Summary: No doctrine, if true, should contradict other Scripture texts. "Once Saved Always Saved" is a teaching which, on the surface, seems to be scriptural, but if it is rigorously compared to a broad spectrum of Scriptures, it becomes clear that it violates a g
ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED?
Proponents of “Once Saved Always Saved” teach that once a person has been converted, “all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger" (theologian Sam Morris), even if he never repents those sins! They say that when the rapture occurs, Christians will be raptured straight from acts of adultery into heaven! I can’t think of a more scandalous and damaging doctrine. Why?
I. MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH THIS TEACHING
A. IT VIOLATES THE CHARACTER OF GOD & MAN
It over-emphasizes God's sovereignty (will and power to save) at the expense of His righteousness, justice and love. It also violates man's freedom of will.
B. LARGE PORTIONS OF SCRIPTURES MUST BE REINTERPRETED TO ACCOMMODATE THIS DOCTRINE
All the warning passages of Scripture, which warn the believer against apostasy, backsliding, lack of watchfulness, going back into the world, and sin -- which would cause them to forfeit their salvation, are reinterpreted/ twisted so as to render them “of no effect” so that they agree with this doctrine.
C. IT DENIES THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST
It allows Jesus to save you, but not to require obedience of you after you're saved.
II. SALVATION IS MORE THAN BELIEVING
A. PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE TENSE SALVATION
1. They erroneously quote texts about the inception of salvation, as applying to salvation as a whole. Scriptures like Romans 10:9, Acts 16:30-31, and John 5:24 – which all speak of the beginning of spiritual life – are quoted as proof of this doctrine, but all the scriptures speaking of the continuation of the Christian life are ignored.
2. No true Christian believes a man or woman can work themselves into a state of justification; “It is by grace you are saved, through faith” Eph. 2:8-9. But again, this speaks of the inception of spiritual life. We must take into account ALL the Scriptures: Regeneration is only the first slice in the loaf of salvation; not the entire loaf!
3. Some verses, such as Eph. 2:8–9, speak of salvation as a past-tense event. Others speak of salvation as a present-tense event, as Phip. 2:12, "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." So salvation is something which must be “worked out” (unless Paul is a heretic). Still other verses speak of salvation as future-tense, as something we yet must attain; "our salvation is nearer than when we first believed" Rom. 13:11.
4. “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” Mt. 24:13. Jesus here warned against apostasy. Context: “iniquity abounding” and “the love of many growing cold” (Vs 12). Mark 13:13 is like it, but the need for enduring is due to persecution. “He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” John 12:25. “Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” Jude 1:21, NIV.
B. TEACHINGS ON ETERNAL LIFE
1. The same apostle Paul who wrote Rom. 10:9 & Acts 16:31 preached “that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance” Acts 26:20. He told Timothy “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called” 1 Tim 6:12. (Timothy already had eternal life, but he still had to hold onto it until the end.) “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” 1 Tim. 4:16. Ultimate salvation mentioned here.
2. “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.” Rom. 2:7. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” Romans 6:22. “Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” 1 Tim. 6:19.
3. “…the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” John 5:28-29. “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” Matt 7:21. Obeying is more important than confessing.
4. I could go on citing verses, but the point is, salvation is not a punctiliar event. Charles Spurgeon characterized it as “Holding [Christ], I am held.” Christ is our life. As we hold onto Him we have Eternal Life and complete security. But eternal life does not exist in the absence of Christ.