Refuting The Erroneous Doctrine Of “Once Saved Always Saved”
In the fall of man, the serpent’s strategy was to undermine the Word of God through deception. God clearly told man the penalty for violation of His command was death. Hence, one of the first lies Satan uttered in the garden was, “ye shall not surely die” (Gen 3:4).
Today, the pattern continues. God’s Word still warns us that sin causes death (Ezek 18:20; Rom 6:23) but Satan desperately counters by his age-old lie, “no, ye can sin and live, ye shall not surely die.”
Today, this lie has been repackaged and delivered through the false doctrine called “Once Saved Always Saved” (OASA). OSAS has deceived millions into believing, regardless of what sins they commit, they are eternally secure. It has been perhaps the greatest hindrance to holiness and done untold damage by undermining the fear of God. Also, See The Article Did Paul Believe In OSAS?
In this article, we will offer a concise overview showing that no such doctrine is taught in the Scriptures.
Ezekiel 18:20-24 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
2 Peter 2:20-22 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.
If to “escape the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and to have known the way” is not a clear example of salvation then what is?
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Remember these verses were written to Christians.
Romans 8:12-13 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Romans 11:20-22 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. If this is not a scriptural example of losing one’s salvation then what is? If it’s not an example, then what does it mean?
WHAT DID JESUS SAY?
Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended…which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
John 8:31 …if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed…
John 8:34-35 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
John 14:21-23 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 15:6 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.
Jesus mentioned falling away, enduring to the end, keeping the word and many other spiritual conditions that support the fact that believers could lose their salvation.
WHAT DID THE HOLY GHOST SAY THROUGH THE APOSTLE PAUL?
Remember, the following scriptures are written directly to Christians:
1 Cor. 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Philip. 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
1 Thes. 3:8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
1 Tim. 1:5-6 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling…
1 Tim. 1:18-20 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
1 Tim. 4:1 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 Tim. 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
2 Tim. 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. There are many, many more scriptures just like these throughout the Bible, due to lack of space I will list them at the end of this study and you may look them up.
EXAMPLES OF THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN FROM GRACE
1. Lucifer: He was sinless and walked in the ways of God perfectly until he sinned (Ezk 28:11-17). He fell from God’s favor and was cast out of heaven (Isa 14:12-14). He became sinful and lustful (Jn 8:44) and destined for eternal hell (Matt 25:41, Rev 20:1-10).
2. Holy Angels: Over one third of God’s Holy Angels rebelled with Lucifer (Rev 12:3, 7-12) and became destined to hell with Satan (Matt 25:41, Isa 24:21, 2 Pet 2:4, Jude 1:6-7).
3. Adam and Eve: They were created in God’s favor or grace (Gen 1:26-31). They fell from grace by sin and lost eternal life that they would have kept if they would not have sinned (Gen 2:17, 3:1-19, Rom 5:12-21, 2 Cor 11:3). Nothing is ever said of their salvation from sin. They are not listed with the faith-worthies of the O.T. (Heb 11). He was a Son of God (Lk 3:38), thus, sonship is proven not to be a guarantee of eternal life. God promises to punish every angel or man who sins regardless of sonship or relationship.
4. Many Israelites: Before their sin in Exodus 32 they were born again (Dt 32:18, Gal 4:28-29), they were redeemed (Ex 15:13, Dt 21:8), they were sanctified (Ex 31:13, Dt 21:8), they were converted (Ps 19:7), they were in grace (Ex 33:12-17, Ps 19:7, Ps 84:11), had their names in the book of life (Ex 32:32-33, Ps 69:25-29), had the same gospel we have (Gal 3:6-14, Heb 4:2), yet when they sinned the were cut off from God and were lost (Ex 32:32-33, 1 Cor 10:1-18, Heb 4:1-7, Jude 1:5).
5. Saul: Who had a change of heart and received the Holy Spirit (1 Sam 10:9-13, 21-24), went into spiritualism (1 Sam 28, Lev 19:31, 20:6). He lost the Holy Spirit (1 Sam 16:12-23) and died a suicide cursed of God (1 Sam 31:1-6, 1 Chr 10:13-14).
6. Many disciples: Followed Jesus no more (Jn 6:66). They for awhile believed (Lk 8:13). They drew back to perdition (Heb 10:26-39). To receive Christ and confess him brings the new birth, so those who believed for awhile had grace to fall from (Jn 1:12, 1 Jn 5:1).
7. Judas: Was once saved because: he was the familiar friend of Jesus (Ps 41:9), The Hebrew word for friend is “batah”– to confide in as to be secure without fear! Used in this sense 107 times. Would Jesus call any unsaved man or devil, “Mine own familiar friend”? He was called to preach (Matt 10:7). He had part of the apostolic ministry and was an Apostle (Acts 1:16-20). He was sent forth as one of the twelve to represent Jesus among Israel (Matt 10:5-6). He had the Holy Spirit in him (Matt 10:19-20). Judas fell by sin from the ministry and apostleship (Acts 1:25). How could he do this if he was always a devil or unsaved man? Satan entered into Judas at the close of Jesus’ ministry, proving that he was not always an agent of the devil, much less the devil himself (Lk 22:3, Jn 13:2). He therefore, backslid, and then became a thief (Jn 12:6) a devil (Jn 6:70) and a betrayer. To make Judas the devil, a devil from the beginning, and an unsaved man separate from grace is to ignore the plain facts of scripture. He had eternal life one time, as proved from John 17:2 where we read of Jesus giving eternal life “to as many as thou hast given me”, then in John 17:12 it is stated that of “Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them (That thou gavest me and to whom I have given eternal life Jn 17:2) is lost, but the son of perdition”. What could be more clear than this? That Judas was given eternal life, given to Jesus and Jesus had once given him salvation!
8. Ananias and Sapphira: Were saved and of one heart and one soul with all the church (Acts 4:32-5:1), until they agreed to lie to the Holy Ghost at which time they were killed (Acts 5:1-11). “Great grace was upon them all….”, including Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 4:33).
9. Many In the Churches: Were once saved but later threatened with destruction if they did not repent (Rev 2:5, 16, 20-33, 3:3, 11, 16). Besides the above examples of being cut off from God’s grace because of sin, the Bible abounds with plain laws, commandments (1050 in the N.T. alone) and warnings of punishment for those who return to sin. These make it clear that there are no unconditional promises and covenants in scripture. Passages where no condition is expressed are automatically limited by hundreds of kindred verses stating conditions to be met.
SCRIPTURES STATING ASSURANCE
Jn 3:15-16, 5:24, 10:27-29; Rom 5:8-9, 8:1, 35-39, 14:4; 1Cor 1:8-9; Eph 1:4, 13, 4:30; Phil 1:6; 2 Tim 1:12; 1 Pet 1:5; 1 Jn 2:1-2, 3:2; Jude 1:24.
Eternal security is therefore taught in scripture on the basis of continued faith in the finished work of Christ, obedience to the Gospel, and submission to the Lordship of Christ. If men truly want security, let them meet God’s terms. No man is obligated to sin. God has made full provision to keep men holy and present them faultless in heaven if they will co-operate; but no provision except hell-fire is made for rebels. All hope of assurance while living in rebellion is a fool’s hope. Any teaching of security that encourages sin or discourages the possibility of holy living is false and satanic. Security comes through faith and obedience to God’s grace, not disobedience and disgrace.
Old Testament: Gen 2:17; Ex 19:5, 32:33; Dt 8:11-20, 11:16-21, 30:11-20; Josh 24:20; 1 Sam 12:24-25; 1 Ki 9:3-9; 2 Chr 7:19-22, 24:20; Job 36:12; Isa 1:4-20; Jer 1:16, 2:13-19, 5:19, 9:13-16, 12:17; Ezk 33:12-13.
New Testament: Acts 13:43, 14:22; Rom 2:7, 6:23; 1 Cor 3:17, 6:9, 8:11; 2 Cor 6:1, 11:3; Gal 1:6-9, 4:9, 11-20, 5:1-3, 16, 19-21, 6:7-8; Eph 5:6; Col 1:23, 3:25; 1 Tim 5:11-15; Jas 1:13-15, 5:19-20; Heb 6:4-6; 1 Pet 2:4-9, 4:18; 2 Pet 2:15, 3:17; 1 Jn 1:6, 2:3-5, 17, 3:3-11; Jude 1:21; Rev 2:4-5, 3-5, 15-16, 22:18-19.
“It is an unscriptural and dangerous doctrine that there is any state of grace in this world from which we cannot fall.” -Samuel Logan Brengle
“It is astonishing how people talk about perseverance. As if the doctrine of perseverance were: ‘Once in grace, always in grace’; or , ‘Once converted, sure to go to heaven’. This is not the idea of perseverance. The true idea is, that if a man is truly converted, he will, as a rule, continue to obey God; and, as a consequence, he will surely go to heaven. But if a person gets the idea that because he is ‘converted’, therefore he will assuredly go to heaven, that man will almost assuredly go to hell.” -Charles G. Finney
“What need is there of attacking sin with so much eagerness since, even in the Name of the Lord, I can not destroy it? And why should I resist it with so much watchfulness, since my eternal life and salvation are absolutely secured, and the most poisonous cup of iniquity can not destroy me, though I should drink of it every day for months or years? If ye fondly think that you can neither go backward into a sinful, cursed Egypt, nor yet go forward into a sinless, holy Canaan, how natural will it be for you to say, ‘Soul, take thy ease’, and rest awhile in this wilderness on the pillow of self-imputed perfection!” John Fletcher
“Notice how confusing and self-contradictory it is to tell the sinner to repent, to act, as though he were partially responsible for his own salvation, then tell him that, once saved, he is eternally secure. It implies that man has responsibility before conversion but none after. It means that a person has ability to get into the kingdom but none to get out. It gives the sinner a free moral agency, but denies it to Christians. A strange dilemma!” -Richard Taylor