This post is radical. Probably not what you currently think - and I expect will complete this Series about getting properly and Scripturally Born Again!
You probably believe it. Your church probably teaches it. "Once Saved, Always Saved!" can be a quite contentious issue! Oh man, the arguments I've heard about IT!! - and it is very much part of RBBR. That's because the Scriptures are clear that once you've earnestly done those 4 Steps then you ARE born into a new life via God's Spirit!!
Because I am going to use the word SAVED in this Message, we need to DEFINE what it means. A QUESTION for you to first consider carefully, then answer. Which do you want most: to be saved from HELL (and go to HEAVEN), OR be saved from your SINS? What was your answer? (it MATTERS; TRUST ME here, it MATTERS!!!) Amongst a TON of clues, we can start with the Name of our Saviour: MATTHEW 1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will will save His people from their sins. No mention of being saved from the punishment of hell there, right, even though this is, of course, also true.
But the Question above is highly important: exactly WHICH of these is your aim? In this Message it will be the correct and Scriptural one: saved - salvaged!! - from our SIN - to live a life of RIGHTEOUSNESS, pleasing to the Lord!!! Our 4 Steps allow for these things to happen, where a cleansed life and a life of power, CHANGE you to grow in holiness and living right (miss any Steps though, and this won't happen). After having fully done the 4 Steps we can say at that moment that we are fully SAVED from all of our SIN that we've committed AGAINST OUR GOD!!!
But back to our main question: is the belief of "Once Saved (from our sin), Always Saved" SCRIPTURALLY CORRECT? I said above that it's highly likely you believe it is. Most do - but that doesn't necessarily make them right, does it! Here are some Scriptural clues to get us started: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:2 says 'you ARE saved'. ROMANS 8:24 says 'we WERE saved'. ROMANS 12:9 says 'we SHALL BE saved'. That is, PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE in the tense of the Greek verbs!! Clearly the verse that says "we SHALL be saved" throws a lot of doubt on the fact that we're saved NOW, (which we are) and this is then FOREVER (meaning: "Once saved, Always saved.")
The fact is that in the New Testament being saved is NOT an EVENT - IT'S A PROCESS!!! Jesus Himself was very clear on this: MATTHEW 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. There are TWO important facts there: 1) ENDURING, and 2) to the END. The Lord says that for us to ENDURE is VERY important in our life with Him. From 1 Corinthians to Hebrews I quickly found that: our WORK needs to endure; we must endure PERSECUTION, and endure ALL THINGS, endure SUFFERING, endureTRIBULATIONS, endure HARDSHIP, and endure AFFLICTIONS. Quite a list!
Then it's imperative that we persevere in our Christian walk with the Lord - so that we CAN ENDURE!! And PERSEVERING is exactly what will enable us to ENDURE to the END!!! GALATIANS 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. I just love that!! 2 CORINTHIANS 4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. -- which the Amplified Bible translates as: "we do not get discouraged (spiritless and despondent with fear) or become faint with weariness and exhaustion." Wow!!
So are we saved for all time as the 'Once saved, Always saved' doctrine says? No, rather we are in the PROCESS of BEING SAVED, and God promises us that IF WE ENDURE TO THE END, then we WILL BE SAVED!!! DID you get THAT!!! It will be OBVIOUS to readers that this "enduring" concerns US a fair deal: I have to choose to do this - and persist, and not give up, not quit! But you know enough by now to realise that God will help you in all of this!! You are NEVER alone!!!
And there's EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS! We simply MUST play our part, as above, but God PROMISES that HE will play HIS WONDERFUL PART!! 2 TIMOTHY 1:12b ...for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. JOHN 10:28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. How ENCOURAGING is THAT!!!
These are GOD'S PROMISES to us!! And there are many more in the New Testament. You can be CERTAIN that He will ALWAYS do HIS PART. That's a GIVEN!! But make NO MISTAKE that not ONE jot of this will SUFFICE UNLESS you also do YOUR PART as well!!! And the CHOICE to do that - and KEEP doing it - is ENTIRELY up to YOU!!!
Finally, where did this 'Once saved, Always saved' doctrine come from? People wanted to feel, well, SAFE! A great way to make them feel safe was to promise that, "You're Now Saved Forever!" But it's NOT Scriptural! If you've seriously done the 4 Steps, this has allowed you to be born into God's Kingdom here on earth. But BIRTH is not forever, is it!! Birth is a STARTING POINT!! From that starting point, by OBEDIENCE, and by welcoming JESUS AS LORD OVER ALL OF OUR LIFE, we may GROW towards our final destination of ultimately being SAVED forever, and in Heaven always and forever with our Lord and God!!!
May this be so for YOU!!!
- BM, with his Lady