There is a belief among some Christian denominations, that once you are saved, you are always saved--that it is impossible to lose your salvation. This misguided, dangerous line of thinking was never part of the early church and seems to have originated in the 1500s with John Calvin, a French theologian and pastor during the Protestant reformation. The Father of Protestantism, Martin Luther, didn't subscribe to this theory.
So who do you believe? A theologian 1500 hundred years after the fact? Or Jesus Christ and the apostles?
1) John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
"Believes" is not past-tense word. It is ongoing and we have to believe EVERYTHING Christ taught and demonstrate it through our actions and words. When we slip up, stumble and sin, as we often do on a daily basis, we have to confess our sins, repent and ask for forgiveness. And forgive those who sin against us as well.
If our salvation was a guaranteed event, how close would it make us in our relationship with Christ?
2) John 5:24:"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
This is the danger of choosing a few scriptures to build a theory while ignoring other scriptures. You want the WHOLE Truth so read ALL of the Holy Bible. Christ also said:
- John 15:5-6: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
3) John 10:28: "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."
God gave us free will. Satan and the fallen world can tempt us but we choose to jump from the hand of Christ or abide in Him.
4) Romans 10:9: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
But Jesus Christ himself said:
- Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. "
- Matthew 7:22-23: "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
Why was Paul unsure of his own salvation?
- 1 Corinthians 9:27: No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
This verse above, the last in Chapter 9, provides a very good transition to First Corinthians Chapter 10.
Who Judges, Man or The Lord?
This "Once Saved, Always Saved" concept is the equivalent of man prejudging himself and others who enters the Kingdom of Heaven.
Apostle Paul wouldn't judge himself, he knew such power belongs to our Lord:
- 1 Corinthians 4:3-5: But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
If we are saved and always saved, why does Christ tell us that we have to stand firm to the end to be saved?
- Mark 13:13: "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
- Matthew 10:22: "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
In the Second book of Timothy Chapter 2, the following passage below tells us that if we disown Christ, He will disown us. However, Christ will be faithful when we are faithless because He cannot disown himself:
2 Timothy 2:8-13: Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
Here is a trustworthy saying:
if we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we disown him, he will also disown us;
if we are faithless, he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
Another scripture to ponder:
- Romans 13:11: And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
If Salvation was as simple as accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and only a past-tense guaranteed event, they why this scripture?
- Philippians 2:12: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
If our Salvation was a guaranteed event, there would be no need to work out anything.
We Do Have Hope...
- Romans 8:24: For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
So be strong in Faith and Love...
- Jude 1:21: Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Peace be with you,
© Michael J. Cox
Also be sure to check out the videos I uploaded from Father Corapi's Dinner Speech. Click Here