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Once Saved Always Saved?

January 15, 2011

*I know that I am about to open a can of worms.

I went to a Christian high school and every now and again the subject of once saved always saved came up in Bible class.

One of my students recently asked me via text: “If you are saved once, like are you always saved?”

I think everyone should answer this question for themselves. Not by guessing at it, not by agreeing with the most persuasive argument, but by looking to the Bible for solid answers.

I think that once you are saved, you are saved. You can’t lose your salvation. If God saves you, He can’t lose you.

[10] and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
(Revelation 7:10 ESV)

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessica Seachrist permalink
    January 15, 2011 11:33 pm

    I was just reading in John the other day and came across John 10:25-30. I was so comforted as I read about how secure I am in God’s hands. I agree with you.

  2. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    January 16, 2011 9:26 pm

    Good stuff there Jess! Love that you agree. Thanks for reading btw! Let’s hang out soon.

    • Jessica Seachrist permalink
      January 16, 2011 10:34 pm

      I’d love to hang out this week with you guys sometime. Let me know when you are available!

  3. January 17, 2011 2:44 am

    I have difficulty with once saved, always saved doctrine. Always have, always will.

    Honestly, it isn’t a dealbreaker with anyone but I have difficulty with areas like the five foolish/wise virgins, which I feel depicts those who are ready and not ready when the bridegroom comes (though I have heard other interpretations of what people think that parable means).
    The scriptures that talk about what sin does to a person, how it kills you, etc., defines that if being given over to sin can kill your spirit, as it suggests in James, then it also provides that your salvation can be loss. (Anyone can interpret that differently)
    So that’s my brief, before I go to sleep, take on it.

    • Benjamin Davis permalink*
      January 18, 2011 4:48 pm

      Good thoughts Ben.

  4. Craig permalink
    January 17, 2011 2:42 pm

    I think you like opening cans of worms. And thats okay, if you are ready to deal with the consequences in love.

    You mention in your post “looking to the Bible for solid answers,” I am wondering where in the Bible you get your thoughts. I understand and believe that Jesus Saves and the passage you mention. But I’m wondering if you can back up your beliefs more through Scripture?

    I believe Jesus saves but I also believe that I have to believe, accept, and confess that fact. So salvation is 100% Jesus and 100% my choice. God shows kindness to all because He doesn’t want any to perish (2 Peter 3:9). No one can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35). However, that does not mean everyone will be saved.

    Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” Now do I think Paul walked around wondering if he was going to lose his salvation, the answer is no. But I do think Paul knew that if he let sin go unchecked in his life there was the possibility. And that is why he beat his body.

    Now if we are saying that you can’t lose salvation because what Jesus has done can’t be lost, then I agree. But to say that once I believe that I can never walk away, I would disagree. And I know that those are some things that Calvinists and Arminians disagree on.

    But how do you explain passages like the one Ben mentions and Hebrews 6:4-6. Or what about the prodigal son? And I understand John 10:25-30, but at the same time the Greek words used there are in the present tense which means that it is a repeated or habitual activity. So I need to constantly be doing it to remain in His hand. But what if I stop listening? Then what?

    Nothing can separate Christ’s love from me but I can separate my love from Him by sin and repeated disregard for my relationship with Him. Just like a spouse. My wife might love me and nothing I do could separate that love she has for me, but I could let things into my life that would separate my love from her and that is why I constantly guard myself/beat my body, to make sure that nothing ever comes between my love for her.

    Just some thoughts. Interested in your thoughts and Scriptures you have studied to come to your thoughts.

    • Benjamin Davis permalink*
      January 18, 2011 5:15 pm

      Goo thoughts Craig. And I am not looking for an argument but solid conversation. I like what you brought.

      I think you would know that I think that once Christ draws you, that His grace is irresistible. Now that isn’t to say that we don’t have any choice in the matter, I believe that Christ draws us to that choice per say.

      Romans 9:16 where it says that “it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy”
      Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual;
      John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and
      John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.

      In John 10:28-30, Jesus says that He gives eternal life and those He gives it too shall never perish.

      Do those work? This is healthy conversation and I believe that it builds us as we dig into scripture. My question is this and I don’t think I have ever asked it… Why do people put so much emphasis on our will, what is so hard with the thinking that the God who created us draws us to make a decision to Him? Just a thought. Good stuff bro.

      • Craig permalink
        January 18, 2011 7:29 pm

        Those are good Scriptures. And I do believe that God does a great work in people to bring them to Him. I just believe that as He is working in us, we have to make a choice to let Him continue.

        For an example, I know a guy right now that used to come to church, who left the church. There have been so many instances in his life, even now, where God is drawing him. Yet, he resists. So many things have happened in his life that are the work of God’s hand and he still will not call Christ his Lord and Savior. I’m not saying that he won’t someday, but as of right now, he is ignoring the work of God.

        God works in all of us to draw us to salvation. If it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit working in our life then where would any of us be? But I think we can get caught up so much on God does it all that we forget that we do have free will and need to make a choice.

        Just as Joshua said in Joshua 24:15, “Choose this day whom you will serve… …but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” The choice comes down to me. And for us, God was irresistable. But for others, they can resist Him. As I mentioned before, I believe it is 10o% God and 100% man. And yes, God is all powerful and can do great things, but at the same time, I don’t believe He wants to make us robots that can’t resist Him as He draws us. He wants us to choose Him. I mean, do you want Abby to love you because you drew her in and she didn’t have a choice or do you want her to love you because she chose to love you? I don’t know about you, but I want Bethany to love me because she chose to love me. It makes love what love is.

        • Benjamin Davis permalink*
          January 18, 2011 8:47 pm

          I understand where you are coming from Craig. The holes in that thought process is if God is powerful, all powerful, how then can someone resist in the end? The thing I think we humans get caught up in , is saying whether or not someone is rejecting Christ or not.

          The whole “we want our wives to love us” doesn’t work either. Of course we want our wives to love us and not be “forced” too. I just don’t know if that’s how God operates? Where does it say that if we don’t come with our sinful free will that it doesn’t count?

          What if God loves us so much that He “freed” us to use our free will to choose him? I am most free when God freed me to choose Him. How’s that sound?

          • Craig permalink
            January 19, 2011 11:11 am

            We differ on our thoughts and we will just have to leave it at that.

            • Benjamin Davis permalink*
              January 19, 2011 11:43 am

              Yeah, might be best haha but good conversation none the less.

  5. Ziggy permalink
    January 18, 2011 10:01 am

    To me, the subject of once saved always saved, is two-fold. Yes, God never lets us go and holds us ever so tightly in the palm of His hand. But, He still gave us free will and so we can jump out of God’s hand and choose to go it alone. Our salvation with God is all about a relationship.

    If you saw a married couple and the husband kept mistreating his wife (either physically or verbally) even though the wife continued to stay faithful to her husband, treated him lovingly, and always forgaves him for mistreating her and any of his “indescretions”, after some time, I bet you would start to question whether or not that guy really indeed loved his wife. In fact, if a wife kept getting abused by her husband but still kept going back to him, we might even call her “co-dependent” and try to even convince her as best we can as to how bad the guy is for her. Some might even call her “stupid” for letting him countinue to mistreat her.

    When this couple first started dating each other, he may have done a few things here and there that irritated her. But, she could not really fault him for that because at the time, they were just starting to date and how was he to know what she liked and did not like? However, dating a person is all about getting to know a person and so, he should use his faux pas as a learning experience and know from now on not to do that same thing that clearly irritates her if he truly wants to show he loves her. In fact, she may even forgive him the next few times he does that same thing simply because she loves him and wants to be with him. However, if, years later, he continues to ignore every warning she kept trying to give him about what she hates and he continues to offend her, you would have to start wondering if the guy really does love her and may in fact, be intentionally trying to hurt her. We’re not talking about trivial personality quarks here or knowing how to pick your battles, but serious offenses her keeps doing to her that, by now after being with her for so long that, he should know better and that calls into question how committed he really is to loving her. In fact, it would be even worse if the guy did indeed know what things he does that offend her and despite him knowing, he still hurts her. In that case, we know even more clearly something is definitely not right in their relationship.

    She may be the most forgiving woman in the world and would never let his offenses stop her from loving him. But, that does not negate the fact that the guy is being a real jerk to her and clearly shows no indication of wanting to change at all for her and that, should call into question whether or not he really does love her for if he really did love her, he should at least make an attempt to find out what she likes and does not like and change accordingly.

    Likewise, the Bible is God’s love letter to us and in it, He clearly tells us what offends Him and what pleases Him. God only judges us for what we know, not what we do not know just like a couple first dating cannot fault each other for doing things that offends the other because they just did not know at that point.

    Paul writes that idolaters, the sexually immoral, liars, theives, greedy, etc. will not inherit the Kingdom of God. However, which 1 of us have never been greedy at some point in our lives or lie or have an impure or immoral thought in our head for all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? The actual translation is about those who continue to do these things over and over again. It is not that telling 1 lie or having a sexually impure thought automatically cancels you out of God’s Kingdom. It is regarding those who know God’s will and that sin is sin, but that still, despite all that, continues to do what is ungodly in direct disobedience to God and in direct rebellion of what they know in their heart is not pleasing to God. They are not just acting in disobedience to God, but they are directly rebelling against what they know in their own heart just like a husband who acts in willful defiance of what he knows in his heart offends his wife.

    The bible teaches “The fool says in his heart there is no God”. The actual translation of that verse is, “the fool says in his heart no God”. It as if you can put an exclamation to the end of that verse as if he is yelling directly at God’s face, “No!”. He is a fool because he is choosing to willfully defy God and defy what he knows in his heart is God and what God wants. Likewife, a person who continues to live in sin after knowing in his heart what pleases and offends God is acting in direct defiance of God and is saying to God’s face, “No!”.

    How long should God Himself put up with a fool who clearly does not want to stay in relationship with Him as shown by his willful defiance? It is not as if God is rejecting his creation, but that His creation is willfully rejecting Him. Is it worse for a man to not know something or to know something and then reject it?

    When 1 day Jesus was speaking to his disciples about them drinking His blood and eating His flesh, “many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” Jesus then turned to the 12 and asked them, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” It is as if Jesus was daring them to leave. Jesus did not run after those who chose to leave just because they got offended and did not like what they heard. In fact, He even seemed to dare those who did not leave to leave if they were offended. I am just guessing here, but I guess the heart of Jesus hurt for those who did leave just like Jesus looked upon those he healed with compassion and He looked at the rich man who did not want to sell his possessions with compassion. But, His compassion and love for them did not stop Him from possibly offending others by His ministry.

    In the end, the topic of once saved always saved, I think is a matter of the heart and something only Jesus Himself knows and we will not, just like the question of whether those who never heard the gospel will go to heaven. Jesus will judge them according to the light they have inside them.

  6. Shelbyy permalink
    January 29, 2011 9:07 pm


    • Benjamin Davis permalink*
      February 2, 2011 8:56 am

      Thanks for reading Shelbs. Comment more!

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