Friday, February 22, 2013

Once Saved Always Saved - Or Not?

Dr. David R. ReaganBy

What about "once saved, always saved"... do you believe that?

This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions at my Bible prophecy forums, even though it is not directly related to Bible prophecy.

When the question is asked in a public forum, I always avoid answering it because I have found that it is an explosive topic that is not productive to deal with publicly. So, I usually answer the question by saying, "I'm sorry, but your question is not relevant to Bible prophecy, so I would suggest that you discuss it with your pastor."

Two Extremes

For those of you who may not be familiar with the issue, it is a debate between those with an Armenian viewpoint and those with a Calvinist view. The Armenian argues that it is possible for a Christian to "fall from grace" and thus become lost. The Calvinist argues that once a person is saved, it is not possible for him or her to lose their salvation.

I believe the extremes of both viewpoints are unbiblical. The extreme Armenian will argue that every time you sin, you lose your salvation unless you immediately repent. I grew up in a church that taught this theology, so I know it well. It creates an acute sense of spiritual insecurity and contributes to emotional instability. As a kid, I remember witnessing people coming forward time and time again at our church services to confess their sins and be re-baptized over and over, to make sure they were saved.

The ultra-Calvinist position is just as bad in my opinion. According to this theology, God predetermines who is going to be saved and who is going to be lost, and there is nothing anyone can do to change their fate. To me, this concept makes God out to be a monster.

I ran across a tragic example of this view several years ago when I was listening to an audio tape of a sermon that had been delivered at a Baptist Church in Denton, Texas. The guest speaker, who was a well-known theologian, began his sermon by asking, "How many of you here this morning have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior?" After a brief pause (during which I imagine most of the people present raised their hands), the preacher said, "I have bad news for you. Everyone of you who raised your hand is lost because you are too naturally depraved to receive Jesus of your own free will. You are therefore trusting in your own works. The fact of the matter is that God has either predestined you to be saved, or He has not, and there is nothing you can do about it."

When it comes to more moderate views on both sides, I could present a seemingly iron-clad argument in behalf of either position, depending on the verses of Scripture I chose to use. And I have found that when that is the case, the truth of the matter usually lies somewhere in the middle.

My View

Here's where I have come out on the issue. I believe we are saved by faith apart from works, and I believe we are kept in a saved condition by faith apart from works. But I do not believe that when I accepted Jesus in faith that I surrendered my free will and became a robot. I believe I still have the freedom to reject my faith in word or in deed — in word, by renouncing Jesus; in deed, by persisting to live in open sin.

As long as I am walking in faith with the Lord, I can say with absolute confidence that I am saved. But I believe it is possible for me to lose that faith, and I base that conclusion on experience as well as the Scriptures.

In my experience I have seen far too many professing Christians walk away from their faith, abandoning their families and getting in bed with the world. I recently read the testimony of a Muslim imam (spiritual leader) who for many years was a Southern Baptist pastor. For years he taught that Jesus was God in the flesh and that our only hope of salvation was through putting our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Today, he denies the divinity of Jesus and argues that He was just a great prophet preparing the way for the greatest prophet, Mohammed.

Those who believe in "once saved, always saved," respond to examples like this by quoting 1 John 2:19 where the Apostle John states that some apostates who had left the Church had done so because "they were not really one of us." In other words, moderate Calvinists will always argue that those who renounce their Christian faith or who become apostate in their beliefs, never were true Christians in the first place.

I'm sure this is true in many cases, but I'm also equally sure it is not true in all cases. I say that with confidence because there are scriptures which, in my opinion, make it clear that a true believer can fall from grace. Take, for example, 1 Corinthians 15:1-2. In this passage Paul speaks of the gospel he had preached, "by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you." If? The New Testament is full of such conditional statements. Consider Hebrews 3:12-14 —

12) Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

13) But encourage one another, day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

14) For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end...

Christians are being warned in this passage to resist evil lest they become hardened by sin. And they are further warned to hold fast in their faith until the end. Why the warning if there is no danger in falling away from the faith?

This is a persistent theme throughout the book of Hebrews. For example, in chapter 6 there is reference to those who once were "enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been partakers of the Holy Spirit" and then have "fallen away" (Hebrews 6:4-6) How can anyone be a partaker of the Holy Spirit without being born again? This has to be speaking of a true Christian.

In like manner, the Apostle Peter describes people who have "escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" and then have become entangled once again in the world. He says their latter state is worse than their first, observing, "it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away." He concludes with a vivid illustration, saying that such persons are like a dog who "returns to its own vomit" (2 Peter 2:20-22).

No Need to Argue

There is another reason I don't like to spend time dealing with this issue. That's because when you get down to the bottom line, the two moderate viewpoints agree!

I'll explain what I mean with an illustration. Let's consider a fellow — we will call him Tom — who has never had any religious experience in his life. He marries a believing woman, and she starts pressing him to go to church with her. He finally agrees, and the message touches his heart and convicts him. He spends several days reading the Bible and then calls the pastor to inform him that he has decided to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

The next Sunday he goes forward and makes his confession. He is baptized, and he starts attending church faithfully and gets involved in an in-depth Bible study. Within two years he has become a deacon of the church and one of its youth leaders.

And then, one night while surfing the Internet, he accidently lands on a porn site and decides to take a peek. In a short time he is addicted. His wife discovers the situation when they receive a credit card bill with over $500 in charges from porn sites. He confesses and asks her forgiveness, but the problem continues, and soon his children discover pornographic videos he has hidden in a cabinet.

The marriage breaks up. Tom begins drinking. He soon moves in with a woman who proves to be a drug dealer. A year later he is found dead from a drug overdose.

The moderate Calvinist would say, "He was never saved in the first place." The moderate Armenian would contend that "he fell from grace." Both would agree he was lost.

So, why all the argument?


Anonymous said...

You ask "why all the argument?". The issuse of salvation is at the very core of our faith. It is not a peripheral issue like the timing of the rapture or whether we still speak in tongues. When we accept Christ as our savior, the bible says ALL our sins are forgiven...past, present and future. So, on this issue I disagree. Having said that, I don't think there is any use in argument. I find Christians attacking each other as ungodly. There is no place in Christian debate for meanness or ad hominem attacks. So I pray for God to continue to bless you and your ministry. Keep up the good work!

Xtechnotes Blogspot said...

Many Christians do struggle with this including myself. I just hope we all don't forget the verse which says "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling".

There is a reason that God keeps us on our toes, but not to the point of being an emotional wreck because of it.

--- ---

Anonymous said...

Good point Dr. Reagan. I had not looked at it like that. Personally I believe people can choose to turn away from the faith. God is not going to force them to stay in a relationshipt they do not want. He said nothing can separate us (outside forces) and goes on with a list... but he didn't say you can't choose to not to follow him... I am so glad that God is the one that knows the answer to this for sure! I know I am saved and that is what I need to take focus on.

C~ in Salem

Anonymous said...

I am surprised you believe the man in the example you gave us was lost. I believe he was still saved when he died. at least I pray that's the case! He was just caught in a stronghold of sin, but he didn't want to walk away from his Savior, he was in bondage to sin. Does that mean if someone is caught in a stronghold and they die, they go to hell if they had asked Jesus to wash them of their sins years earlier? This concerns me because I have strongholds in my life, does this mean I'm not saved?
I talk to my Father in heaven and Jesus all the time.
I'm not wanting to argue, I just want peace about salvation. What if the man didn't have a porn problem, or a drinking problem but a food addiction or a dr. pepper addiction or a problem with fear. Or had so much anxiety because of things that happened in your past that you are unable to go to church. Maybe the cords of Sheol are so tightly wrapped around you that you dont leave your house, and no longer even have a drivers license. Or maybe you have been betrayed so many times your trist level is so low, you cant even share it with a counselor. in other words, part of your bondage includes not having the ability to get help for what holds you in bondage. What if you are afraid of a certain governmental agency because of false accusations made against you in the past? That fear keeps you from getting help. Isn't fear a sin?
I would love to hear someone comment because living in fear that you lost your salvation is a horrible way to live!

mattfivefour said...

A dear Christian brother brought your article to my attention. He believes in unconditional eternal security and was troubled by your article. My response to him from a pastoral standpoint was that your article was exactly in alignment with the totality of Scripture. The hyper-Calvinists and hyper-Arminians engage in an argument characterized by the logical fallacy known as "false dilemma". In other words if something is false then the opposite must be true. But God's Word is not like that. We need to take ALL verses into account and not twist, ignore or explain away those that do not "fit" our doctrine. The truth is a combination of all verses, not some to the exclusion or elimination of others. Your article springs from the perfect balance of Scripture ... just as ALL good doctrines do. Thank you.

And to the anonymous poster above who asks "What if the man didn't have a porn problem, or a drinking problem but a food addiction or a dr. pepper addiction or a problem with fear. Or had so much anxiety...". The answer is that forniacation (which is what pronography is) is an offense against the person's body, the dwelling place of God the Holy Spirit. There are many sins, but only one defiles the "temple". We cannot know whether this man repented in his last moments. God alone knows. But unless he did, his continuing actions confirm his faith was not in Christ for God says through His Son and through the apostles who wrote the NT that those who are truly His do not continue in willful sin. That doesn't mean they cannot fall, but that they do not do so willfully over and over and over without true repentance. God calls to such return to Himself, and makes hte way possible. but, like the prodigal son, we have to make the decision to change our mind and turn around (the meaning of repent) and return to God. Remember, we are to confess our sin and confess Christ. The Greek word translated "confess" is homologeo and means literally "to say the same thing", "to agree." To say the same theing as whom? to agree with what? Simple. to say the same thing as God, to agree with Him in what He says. Regarding sin: to agree with Him as to its nature and its end. Regarding Jesus: to agree with God that Jesus is who He says he is, has done what He says he did at Calvary; and continues to do what He says he does in Heaven.

I pray this helps someone.

lambtestimony said...

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love
- Ephesians 1:4

If God knew who was going to be saved before we even existed then it would seem God knows the end of our salvation from the beginning.

"Jesus...delivered us from the wrath to come" - 1 Thess. 1:10

If we are saved from the wrath to come, and then become "unsaved" before the final wrath comes, then how were we ever "saved"?

lambtestimony said...

I tend to agree with anonymous. I don't know if there is firm proof that the guy who died from a drug overdose was unsaved.

If he was unsaved then what is the fate of all those Christians who believe and teach false doctrine: a sin which would seem to have more serious consequence than personal moral failings because it can lead hundreds and thousands of weak Christians astray. I personally believe those who teach eternal torture of humans (instead of conditional immortality) are hurting those people with the most tender of hearts who God loves and giving fuel to modern athiesm. I personally believe those who teach God is finished with the nation of Israel are denying God's truth as declared in the Bible and handicaping God's message of grace and assurance of salvation. However, there are thousands of Christians who believe and teach these two false doctrines to thousands of Christians every Sunday; when judged by their fruit how are these people any less wicked then someone who was trapped in bondage to addiction he might not have even wanted (at least he would possibly admit his sin unlike many Christian teachers). If God is saving Christians who teach false doctrine (and there is a lot of us) then our God is very merciful.
Who are we to deny someone God has accepted?

Mrs. Settles said...

"12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness,resulting in sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:12-23

Why would we want to willfully sin over and over and bring disgrace? Furthermore, we are never in bondage to sin (as the above person implied), if we find ourselves with certain sinful we just shrug our shoulders and say, "oh well, nothing I can do about it?" There is always something we can do about it. We can pray that God give us wisdom and the ability to overcome a porno addiction or any other sin that may not only be a stumbling block to ourselves, but also to others. Jesus tells us if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Sure, we all will make mistakes, but upon recognizing those mistakes we are filled with sorrow and repent. We are to walk in the Spirit, not the flesh.

lambtestimony said...

“I have strongholds in my life, does this mean I'm not saved?” - Anonymous
Thank you for your honesty. I question whether someone who fears they have lost their salvation really has. If someone has lost their salvation I doubt they would worry about it; they might not care because as unbelievers they likely would that deny Jesus was giving them salvation in the first place (e.g. if they converted from Christianity to Islam or atheism, for example)

“…There is always something we can do about it…” – Mrs. Settles
I think what you say is true but I do not agree with the context you brought it up in.
I am not sure that hearing Romans 6 is appropriate for someone struggling with anxiety from guilt; it can be perceived as more condemnation. Pushing law (something we must do) on someone who fears is more likely to make them fear more further exacerbating their problem (I think Romans 7:9 describes this concept).

I once had the privilege of visiting a relative's farm) during lambing season. There was one lamb (born prematurely perhaps) who did not have the means (will, strength, motivation, whatever...) to suckle from its mother. It would try at first (if I recall correctly) but then give up. As a result it would eventually just curl up in the corner and wait for death. When it was standing, if I pushed it towards its mother it would stiffen its legs and resist. For it to live we had to physically wrestle and hold it up to where it could suckle: it needed total salvation which it could not access itself.

Telling someone with anxiety that they have been given the power to escape the bondage of sin is like pushing the lamb: it’s probably not going to be effective. Tell them that God offers total salvation: they were in bondage to their mortal body lying in the corner waiting to die when Jesus came down and picked them up and saved them. God is not going to place them on their feet and then tell them to go suckle on their own, He is going to save them Himself totally.

If you are a believer your flesh is dead because God killed your flesh in His body. You do not have to physically kill your body (Matthew 5:30) because God fulfilled this requirement of the law in your place when His body was destroyed on your behalf. Gratefulness for this freedom from the penalty of sin should inspire one to live in a more Christ-like fashion out of love; the compulsion is now replaced by spontaneous joy. You can stop working for your salvation and start trusting God for it as His gift.
(So then, it does not depend on human desire or exertion, but on God who shows mercy – Romans 9:16, NET)

I am not even sure that everything I have said is correct but I hope I am brushing against the truth somewhere here. A psychiatric condition stemming partially from guilt once landed me in the emergency room. For most of my life I have struggled with OCD and legalism. In 2002 I heard a powerful sermon entitled “Jesus: better than you think” The gospel message was taught not through compulsion but out of love, I have been learning to use God’s assurance of salvation apart from works as therapy ever since. I still have OCD; some Christians might call it “bondage” but I believe that God has used it for good. I have seen miracles. (I also lost my driver’s license at one point only to have God give it back to me)

It is perhaps true that my OCD has made me more of a “Calvinist” but I am grateful that God’s lamb has given this blemished lamb unshakeable hope.

Christopher Musslin said...

I love to read your articles because whether or not I agree with every position you take,I can tell that you base your opinion on Scripture.

May the Lord Jesus continue to bless you and keep you and yours in good health.

Christopher M.

Billy said...

Can a saved person take a counter pen from the bank, without even thinking about it, and therefore HAS technically stolen, lose their salvation for such an sin?

Can a saved person rape and murder a child and therefore done pure evil in the eyes of God AND men retain their salvation despite such a henious and unthinkable act?

So...what do YOU think Jesus would do when the counter pen thief and the child rapist murderer both stand before Him?

Billy said...

I guess my point was there ARE degrees of sin.

Yes, Jesus CAN forgive any and all sin... I suppose my question would be "Did He die on the cross so a rapist murderer can contine to rape and murder, perhaps sending unsaved people to hell, yet stil obtain salvation for themselves?"

I think the answer is GOD IS JUST.

Billy said...

Just to clarify my last post...

...the rapist/murderer who continues to rape/murder after "being saved" may hear the Lord say "Why do you call me Lord and not keep my commandments? Go from me, I never knew you."

So I guess I'm saying it is possible for a saved person to choose to throw away their salvation IF they demonstrate it via committing vile degrees of sin (like murder). How could a saved person do such a thing? So, Dr. Reagan has it right. Either way, either they were never saved or they choose to renounce their salvation, in the end the result would be the he is right...what IS the point of argument?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much mattfivefour, for responding to my concerns. I read your answer Sat. and it gave me a lot more peace and it compliments beautifully what Dr. Reagan said in his blog post.
I appreciate so much that you took the time to respond.
If you happen to read this, I just had one more question about defiling the temple. Doesn't putting unhealthy junk food defile the temple? I have struggled with an eating disorder for so long. The Hallelujah diet pushed me further towards the Raw Food diet which I attempted for over ten years but was a total failure at.
Plus fasting many many times for over a month. The last fast I did was for 225 days, going on just fresh vegetable juice that I made and drank within 5 minutes. The kind you make in the morning but drank thru out the day wasn't good enough! Because the enzymes would be lost. Ugh. So tired of going back and forth. But yes, I have defiled God's temple with junk food much more then I've put good things in to this body. Have quit drinking dr. pepper probably a hundred times. It's a stronghold that I don't want to lose my salvation over. Thank you so much for your earlier response.
I do want to live for Jesus and not be so messed up! I am not the picture of health right now glorifying God in my body.

Billy said...


Matthew 15:

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”


Look at Jesus' words above...he isn't concerned about what you eat but what comes out of you via your language and actions.

I'd advise you eat better for your health. But Jesus cares more about you cursing at someone or lying or doing evil than whether or not you drink a Dr. Pepper.

Anonymous said...

When that man died from an overdose.. He might have been out of his mind. no one knows for sure... Like I always say.. when a person commits suicide, we don't know his mind at the time.. I know some people worry when someone commits suicide, but maybe it helps if we tell them this. I couldn't find the verse, but somewhere in the Bible it states something like if you put your hands to the plow and turn back, you are in worse shape than ever.. I hope I am correct.

Also for ministers or people that say Israel has been forgotten by God.. and Christians have taken their place..... the should read Romans 11. There is no way anyone who reads the Bible can say Israel.. isn't still the apple of Gods eye...They are either false prophets Or someone has misinformed them...

Anonymous said...


So you are really saying that there is a social hierarchy of sin. It depents on the society/culture over which sins is the wrose?

I would like to see scripture on different degrees of sin. That is what Romanism says. I believe that the bible says all sin is the same, just one is unpardondable.

André said...

You are saved or not saved... therefore once saved always saved

The gospel as been so water down that some believe they are save when they are not....there is only one true gospel and that is the Resurrection Gospel:

"I gave you the message that I received. I told you the most important truths: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say; that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day, as the Scriptures say; - But Christ really has been raised from death—the first one of all those who will be raised," 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 20 ERV.

That is what we are to believe to be save...get it?

Nathan Jones said...

Billy's correct. Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us that there certainly are sins which God considers worse than others: "There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."

But, any sin separates us from God's standard of perfection and requires the need for accepting Jesus' perfect sacrifice on the cross (Rom. 3:23). Without accepting Jesus' salvation from our sin, we remain under God's wrath and there's only one punishment - the Lake of Fire which is Hell (Jn. 3:23; Rev. 20:11-15).

Billy said...


I agree 100% with what Nathan said.

Thanks Nathan!

Billy said...

Proverbs 6:16-19 sounds like a description of the devil himself. No wonder God HATES such sins.

Anonymous said...

Hi, there are several Anonymous posters on here. I am the one struggling with going back and forth between fasting and doing a perfect raw foods diet and eating junk.
I wanted to say thank you to Billy also, for reminding me of the verse of Jesus talking about what goes in to your mouth is not what defiles you. That helped me a lot. Thank you.
If someone can pray for me I'd really appreciate it. I am not well.

Nathan Jones said...

We here at Lamb & Lion will certainly lift your challenge up in prayer and that the Lord will help you overcome.

BTW, folks can create a handle using the Name/Url choice below. No need to add a URL. That'd clear up all these Anonymous-es.

Billy said...


You will be in my prayers that the Lord help you with whatever your trouble/s are.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Best Commentary I've Ever Heard On The Topic Of Eternal Security!

The 1 hour mark had me in stitches...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Nathan for letting me know Lamb & Lion prayed for me. It's so nice that you all have created this blog.
Yes, too many Anons can be confusing. I'll start going by my name in a different post. For now, bc of my struggles I'd kind of like to stay nameless! (I'm Anon. B, the 2nd Anon in this thread)
Getting back to the issue of salvation,
I'm glad Dr. Reagan addressed this word if, in 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 . It has always strikes fear in my heart when ever I've read it. Same with Chapter 8 in Romans particularly verse 9 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
here's that word "if" again. and as I mentioned before , this is very frightening to a Christian who has struggled in a stronghold.
I also wanted to show people these notes on 1 Cor. 15:1-2 from Andrew Wommacks bible commentary. It supports what Dr. Reagan is saying on this subject and it might be helpful to others here.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous B here again. I just posted that verse in Romans in the comment above saying it was another verse that strikes fear in my heart. Well, I was very excited to read this bible commentary here again from Andrew Wommack.
Just wanted to share. :). Jesus is Irresistable good!
Who can say no to Him?

DrNofog said...

I think I’ll stick with the plain sense of Scripture. Otherwise this, amongst many other vss, would be hard to reconcile with the once “saved” and then lost it POV:

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
Matthew 7:22-24

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has (present tense, right now) EVERLASTING LIFE, and shall NOT come into condemnation; but is **passed** from death unto LIFE (**past tense**, already done!).
John 5:24

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (nothing happening in our lives today, right now, and nothing contrary can happen in our future...)
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

11 And this is the record, that God **has given** (**past tense**, already done!) to us *ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is in his Son. (*If it ends in any way, given up, taken away, it wasn't ETERNAL, and that would make God a liar, God forbid!)
12 He that has the Son has LIFE; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have ETERNAL LIFE, and that you may believe (trust) on the name of the Son of God.
1 John 5:11-13

I believe that the "if" statements are directed at the nominal "Christians" to get them to compare and see the glaring difference between the fruit of the Spirit and the works of their flesh.
Note the constant contrast of "us" / "them", "we" / "they" thru-out the Scriptures, especially in Hebrews where the writer is encouraging the hesitant, doubting Jews to stop being tempted by the dead rituals of what they had been raised in, and to go forward into true faith by fully trusting in Jesus.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless** before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy - Jude 24

**Is this a hypothetical of what He is capable of doing? Or is this a promise of what He currently, actively doing!?!
I see no point in stating the obvious of what His Omnipotence is able to do, but I do see the point of giving assurance of salvation to His children who have been assaulted and infected with doubt (a la Gen. 3:1-5: "Did God really say that, and you bought it hook, line, and sinker?") and are not yet settled on the fact that God chooses His words carefully for the right effect, saying exactly what He means, and meaning exactly what He says!

Do a search on all the places where salvation, saved, and the like are used in the present & past tense, and rest in it!

Billy said...

Dr NoFog,

Can a saved Christian be so assured of salvation that they can consider themselves free to do any sin of any kind knowingly and willfully and take an evil pleasure in it?

Can a saved Christian steal, lie, murder, rape, molest, cheat, etc. and be assured that they can have a "go for it, live it up and sin in all the ways of flesh for you are saved" free ticket from GOD'S PURE JUSTICE?

Just wondering.

Billy said...

I have a hard time beleiving a truly saved Christian could do the things I mentioned.

Guess you can put me down with the "they must not have TRULY known the Lord after all" side.

I'm only discussing, not arguing or saying you have to know for sure on the subject.

In fact, I think ONLY God does know for sure.

DrNofog said...

Sorry for the delay, Billy. - I agree.
The world hates us enough because we "believe" in the only true God and not in an "all roads lead to a generic, all loving god".
They then hate us all the more, calling us arrogant and presumptuous if we take God at His Word, actually, fully trusting Him and say that a person can be saved and know for sure that he has eternal life

And so they slander us:
Romans 3:7-8
7 For if the truth of God has more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
8 And not rather, (as we are slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) "Let us do evil, that good may come?" whose damnation is just.

Romans Ch 6 & 7 show more about our struggle in this life:
6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? ---

There is a Sin unto death when the public testimony of Jesus is damaged:
1 Corinthians 5:1-6
5 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5 To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

A Proper Result of a prayerful, obedient congregation:
2 Corinthians 2:6-11
6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

1 John 5:16-17
16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

Plus so many more verses on how God sees us thru the righteousness of His Son as redeemed and already seated in the heavenlies, and the like...

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Brother’s Dr NoFog and Billy
The 'sin unto death' is the physical death of a BELIEVER. Those who go too far into sin can prematurely forfeit their physical life or be given over to Satan for destruction of the flesh so they may remain spiritually saved at Christ’s return 1 Cor.5:5

At the Bema fire to judge BELIEVERS WORKS their deeds in the flesh will be burned up, but they retain their Salvation. 1Cor. 3:15.

When we put faith in Jesus to save we are changed. We are immediately adorned in the RIGHTEOUSNESS of Jesus Christ. WE – are crucified in Christ and He lives in us by the Holy Spirit. We have the choice to walk in the old man or abide in Christ and suffer the consequences if we don’t.
NO-ONE gets away with ungodly deeds in the flesh and God's Free Grace Salvation remains eternally BUT we shall suffer loss and let down The Lord and His testimony.
Works are not FRUIT, they are the production of growth in the Holy Spirit. We are forbidden to judge the salvation of another person. Just keep preaching the death and resurrection of Christ and the need to BELIEVE i.e. faith alone, no works.

There was no sacrifice for wilful sin in the OT. However Jesus paid the price for ALL sin with no exceptions.

The reformation formed one bent coin of mans theology. Heads = Calvinism. Tails = Arminianism. Both are wrong. The Bible is The Lord’s FREE GRACE. Faith alone in Christ alone excluding all works, good or bad.


Anonymous said...

Jesus died to pay the price of Adams original sin. thats why folks commit sins. With the debt paid in full sin is no longer a problem no matter how bad it is. Theres nithing that can seperate a saved sinner from God's love - paul adds "nor any other thing" that includes me and you trying best to what you say is to walk away. Can't be done, Jesus promised he will never leave us, not ever, so where we goes Jesus goes and he will not leave us ever, we is sealed, signed and will be delivered no matter if we sin bad all our life. Jesus paid for all sin and we are kept saved by God the father, the son and the holy spirit together, if we can walk away as you think, then you who walks away is greater and more powerful than God and he is all powerful, no body is stronger than God. Saved is for eternity otherwise Jesus tells lies and I know Jesus never tells us lies. I am glad to say you are dead wrong that we can get out of being saved. Be glad and say amen.

Anonymous said...

You are judging peoples works to see if they are saved or not. Thats wrong from Matthew 7. To be saved is without works and the same as being kept saved. eternal salvation is works free as Jesus has paid in full. Jesus said another mans salvation is not your busness at all, only Gods. You are judging works and that is very wrong Jesus nows whose belong to him and them that don't. You just watch your own self and mind your busness as Jesus said. When people get the gospel wrong like that we have to argue it out with them and thats a fact in the Bible, like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Look folks all I know for sure is I was born a sinner. My salvation in Jesus Christ came by faith from God the Father. I was marked by the Holy Spirit. This I know. I also know that there is nothing I can do to save myself - thus I need Christ. But, I cannot accept Christ without the faith that God had to give me because I was incapable of even doing that myself. My spirit was born again but my flesh was yet sin. Once again God had to give me the mark of the Holy Spirit on my spirit - why because I'm incapable of doing it myself. God, in the Trinity did and does it all. If my salvation rests one little tittle on me a sinner count me lost now. I know what I am and I know who God is and what He has done. So, as for me I will continue to trust God for my salvation because right from the outset He tells me I'm incapable of doing any of it myself.

Terrihoop said...

I know this comment is very new based on other responses. I believed both ways at one time or another and then my son died of a drug overdose and I told everyone that I would meet him in heaven BUT if you can really lose your salvation he would be lost (Long story)about several months after he died I heard 3 different sermons on that exact topic. Two were on the internet and I chose those BUT the other one was on TV and on a channel I did not have it turned. It just turned and the remoted control was under a table and no one could have turned it to that channel as i live alone and this pastor preached on this topic and his answer was No you cannot lose your salvation I believe this was a sign from God to me that I would indeed meet Richie in heaven. It was not a coincidence as some might say. I have been a Christian for over 40 years and I had NEVER heard a sermon on that topic in my life and then three in one week. My son was a gift from God and letting me know I would see my son in heaven is another gift. I am ss very grateful that I am one of his and no one can ever take that from me.

Anonymous said...

The comments that have been left are basically from an armenian or calvinistic view, it appears. These do not settle the matter because it is using the wrong measure of what constitutes salvation and the mean of keeping it.

Nobody has mentioned the original Greek so I might as well do so.

In Ephesians 2:8,9 it states that we are saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves--it is the gift of God.

The Greek tense used here is the perfect tense and means an action which was completed in the past has results that continue right on through to the present.

We do NOT do anything to merit our salvation... it was and is free by grace. Neither is there anything we do to "keep" it because our salvation is not dependent on our works to keep anything. It was free by grace.

What many do not seem to consider is that Christians are the righteousness of Christ and seated with Him yet, at the same time, we are on a walk--a journey--which can be full of stumbles, and twists and turns.

If Christians could not be guilty of some of the sins we read about in scripture then why the warnings? Why say "they were never saved?" That is the easy way out.

When we are saved our spirit is saved but our mind needs to be renewed. When you sin, your fellowship is broken but not the relationship. Do you have to become your dad's son again when you sin against your earthly father? No, that we settled at birth. The fellowship needs to be restored.

we are so quick to see this in an either/or fashion when it is really both/and. Sin does not affect your spirit man because it was born again by the power of the Spirit of God and nothing you do can undo that creation.

Now, as we walk temporally, we fall and we need to repent and ask forgiveness but this does not affect our position in Christ.

God knows how to judge His kids. A lot of what we read on this matter is really from an effort to keep Christians from getting away with something. So, we create theology based upon a scripture here and there.

Remember, we our an inner and outer man. Our outer life affects our witness but it does not affect our relationship.

Well, what about wilful sin?

Again, God knows how to jerk the slack out of His children if need be. But to come up with examples and situations--like the youth pastor getting addicted to porn and getting with another women, is not helpful.

For instance, at what point did he lose his salvation? When he first got addicted? When he divorced? When he got into drugs? Where is the scripture that shows us when the severance occurred? There isn't any really. Opinion is based upon the assumption that he lost his salvation, without scriptural warrant.

And if he lost it simply because he never confessed this sin then we are on a roulette wheel hoping we have all of our sins confessed just in case.

Something to think about...

Anonymous said...

Dear Brother Reagan

I do respect your work and your ministry but there are a couple of items in your article I would like to address. I like you reject both Calvinism and Arminianism because both contradict God's Words in several places. However, your conclusion that both theological sides are accurate in stating that someone is unsaved when someone falls away or isn't living for God is patently wrong and Biblically inaccurate. 1 Cor 2 & 3 calls the souls from the church at Corinth brothers (with the context clearly meaning Christian brother not Jewish brother which is also in the NT).

The amazing part of is that they are called brothers even though they were carnal, were puffed-up (pride), did not mourn incest and fornication, were licentious, were riotous and disorderly, were ignorant and maligned the Holy Spirit gifts, played favorites, had gender role & appearance confusion, were divisive, profaned the Lord's Supper, had rebellious women, weak men and needed to be reminded not to make Timothy fearful to name a few.

Yet inspite of all this they were brothers in Christ. This and many other clear passages are ignored by Calvinists and Arminians as they find it simpler to mark them as unregenerates. This is simply lazy theology that neglects the complete counsel of God.

In Christ's Service