ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED?
A combination of teachings compiled by Tw
I believe that many of the problems that we find in the church of today, are because of the controversial notion of eternal security for Christians. Many Christians erroneously believe that once they accept Jesus Christ, they are guaranteed their salvation. This leads to the lukewarm and comfortable Christianity that was prophesied in Revelations. The Bible clearly says otherwise...
The Bible says we are born with sin, therefore we must be born again. Jesus said(John 3:3) Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
The essential difference between unbelievers and those who are born again believers is this:
- Unbelievers do not have a choice, they are unforgiven, sinners on their way to hell. No choice in the matter.
- Believers have been forgiven their sins and have the right to choose whether they will sin or not. This right of choice is restored to a believer when he believes that Jesus died on the cross for his sins.
God gives us the gift of His awesome Grace, also the means and the power to ask for salvation – but it is still a conscious choice that we have to make, from which must arise the born again experience; which, in turn should cause a genuine Christian to cast off the old sinful nature and to repent of sin – because of that person’s love for Christ.
- John 5:21: 21For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them; even so the Son quickens whom he will.
God’s Spirit quickens us (Grk zoopoieo = to arouse by spiritual power) so that we are able to communicate with Him, in order to make the choice. He makes it possible for us to choose or respond to His Grace - 2 Peter 3:10 The Lord is patient, not wishing for ANY to perish, but for all to come to repentance. He gives us back our free will to choose whether to ask for our salvation and whether to sin or not.
OUR CHOICE - IS THIS "WORKS"?
Jude 3: 3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
It is clear throughout the Bible, that we are saved by accepting the free gift of God's Grace. Salvation has nothing to do with works, our works cannot save us.
However, what is critical to understand is that WORKS from the Grk ERGON, is a deed, a physical work, something that is accomplished by hand, by the flesh. The choice that we make whether to receive that free gift of God's Grace is SPIRITUAL, not of the FLESH. Similarly then, the choice to BACKSLIDE is of the SPIRIT and NOT OF FLESH (WORKS).
It is fairly simple then, that if we earnestly contend for the faith, we can, and should be, assured of our salvation. Every born again believer should know that they are saved. To think, however, that our salvation is unconditional, is a serious mistake, because Scripture is clear:
See the article on APOSTASY for detailed Scriptures on falling away from Faith. No-one can deny these Scriptures - they all explicitly describe FALLING AWAY.
Jeremiah 18 says to Israel: “If you repent, I’ll take you back. If not, I’ll bring calamity.” You can’t go back to something that you weren’t IN, in the first place. Israel is a ‘type’ of the church of today.
1 Tim 4:1 “But the spirit explicitly says that in the latter times, some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” What are ‘doctrines of demons’? Read v3: “men who forbid marriage (poor Catholic priests are forbidden to marry!) and advocate abstaining from foods.” Or ANY other false doctrine or tradition of men.
1 Tim 6:12 – “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold (Grk epilambonomai = to seize) on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
If our salvation was eternally secure, why do we have to seize it?
- Philippians 2:6 –12 “Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Grk for “work out” = katergazomai = to perform, accomplish, achieve. We are to accomplish our OWN salvation, with fear – why with fear? If we were secure already, why do we need to fear ensuring our salvation? If there is real belief, the real new birth experience, then we will act upon it. If not, we are warned.
- Hebrews 6 :1 - Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God.
This is talking to the Jewish believers, not the unsaved!. ….’repentance from acts that lead to death’ is clearly saying that without repentance, believers can commit acts that can lead to death!
V6: If they fall away it is impossible to renew those who have tasted of the Heavenly spirit.
The only sin that cannot be renewed is the Blasphemy of The Holy Spirit. Matt 12: 31Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
- Hebrews 10:29Of 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? 30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
This is talking to believers who were originally sanctified by the blood of the covenant. They await sore punishment and vengeance (ie: hell!) if they tread under foot the Son of God and do the unholy thing.
- V38 “Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
This clearly states that if any man falls away from his faith, God promises them perdition through His displeasure.
Garments of Salvation
Isaiah 61:10I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.
Rev 7:13And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
This scripture is interesting in that it illustrates the ‘garments of salvation’ or ‘white robe’. (Also, it points to the RAPTURE, since suddenly, appearing in heaven are all these saints clothed in white robes, which “have come out of great tribulation”. It means that we, as Christians, will go through at least some of the great tribulation.)
Rev 3:5 “He that overcometh, I will not blot out His name from the Book of life.”
This verse is talking about the trials and tribulations that Christians have to undergo in their walk, particularly during the end-times and the Tribulation. God warns us that He has the power to blot out our names from the Book of Life, which were written there when we first believed and became born again.
We can be forgiven as long as we repent and wash our robes in the blood of the lamb. But what happens if the robe comes off?
Mark 14:48And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me? 49I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. 50And they all forsook him, and fled. 51And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: 52And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
The young man rejected Jesus and took off or lost his garment of salvation.Luke 13: 22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" He said to them, 24 "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ "But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’Romans 9: 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: (always a figure of the church) "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality."
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