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.
I don’t believe in once saved, always saved. My understanding of grace is that there is no sin that you cannot repent from and be forgiven for, but you still must turn from sin.
ooooo sounds likePurgatory. I recommend a book called Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn. Google it.
Nice idea. But I'm not sure scripture discusses this sort of meritocracy.
I always held the notion that if you accepted Jesus, yet continued to sin unrepentantly, you really never accepted Him in the first place.
So, I was “saved” and babtised when I was a kid. Since then I have embraced reason and now a happy athiest. Wow I’m still good to go!
Laurie is wrong.
Since Jesus saves, He knows who’s saved and unsaved. We don’t need to be categorizing individuals as to who is and who isn’t. Our’s is to share the Law and Gospel and God the Holy Sprirt will do the creating of faith for salvation. The Spirit testifies to the individual as to their personal salvation.
I heard it said very well once - all people are on a journey. Some are drawing closer to the divine and some are moving further away. The goal of all Christian ministry is to encourage the former and discourage the latter. :)
“26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27 There is only the terrible expectation of Gods judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. 28 For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings Gods mercy to us. 30 For we know the one who said, I will take revenge. I will pay them back. He also said, The Lord will judge his own people. 31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” — Hebrews 10
I gather you have it all figured out.
Superficial reason and sarcastic, condescending pride are the fruits of Atheism.
The second resurrection is for those in Messiah. The final, for all the rest whereupon ALL the rest will be judged.
Gee. Golly. How very special for you. Guess billions of us are wrong after all. Glad you have it all figured out with your "reasoning" abilities.
I’ve had this discussion with some who believe “once saved, always saved”, and shown them the clear language in scripture that says other than what they believe. Typically, they say, “I don’t see it.”
They read the verses, and they don’t see what scripture clearly says.
So, I will not longer discuss this with those who want to believe false doctrine so strongly. They are wrong and they will come to realize it, but too late. They have heard the gospel and rejected its truth.
Jesus does not demand perfection, only that we are facing in the right direction, and that we are willing to humbly turn back to the right direction if we stray.
**It doesnt even matter if someone altogether abandons their Christian faith.
They still have a ticket to Heaven.**
He’s using a lot of words to describe Purgatory.
“Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.”
i wonder if those people on death row are really “saved” or they're just doing it for the sake of convenience
If you were just “babtised” you were likely never saved in the first place, so not to wrry.
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...
All I know is, Heaven’s up there and I’m not worthy to enter it no matter what I do here.
But the Lord sees me trying to stay out of trouble.
Because the name of Jesus in Hebrew is Yah'shua.: Yah'shua means : YHvH is/be my Salvation !
Why is that so ? shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
Because the name of Jesus in Hebrew is Yah'shua.:
Yah'shua means : YHvH is/be my Salvation !
26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.
I know many people who have heard “received” the knowledge of God and refused to accept it or believe it just as the scripture implies. It has nothing to do with your works after salvation.
Being ‘babtised” only improves your ability to spell correctly
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid. -- Marcus Aurelius
The context doesn’t leave much doubt about what it is about.
“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth - If after we are converted and become true Christians we should apostatize, it would be impossible to be recovered again, for there would be no other sacrifice for sin; no way by which we could be saved. This passage, however, like Hebrews 6:4-6, has given rise to much difference of opinion. But that the above is the correct interpretation, seems evident to me from the following considerations:
(1) It is the natural and obvious interpretation, such as would occur probably to ninety-nine readers in a hundred, if there were no theory to support, and no fear that it would conflict with some other doctrine.
(2) it accords with the scope of the Epistle, which is, to keep those whom the apostle addressed from returning again to the Jewish religion, under the trials to which they were subjected.
(3) it is in accordance with the fair meaning of the language - the words after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, referring more naturally to true conversion than to any other state of mind.
(4) the sentiment would not be correct if it referred to any but real Christians. It would not be true that one who had been somewhat enlightened, and who then sinned wilfully, must look on fearfully to the judgment without a possibility of being saved. There are multitudes of cases where such persons are saved. They wilfully resist the Holy Spirit; they strive against him; they for a long time refuse to yield, but they are brought again to reflection, and are led to give their hearts to God.
(5) it is true, and always will be true, that if a sincere Christian should apostatize he could never be converted again; see the notes on Hebrews 6:4-6. The reasons are obvious. He would have tried the only plan of salvation, and it would have failed. He would have embraced the Saviour, and there would not have been efficacy enough in his blood to keep him, and there would be no more powerful Saviour and no more efficacious blood of atonement. He would have renounced the Holy Spirit, and would have shown that his influences were not effectual to keep him, and there would be no other agent of greater power to renew and save him after he had apostatized. For these reasons it seems clear to me that this passage refers to true Christians, and that the doctrine here taught is, that if such an one should apostatize, he must look forward only to the terrors of the judgment, and to final condemnation.
Whether this in fact ever occurs, is quite another question. In regard to that inquiry, see the notes on Hebrews 6:4-6. If this view be correct, we may add, that the passage should not be regarded as applying to what is commonly known as the sin against the Holy Spirit, or the unpardonable sin. The word rendered wilfully - hekousios- occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, except in 1 Peter 5:2, where it is rendered willingly - taking the oversight thereof (of the church) not by constraint, but willingly. It properly means, willingly, voluntarily, of our own accord, and applies to cases where no constraint is used. It is not to be construed here strictly, or metaphysically, for all sin is voluntary, or is committed willingly, but must refer to a deliberate act, where a man means to abandon his religion, and to turn away from God. If it were to be taken with metaphysical exactness, it would demonstrate that every Christian who ever does anything wrong, no matter how small, would be lost.”
“4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better thingsthings that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” — Heb 6
Oh, but it does, Kemosabe.
"Un-Repentance" and repeated sinning violates the expressed contract with the Lord.
He knows our hearts.
The Gospels are full of teachings from Jesus about people and their works. How else to interpret the Parable of the Talents?
How else to interpret the Parable of The Vine and the Branches?
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.The branch which is connected to the vine (the faithful) will nonetheless be cut off if it does not bear fruit.
Bingo. You will know them by their fruits.