What if ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ is Wrong?

'THE LAST JUDGMENT,' BY MICHELANGELO, ON THE ALTAR WALL OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL.

‘THE LAST JUDGMENT,’ BY MICHELANGELO, ON THE ALTAR WALL OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL.

Once upon a time, Groucho Marx hosted the popular game show, “You Bet Your Life.” At the start of the show, a “secret word” was revealed to the studio audience. If a contestant said the word during the course of the show, a reward would descend from the rafters (a one hundred dollar bill).

Whether we know it or not, we are all, Christians and non-Christians alike, contestants in the spiritual equivalent of “You Bet Your Life.” If we bet wisely, our reward is eternal life. But if we bet foolishly, we condemn ourselves to eternal damnation.

That brings to mind Pascal’s Wager, credited to the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal. He famously posited that every human being bets his or her life on whether or not God exists.

“Let us,” he wrote, “weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.”

To put this in terms to which most of us can relate, even if the odds of God’s existence are, say, 1 in 175 million – the odds of winning Powerball on a single ticket – it is worth the wager.

Because, if we have bet on God, and God does not exist, we lose nothing. That is, save for indulging in certain behavior proscribed by God, including sexual promiscuity, idol worship, adultery, homosexuality (and other sexual perversions), thievery, greed, substance abuse, slander and robbery.

But if we bet against the Almighty, and indeed He does exist, we shall be cast into the lake of fire, eternally separated from God. We shall be condemned to place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Where we will be burned with unquenchable fire.  Where we will be tormented day and night forever and forever.

Most of us are rational. So we heed Pascal’s advice.

Even if we are uncertain there is a God, we hedge our bet. We respond to an altar call at some point in our lives. We say we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. We get baptized.

In so doing, we believe we have ensured our eternal security. We believe that, because we went through the ritual of being “saved,” we have a lifetime “Get Out of Hell Free” card. And that we can live our lives as it pleases us – not God – with impunity.

But what if we are wrong? What if this doctrine of “Once Saved, Always Saved,” espoused by many Godly pastors, preached in many purpose-driven churches, is errant? What if it actually is possible for us to forfeit our eternal salvation, to condemn ourselves to hell, by living brazenly and unrepentantly in defiance of God’s law?

That presents a corollary to Pascal’s wager, one that has not been considered by those who profess themselves Christ followers, but who are not truly leading a Christian life.

Let us call this corollary the Salvation wager, in which we weigh the gain and loss in betting on “Once Saved, Always Saved.”

Those who reject the doctrine, who believe those of us whom the Son sets free, must go and sin no more, must faithfully strive to live in obedience to God, have everything to gain if the doctrine is wrong and nothing to lose if the doctrine is right.

But those who subscribe to the doctrine, who believe that, having been saved, they can commit any and all manner of sin and it doesn’t matter in the eternal scheme of things, have hell to pay if they are wrong.

So what might Pascal advise?

That even if it’s more likely that once a person is saved, there is absolutely nothing they can do to lose their salvation, and that even if the odds are, say, 175 million to 1 that the widely-accepted doctrine of “Once Saved, Always Saved” is right rather than wrong, it still is wise to bet against the doctrine.

Because there are many who claim themselves Christians, who think their names have been written in the book of life, who will appear before the great white throne of judgment, who will find themselves sinners in the hands of an angry God.

They will look to Jesus and say, “Lord, Lord,” hoping He will spare them from punishment. But He will declare to them, “I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice wickedness.”

That’s a warning to those abiding unabashedly and unrepentantly in sin. They have bet their lives on “Once Saved, Always Saved.” And if they are wrong, eternal torment awaits.

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Comments

  1. Jack (in response to your comment of Oct.24),

    Regarding 2 Peter 3:8, I merely needed to point out the fact that the context did not support the claim that it had anything to do with Adam’s/mankind’s death. However, rather than belabor the point, I would invite readers to examine the verse for themselves.

    You didn’t actually interact with John 5:28-29 or Acts 24:15, which clearly refer to a physical resurrection. Instead, you chose to offer 1 Cor. 15. However, passages there do not deny a physical resurrection. If you look at verse 50, “flesh and blood” are compared to “corruption”. This is referring to the pre-resurrected, mortal body. However, our resurrected bodies with be both physical and immortal, i.e., incorruptible (see verse 42). Note that I never suggested that a physically resurrected body was identical in every aspect to our mortal bodies, but only was affirming that it would be physical. The point is, a glorified, Spirit-led body can be every bit physical as our mortal bodies. Clearly, Jesus raised His physical body (John 2:19-21), even though that body was glorified and immortal in its resurrected state.

    I explained how the second death proved a physical resurrection, and you didn’t interact with that line of argumentation.

    I’m still confused about the statement regarding Adam having children. You clarified again by stating that God created the entire population of the world when He created Adam. However, Gen.1:27 doesn’t contain that, so it’s not clear where you’re seeing this. I will grant, however, that God knew to whom He would eventually give life, but they obviously didn’t actually exist yet at that time.
    You stated that if Adam “was able to have babies in Eden, they would have been saved.” Well, Adam and Eve clearly were able to reproduce in Eden, because God commanded them to be fruitful and multiply prior to the fall. In any case, it’s not really clear how Gen.1:27 proves the doctrine of original sin.

    You agreed that Christ died for our sins prior to our being born, so the position I’m affirming obviously doesn’t entail separation from God for those in Christ because of any future sins they might commit.

    Regarding Ephesians 2:1-2, you suggested that the state of being “dead” and their “sins” were merely coincidental, but had no causal relation. However, the mention of being dead in sin with the following passages wherein Christ saves us by grace through faith is conspicuous insofar at it demonstrates an intentional contrast, i.e., contrasting the cause of our spiritual death with the cause of our spiritual rebirth. Or, again, contrasting the effects of walking in sin with the effect of placing saving faith in Christ. It’s not clear how one can fail to see that Paul is attempting to instruct by way of contrast (which, incidentally, is a teaching method we often see in scripture).

    You stated that “You are wallowing in sin but the initial cause of not being saved was because of us being in Adam.
    Remember the Bible says:1Co_15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. It’s because of what was done while we were in Adam.”
    The problem is not that I disagree with what you wrote there. The problem is that we disagree as to whether “all be made alive” refers to physical life or spiritual life. And unless one is arguing for Universalism (i.e., that all are regenerated or “born again” and subsequently reconciled to God and bound for eternity with HIm in heaven), it’s clear that the verse must refer to bodily resurrection, which the Bible teaches from scriptures like John 5:28-29 & Acts 24:15.

    In the end, you offered a single argument in support of the doctrine of original sin. You attempted to draw an analogy of a man and his arm convicted for a crime with Adam and the rest of humanity. Some problems with that:
    1. Nothing has been offered from scripture to support the notion that we actually existed and were consubstantial with Adam during the fall.
    2. A man is not equivalent to his arm. In fact, we are not our bodies. We are the thing (i.e., the soul) with a body. So, while a man may be convicted of a crime, his “arm” is not guilty. But of course, we cannot place a disembodied soul in prison, so a person, while embodied, must take his body with him to prison. And just like we are not our bodies, humanity is not Adam. He is guilty of his sin, and we are guilty of our own.
    So while we all were cursed to die physically in Adam and born into a world in which we would be tempted by our flesh, the world, and the devil, eventually leading to our being sinners, there’s nothing in scripture to suggest that we inherited Adam’s guilt earning us spiritual death.

    Finally, Ephesians 2:1-2 is only one of many verses indicating we need to be saved from our sins. For example, Matthew 1:21 again demonstrates Jesus saves us from our “sins”, plural, not Adam’s singular sin. I don’t want to have to spend too much time typing a list of similar passages, but one needs to have a theology which can account for such verses.

    Best,

    FG

  2. Frank, I will say you are persistent but you can not assume or use your own theory to try to prove what you are espousing.
    Saying the 1000 years is misapplied is only your thought. We plainly see the 1000 years applied to the lives of the early humans. We also see the 1000 year theory correlate in other places. One would be the 6 day creation versus 1000 years of the earth existing. The seventh year being the millennium.
    Of course the clincher would be God’s promise that he would die in that “day” and he did. In the day of the Lord. These are things that are shown to prove the point. By simply saying, “The “1000 years” verse, on the other hand, is misapplied. And then giving an opinion without any association does not prove your point.

    You wrote, “You asked whether the 1 Corinthians 15 verse means that we will all live physically. Actually, yes, it does (read further, at verses 21-22). …” Actually, I wasn’t asking it was a Rhetorical question.
    You also talk of a “bodily” resurrection and use {John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15) to prove it. Where does it indicate a “bodily” resurrection in those verses?

    Honestly, I don’t know where you are going with the second death and so on.I don’t see anything that is disproving my post.

    “Regarding the verse in Deuteronomy: You said, “although the penalties in question are earthly, note that the verse cited is meant to provide a principle …” Apples and oranges as we are now speaking of mankind which is already in the world. After leaving the body of Adam or subsequent bodies along the Ancestral chain, we become individuals who have been cursed with the sin of Adam, doomed to death, already dead spiritually, had to be reunited with the Father (Christ accomplished that path.So yes, now we go to hell based on our rejection of Christ and we also are chastised on earth for our own sins. (Those who suggest a person can have a curse who is a Christian are just wrong)

    Regarding Romans 5:19, you suggested that “If we all stayed in Adam, then once he was saved we all would have been saved”. It’s not clear what is meant by “stayed in Adam”, so I’m not sure how to respond to that. Perhaps you could explain what you meant by that phrase?

    All I meant was, if Adam did not have children and the dna was in him.

    You have a problem seeing the two fold life. One is Physical, one is Spiritual. We suffer for the sins we commit on earth by being chastised by a loving Father as He shapes and molds us along the way. You said, .” Our spiritual death is said to be the result of our own sins (that’s “sins”, plural), not Adam’s singular sin” If that is true you just gave the first proof of what we are trying to defend against for if it is our “sins” that keep us from God, than if we continue to sin after salvation we would have to lose our salvation. Yet if it is the original sin, that separation from God that is restored, than nothing can remove us from that restored relationship.

    I believe I have answered everything. If I did not, please point it out. You left some of my statements out. That suggests you can not answer them and decided to move on. Which would also suggest that you are not open to “reasoning together” but have an agenda that never will end even if I showed you a dozen proofs. Please interpret what I say correctly so we do not have an argument for no reason. I am just pointing out that there are two ways to discuss something. The first way is to dig and answer each others statements. This way, if you have a clearer answer, I might say, Hmmmm, that’s a good point, I will continue to research this. whenever I have a discussion with a JW, they will through out a verse. I will turn it on them. Then they will not answer that but will throw out another one. Their hope is eventually I will get stuck on a verse and that will be proof that they were right. It is frustrating.

    • Thousand pardons, Pastor.

    • Jack,

      I’m merely attempting to give a reason (i.e., an apologetic) for the hope within, and hopefully I’ve done so with meekness and respect. If I’ve written anything that appeared less than that, I apologize. I’ve done nothing to indicate an unwillingness to “reason together”. If I failed to address something of importance, please feel free to ask the question again, and I’ll do my best to address it.

      Regarding the “1000 year” verse:
      While there are times that “day” means more then 24 hours, one cannot arbitrarily interpret “day” as 1000 years. Any equivocal use of the term must be dictated by the context. One can examine the “1000 year” verse and see that it isn’t referring to Adam’s/mankind’s death. It’s referring to the irrelevance of time with respect to God’s schedule (i.e., such that one cannot accuse God of slackness).

      Regarding John 5:28-29:
      I honestly don’t know what more convincing proof could be offered for resurrection than everyone coming out of the grave. If there’s a better explanation, I’m happy to give it due consideration.
      Regarding Acts 24:15:
      The verse explicitly refers to the “resurrection of the dead”. Again, it’s not clear how one can understand the verse other than by its plain meaning.

      The reason I mentioned the second death is to point out that the “second” death cannot refer to a second spiritual death, given that one who was never “born again” spiritually cannot die “again” spiritually. Thus, the “second death” must refer to a second physical death. Moreover, to have a “second” physical death, one must first have a “second” physical life, i.e., be physically resurrected. Which takes us back to the fact that, just as in Adam all physically die, so in Christ will all be made physically alive, i.e., resurrected.

      Since you’re not convinced by the verse in Deuteronomy, I can’t force you to see it, so we’ll just agree to disagree on that.

      Regarding your statement: “If we all stayed in Adam, then once he was saved we all would have been saved.”
      You clarified the antecedent by stating that it meant “if Adam did not have children and the dna was in him”.
      In other words, “if Adam did not have children and the dna was in him, then once he was saved we all would have been saved.”
      However, if Adam had no children, how then would we have been saved? (If I misunderstood you, then accept my apology in advance, because I’m not intending to misrepresent your intended meaning.)

      You suggested that I had a problem seeing the twofold life (i.e., the physical and the spiritual). On the contrary, I clearly acknowledged the two. The difference is that we view them differently, which is why we’re having this dialogue.

      Regarding Ephesians 2:1-2 –
      You stated that the position from Ephesians which I shared implied that we would lose our salvation if we continued to sin. But given the cross, that doesn’t follow. All of our sins were future when Christ atoned for them. For those who are in Christ, His blood continues to cover their future sins. It is only those who fail to appropriate (i.e., those who reject) the atonement of Jesus which remain separated from God by their sins.

      Finally, you never actually interacted with the Ephesians verse itself. It clearly states that we were dead in the trespasses and sins (plural) in which we walked, i.e., committed by ourselves; it does not state that we were dead due to Adam’s singular sin.

      Best,

      Frank

      • Frank,
        Not at all, you are fine, I was just trying to show you that I wasn’t being disrespectful to preclude an argument. If I remember I will put the missed answers at the bottom.

        Look over your explanation of the 1000 year business and again, you have not given an argument, just a disagreement.

        Regarding John 5:28-29:
        I honestly don’t know what more convincing proof could be offered for resurrection than everyone coming out of the grave. If there’s a better explanation, I’m happy to give it due consideration.\
        I just pointed out that you said “body” while it never was there.
        Regarding Acts 24:15:
        The verse explicitly refers to the “resurrection of the dead”. Again, it’s not clear how one can understand the verse other than by its plain meaning.

        This is what i mean when I say the entire Bible fits together. Consider this:1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
        1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
        1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

        Our physical bodies can not enter into heaven. We must be changed. The whole idea of bodies raising from the dead is inaccurate. Perhaps our spirits will ride but the Bible explicitly shows we will not go into eternity in our bodies.

        The reason I mentioned the second death is to point out that the “second” death cannot refer to a second spiritual death,
        Since you’re not convinced by the verse in Deuteronomy, I can’t force you to see it, so we’ll just agree to disagree on that.

        Regarding your statement: “If we all stayed in Adam, then once he was saved we all would have been saved.”
        You clarified the antecedent by stating that it meant “if Adam did not have children and the dna was in him”.
        In other words, “if Adam did not have children and the dna was in him, then once he was saved we all would have been saved.”
        However, if Adam had no children, how then would we have been saved? (If I misunderstood you, then accept my apology in advance, because I’m not intending to misrepresent your intended meaning.)

        Yeah, you missed the point.
        When you read:Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.You then realize that God created the entire population of the world at that time. they existed in Adam. So, had Adam not sinned they would have still been in him or if he was able to have babies in Eden, they would have been saved.

        Regarding Ephesians 2:1-2 –
        You stated that the position from Ephesians which I shared implied that we would lose our salvation if we continued to sin. But given the cross, that doesn’t follow. All of our sins were future when Christ atoned for them. For those who are in Christ, His blood continues to cover their future sins. It is only those who fail to appropriate (i.e., those who reject) the atonement of Jesus which remain separated from God by their sins.

        So what you are saying is Christ died for our sin before we were born? I agree.Christ was promised to Adam as early as the garden. He consoled Adaam with this fact after he was seperated from God. What did Christ do? He drew men to Himself. (reconnected)

        Finally, you never actually interacted with the Ephesians verse itself.

        All that says to me were that we were dead and living in sin. He did not say those sins were what disconnected you from God. How about if you were estranged from your family because you killed someone. and you became a drunk. they might say you are dead to us in your drunkedness. You are wallowing in sin but the initial cause of not being saved was because of us being in Adam.

        Remember the Bible says:1Co_15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. It’s because of what was done while we were in Adam.

        Perhaps because these were not posed as a question but they are still part of the argument:Note this verse: “1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. ” Does it mean in Adam all die Physically? Then in Christ we will live physically. No, it refers to the spiritual death.

        We sin because we are sinners.Sinners from birth, then we perform the sin.
        How about the man who robs the bank. After he is caught and convicted he says, “Your honor, this left arm was not involved with the crime so it should not be punished.” Silly eh? So then how do you separate us from Adam at the time of his fall?

        The sins we commit now are physical sins in an earthly realm. God will chastise us for them but never send us to hell for them.
        The sin while we were all together in Adam is the one that separated us from God.

  3. JP,

    I’ve always reasoned the same way Jack does when he asks, in effect, ‘which sin will disqualify one from salvation?’ If we assume a sin (or any number of them) will disqualify us, then we’re really saying that our works save us. Keep in mind that we probably commit a sin of one sort or another every day. If refraining from sin (or conversely, doing good works) were necessary to be saved, then we remain without hope.

    Perhaps it’s better to simply state that our works (or a life characterized by serving God through our actions) are a sign of our salvation. So that, as James suggests, our works is merely a demonstration of our salvation (i.e., of being born again and led by the Holy Spirit, doing the works which God “before ordained that we should walk in them”). Note that Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:10 that we are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works”, not “by” our good works.

    I also agree with Jack that the passage in Hebrews is referring to one who has experienced God’s goodness (whether by observation, or by being raised in the church, or by common grace of one sort or another), and subsequently rejects God after all that witness. Furthermore, James also tells us that “the devils also believe, and tremble”. So simply having knowledge of God is not equivalent to being saved, nor does rejecting God after having such knowledge entail that one was once saved and then later lost.

    I tend to think it is the “Christian” who not only sins with impunity, but also defends sinful behavior (calling good “evil” and evil “good”) who was never really saved in the first place. Or, for those who claim to have been saved and then left the faith, as John suggests in 1 John 2:19, they were simply never truly one of us. (I always find it interesting when an atheist claims to have once been a “born again” Christian. But how could they claim to have been born again? Born again by what? By a Holy Spirit which they claim does not exist? Obviously such persons were never saved to begin with.)

    Finally, I must beg to differ with the interpretation Jack gave for Roman 5:12. While the atonement reconciles us to God, it does so because (for those who receive it) it covers our sin which is the very thing that separates us from God. However, it does not say that Adam’s sin passed to all men. It says that “death” passed into the world by sin, and take note that it clearly says that death passed unto all men because all men sin. People go to hell for their own sin, not for Adam’s sin. Christ died for all of our sins, not just for Adam’s sin. Paul is clear in 1 Corinthians 15:3 and elsewhere to say that Christ died for “our” sins according to the scriptures. Notice in verse 19 of Romans 5 the comparison between Adam’s sin and Christ’s righteousness. If we equated Adam’s sin with universal eternal judgement into hell, then the verse would likewise imply that Christ’s atonement leads to universalism (i.e., the doctrine that all are saved). However, just like we all have to appropriate salvation via our individual faith, we also all appropriate eternal judgement by our individual sin. As Deuteronomy 24:16 clearly states, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

    • Hi Frank, Everything was spot on until that last vers. Actually you were somewhat correct there also.”It says that “death” passed…” That’s right but it was referring to the two deaths. Physical and spiritual. If I ask did Adam die when he was expelled from Eden , many Christians answer no, but he did, twice. He died spiritually that day 24 hours. Also, as God has said a 1000 years is but a day to me, Adam and all mankind, died before a thousand years so physically he died also.. To leave out the Spiritual death (the most important) would suggest that somehow we would have to start sinning to be separated from God when in fact, we were separated already.
      Note this verse: “1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. ” Does it mean in Adam all die Physically? Then in Christ we will live physically. No, it refers to the spiritual death.

      We sin because we are sinners.Sinners from birth, then we perform the sin.
      How about the man who robs the bank. After he is caught and convicted he says, “Your honor, this left arm was not involved with the crime so it should not be punished.” Silly eh? So then how do you separate us from Adam at the time of his fall?
      “Christ died for all of our sins, not just for Adam’s sin” Exactly, it was our sin also.

      “However, just like we all have to appropriate salvation via our individual faith, we also all appropriate eternal judgement by our individual sin. As Deuteronomy 24:16 clearly states, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

      If we all stayed in Adam, then once he was saved we all would have been saved. We can not go back into Adam to be saved so we do have to come to Christ on our own. The verse you reference was for earthly sin. Not sin for eternity but sin we do because we are sinners. We can not blame our fathers because as we separate from our fathers we have free will and so starts our spiritual and physical voyage.

      The sins we commit now are physical sins in an earthly realm. God will chastise us for them but never send us to hell for them.
      The sin while we were all together in Adam is the one that separated us from God.

      • Jack,

        Just as physical death is our separation from our body, spiritual death is merely separation from God. So we agree that Adam died spiritually in the fall. The “1000 years” verse, on the other hand, is misapplied. The verse connotes simply that time is irrelevant to God (as He has no beginning nor end, nor is He dependent on anyone else’s schedule for His plans). But the verse is not providing some formula meant to be applied to the sins of finite humans who have yet to exist.

        You asked whether the 1 Corinthians 15 verse means that we will all live physically. Actually, yes, it does (read further, at verses 21-22). Just as all physically died in Adam, all will have a bodily resurrection (John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15) because Christ was resurrected and will one day call all out of the grave. And note that there will be a second death which cannot refer to a second spiritual death for those who have never been made spiritually alive in the first place. It refers to those cast into the lake of fire, where the process of dying physically a second time seems to be described as an eternal process (where their worm dies not).

        Regarding the verse in Deuteronomy: although the penalties in question are earthly, note that the verse cited is meant to provide a principle upon which the penal practices are based. In other words, the principle itself is not limited to that context, but is a kind of parenthetical statement meant to offer some objective principle as to why the laws and penalties are handled the way in which they are described.

        Regarding Romans 5:19, you suggested that “If we all stayed in Adam, then once he was saved we all would have been saved”. It’s not clear what is meant by “stayed in Adam”, so I’m not sure how to respond to that. Perhaps you could explain what you meant by that phrase?

        Regarding the Fall, Adam’s sin led to the curse which subsequently prevented his descendents access to the physical tree in the garden which maintains physical life, which is why we all eventually die physically. However, because it is sin that separates us from God (i.e., leads to spiritual death), the question becomes, whose sin leads to our personal separation from God which will continue eternally into hell if we do not come to Christ, whose cross is, in a type, a spiritual tree of life? The verses which indicate Christ saving us from our sins are too numerous to even cite, so I’ll limit it to one. Note in Ephesians 2:1-2, how being made alive by Christ is contrasted with our being “dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world…”. Our spiritual death is said to be the result of our own sins (that’s “sins”, plural), not Adam’s singular sin.

  4. pastorjackwilson says:

    Hi Brother, Thanks for those nice words. We will discuss what is considered a Bible and what is not in another session but I use the KJV which in this case is not much different.
    “Heb 6:4 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,
    Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    Heb 6:6 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.” This is probably the only verse I have seen grown men, Pastors, become confused but it is not really. Not going into the greek and various meaning of different words and such, this is about a person who is introduced to Christ. He sees the goodness, perhaps even participates in the Church activities. He is drawn shall we sy to the front door where he takes a long look at what salvation is and decides to continue in his former ways. He has in no way yet been saved but has been on the threshold of salvation.
    This would be another example of it. “Luk 8:12 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.”

    “2Pe 2:22 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.”
    Again, very simply, one who has been brought to see the goodness of God and has decided to wallow in his sins.

    The one verse in Hebrew is the only verse in the Bible that I see, could be confusing to someone. You have to understand that the Bible is a complete Book. You can not take something that may seem to say something else and stand on it, even though it is not backed up anywhere else.

    Example: Thou shalt not kill. Taking that out of context you might never step on a bug or defend your wife from an attacker however it does not mean that. It means you can not murder. Big difference but many JW’s refuse to join the service for that very reason.
    Finally, remember what I said the last time. Jesus died for our sin in Adam. Sins on the earth are dealt with by God, on the earth. We just had the discussion about all those over 2o who died in the wilderness. Was any saved. Some would say no because they did not enter the promised land. Yet Moses also was killed by God and he did not enter. Was he saved? Or did he lose it?

  5. pastorjackwilson says:

    Oh J.P. Now I have to write a book. There are some things that you suggest that just don’t jive. For instance: “Even if we are uncertain there is a God, we hedge our bet. We respond to an altar call at some point in our lives. We say we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. We get baptized.” It is impossible for someone who is uncertain there is a God to get save. Salvation comes first with repentance. That was left out of the equation. There are many in those purpose driven Churches and elsewhere who recite the magic words, ” come into my life Lord Jesus” and believe they are saved. They are not.
    Additionally, God is not a crap shoot. The Bible clearly tells us how to find God: “Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. ”

    Like i said, it is not a good guess or I’ll say the magic words but a conscious decision to seek after God and to rejoice when you find Him and then submit to Him. It is not religion it is a very real faith.

    Here is a very important point you missed. Christ did not die for sins that we commit while living on this earth. Christ died to reunite us with the father after we were thrown out of the garden of Eden. Catholics call it original sin but we can call it anything. the Bible says: “Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: ” It was because of that sin we were separated. Sinning on earth gets us chastised by God as we are His children but never does it get us rejected by God.

    When we are saved we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. No one unseals us and gives us back to eternal damnation.

    Remember when the Apostles met to argue over whether the newly saved needed to be circumcised and to keep the law? It was Peter who nixed that saying all this time we were unable to keep the law. We can not expect them to keep it.

    If after Jesus saves us we become unsaved then Jesus is Impotent to keep us but the Bible says it is He who is able to keep us from falling.

    Finally, one can not come into salvation believing they can lose it because then they ascribe part of the work of salvation to their ability not to sin.And at which sin would someone lose their salvation? The man in Corinthians who had an affair with his father’s wife was referred to by Paul to be turned over to Satan for his bodily destruction so in the end he will be saved. Satan should kill him but he would be saved.

    • Thank you, Pastor. I know the Lord is with you. I continue to stuggle with the doctrine of “Once Saved, Always Saved.” I wonder if you might help me understand what the Apostle Paul meant by the scripture:

      For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

      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.

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