ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED?
By Cougan Collins
Some teach that once you are saved you are always saved. While this is a comforting thought, it is not true because the New Testament clearly teaches that we can lose our salvation and fall from God’s grace. For example, if we choose not to abide in Christ, we will be cast out: "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” (Jn. 15:6).
The writer of Hebrews
describes Christians who have fallen away because of sin and how they will face
the judgment of God: “For it is impossible for those who were
once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers
of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the
age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since
they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame” (Heb. 6:4-6).
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries” (Heb. 10:26-27).
Peter says that Christians can lose their salvation, and when they do, they will be in a worse position than before they were saved: “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning”(2 Pet. 2:20).
We are warned
throughout the New Testament that we can fall: “Therefore let him who thinks he
stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).
“looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God” (Heb. 12:15).
Finally, Paul plainly states that we can fall from God’s grace: “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4).
Clearly, the New Testament teaches that once saved always saved is not true. Therefore, becoming a Christian does not seal our salvation because it requires living faithfully to God until the day we die (Rev. 2:10). This is why Paul describes living the Christian life as running a race and competing according to the rules (1 Cor. 9:24-27). We begin our race when we become a Christian, and we keep running until the day we die.
Besides, if once saved always saved were true, then one could become a Christian, start living a life of sin, and still be saved. Let us not deceive ourselves with a false hope. Instead, let us fight the good fight of faith (2 Tim. 4:7) and endure the race (Heb. 12:1-2) by keeping sin out of our life and by keeping our eyes on the goal of heaven. We invite you to worship with us at the Lone Grove Church of Christ – lgchurchofchrist.com.