear and trembling.
Perfect love casts out fear.
In my opinion. Billions of you are not wrong as much as gullible.
I believe the pastor is entirely correct. Everything he said is Biblically sound. There will be a reward system in the afterlife- Christ mentioned this several times. His disciples even tried to position themselves by trying to nail Him down about who would sit on His right hand. He rebuked them, telling them they didn't know what they were asking.
God knows every heart. We also must be cognizant that God's ways are not our ways. First of all, when God makes a promise - that is it. He NEVER goes back on it. Israel is STILL God's chosen nation.
Moreover, the rewards are God's to give, we have NO RIGHT to tell Him how to spend them.
Matthew 20: 1-16
1For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right. 5 So they went. He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing? 7 Because no one has hired us, they answered. He said to them, You also go and work in my vineyard. 8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first. 9 The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 These who were hired last worked only one hour, they said, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day. 13 But he answered one of them, I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didnt you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Dont I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
Being baptized as an infant or when very small is not being "saved." Salvation comes about by acknowledging our sin, having a heart of repentance, realizing in our hearts that Christ is the only way we can be made whole again in our relationship with the Father, and asking Christ to come into our lives and save us.
"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."
Romans 10: 9-10
If you have not done this, then by God's word itself, you were never saved in the first place.
Part of the difficulty we have understanding this, I think, is we are stuck on a conveyor belt of time, whereas God sees the whole of history complete beginning to end.
How about a fast-acting suicide?
I don’t think anyone here is claiming to be without sin. But just as Peter was told to wash his feet daily, so each and every Christian must experience daily renewal through prayer, humility, confession, and forgiveness.
Salvation lets you stand before the throne of grace. It does not keep you there if you choose to walk away from it.
If you have been given the truth of Christ, and rejected it, then why are you in this thread?
Samson committed suicide, but he’s counted amongst the righteous.
That's a good bit different than blowing your own brains out or jumping off a building.
You’d have to show me from the Bible that suicide is an unforgiveable act. The fact that the Catholic church teaches that suicide is unforgiveable does not make it so.
I like to put my 2 cents in once in a while. Would you deny me an oplnion?
I believe you are correct. This ties in with “faith without works is dead” and the parable of the sower.
In the parable of the sower, only the ones who produce fruit are saved. Many people hear the gospel and make some lip service to it, but are they producing fruit. What is this fruit? It’s the fruit of the Spirit..Love, joy, peace, etc. It is ONLY through this fruit that we do “work” for Christ.
The other thing I would also say is that only God truly knows who is saved and we can’t really judge someone else from the outside.
All in all though, I do believe that once a person is saved, has produced “fruit of the Spirit”, that their salvation is never in jeopardy. Our salvation is maintained by Christ and NOTHING can snatch us out of His hands. Like the original article posited, those of us who back slide are still going to have our works judged but our foundation is secure in Christ.
As an example, Cmdr. Howard Gilmore.
Suicide is murder.
Murder is a grave sin.
Sin can only be forgiven after repentance.
Repentance is impossible in a quick suicide.
If you jump off a tall building, you might repent on the way down; if you shoot yourself in the head, probably not.
The thief on the cross did just that. Sometimes something as drastic as being imprisoned, maybe facing the death penalty, is just what it takes for God to get our attention.
I'm sure you have...And I'll bet there are some who showed you the verses that clearly tell you that you can't lose your salvation, and you couldn't see those...