Once saved, always saved 3

Once saved, always saved is a doctrine that springs from an inaccurate understanding of Scripture. God’s Word teaches that we can be lost but God assures us that it does not need to happen.

The proponents of once saved, always saved assert that Jesus guaranteed eternal security. “The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. However, you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28).

Even a simple English reading of this text shows the fallacy of Jesus teaching once saved, always saved.

First, Jesus knows who his children are. A human father, who is not mentally impaired does not come to the table one day, look at his son, and sincerely ask, “Who are you?”

God adds those who have been washed in Christ’s blood to the church, the body of Christ (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22-23). Their names are written in the book of life so obviously Christ will know who they are (Revelation 20:15).

Second, Christians know who their Lord is if they have committed to him for life (Ephesians 4:1).

Third, those who are in Christ will indeed have eternal life (Matthew 25:46).

Fourth, those who go to heaven will never perish.

Fifth, no one can snatch Christians from the hand of God. It is perplexing that supporter’s cling to this verse as a proof text when it clearly does not say what they claim it does. It is true that no one can snatch Christians from God’s hand. I have never read anyone in the church who claims that they can. There is a vast difference in Satan kidnapping the saints and hauling them away to hell and the saints standing up and leaving of their own volition (Hebrews 10:26-31; Galatians 5:4).

Grace allows us the opportunity to seek salvation. We accept his call, obey the plan given to us, live obediently until death and we will by no means be lost. It is guaranteed that as long we are faithful to Christ and walk in him, we will be assured of salvation (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Ephesians 4:1). No one who is in Christ will be lost. Even though we must remain faithful and obedient (Ephesians 2:10), we will still require grace in order to attain heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Once saved, always saved, is taken from Calvinism and is erroneous because we are not born sinners (Ezekiel 18). They believe our depravity is so pervasive that if we have freewill, we will all be lost. From this false doctrine comes the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. They think that if we can choose, then we will always choose sin. However, Scripture is filled with choices to come to God (Hebrews 4:16; Matthew 11:28, et al).

The Book of Hebrews teaches that we can choose to leave Christ and run after Satan. Christ provides all we need to remain faithful and conquer Satan but we have to choose to use it (James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17).

2 Replies to “Once saved, always saved 3”

  1. Thanks for a fine series on this subject. The final piece of the Calvinistic puzzle is critical to their doctrine or else the whole system falls. I have previously written on the subject (if you will allow a bit of self-promotion) at Once I am Saved, Can I Be Lost? . We need to keep standing for truth and warning people of the very real danger of apostasy.


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