"Once Saved Always Saved" True or False?

"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega,... 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, ... have right to the tree of life, and... enter ... the city."


I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

"Once Saved Always Saved" Doctrine is Deception

'Once saved always saved' is a subtle topic of twist by false teachers. It is a doctrine of deception. According to them ‘saved’ is a status that inherits heaven. Once we got it we will not lose it no matter what we do. That is, even if a saved man rapes and kills a girl, surely he will go to heaven while the unsaved victim goes to hell. It is ridiculous before the holy God. But, the vast majority of Christians fall for it in some form or another.

The doctrine of Jesus Christ is in the Bible. And, theologians have made many other doctrines using scripture. The doctrines of Jesus Christ is true and all other doctrines are false. Even though men make doctrines, Satan inspires doctrines and gives to theologians and church leaders. As politicians control their country, these leaders control Christians and preach their doctrines. Now, let us see whose doctrine is "once saved always saved."

1. Doctrine of Jesus Christ

The doctrine of Jesus Christ is very important in the scripture. Christ says that as long as a person is sinning; he is the servant of sin. "John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." It is a direct statement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It should supersede Christian theology. The word of God continued to come through the apostles as apostle's doctrine. But theologians ignore them. Listen to the statement of Apostle Paul: "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? Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Listen to the statement of Apostle Peter: "2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." Listen to the statement of Apostle John: "1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." Here we see that the work of the devil is to make the people to commit sin. God will destroy the works of Satan, which is the sinning of people, and will save them from their sins. "Matthew 1:21- his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." So, Jesus Christ will destroy the work of the devil, which is the sinning in his people. If Jesus Christ destroys their sins, they will not sin anymore and they are saved. How will he destroy their sins. Let us see.

2. What is Salvation?

Everybody knows the scripture that says "by grace we are saved." Let us see the scripture verses. "Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)... 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 say that the recipients of this epistle are saved. People may think that all those who read this epistle are saved. It is far from the truth. However, salvation is by the love, mercy and grace of God. These are the data we gather from these verses. One more thing that is needed to be saved is the faith of the person. Yet, these verses miss another vital point. That is: What is the meaning of "Saved?" You will think that it is the escape from hell. Please, allow the Bible tell you what it is.

God announces that they are saved in verse 5 and 8. God explains what "saved" means in verses 2 and 3. "Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." What is it in the verses 2 and 3? Verse 2 says that previously (in time past) they were committing sins, (a) walked according to the course of this world, (b) walked according to the prince of the power of the air, and (c) walked according to the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:. Verse 3 also says that previously (in time past) they were living in the lusts of their flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. They were living in sin "in time past" means that they are not living in sin at present. Now they do not walk that way anymore. See, they are saved by grace. Their previous life style of sinning became past history. Their new life does not have sin. Now they are saved by grace. Please read this link for: "Saved by Grace."

3. Grace or Form of Godliness

We saw "saved by grace" is: those who were living in sin are no longer living in sin. In other words, Jesus saved them from their sins. "Matthew 1:21 ...call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Those who were delivered from sin should live a righteous life. "Romans 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." As they continue to be righteous they will become holy. "Romans 6:19 ... even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." The holy life will be rewarded with the inheritance of heaven, even to be joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. "Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." So, this salvation is a process and if it continues, we will inherit eternal life. But it is not a done deal, which is past, to say Once Saved. They are not even saved! Click on this link: 'Grace'.

4. Saved, then Lost It

Salvation is an escape from sins. "Matthew 1:21 … call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." If people, who were living in sin, have quit sin, then they are saved. Once saved, always saved means that those who quit sin will never sin again. The word of God gives no guaranty for this cliché. Let us see a few scripture verses in order to verify this.

"Matthew 24:24 ... if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Jesus Christ says that even the very elect could be deceived. So, if a saved person gives into deception, then he will lose his salvation. So, there is no guaranty for salvation.

"Luke 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." He was the servant of his Lord. But, Jesus Christ says that his lord will appoint him a portion in hell, if he begins to commit sin. He was once saved, now he will be in hell.

"Luke 14:34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour,..." Jesus Christ says that salt may lose its savor. Once saved may become lost.

"John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." The person was already abiding in the vine. Now, he will be cut off and will be burned.

"Romans 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." This is the warning of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has cut off many before. If you don't continue in his goodness, he will cut you off also. Once saved, you have to continue in salvation. Or else you will be cut off.

"1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy;" You are the temple of God. He lives in you. But, there is a possibility that you may defile yourself with sin. If you do, God will destroy you. So, it is not once saved always saved.

"1 Corinthians 9:27 I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." If Apostle Paul did not continue to keep his body in obedience, he would have been thrown away. That means salvation is not automatically kept. We have to keep it.

"1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." If we stand, be careful so that we may not fall. This caution shows that the position is not guaranteed.

"1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain." "If you keep in memory" is conditional. If they do not keep the memory of the preaching, and do what it requires, they lose the position of salvation.

"Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." They were in grace and hence they were saved. Now they fell from grace. That is, salvation is lost. They were saved once. But now they are lost.

"2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first,.." Few saved people that are saved will be deceived and fall away. So, saved is not always saved.

"1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." A new person who is saved, he is more vulnerable to fall into condemnation, until he is strongly rooted.

"1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;" The Holy Spirit says clearly that some saved persons will depart from faith and will be lost. They will preach the doctrine of devils.

"1 Timothy 5:12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith." They were saved through faith. Then they cast off their faith and fell into damnation.

"1 Timothy 5:15 For some are already turned aside after Satan." They were with God. But now they are with Satan. Once saved, now lost it for ever.

"Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;" Partakers with God are departing from God. Sin is deceitful and will separate you from God. Once saved, but if you are not steadfast, you will lose it.

"Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." Those who once enjoyed the spiritual height in salvation, according to verses 4 and 5, may also fall away. If they shall fall away, they may not be allowed to come back. Then, they have lost salvation permanently. This is not for ordinary believers, but this is for those who have already attained a high status with God, examples: Judas Iscariot, Archangel Lucifer, fallen angels, Adam, Eve, and such people only. They were once saved, but now lost.

"Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." People can draw back from their salvation.

"Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;" By grace you are saved. If you are not diligent you may fall from the grace of God, and lose the salvation.

"James 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." If a saved person erred from the truth, it makes him a sinner who needs to be saved again. Saved from the error is saving his soul. That is, any time you are in error or in sin you have lost your salvation.

"2 Peter 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam." They were in the right way and now gone astray. Once saved and now lost with Satan.

"2 Peter 2:20 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." Those who escaped sin may also fall into sin again.

"Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." They had fallen from salvation. Jesus Christ requires them to repent and get back.

"Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent." They have received and were holding fast, but now have to do it all over again since they lost it.

"Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,.." Once their names were in the book of life. That is they were saved.  But God will blot out their names if they do not overcome. "Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." They will end up in the lake of fire. Once saved, but now lost it and they will be in hell.

"Revelation 3:16 ... because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." This church was living in the mouth of God. Now God will throw them out unless they become hot for God.

"Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." God has written their names in the book of life. But, if they reject any of his word, God will take their names out of the book of life. Then, they will be thrown into the lake of fire. That is, those who were once saved are now thrown into the lake of fire.

In spite of the overwhelming evidence to warn those who are saved that they can also lose their salvation, there are people who will not accept the word of God, but believe the doctrines of the devil.

The next article may be considered a continuation of this, which is a rebuttal to "Once Saved Always Saved" doctrinal claims. If you are interested to read it, please find it by a click on this link: "Rebuttal".

Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
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