Rebuttal to "Once Saved Always Saved"
"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
|I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
This article may be considered as a continuation to the article "Once Saved Always Saved doctrine is deception." If you like to read that article, it is on this link: "Once Saved Always Saved". In that article, we will see the statements made by the Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles that if a person is sinning he/she is not saved but a sinner. If they stopped sinning then they are saved. It is defined what salvation is, from the Bible. We explained the true salvation as well as the false salvation. We quoted many bible verses to show that saved people may lose their salvation, and "once saved always saved" doctrine is deception.
They quote few verses and preach that the only requirement to be saved is to believe Jesus Christ. They believe many things about Jesus Christ and so, they have everlasting life. Those who do not believe will face the wrath of God. This will not bother them since they all will continue to believe him. Their logic is good. By their logic, they got it made. But, there is one problem. What is it to "believe the Son" or to "believe Jesus Christ?"
'Believe the Son', is not just to believe that Jesus of Nazareth has done miracles, was crucified and resurrected. But, 'believe the Son' is to believe what the Son has said. He said: "John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:.. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Jesus said the above verses. If they believe what he says, then they will either obey his commandments or they will know that they are rejected from the kingdom of God. This is truly believing Jesus Christ. But they believe something about him that is not believing HIM, but think that they believe him. They believe that Jesus Christ will take them to heaven, no matter what they do. This is cool. But, God did not tell them to believe their own statement about Jesus Christ for their salvation, but to believe and do what Jesus Christ told them to do for their salvation. If they believe what he told, then they will do what he wants them to do for their salvation. Nobody can cheat God.
They say: the Bible makes it clear that our works has nothing whatsoever to do with our salvation. We didn't receive it by our works. So, we don't keep it by our works. Then they quote the following scripture verses to prove their point. "Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,... Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
These verses are mini Bible to many preachers and believers. They emphasize three points for salvation. (i) "according to his mercy he saved us, and by grace are ye saved." (ii) We are saved "not by works of righteousness which we have done, it is not of yourselves and not of works, lest any man should boast." (iii) We are "saved through faith; it is the gift of God:" Let us review these points in the light of the scriptures without manipulating the verses.
This statement is true. However, false teachers twist the meaning of these three words, (a) saved, (b) grace and (c) mercy and give an entirely different meaning and deceive believers. So it is important to study the meaning of these words.
(a). Saved: Those who are sinning are sinners and they are not saved, no matter what they claim. Refer section 1, "Doctrine of Jesus Christ." It explains who sinners are. This will help us not to consider a sinner as a saved person. Refer section 2, "What is Salvation." It explains the true meaning of the word "saved." Those who are converted from the past filthy unjust life to the holy righteous life are saved. Nobody will be saved by the word of their mouth. It should be proven by their living. If their mouth confession is not the reality of their life, then their confession is not a confession, but it is a lie. Liars are not saved persons, and they go to hell. Nobody can fool God or deceive God. If you like to study this in detail with many scriptures, refer these links. 1. 'Salvation', 2. 'Saved'.
(b). Grace: Most Christians think that grace is a free ticket to heaven, given to sinning Christians, since they believe the story of Jesus. This is not true. Grace is a gift from God, given only to true believers, who obey God with love, sincerity and humbleness. "Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 1 Peter 5:5 ... be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." Grace is a spiritual gift package that contains three things. They are (1) doctrine of Jesus Christ, (2) power of the Holy Spirit, and (3) the abiding of God. They are given as grace upon grace as believers needed them. Grace will strengthen the true believer to overcome the world, flesh and Satan. Believers don't have to do the ceremonial work of circumcision or any such church ordinance or ceremony, but they will have to use the grace of God to overcome sin for their salvation. Details of grace is on this link: 'Grace'.
(c). Mercy: The love and compassion of God, which is God's mercy, forgives the past sins of a person who has overcome sins. Forgiveness is offered by the blood of the Lamb of God. "Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" False preachers say that the blood of Jesus forgives the past, present and future sins. This is a lie of the devil. The forgiveness of God, which is provided by the blood of Jesus, is for the past sins only. Further, the mercy is upon them, who fear him. If we fear him we will obey him. "Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation." If you have no fear of God, you are rejected of God, and he will show no mercy to you. Obedience with fear and love, is the key to be accepted by God. Please read this link: 'Forgiven'.
If you are doing righteousness, you are already saved, (Refer Section 2: What is salvation?). Jesus did not come to save the saved. Those who live in unrighteousness need salvation. God has mercy for the unrighteous people, who fear him and saves them from unrighteousness. After this process is done, they will do righteousness. If they don't do the works of righteousness, then their salvation is fake. They are not saved, because saved people walk in the path of righteousness. Let us study how God changes an unrighteous person into a righteous person. Let me quote the verse. "Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, (a) by the washing of regeneration, and (b) renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 (c) That being justified by his grace, (d) we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Ephesians 2:10 (e) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Please follow the five (a-e) steps from the above verses.
(a) By the washing of regeneration: Jesus Christ washes away the carnality that is dead in sins and regenerate them as spirituality that is the new creature, which will not sin. This person will be dead to sin and will live in Christ.
(b) Renewing of the Holy Ghost: The Holy Ghost makes the person totally new. "2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
(c) Justified by his grace: Justified means, converted from being an unjust person into a just person. It is not calling an unjust person as righteous person, which will be a lie. The devil will lie, but God will not. The Lord Jesus Christ, by steps 'a' and 'b', has converted an unjust person to be a righteous person.
(d) We should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life: If we are made righteous (just) people, then we will become heirs of eternal life.
(e) For we are his workmanship that we should walk in righteousness: God made us in such a way that we be walking in righteousness.
They say that salvation is a free gift from God. If we had to work to keep it, then it would not be a free gift. So we don't have to do anything to keep it. So, they think that if we are once saved we are always saved. They have a very good logic. Then they quote the two following verses to support their logic. "Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." But, this is a deceptive way of quoting the scripture to prove what they want to prove. The verses should be presented to bring the truth of God to light. Let us look at the verses in their context.
The gift of God, the eternal life, is not given to a person who is keep on sinning. But it was given to a person, who was a sinner but obeyed God and was made free from committing sin. This person is made righteous and holy and now he is ashamed of the sins that he had committed. As this person continues as such, and at the end Jesus Christ gives him/her the gift of eternal life. "Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? We all started as servants of sin. That means we were all sinners. Verse 17 says "but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you", that is, (1) they obeyed the commandments of Jesus Christ. Verse 18 says "made free from sin", that is, (2) they do not sin any more. They "became the servants of righteousness", that is, (3) now they are righteous and serve God. Verse 19 says, they became "servants to righteousness unto holiness", that is, (4) they are living a holy life. Verse 21 says that "those things whereof ye are now ashamed", that is, (5) they are ashamed of the past life of sin, which could have taken them to eternal death. Verse 22 says, (6) they have "being made free from sin, and become servants to God", (7) they have "your fruit unto holiness" produced evidence of holiness in their life, and "the end everlasting life." These things are the cause of eternal life. The summary of the verses 17 to 22 is in verse 23. It says, (A) whoever is sinning will face eternal death and (B) the gift of God is eternal life. That is, (B) the eternal life given to the person by the above seven steps that is explained from verse 17 to 22. However, the sinning person will face eternal damnation. The saint, who was once a sinner and is not sinning anymore, will receive eternal life as free gift from God. But false preachers say; a sinning person gets this free gift, which is the twist of the truth. The wages of sinning is eternal death (eternal damnation in the lake of fire).
Let us see verse 18 also with its context. "Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (You may read verses 12- 21) In general the reference is comparing Adam and Jesus Christ. Though we do not do exactly what Adam did, the nature of disobedience is on us. But verse 12 says that we all sin: "Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" This is sin and it will bring eternal death. Contrary to Adam, when Jesus Christ was a man, he received abundant grace from God and lived righteous life, and was totally obedient to God. Now, Jesus Christ gives abundant grace to the obedient people to make them righteous and holy. According to the context, since we all have sinned after Adam (verse 12), death passed upon us. "Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." So, since we have sinned after Adam and as our sin hath reigned unto death, if now we are changed and do righteousness after Jesus, we will have eternal life, by the grace that reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. But if we have continued the sinning life, that sin would have reigned us unto death.
They convince their congregation saying that they are children of God by these verses. "1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God,... Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." We will study these two verses.
After convincing that they are the children of God, they apply their logic that goes like this: Your children will always be your children no matter what happens. You may have troubles and may have broken fellowship, yet they are your children and nothing can change that. Then they say, we all are children of God and nothing negates that. No matter what we do, we will still be the children of God. If this logic is true, we are in a big trouble, since we all started as the children of the devil. "1 John 3:10 ... the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." What will they say now? Will they say, since we started as the children of the devil nothing can negate that? Thank God, this logic is absurd and it is not true.
We all are the children of our parents. They gave birth to us and we came from their body. We did not come from the body of God, but God will glorify and adopt a few of us as his sons/daughters. "John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God... 2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. We have to become the sons and daughters, by the power God has given us. Let us do that diligently.
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God Bless You