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.
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