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 Once Saved Always Saved?

I wish to enter upon a discussion. I say discussion because I mean a discussion, not argument. If you are reading this post, waiting to hear my opinion backed up with biblical quotes, then don't bother. I am not a bible scholar, I am not a theologian, and I don't even have the answer to this question. I am not even looking to put forth my opinion. I simply wish to hear what my brothers and sisters have to say on this subject.

The question of 'once saved always saved?' came to my mind whilst listening to a sermon by John Piper entitled, 'Battling the Unbelief of Lust.' In this sermon, he talks about a conversation he had with a man that was commiting adultery. Piper said to this man, 'Don't you realise that if you don't fight this sin, you'll go to hell?'

At first this statement shocked me, but it got me thinking. Paul Washer keeps repeating this point, that simply saying a prayer and asking Jesus into your life does not assure you of heaven. Your life must change. If your commitment to Christ is genuine, it will last. You will bear good fruit.

My question is this - could you at one point be saved and a few years later be heading for hell? This man that John Piper counselled asked him a question after the statement he made, 'Don't you realise that if you don't fight this sin, you'll go to hell?' The man asked, 'You mean I could lose my salvation?'

The main thing I wish to understand is that if a man loses his salvation, was he truly saved in the first place? If I am genuinely saved at this present moment, could I in five years time commit apostasy?

Another question is this: are we actually saved until the day we are judged and welcomed into heaven? Wayne Grudem says, 'All Who Are Truly Born Again Will Persevere to the End.' So, until we get to the end and are sent to either heaven or hell, will we truly know if we are saved or not?

John 10:27-28 says: 'My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.'

If a genuine commitment to Christ will last, then surely we will only know if it was genuine when it has lasted? And we will only know it has lasted when the King says to us, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.'

 2006/9/1 16:32

Joined: 2005/4/19
Posts: 772

 Re: Once Saved Always Saved?

Hi Richard, you sure opened a can of worms with this one....

I hope you find what you are looking for.

Be Blessed.


 2006/9/1 16:55Profile


I don't like this discussion. But it is important. It normally gets too heated and people will really go crazy over 'discussing' this topic. Let's keep the focus on Jesus.

You will find Scripture supporting and not supporting OSAS. What you must do is take all the Scripture together. Quoting a verse out of context is not going to help.

I believe that under the New Covenant, because it is a covenant, you can break that covenant. A covenant is an agreement between two people. It would not be a covenant if you could not break it. Here, it is between God and man. Man has the choice to break that covenant. That is my perspective on the issue.

You can't break covenant as a child, only when you are mature in the Spirit. And when you break covenant, I do not believe you can get covenant back. God decides when a person has broken covenant, not man. When Peter denied Jesus, he was still under the OC practically. He was not yet mature in Spirit. After the Resurrection, and in Acts-- if he had denied Jesus there, he would have definetly broken covenant as he was responsible and mature in the Spirit.


 2006/9/1 17:49

Joined: 2006/4/13
Posts: 58
South Central Kentucky


Let’s reason together. Ask yourself this question: If someone is saved, that is they are on their way to Heaven, then how did they get that status in the first place? Well they got it by Grace (a word that seems foreign to many people who believe you can lose your salvation). What is Grace? It is unmerited favor. It is getting something that you didn’t deserve and will NEVER deserve. How does someone get this Grace? They get it through faith. What is faith? It is believing in something you can’t see. It is taking God at His Word and believing it even though you can’t see the “proof” of it. But faith goes further than that. If we look at the rest of Scripture, then it must include repentance, because true faith must be followed by works. What kind of works? Well...good works. Works that show repentance. Obedience to Christ and His commands. Loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself. Yes, you aren’t saved by works, but you ARE saved TO works. The people that say works aren’t required by quoting Ephesians 2:8-9, forget to read on to verse 10 of Ephesians 2. Such people have also not read the book of James or the book of 1 John. So someone is saved BY Grace, THROUGH Faith (which includes everything we just talked about). They are saved by the Blood of Jesus who washes away all our sins. If such a person...who TRULY was saved....then loses their salvation, we have to ask ourselves this question: Which sin or sins aren’t covered by the Blood of Jesus? Which sin or sins did Jesus’ Blood not have the power to save that person from? Is the Blood of Jesus not powerful enough to save us from ALL our sins? And if Jesus died on the cross for the sins of those who will trust in Him in the future, then how can that person who trusted in Jesus, and now has supposedly fallen away, take the punishment for his sins as well. That would be ludicrous! Only one person can be punished. Ever heard of the legal term “Double Jeopardy”? One person can’t be punished for the same crime twice and two people can’t be punished for the same crime.

Next, let’s look at a word that Paul used. Paul used the word “adoption” many times to speak of believers in relation to God after they Repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:15, 23; 9:4; Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:5-6). This is the Greek word youiothesia and it means to be accepted by God as a son (or daughter). He used that term because he knew what it meant legally to the people of his time. He knew that it meant that someone who once wasn’t a child has now become a child. And guess what? Once you adopt a child you have them for good. They can never again be put up for adoption. That was true of the law in Paul’s time and it is also true of the law today. That child is yours for good. You can’t...let me repeat CAN’T put that child back up for adoption. They are yours always and FOREVER. It is the same way with God. Once we are His children, we are ALWAYS His Children.

Then there is the concept of being sealed. This is the Greek word sphragizo and it is found in numerous places in the New Testament. Just take a look at 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30. A seal in the time of Paul was used as a means of identification. When seal was placed on a letter and sent to someone, the receiver could be assured that it truly was sent by the owner of that seal and that he approved of all the contents found within that letter. When an animal had a seal placed on it, it was a mark denoting ownership and denoting whose protection and care that animal was under. The verses listed above speak of God sealing us and not sealing us with just anything, but with the seal of His Holy Spirit. This backs up Romans 8:16 and 1 John 3:9. The believer receives the Holy Spirit upon conversion. And the Holy Spirit “is given as a pledge (or down payment) of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:14). The word translated as “pledge” is the Greek word harrabon and it literally means a first installment which secures a legal claim to the article in question, or makes a contract valid; a payment that obligates the contracting party to make further payments. When you put a down payment on something (house or car for example) and then you sign the contract to purchase it, you are in legal obligation to go through with the agreement signed. God is saying here, in these verses, that He put His Holy Spirit inside of us as a down payment to us showing his pledge to fulfill his promise to save us and bring us into His glorious presence in Heaven someday. If someone is saved and then becomes “unsaved” does God then go back on His pledge, His promise? Does God break the contract with the believer who has now become an “unbeliever”? To say such a thing is to call God a liar.

What about this: when does someone lose their salvation? What sin causes someone to lose their salvation? Or how much sin causes someone to lose their salvation? At what point does God say, “Ok you are now not my child any longer, but if you start doing things right again I will make you my child once again.”? Would you ever disown your own biological child? I know that I wouldn’t and God is much more merciful and patient than I am. My son is of my own flesh and blood. And if we are God’s children then we are of His Blood that is the Blood of Jesus. If someone could lose their salvation, at what point do they regain it? James 2:10 say, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” So, if a Christian can lose his or her salvation and we reason correctly, that would mean that a person would lose their salvation every time they sin. How many times have you lost your salvation? How many times have you been saved? Are you saved right now? Remember what the True Definition of sin is: “Falling short of the Glory of God," (Romans 3:23) that is falling short of Jesus. There are other definitions of sin (Romans 14:23, 1 John 3:4), but this is sin in its truest sense. It is falling short of perfection in any way. It is falling short of Jesus, the Holy and Perfect One. Sin is not just breaking the Ten Commandments. If that is what you consider being a Christian or being Holy, then that is a shallow view of Holiness in my humble opinion. I would also say that it isn't a Biblical view of Holiness. Don't forget about James 4:17. Do you witness to EVERY single person that you can? Do you only spend your money on what you need and give the rest away to help others? Do you pray as much as you should? Do you read the Word as much as you should? Are you broken over the state of the world and the Church?

What does Jesus mean when He told Nicodemus that he must be “Born Again”? If Jesus believed in losing your salvation then why didn’t He say that you must be “Born Again and Again and Again”? Surely Jesus could see into the future that Nicodemus was going to sin again after he became Born Again. It would only make sense that Jesus would tell him the whole truth then and tell him that he must be Born again and again and again and again and again and even again and again if so needed.

Take a look for at Romans 8:29-30. It says, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” The ones God “foreknew” are His Children. The ones that God knew ahead of time (because He is God, is outside of time and sees everything at all times- past, present and future) were the ones He knew would repent of their sins and Trust in His Son Jesus Christ. Those are the ones that He predestined (NO God does not predestine or choose who to save and Not- God does NOT choose work in such a way) to be Conformed to His likeness. When I look back on my life before I became a Christian I see God working in my life. He was working on making me who He wanted me to be before I even became a Christian. Anyway, now to the point of this passage. It says, “these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” If some Christians “slip through the cracks”, if some become “unsaved”, then why doesn’t that verse instead say something like this: “these whom He predestined, some He called, those whom He called, some were justified, those whom He justified, just a few he glorified.” If a Christian can lose his salvation, that is what that verse would have to read. But this verse doesn’t say that. In fact, it makes it quite clear that every single one that is predestined (to be conformed) is called, each and every one that is called is justified and every single one that is justified is also glorified in Heaven.

Then just a little bit later in the same chapter, we have verses 38-39. They say, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So what can separate someone from the love that is found in Christ Jesus our Lord? That is, if someone is IN Christ Jesus Our Lord, what can separate from that Love; the Love that sent Christ to die on the cross for people like you and me who don’t deserve such a sacrifice. Most people, who believe someone can lose their salvation, believe it is the person’s actions (sins) that separate them from God after conversion. Well if that person is a “created thing” then even they can’t separate themselves from the love that is found “in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Then there is Philippians 1:6, "being confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Can God no longer carry on HIS work of salvation that HE started in someone in order to bring it unto completion? God forbid we say such a thing! When God changes someone, He changes them! There are no two ways about it!

John 6:37-40 says, "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will NEVER drive away. For I have come down from Heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose NONE of all that He has given Me, but raise them up in the last day. For My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Where is there room in that Scripture for Jesus to lose any who are Truly Christians? It seems to say exactly what it says…that He will lose NONE.

Then there is John 10:27-30, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall NEVER perish; NO ONE CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, is great than all; NO ONE CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY FATHER'S HAND. I and the Father are one."

Same question for this one: Where is there room in this Scripture for Jesus to lose any who are Truly Christians? I know, I know, someone can walk out of God's hands, right? Notice it says that No One can snatch them out of God's hand. If that doesn't include people, I would like to know who Jesus is referring to when He says, "no one."

John 4:14, "but whoever drinks the water that I give him will NEVER thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Once the fountain is open, it never runs dry. It is a wellspring of eternal life. The person will NEVER thirst again, because they have hungered and thirsted after righteousness and have been filled (Matthew 5:6). Jesus Christ is the only one who can provide that righteousness for them.

1 Corinthians 1:8-9, "He (Jesus) will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful."

These are just a few of the things that someone who believes that a Christian can lose their salvation must overcome in order to believe such a thing. This is not an exhaustive list to backup “Once Saved Always Saved” in Scripture by any means. In my mind, believing that someone can lose their salvation goes against Scripture as a whole. But I was once one who believed such a thing. Therefore I still love the brethren who believe such a thing, even if they NEVER believe what I now believe. I can get along with any True Christian for the sake of the Great Commission, saving lost souls and storming the gates of Hell. There is power in numbers. One thing we can definitely agree on is this: if someone claims to be a Christian, yet lives in, practices and walks in sin, they are NO Christian AT ALL. Whether they lost it or never had it, they aren’t a Christian. One last thing I want everyone to keep in mind when studying Scripture and deciding which way they are going to believe. Don’t let your experience with people who believe OSAS or that you can lose your salvation influence how you believe. There are hypocrites in both camps (whether you believe they were once saved or never saved). Look into this subject objectively and with a clear mind, allowing the Spirit to speak to and looking into this subject through sound hermeneutics. God Bless you as you search- Jeremiah 29:13

Kerrigan Skelly

 2006/9/1 19:41Profile

Joined: 2004/7/13
Posts: 7

 Re: Once Saved Always Saved?


This is a topic that I discuss with my co-workers quite often. We use to have three brothers working with us that were proponents of this belief. We had a fun time.
John chapetr 15, speaking of the vine and the branches is, in my opinion, a direct contradiction to this belief. Now I have never actually heard someone speak from the other side on this verse, but it seems to point very clearly to the belief that you can lose your salvation.
Also, in Revalation 3:11 God tells the Philadelphians to hold fast that no one takes thier crown.
OSAS teachers say that if you once had a moment of faith, then you are saved regardless of how sinful you are now. But that is in direct contradiction to Rev. 21:8, 1 Cor 6:9-11 and Rom. 1.
I've heard some of those teachers say you can "live like the devil" and still go to heaven.

 2006/9/1 19:45Profile

Joined: 2006/4/28
Posts: 20
Australia, NSW

 Re: Once Saved Always Saved?

this thread has laready been done, have a look in the archives, they had heaps of agree's and alot of disagree's, you should find it interesting.....God Bless :-)


 2006/9/1 20:00Profile

Joined: 2006/8/30
Posts: 122

 Re: Once Saved Always Saved?

Brother, all I can say is that this is a brave move! Elias and I work together and when one of those OSAS guys gets going they can get a little heated. The one thing that they had no explanation for was the blotting of a name out of the Lambs book of life. Revelation 3:4-5 is the letter to the church of Sardis and it speaks of this blotting. Needless to say they sat quiet for a while and never did give a good counter argument.

I don't know if you have ever heard of the historical name blotting or not. But in Paul's time all cities had a registry with all the names of its indwellers. If a person committed a crime that would disgrace the cities reputation the leaders would take ink and smear it over the condemned criminals name. Therefore ridding the offenders history from the city archives. This makes the scriptures that speak of blotting a little more festinating. bro. Doug

 2006/9/1 21:01Profile

Joined: 2006/6/10
Posts: 668
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada

 Re: Once Saved Always Saved?

Dear brother,

I quite like Leonard Ravenhill when he said, "You say that you're saved, well, what are you saved from?"



 2006/9/1 21:05Profile

Joined: 2006/6/10
Posts: 668
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada


I love Paul's conclusion in his letter to the churches of Galatia when he wrote, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."-Galatians 6:14-16(kjv)
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."-1John 2:15-17(kjv)
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."-John 3:5(kjv)
So...How can one be saved, and not born again? There is man's interpretation, and there is God's interpretation...How can one be justified before God without having this experience of being "born again"?
AW Tozer wrote, "If we would find God amid all the religious externals, we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity. Now, as always, God discovers Himself to "babes" and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him."-(taken from his book, The Pursuit of God)
God opens the eyes of the humble who diligently seek Him...those that are drawn unto Himself. For His ways are higher than man's ways, and His thoughts higher than man's thoughts. My opinion: Anyone "spiritually" content with a verbal profession of "faith" without (or desiring to) abide in abundant life-giving communion with God Himself is spiritally on the wrong road. Let one examine himself thoroughly to see, by God's grace, where they really are.
The Lord bless you with more of Himself,


 2006/9/1 22:54Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA


this thread has laready been done, have a look in the archives, they had heaps of agree's and alot of disagree's, you should find it interesting.....God Bless

This is true and a good place to mention doing a search through the site. However, hope that is not taken to mean everything has already been discussed and gone through, far from it, nor is it to necessarily dissuade another post from beginning again.

The search engine can take some patience to utilize, generally, using the "Exact Match" is helpful in narrowing down the amount of replies.

Here is one on this topic;
[url=]Once Saved Always Saved[/url]

It's but a few pages or so ... :-)

Mike Balog

 2006/9/1 23:42Profile

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