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Do you believe the statement, “Once saved; always saved” or do you think that a person could lose their salvation? It’s a conversation that we have had in our household for quiet a few years, yet it’s hard to come to a conclusive conclusion. We know the verse (and even others like it) which says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28) which causes a person to lean towards the “once saved; always saved” theory. Yet there seems to be many more if—then verses. “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
Well just the other day, during my daily devotions, I came across another one of those if—then Scriptures in Ezekiel 33:12-13.
The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it. The righteous man, if he sins, will not be allowed to live because of his former righteousness. If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done.
I don’t know what you think, but it seems a bit iffy to me! (No pun intended.) Of course, we all want to believe the theory—once saved, always saved—because we don’t want to believe that a loved one who is straying a little bit could fall away, or a friend who is living in habitual sin could be held accountable, or even ourselves—heaven forbid—could possibly lose our salvation if we choose to live by our fleshly desires. In fact, when we see a person fall away from the Lord we often say, “well, perhaps they weren’t really saved after all” or “only God truly knows the heart of a person.” Because we just can’t admit to ourselves the possibility of another outcome. Yet, God’s Word is clear. Listen to what 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 has to say:
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
So perhaps I like best what I once heard a pastor on the radio say after a caller had called in struggling with trying to make sense of this same issue. I can’t remember who I was listening to, but I do remember the essence of his answer which basically was this: There are verses that support the once saved, always saved theory, but there are a lot of other verses that state, if—then. So conceivably the best answer is: Don’t play with fire. Don’t try to walk the line between holiness and sin. Do everything within your power to live the life that God is calling you to live. Then you don’t have to worry about the answer to the question—Is it possible to lose your salvation? Because you are living out the once saved, always saved theory and no one can snatch you out of God’s hand.
As you’re reading this blog post maybe you are wondering a little bit about your own eternal salvation. Maybe you realize that you have blown it. If this is the case, listen to what 1 Corinthians 6:11 goes onto to say after stating the list of the wicked. In fact, it’s the best news of all.
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Past tense! That is what some of us were! But because of who we are in Christ we are washed clean from our sins. We are sanctified. We are justified, which actually means, it’s just as if we had never sinned! But not only that, we are victorious. And we are more than conquerors, which means we can live the life that God is calling us to live! This is who we are in Christ! Therefore, we can live a life of holiness and not be in bondage to the things that God’s Word says will cause us to not inherit the kingdom of God.
With all this said, this blog post is just the result of the ramblings of my prior personal thoughts, which were then awakened by the reading of my daily devotions. God’s Word always keeps me thinking. And as I waffle between the two theories, as long as I keep walking the straight and narrow there is no need for concern. What about you? Which do you believe? And not only that, but how is your walk? Looking forward to your comments.
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I am always restling with this also. A great book on the topic is Getting the Gospel Right by Olson. It is a very balanced view which contains the scriptures that cause the confusion. Highly recommend. It is available at the Calvary Chapel bookstore.
Thanks for the info! When I get the chance I will have to stop by the bookstore and check that book out! Keep up the good work for the Lord down there in Rio.
I believe that we cannot lose our salvation but we can give it away by living according to our rules. To lose something denotes an accident but to give something away is a deliberate act.
Great insight Patricia. Thanks for the comment.
I can offer no meaning in the diiatrspy between stats but I’d love to hear the thoughts of others. My husband does not attend church. So when I take my kids its only me and we sit with my parents unless its Easter or Christmas and then the hubs comes too (and a few random Sundays sprinkled througout the year). This is something that has worried me since we married I was given the ok to raise our children in my faith, which i appreciated, but I’m scared that he is not helping set a good example. I also appreciated this post b/c I have not actively started praying at meals with my kids, I guess I thought they are too young, but now i see that is just silly.
I’m praying for you! Walk the walk for our kids learn more by what is caught then taught! Actions truly are louder than words. As your kids grow they will be able to see the truth in your life. Enjoy teaching your kids how to pray at their meals. Praise the Lord, that although your husband doesn’t attend church it is okay with him to raise your kids in the faith so go for it!!! In time your husband may want to take a more active roll as well. See 1 Peter 3:1-6. God bless!
I believe, unlses a person is capable of completely erasing memories that caused extreme emotional pain OUT of their mind forever, that it is impossible to rebuild was has been broken.It IS possible to build some trust in a person again, BUT, that requires a great deal of time, patience, and effort. The problem is, nobody likes not being trusted completely, and nobody wants to look like a fool and set themselves up to be hurt again. While one is feeling uncomfortable being watched, the other feels they need to be watching. Trust is the number one most important thing in any relationship. As far as I am concerned, the person who breaks that trust, also broke the relationship. They made the choice. I would not offer to try and trust them again.