Photo taken by Cherie
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.