“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into
the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21.
ONCE saved, always saved. That is the cry so often heard from many of the pulpits today. “I can do whatever I want, as long as I have accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour. Why I could go out and mow down a crowd of people with a machine gun and if I were to die at that very moment, I would be saved.” Many people believe this teaching today, but is it true? Once we have accepted Jesus as our personal Saviour, can we go on living like the world, in open, rebellious sin and still be saved.
Most people who believe the above teaching will quote the following Bible verse as proof: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38, 39.
Now this is a wonderful Bible promise that God has given us and it should inspire us all. But does it say once a person is born again, it is impossible for him to lose his way and be lost? In fact, is this verse talking about salvation or eternal life at all? No, this verse is clearly talking about God’s unconditional love towards man, not unconditional salvation. Salvation is conditional! You might also notice that the word “sin” was not included in the list of things which are unable to separate us from the love of God.
If we continue in sin, after we have asked Jesus to be our personal Saviour, are we really in a saved relationship, are we converted? “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” Hebrews 10:26.
What was the very first lie recorded in the Bible? It was the devil, speaking through the serpent when he was talking to Eve. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:” Genesis 3:4. The devil has been deceiving people ever since with this lie. “Once you are saved, you are always saved”, is another lie from Satan and people have been believing it for years and will be sadly surprised in the judgment…
Let me challenge you by reading the following Bible verses regarding eternal life and see if you don’t agree. And remember, we are not talking about an occasional misdeed in a sincere Christian’s life. We are talking about a person that is living in open rebelliousness against God. A person that is living like the devil. Will that person be in heaven if he has unconfessed or unforsaken sin in his life, even though at one time, he had a saving, loving relationship with God? You would really rather know now before its too late, wouldn’t you? The verses below were all taken from the King James Bible.
Please read also the parable of the sower. It really goes into great detail how the Christian life is a continuous life of obeying God and being a born again Christian. The bottom line is, if you turn your back on God, you will not enter the gates of heaven…
Only The Pure In Heart Shall See God
• “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3.
• “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5.
• “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8.
• “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20.
• “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21.
• “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22.
• “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3.
• “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matthew 24:13.
• “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16.
• “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” Luke 10:25-28.
• “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.
• “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.
• “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
• “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24.
• “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” John 6:47.
• “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:54.
• “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6.
• “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” John 12:24, 25.
• “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21.
• “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Romans 2:13.
• “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9.
• “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:19-23.
• “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8.
• “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” 1 Timothy 4:1.
• “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8.
• “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” Hebrews 5:8, 9.
• “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6.
• “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” Hebrews 10:26.
• “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” Hebrews 3:13,14.
• “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12.
• “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” James 2:5.
• “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 1 Peter 4:17, 18.
• “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. 2 Peter 2:21,22.
• “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:11, 12.
• “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude 1:21.
• “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. Revelation 2:5.
• “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7.
• “…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10.
• “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Revelation 2:11.
• “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:5.
• “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” Revelation 17:8.
• “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Revelation 3:11.
• “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21.
• “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Revelation 21:7.
• “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12.
• “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14.
• “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:19.
• “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:4.
There Are No Shortcuts
The above verses show beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can lose our salvation. It is there in black and white. All of God’s promises in the Bible are conditional. If we are going to spend eternity with Jesus, we must be born again, meek, love him, pure in heart, converted, baptized, born of the water and the spirit, do the will of our Father, do His commandments, be an overcomer, be obedient, endureth temptation, etc. There are no shortcuts to heaven… If there were, Jesus would not have had to come to this earth, and die for us. We can trace all of the misery and suffering in the world today back to one person’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. If God were to take one unrepentant sinner to heaven with Him, sin would rise up again.
Did you notice in Revelation 3:5 that unless you are an overcomer, Jesus will blot your name out of the book of life. The book of life contains the names of all who have ever entered the service of God. Jesus bade His disciples, “Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20. Paul speaks of his faithful fellow workers, “Whose names are in the book of life.” Phil. 4:3. Also notice in Revelation 17:8 that our names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, as many people falsely believe. “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” Revelation 17:8.
The Parable of the Sower
Jesus taught the truth about losing eternal life in the parable of the sower. In explaining the seed which fell among the thorns and the rocks, Jesus said, “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.” Luke 8:12, 13.
There are several things to note about this parable. First, only one class will finally be saved – the ones who brought forth much fruit. The groups represented by the wayside and rocks will not be saved. In verse 12, the wayside hearers did not have a chance to “believe and be saved,” but in the next verse the stony ground hearers do “for a while believe.” What kind of “believing” is this? According to verse 12, it is the kind that saves. So the ones who believed for a while were saved for a while, but in time of temptation they fell away. Eventually, of course, they were lost along with all the others, except the fruit-bearers. Here is an unequivocal teaching of our Lord that people can have a saving faith for a while, and yet lose it and be lost.
4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. Luke 8:4:18
Security is Eternal Only for Those
Whose Faith is Eternally Fixed on Jesus
Those who read the record of the Gospels carefully will find repeated authority from Jesus to renounce the doctrine of eternal security. In Luke 12:42-46 Christ described in another parable how a faithful servant could turn into an unfaithful one. After asking, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household. . . ?”Jesus answers His own question: “That servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing . . . he will make him ruler over all that he hath.”Then Christ explains how that servant could lose his reward. “But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” Verses 45,46.
Here is a perfect example by the Master Teacher as to how a faithful and wise servant can be punished with the unbelievers. Jesus was talking about a man whom He had seen faithful enough to trust with heavy responsibilities. Undoubtedly, this servant represents those who carefully served the Lord as true believers. But what happened? That very faithful servant departed from the path of faithfulness and reaped eternal ruin and death. Does this not also remind us of the words of Hebrews 10:38, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”The servant in the parable, who was a believer, is now punished with the unbelievers. The faithful can draw back to perdition.
Salvation Can Be Forfeited
One more parable of Christ spotlights the fact that continued forgiveness is conditional for the believer. The story is found in Matthew 18:21-35, and revolves around the forgiveness of God. A certain king responded to the pleas of his servant and forgave him a large debt. That servant went out and found a fellow servant who owed him a small amount and showed no mercy, throwing him in prison because he could not pay. When the king heard what had happened, he rescinded his cancellation of the large debt and had his servant thrown to the tormentors till he paid in full.
No one can deny the obvious teaching of this parable. Even though God graciously forgives those who apply for it, that forgiveness is not without conditions for the future. We can lose that forgiveness by being unmerciful to others. This is in harmony with the words of the Lord in Ezekiel 33:13, “When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.” The principle is repeated in verse 18, “When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.”
The secret consists in maintaining the righteous relationship with the Source of salvation. Jesus said, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13. No one will be saved finally who does not hold out against a course of deliberate sin in the power of God. Those who do not endure to the end will have their names blotted out of the book of life. Advocates of eternal security deny it could ever happen, but read the frightening possibility for yourself in Revelation 3:5, “He that overcometh . . . I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.” The implication is clear that those who are not overcomers – who do not endure to the end – will have their names blotted out.
All these verses are really saying the same thing. Willful sin shatters the relationship by which eternal life is obtained. There is an eternal “if” in every consideration of eternal security.
• “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7.
• “If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” 1 John 2:24.
• “If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38.
• “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch.” John 15:6.
• “If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” John 8:51.
• “If thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” Romans 11:22.
• “If ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10.
• “For we are made partakers of Christ, If we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” Hebrews 3:14.
• “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: If we deny him, he also will deny us.” 2 Timothy 2:12.
• “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” Hebrews 10:26.
• “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15.
• “Ye are my friends, If ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:14.
• “If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die.” Romans 8:13.
What Does It Mean For The
Christian To Leave His “First Love”?
“Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy FIRST LOVE. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Revelation 2:4, 5, emphasis added.
For the Christian to leave his first love, is to backslide, to fall away, to leave the Lord and His service, and to go over to the service of sin, Satan and the world. The Lord calls upon all such to repent and do their first works (the fruits of love), or else – else what? “I will take thy candlestick out of his place.” This is an ultimatum from the Lord. If the sinner responds, repents, returns to his first love, and does his first works, all is well and good – he will be saved. But it is his to choose. If he does not do this, his light is removed, goes out, and the backslider is lost.
1 John 3:2-15
Now lets look at the following verses from 1 John 3:2-15. These verses really go into depth regarding the born again person. Please look at the whole chapter from your Bible and read it.
2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
3 “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
5 “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”
6 “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.”
7 “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.”
8 “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
9 “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”
10 “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
15 “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
Something to Consider
Most people never give this a thought, but if Satan could live in heaven as a perfect angel with God and then be jealous of God and be cast out of heaven to this earth and eventually be cast into the lake of fire, and be lost for eternity, what give’s us, mere mortal man the right to think it is impossible for us to be lost, when one of God’s Holy angels, who rebelled against God, will be lost? Something to seriously think about.
• “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: ascend above the heights of the clouds; will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15.
• “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7-9.
• “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:10.
What Are Some Of The Implications Of Once Saved, Always Saved?
1) Since we are ‘saved’, we can do what we want. It doesn’t matter what kind of sin we commit. We are still going to go to heaven.
2) We do not need to worry about helping our brothers and sisters remain faithful. “Hey, if they are saved, they will remain saved. We do not need to be our brother’s keeper”.
3) We can ignore all the Scriptures warning us to persevere to the very end. We don’t need to persevere because if we are saved, we will remain saved.
4) We have a real false sense of security.
5) We never really know in fact if we are saved or not because if we do “fall away”, we were never saved in the first place.
In conclusion, according to the above Bible verses, obedience most certainly does affect our salvation and you can lose it. I guess my point in all of this is this, if you have lost your first love and have left the church and God and are living for the world, then maybe you need to stop and ask yourself this most important question. Am I converted? Am I born again? Am I on the pathway to heaven? Or am I just fooling myself…
Before you write this article off as false theology, go back and read it one more time and pray about it and ask God for the Holy Spirit to lead you to the truth and if you are truly honest with yourself and God, you will see the beauty and truth of this most important subject… God Bless.
All text from the King James Bible,
all emphasis supplied.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is
born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee,
Ye must be born again.” John 3:7,8.