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.
Positively false on all accounts: “you shall know them by their fruit.” No, sorry, there is no once saved, always saved. It is either a true salvation by divine grace, or there is no salvation. Period.
“Bad eschatology has consequences.”
See, I read it twice and I still don’t see it sounding like Purgatory.
Friends don't let friends get Left Behind :)
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
No one can pluck the saved from Almighty God's hand. And no one can save the unsaved from multiple self-deceptions including that they are saved because they insincerely uttered the sinners prayer, pastored a megachurch, or even offered their body to be burned but had not love.
So according to this pastor the saved Fornicators get to go to heaven where they get to continue to fornicate. That makes sense. I also love the Evangelical notion that after one dies, there is no more growth from a spiritual or emotional standpoint.
It's about the promises of God to the believer.
John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
John 10:25-30 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.
Ephesians 1:13-14 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Colossians 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
2 Corinthians 5:4-8 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdenednot that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
Great words from a great martyr.thanks for sharing.
HEY! How are you doing?
Good to see you back!
That is presuming the guy was correct about being saved and was actually saved in the first place.
That's a new accusation against Evangelicalism for me. Where'd you hear that one?
Of course, but if he said the words and at that time believed, why would he not believe he wasn’t saved? That is us taking God at His Word. That is faith.
We are commanded to repent and confess. It's a change of heart. We are new creatures in Christ, not just cleaned up old ones.
When we are saved we are crucified with Christ and made new creatures, the old has gone and the new has come. If the flesh has been crucified with Christ, how can one not be saved?
I agree. I never said they were an incantation and why you got that impression is strange as I never said that or even implied that. You might want to go back are read exactly what I wrote.
So you say that a person can thwart Gods plan or reject it regardless of what He says?
John 10: 25 Jesus answered, I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Fathers name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[c]; no one can snatch them out of my Fathers hand. 30 I and the Father are one.
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