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The Once Saved Always Saved Doctrine

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Once Saved Always Saved: An Unconditional Promise of God?



The first scripture at which we'll look in our study of the once saved, always saved doctrine is that of 1 John 2:24, which says, ..." IF that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you." According to Webster’s dictionary, the word "if" means "on condition that, in case that, granting that." With no conditions to be met, what need would God have to say "if?"

The Chosen and the Elect of God



The promise of eternal life is like any other promise of God. It is contingent upon obedience and faithfulness to him, a truth that is in sharp disagreement with the once saved, always saved doctrine. This is the case even for the elect and chosen of God. The chosen apostle Paul said, "...God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace" (Galatians 1:15).

This chosen man of God also said, "But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection (obedience) lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway"
(1 Corinthians 9:27).

Natural and Spiritual Israel



The scripture of Romans 2:28-29 tells us that Christians are spiritual Jews and thus part of the chosen people of God (spiritual and natural Israel in service to Christ). Non-Jews (gentiles, sometimes called Greeks) were taken from a wild olive tree and grafted into the good olive tree, or Jesus (Romans 11:24). True followers of Christ are now a part of the nation of Israel (in spiritual terms only). God himself pledged the Promised Land to Israel, his people, but what happened when they did not believe (obey) him. Neither the chosen Israel nor Moses, the chosen and elected before the foundation of the world, entered into the Promised Land. They could not enter because of disobedience.

The case of Moses is different because he did not repeatedly disobey God. He committed only one offense that caused him to miss out on entering the Promised Land (Numbers 20:12). Proponents of the once saved, always saved doctrine tend to like emphasizing the surety of the promises of God without ever taking into account that the Lord's promises are CONDITIONAL. We read, "Surely they shall not see the land which I SWARE unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it" (Numbers 14:23). In scripture we read, "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years and ye shall know of my BREACH OF PROMISE" (Numbers 14:34).

Do not be deceived by the once saved, always saved doctrine. The severity of God still stands under the New Testament of grace which is why the book of Hebrews reminds us of what happened to Israel, so we’ll avoid this terrible mistake. It is written, "For if God spared not the natural branches (natural Israel), take heed lest he also spare not thee (spiritual Israel)" (Romans 11:21). And we are warned with the words, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (St John 5:39-40). Anyone who diligently searches the scriptures for God's truth instead of the truth that he might want to hear, will quickly learn that the once saved, always saved doctrine does not agree with the Christian Bible.

Jesus Sheds Light on the Once Saved Always Saved Doctrine



In St. John 10:29 Jesus says that no man is able to pluck the sheep that his Father gave him out of his hand. He also explains that his true sheep are the ones hearing his voice and following him. In St John 10:25, we read, "Jesus answered them: I told you, and ye believed me not...." We then read that he said, "But ye believe me not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you, my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me"
(St John 10:26-27).

He continues teaching in verses 28 thru 29, saying that he gives his sheep eternal life and no one can take them out of his hand. If you are not following him and hearing his voice, you are not in his hand. How can you be plucked out of where you are not?

Is It Really Possible to Live Righteously?



There is no excuse for saying that it is impossible to live righteously, keeping God’s commandments in this present world. Scripture says, "For this is the love of God (our love toward Him), that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:3). We also are told that, "...We should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world" (Titus 2:12).

Divine Protection from Being Lost?



The theory that those who are saved are divinely protected from being lost does not make sense in light of the Biblical warnings to whoever forgets God. It is clear that these specific warnings are not directed to the sinner. There are only believers and unbelievers. Since the following scriptures do not speak to the unsaved (unbelievers), to whom would we say they speak? They speak to the backsliding and the backslider. There is no middle ground. You either serve sin unto death or righteousness unto life, you partake of the Lord’s Table or of the table of devils (Romans 6:16, 1 Corinthians 10:21). If you are trying to "straddle" the line, you are lukewarm. We are warned, "So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16).

Warnings continue as we read, "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them" (2 Peter 2:20-21).

"For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" (Hebrews 10:26). There are those who want to claim that this scripture in Hebrew speaks on to Israel. How can that be when we read that, in Christ, there is no longer a distinction between Jew and Gentile (Galatians :28).

The warnings against believing in the once saved, always saved doctrine continue as we read, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" (Hebrews 6:4-6).

Sealed Salvation?



Ephesians 4:30 says, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." People who hold to the once saved, always saved doctrine teach that because the believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit, his soul can never be lost. Firstly, we see that Ephesians 4:30 plainly reveals that the seal of our salvation is the Holy Spirit himself.

Let's look at just a few scriptures that show us that this seal can be taken away from us. In other words, this seal can be broken if we turn again to sin. David understood this grave danger, which is why he cried out to God, pleading that he not lose this seal of salvation, the very Spirit of God. David prayed to the Lord saying, "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit (SEAL) from me" (Psalm 51:11). If there was no danger of David losing the seal of his salvation, why did he make such a prayer?

The Case of King Saul



We read of God's rejection of Saul as king in 1 Samuel 15, verses 23 and 26. Saul was rejected because he continued to disobey the Lord's commandments. God took his seal, his Holy Spirit, away from Saul. The scripture of 1 Samuel 16:14 reads, "But the Spirit of the Lord departed (left) from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him" (1 Samuel 16:14). Again, we see the seal, the Holy Spirit, departing from someone who refused to walk in obedience to the Lord.

God is good and merciful and gracious, but we must not trample on his grace. We are warned not to trample on God's grace when we read, "Of how much sorer punishment suppose ye shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of Grace" (Hebrews 10:29)

Drawing a Conclusion from the Scriptures



Let's look at one last point that seemingly favors the once saved, always saved doctrine. This is the teaching focusing on the truth that Israel remained, and still remains God's son, servant, and his people, despite all their sins and disobedience (Exodus 4:22, Luke 1:54, Romans 11:1-2). Some see this as a message that says that the sinful and disobedient Christian also remains God's servant. Therefore, once you are a son, you can never return to being a lost soul. However, these scriptures are not in agreement with the scriptures below which speak of the judgment of unprofitable and disobedient SONS of God. Let us keep in mind that scriptures below are speaking directly to those who have ALREADY become servants and sons (children) of God.

"Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 25:24-30).

We also read, "But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers" (Luke 12:45-46).

In the fifteenth chapter of the book of Luke we read the parable of the Prodigal son. He left home, which is a symbol of being backsliden. He lived a sinful life and then returned to the Father. The Father himself says that his son was dead. He declares that his son was lost. Are we to think that the dead and the lost will enter the kingdom of God? Belief in the once saved, always saved doctrine amounts to thinking just that.

"And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry" (Luke 15:21-24).

The apostle Paul, a most faithful servant and son of the Lord, was extremely careful at all times to remain in obedience to God. He said, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Corinthians 9:27). Paul obviously did not believe in a once saved, always saved doctrine.

Finally, we know that the church is called the chaste virgin wife-to-be of the bridegroom (Jesus). Therefore let us consider the following message from the bridegroom himself to all who consider themselves a part of his bride-to-be church.

"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not" (Matthew 25:1-12).

There is clearly no support in the Christian Bible for belief in the cleverly twisted teachings of the once saved, always saved doctrine.

Related Reading:


Free Will Vs Predestination: What Does the Christian Bible Really Say?

The Bible On Destiny And Fate


The Assurance of Salvation and the Will of God


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Comments/Comentarios:

Ephesians 1:5 I have been set apart before the foundation of the world according to GODS GOOD PLEASURE. God has a plan and he keeps us but we also have a part to play a will . the only thing that is required of me is to surrender in faith. It is a daily working out my salvation according to the word of God. I give myself daily my whole self body , soul and spirit . I think where the confusion rests is not in once saved always saved but in ignorance of being good , or saying a few words or religious rituals. The truth is once saved we are a new creation we once were not and now are a son of God not only are we sons but we are considered the first born. Think of it a first born meaning we are to inherit all that our father has . with being a first born comes responsibility. I do believe in once saved always saved God doesn\t trick us he says your mine you have always been mine. He continues to go out of his way to show us even when we are not in his will. However who are we in agreement with in the moment there is one vessel(me) but two kingdom. So we can as being saved from eternal damnation be saved but what good if we don\t know all that we are. A son of the king an heir of the kingdom of God! His kingdom come His will be done! It is about the kingdom not only salvation of our souls
by: Anna
Posted on 2015-09-01 10:09:01


Belief in once saved always saved also denotes belief that once saved, we don't have to ever worry about losing our salvation, because God made a promise and He does not break His promises. It's akin to saying, "Even if we're not living right, God will make sure we do what we're supposed to do before we die." In consideration of the many Old and New Testament passages that clearly disagree with this thought, we sum it up with the biblical instruction to "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). This is one of many solemn warnings not to rely on God to do all the work while we do nothing. And, disobedience cancels the promises of God, including those He has already made. We read, "...shall ye bear your iniquities,...and ye shall know my BREACH OF PROMISE" (Numbers 14:34)
by: Heavenly Manna
Posted on 2015-09-02 18:03:43


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