Is “once saved always saved” biblical?


By BibleAsk Team

Once Saved Always Saved

The Bible doesn’t support the saying “once saved always saved” and that our responsibility ends when we become Christians. People can certainly choose to lose their salvation. God’s Word is clear:

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:20-22).

He, who has been once saved but has apostatized, becomes spiritually hardened and less responsive to the spiritual convictions of the Holy. And as he continues in this path, he loses his salvation. Jesus said, “and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:45 also Luke 11:26; Hebrews 6:4–8).

The Need to Remain Faithful

Therefore, the apostle Paul exhorts the believers saying, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:23, 24, 26).

Christ and the New Testament writers emphasized the necessity of endurance and perseverance (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Colossians 1:23; etc.). There is danger that those, who have been once saved, become “weary in well doing” (Galatians 6:9), that they will loosen their grip upon the Lord, waver and fall. Wavering is the opposite of holding fast (Matthew 24:13; Hebrews 4:14; 10:35, 36). As a result of wavering at Kadesh-barnea the generation of Israelites that left Egypt could not enter into the Land of Promise. Their wavering was the result of a lack of faith (Hebrews 3:12, 18, 19; 11:1).

Thus, we see that Christianity is not a one time decision. Jesus said that our salvation is based on the condition that we continue to abide in Him (John 15:4). And the apostle Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). This means that he chose on a daily basis to deny himself and follow Jesus. The Lord Himself said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

Ezekiel 18:24 confirms, “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.” Therefore, Paul reminds us, “let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Man Is Free to Choose His Destiny

To believe in the saying, “once saved always saved” is to believe that God takes away our greatest freedom – the freedom of choice. The good news is that if we choose to follow God, He will give us the power and grace to overcome. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). God promised the believer ultimate victory if he endures: “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13).

For more on this topic, check: Can a Christian lose their salvation?

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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