Summary: Some churches teach that once you obtain salvation that you can’t lose it. What do the Scriptures say.
Once Saved Always Saved
The Once Saved Always Saved is one of the most dangerous doctrines in the church. This doctrine states that when someone receives salvation, they can never lose it. I remember knowing someone that followed this doctrine and heard about her attempting suicide. When I was able to talk to her again, I asked her if she had any fear about losing her salvation because of committing suicide. She said she wasn’t afraid because her salvation is secured. Around the same time I got a devotional via E-mail discussing suicide. The author of the devotional correctly said that suicide was an act against God, yet at the same time a person who commits suicide does not lose his salvation. I got thinking to myself, “if I believe this doctrine, why not commit suicide since Heaven is a much better place than this earth?” Much of my life I have struggled with thoughts of suicide, but what kept me from going through with it was my fear that I would not make it to Heaven. If I totally believed the “once saved always saved” doctrine I probably would have gone through with suicide. Let’s look at what the Scriptures say about “once saved always saved.”
Matthew 7:21 - "Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."
This Scripture indicates that we must stay in God’s will in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. When someone becomes outside of God’s will by willful sin, they will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 24:13 - "But he who endures to the end shall be saved."
If we have to endure to the end to be saved, then what happens if we don’t endure to the end? Some will suggest that this is regarding the end times and going through the tributlation. While this may be true, why would those going through the tribulation have to endure to the end while those alive today don’t have to endure to the end? This doesn’t make any sense.
Matthew 13:4-8 - "And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
Matthew 13:20-23 - But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Here we see the parable of the sower and its interpretation. We see here that the Word is received, yet because of either not taking root or being choked the person becomes unfruitful. These examples are regarding those who become believers, repent of their sins (only for a time), and are baptized and then they turn back to their old ways. Their heart was sincere at first but they soon fell away. These Scriptures indicate that in order to be saved, we must continue in the Lord the rest of our life while producing good fruit.
Matthew 28:20 - "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen."
Jesus is saying here that he is with those that observe all the things He commanded us. If we don’t observe what He commanded us, we separate from Him.
Luke 12:45-46 - "But if that servant says in his heart, ’My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers."
Here is an obvious example of someone turning back to their own way of life and missing out on the Kingdom of God.