Once Saved Always Saved

You have heard it said, “once saved always saved.”  Or perhaps you have been assured that you were saved once and therefore, you will go to heaven, even though you live like the rest of the world.  Sounds too good to be true.

You have also heard it said, “If something sounds too good to be true, it is”. However, regardless of what man thinks and teaches, the only important thing is what God says. So, when are we saved? What does Scripture say? Here is the Old Testament standard:

The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? "But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die (Ezekiel 18:20-24).

Has God’s Old Testament standard changed as a result of the New Covenant?  No! Since a changed life is required, when can we be assured of our salvation?

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved (Matthew 10:22).

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:12-13).

We will be saved if we stand firm in our faith until the end.  The necessity to persevere in the faith is evident throughout Scripture. Salvation is also a process.

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved (John 10:9).

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:21).

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here (Romans 13:11-12).

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:14)

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47).

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12)

These are a small sample of the many scriptural references revealing that salvation is a process, that will not be complete until the end.  Anyone who leads you to believe otherwise has an agenda other than God’s.

Since, Scripture is clear on this issue of salvation, then what is the meaning of “Blessed Assurance?”

Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:13).

Notice, assurance comes from having served well.  Salvation comes from “a faith that works”, for faith without works is dead, see James 2:26.  So what assurance does the Gospel offer the disciple of Christ?

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5)

The Gospel assures us that God is totally faithful and will never leave us. That does not, however, mean that He has removed free will.  You can still decide not to obey God and go your own way.  That’s always your choice.  Here is how Jesus said it:

This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. … "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown" (Matthew 13:13-23).

Understand that you cannot have it both ways, it is either His way or yours. To say you believe in Jesus Christ and then go your own way, is to deny Christ, for the love of God is not in you.

This is love for God: to obey his commands (1 John 5:3).

Don’t be deceived, you must follow Christ.  If you follow man you will die in your sin.  How is your relationship with Christ, do you hear from Him?

"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God" (John 8:47)

Richard H Perry