Speaking the Truth in Love
What Must I Do To Be Saved? (Realize That Once Saved Does Not Mean Always Saved)
Many churches that claim they follow Jesus today believe that once one is "saved" it is absolutely impossible for him to ever lose his soul, whether he lives godly or not. Before we examine the scriptures concerning this doctrine, let us note some important facts that need to be considered.
We All Agree That:
1. A righteous man cannot be lost.
2. A faithful man cannot be lost.
3. A good (i.e., one who obeys and keeps God's Will) man cannot be lost.
4. A righteous man will go to Heaven.
5. All unrighteous men will go to Hell.
The Issue Then Is:
1. Can a righteous man become unrighteous?
2. Can a faithful man become unfaithful?
3. Can a good man become an evil man?
Consider These Truths:
1. The believer who continues in belief will be saved eternally.
2. The unbeliever who continues in unbelief will be lost eternally.
3. The believer who becomes an unbeliever will be lost eternally.
4. The unbeliever who becomes a believer will be saved eternally.
Note these 12 passages that clearly show that the Scriptures teach that Eternal Life isConditional and in the Future.
1 Timothy 4:16 (NKJV) 16Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
2 Peter 1:10 - 11 (NKJV) 10Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Mark 10:29 - 31 (NKJV) 29So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother £or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Romans 6:22 (NKJV) 22But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV) 12Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Revelation 2:10 (NKJV) 10Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Galatians 6:8 (NKJV) 8For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
Matthew 10:22 (NKJV) 22And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Revelation 22:12 (NKJV) 12“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Matthew 7:21 (NKJV) 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.
Matthew 25:21 (NKJV) 21His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
From these verses, notice the conditions to met in order to receive Eternal Life:
1. Continue in them > save yourself
2. If you do these things > everlasting Kingdom
3. Leave house, etc. > eternal life
4. Fruit to holiness > everlasting life
5. Fight the good fight > lay hold on eternal life
6. Faithful until death > I will give you a crown of life
7. Do his commandments > have right to tree of life and enter in the gates
8. Sows to the Spirit > reaps everlasting life
9. Endures to the end > will be saved
10. According to his work > receive reward
11. Does the will of my Father > enters the Kingdom of Heaven
12. Well done, good and faithful servant > enter into the joy of your Lord
As can be clearly noted from the above scriptures and the table above, the salvation of the soul is conditional on the demands that Christ has placed on the individual soul. Should one fail to meet any of these conditions, the reward of Eternal Life will be lost!
Should I NOT continue in the Doctrine of Christ then I WILL NOT SAVE myself.
Should I NOT do these things I CANNOT ENTER into the Kingdom.
Should I NOT do the commandments of the Father I will NOT enter in the city etc., etc.
Suffer shipwreck (1 Timothy 1:19)
Be departed from (1 Timothy 4:1)
Be Denied (1 Timothy 5:8)
Be Cast off (1 Timothy 5:12)
Be strayed from (1 Timothy 6:21)
Be overthrown (2 Timothy 2:18)
It should be clear from the above passages that though some are saved, it is possible for them to lose their saved condition when they do things contrary to the Word of God.
The next part of our study centers on a study of the word "if".
1. 1 Corinthians 15:2 (NKJV) 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3. Colossians 1:22-23 (NKJV) 22in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
4. 1 John 1:7 (NKJV) 7But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
5. 2 Peter 1:10 (NKJV) 10Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
6. John 8:31 (NKJV) 31Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
7. John 8:51 (NKJV) 51Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”
8. John 12:26 (NKJV) 26If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
9. Galatians 6:9 (NKJV) 9And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
1. You are saved IF hold fast the Word
2. Lord's House we are IF we hold fast
3. You will be Holy IF you continue in the faith
4. Cleansed by Blood IF we walk in the Light
5. Never stumble IF you do these things
6. Disciples Indeed IF you abide in My Word
7. Never see death IF anyone keeps My word
8. Father will honor IF we serve Jesus
9. We shall reap IF we do not lose heart
We must recognize that the word "if" is conditional. Therefore we must also recognize that one’s status is conditional upon his keeping those conditions laid out by the Lord.
In our last segment let us note from the scriptures a few things that the child of God can do:
1. Galatians 5:4 (NKJV) 4You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
2. 2 Peter 3:17 (NKJV) 17You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
3. James 5:19-20 (NKJV) 19Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save £a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
4. 1 Corinthians 8:11 (NKJV) 11And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
6. Colossians 1:23 (NKJV) 23if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
7. 2 Peter 2:1 (NKJV) 1But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
8. Hebrews 3:12 (NKJV) 12Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
9. 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NKJV) 27But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
From these scriptures we see that a child of God can:
1. FALL FROM GRACE
2. BE LED AWAY WITH THE ERROR OF THE WICKED
3. WANDER FROM THE TRUTH
4. WEAK BROTHER MAY PERISH
5. FALL INTO JUDGEMENT (CONDEMNATION)
6. BE MOVED AWAY FROM THE HOPE
7. DENY THE LORD WHO BOUGHT THEM
8. DEPART FROM THE LIVING GOD
9. CAN BECOME DISQUALIFIED
Some try to argue, "If one was lost, he wasn't really saved to begin with!" However, a look at the context of each of the above verses will show that the inspired writers were referring to Christians who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord and thus were saved.
The doctrine of “once saved, always saved” cannot be proved by the Bible and is in direct conflict with other clear scripture that shows Salvation to be conditional. Maybe you have been taught that once one is in a “saved condition”, they can never be lost. This teaching is from man and is in opposition to God’s Word. Much of the New Testament is devoted to warning Christians to be on guard lest they fall away and lose their reward (2 Peter 3:17). What I have found to be very common is that the same ones who believe in “once saved, always saved” do not teach accurately how one can be saved in the first place. Paul was told by Ananias, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). If you have not truly heard the gospel, believed in Jesus, made the good confession that Jesus is the Son of God, repented of your sins, and been immersed in the waters of baptism, one thing is for certain. You are not in a saved condition. Why not submit to the Lord and repent of your sins and be baptized that they may be washed away? Then after you rise up from the waters of baptism a new creature, dedicate your life to following the Lord. Then you can be sure that you will be saved for eternity. We hope to present the last in the series "What Must I Do To Be Saved?" when we discuss "Remain Faithful". Please tune in next time on, “Speaking The Truth In Love”.