Truth or Lie? Once Saved, Always Saved

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Have you ever heard the expression, “Once Saved, Always Saved”? The first time I heard this expression, a pastor’s wife was confiding her sinful lifestyle to me. I was appalled by her confession, and I remember saying, “I thought you were a Christian.” I didn’t say this accusingly — I was just very confused.

The woman just laughed at my statement and replied, “Of course, I’m a Christian. God knows my heart, and He knows why I do these things. Don’t you know that once you accept Jesus as your Savior, you’re always saved? There is nothing you could ever do to lose your salvation.” At the dumb expression on my face, she in turn, looked at me, equally shocked, “Don’t you believe that? Don’t you know about the doctrine of ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’?”

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I did not know of such a doctrine, but when I left that woman, I determined in my heart to study and read the Word of God and see what it had to say about this belief. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that when I want to know the truth of God, I go to His word and seek the truth from Him, rather than man. My beloved reader, I want to share my findings with you, because it breaks my heart to think of the number of people who condemn themselves by  believing a lie, and if it breaks my heart, what do you suppose it does to the heart of our Father? 

 21 “Not everyone who calls out to Me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of My Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to Me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in Your name and cast out demons in Your name and performed many miracles in Your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you who break God’s laws.’

~ Matthew 7:21-23 NLT ~

Those words were spoken by Jesus, not by me. Do you see, that though many people called Him Lord and even though they prophesied in His name, cast out demons in His name and performed many miracles in His name, they were  not permitted into the Kingdom of Heaven? Even though those people called themselves Christians, and even though they thought they were saved, they were not. In fact, Jesus told them that He never knew them. And do you see why He told them to get away from Him?

Get away from Me, you who break God’s laws.” He told them to get away because they continued to break God’s laws, even when they were serving Him. 

So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from itFor the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus Himself and then delivered to us by those who heard Him speakAnd God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever He chose.

~ Hebrews 2:1-4 NLT ~

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My beloved readers, do  you see that it is vital that we know the truth? Do  you see the warning in Hebrews 2:1? So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. Does that warning (or we may drift away from itsound like once saved, always saved? Does that scripture state that it is impossible for a man/woman to sin and fall from grace and be eternally lost? On the contrary! That scripture warns us to listen carefully to the truth, because if we don’t, we may drift away from it!

Take heed, my friends, and do not be deceived by a doctrine that sounds good… Remember — There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. ~ Proverbs 14:12 NLT ~ 

For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing Him to the cross once again and holding Him up to public shame.

~ Hebrews 6:4-6 NLT ~

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My friends, I’m not saying that when we become Christians, we never sin again, because that isn’t true. However, what I am saying is that when we are saved, we are not the same. Although I was once a prisoner of my old, sinful nature, the instant I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I was set free from that sinful nature. As a matter of fact, the person I was before my salvation (a slave to sin) died when Jesus saved me, and I was reborn! 

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT ~

According to God’s Word, when someone is saved, he/she becomes a new person… When I became a Christian, I was different… I had a new love — Jesus Christ, Messiah, Son of the Living God, and as I delighted myself in Him, something changed within me… He began to give me the desires of my heart. Now I no longer desired the things that were once so important to me, because my desires had changed. I had experienced the presence of God, and I never wanted to go back to what I once was.

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 God’s 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 God’s mercy to us.

~ Hebrews 10:26-29 NLT ~

Beloved, does this sound like the once saved, always saved doctrine is the truth or a lie? I urge you, brothers and sisters, to live holy lives, as we all are called to do. Many who argue that once we are saved, we are always saved often cite Ephesians 2:8-9 as proof of this false doctrine, but let’s look at Ephesians 2:8-10…

God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.

~ Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT ~

I agree with this scripture — we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, and we can’t take credit for our salvation, because it is not a reward for the good things we have done… But let’s look at the rest of that paragraph… We Christians are God’s masterpiece. Isn’t that wonderful? We are God’s work of art because He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Now look carefully at this scripture. Does it say that He has created us anew so that we can continue living in sin, because He saved us forever, no matter what we do? Of course not! He saved us and remade us so we could do the good things He planned for us long ago.

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres.

~ 2 Timothy 3:1-9 NLT ~

My friends, I’ve shared the Word of Truth with you, and now you must decide. Is the doctrine of once saved, always saved the truth or a lie? Don’t be fooled by those who may seem to have more education and respect than you. Instead, pray and ask the Lord, and read His word, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32 NLT ~

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

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