Does the Bible Teach “One
Saved, Always Saved”?
By David J. Stewart
"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 10:43; Romans 10:13)
Yes, and I will prove it from the Bible!!!
A man recently wrote to me, attacking me, saying that I am a false prophet, on my way to Hell, and am sinfully proud for teaching “Once saved, Always Saved.” He provided a list of numerous Scriptures as alleged evidence that salvation can be lost. I would like to examine each of the Scriptures he provided, and honestly consider what they mean.
1st Corinthians 15:1-2
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.”
Please look down a few verses at 1st Corinthians 15:12-14…
“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”
It is clear from verses 12-14 that the Apostle Paul is warning about unsaved religious people in the church in verses 1 and 2; not true believers in danger of losing their salvation. Paul is simply warning the churchgoers at Corinth that they had better examine their faith (see 2nd Corinthians 13:5), because some of them were denying the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Obviously, such a person would not be saved. There are many professed “Christians” today who deny the deity of Jesus Christ, the Godhead and the Virgin Birth. They are unsaved modernist imposters.
Once again, we clearly see how critics of eternal security pervert the Scriptures to their own destruction.
Hebrews 3:6 and 3:14
“But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”
Proponents of losing one’s salvation are guilty once again of taking Scripture out of context. Please consider Hebrews 3:14-19…
“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
Carefully notice in verses 18 and 19 the words “believed not” and “unbelief.” Clearly, these Scriptures are speaking about false Christians who were never saved to begin with; not about believers losing eternal life. America’s churches are filled with phonies, who act religious, talk with spiritual lingo, and think they are saved; but they are on their way to hell in unbelief.
Many of the Jews in the wilderness died in unbelief and went to Hell…
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2).
So what does Hebrews 3:6 exactly mean? It means that a truly born-again person can never be unborn, a change has taken place that is irreversible, and one’s continued faith in the Lord is evidence of it. A true believer won’t deny the Lord at some later time in life. Continuing faith is evidence of salvation; not a means to maintaining it. One who denies Jesus Christ, claiming that they “used to believe,” is a liar. No one ever lost their salvation. Certainly, many people who once possessed the philosophy of Christianity, or the organization of religion, or the culture of Christianity, may turn away from it and deny the faith. They simply gave up their churchianity; but they never had Christianity. Most religious people today do NOT have the Truth of God’s Word; but rather, the traditions and philosophies of sinful men.
Hebrews chapter 3 is speaking about unsaved Jews who went to Hell, because they heard Moses preach the Gospel, but had no faith (Hebrews 4:2). This has nothing to do with Christians.
Hebrews 10:19-31, 38-39
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Carefully notice Hebrews 10:38,39…
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
The issue here is faith. These Scriptures plainly speak about unbelievers, i.e., fake Christians who go back into the world because they never had faith in Jesus Christ in the first place. Our churches are filled with such hypocrites today. Hebrews 10:29 mentions those who have “trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing.” No true Christian would do that. Believers trust Jesus Christ. This is all the writer of Hebrews is saying. One who departs from the Christian faith never had faith to begin with, and is hellbound to perdition in the Lake of Fire. No Christian can ever face perdition. Eternal life is the free gift of God (Romans 5:15; 6:23). Salvation is without works (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8,9).
Hebrews 10:26 states...
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation.”
This verse speaks of the person who has heard the Gospel and rejected it. If, as those who teach you can lose salvation claim, Hebrews 10:26 applies to Christians, then we’re all in serious trouble. If there “remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” for the believer, then we’re all going to Hell. There’s no such thing as a believer who doesn’t sin. In fact, the Bible defines a “just man” as one who sins repeatedly; but keeps getting back up to live for God…
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again” (Proverb 26:16).
Wicked people don’t even try to live for God, because they have not the Holy Spirit of God (Romans 8:9). Christians, at best, are horrible sinners trying to live right, falling and getting up, falling and getting up, ‘til the Lord returns or takes us home to glory (Romans 7:15-24). All Christians sin every day. This is the great folly of those who claim that salvation can be lost. If living in sin causes a person to lose salvation, then we're all going to Hell, because we are all dirty, rotten, lousy sinners.
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
These Scriptures are speaking about unbelievers, who have heard the Gospel, have experienced the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, and have had the opportunity to get saved; but have deliberately rejected Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
It is ridiculous to claim that these Scriptures apply to believers, because the Bible uses the word "impossible" in Hebrews 6:4. Is it impossible for believers to repent of their sins and get right with God? Did not Peter repent after denying and cursing the name of Jesus? Yes, he did. Did not king David repent after impregnating Bathsheba in an adulterous affair and murdering her husband, Uriah? Yes, he did. 1st John 1:9 promises that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." So, clearly, Hebrews 6:4-6 is speaking about the unsaved. A person who rejects the Savior is hellbound, and there is no other hope for them apart from Christ.
"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
James 1:1 reveals that the Apostle was writing to his Jewish brethren...
"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting."
As is the case today, there were many unsaved people amongst the saved. Most of the Scriptures that the proponents of losing salvation claim are Scriptures speaking about unsaved religious people in the church. It is a grave mistake to interpret any Scripture without taking into consideration the truth that eternal life is a free gift.
Ephesians 2:8,9 state...
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Ironically, proponents of losing salvation profess to believe in the gift of God; yet they contradict themselves horribly when they simultaneously teach that salvation can be lost through sin. By every definition of the term "gift," it is something freely given, requiring nothing in return.
To say that salvation can be lost is to call God a liar. Repeatedly, in hundreds of Scriptures, the Word of God tells us that one who believes on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins SHALL BE SAVED (Romans 10:13; John 3:16).
"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit... 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."
I've heard some preachers say this Scripture refers to premature death; however, I know plenty of believers who don't go soulwinning, and don't seem to care, and are living selfish lives. They should all be dead if that's what John 15:2 and 6 mean; but they're not. Clearly, the Scriptures mean something different, otherwise Christians would be nearly extinct.
Notice that John 15:6 says "as a branch." Jesus was likening a fruitless believers to a fruitless tree. Most believer's today are unproductive. Jesus told the parable of the seeds in Luke 8:5-15. There is no mention of premature death for believers who fail to go soulwinning. Jesus spoke of selfish believers who are choked by the cares and riches of this life (Luke 8:14), and never win anybody to Christ. Others are immature, having no roots, and are easily discouraged and quit. 1st Corinthians 3:15 teaches that some believers will receive nothing at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
2nd Corinthians 5:10 states...
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
There is nothing to indicate that John 15:1-7 are speaking about losing salvation. Clearly, these Scriptures are speaking about believers who fail to abide in Christ, and are thus rendered useless for God. The key to the Christian life is abiding in Christ by abiding in the Word of God. Believers with an honest and good heart will obey the Scriptures by sharing the Gospel with the lost. Carnal believers who do not will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:12).
1st John 3:6 and 9
"Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him... Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
This Scripture speaks of walking in the Spirit...
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
It has nothing to do with salvation, or losing salvation. Salvation cannot be lost. Only a believer has the Holy Spirit indwelling them (Romans 8:9; 1st Corinthians 3:16). The unsaved walk in the flesh continually, because they have not the Spirit of God in them. That's all 1st John 3:6 and 9 are talking about. It is impossible for any Christian to go even a day without sinning. Only a self-righteous hypocrite would claim otherwise.
"And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers."
These Scriptures warn of coming judgment upon the religious wicked, who know not Christ. We see this plainly taught in Matthew 7:21-23...
"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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
No Christian will ever lose their salvation, nor be cast into Hell. If a believer commits adultery and murder, they will still go to Heaven. King David is evidence of this Biblical fact. Certainly, no believer has God's permission to sin, and the Lord will chastise His own (Hebrews 12:8). It is tragic that so many ignorant people are tampering with the Bible, wrongly dividing the Word of Truth. The important rule is to never interpret a single Scripture by itself, without taking into consideration the entire spectrum of Scriptures contained in the Bible. If your interpretation agrees with all other Scriptures, then you have found the correct interpretation.
Eternal life is a free gift, not conditioned upon the lifestyle we choose to live. Certainly, something is very wrong with a man who professes to be saved, but is still living a sinful life without Holy Spirit conviction. He is likely not saved; but Scriptures are filled with such examples of believers who WE'RE saved, such as when Peter cursed and denied the name of Jesus publicly.
For anyone to teach that unfaithful believers will lose their salvation and burn in Hell goes contrary to other Scriptures in the Bible. Ephesians 2:8,9 plainly state that we are saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus. Salvation is not of works, lest any man show boast. It is the gift of God. If living a faithful life is required to keep salvation, then we DO have grounds to boast, because we are working hard to make God happy and stay saved. The Bible condemns such thinking and tells us that salvation is a gift, freely received by faith alone in Jesus Christ...
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).
How absurd that anyone would teach that believers must remain faithful, work hard for God, and walk the narrow path if they want to go to Heaven. Paul Washer teaches this kind of garbage. Paul Washer Corrupts the Meaning of Matthew 7:14...
"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Mr. Washer differentiates between the words "gate" and "way" in Matthew 7:14, claiming that Jesus is the gate, but the "way" refers to a continued life of holy living. This is heresy! Washer's teaching completely ignores the plain truth of Romans 4:5... "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Could the Word of God be any clearer? A sinner's faith is counted for righteousness! It is Jesus who justifieth the UNGODLY by faith; NOT by works! A man's faith in Jesus is equivalent to a life of righteousness. If Paul Washer is correct, i.e., that Jesus was teaching that salvation requires walking a strait "way" of continued obedience to God, then salvation is a PROCESS.
"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
Ray Comfort, amongst others, foolishly claim that the second group, i.e., the seeds which gladly received the Word at first but then fell away, represent the unsaved who believe on Christ but fail to repent. This is wrong. Luke 8:13 is speaking about saved people, because the Bible says they "receive the word with joy." The unrepentant wicked don't receive God's Word with joy. The seed sprouted and began to grow, so there was a new life. The problem is that the roots didn't have time to grow. A new believer needs to be mentored, which is what Jesus taught in Matthew 28:19,20. 1st Peter 2:2 teaches that new believers, as newborn babes, must feed on the milk of the Word in order to GROW.
"For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
It is silly for anyone to quote this Scripture in an attempt to prove that salvation can be lost, because Galatians 5:4 clearly reveals that the issue at hand is works salvation. Anyone who attempts to enter Heaven by keeping the Law is bound for Hellfire. Again, salvation is of God, a free gift, which simply needs to be received on the basis that we are guilty sinners (Romans 3:19) in need of Jesus' cleansing blood which washes our sins away (Revelation 1:5).
"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."
This Scripture is speaking about the spiritual life of the believer. 1st Timothy 5:6 states, "But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." A believer who goes into sin, i.e., walks in the flesh, cannot please God. Romans 8:10 reads, "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." Our carnal, sinful flesh and the Spirit of God are diametrically opposed to each other. There is no fellowship between them. A believer who lives in sin is running from God, out of God will, just like Jonah in the Old Testament.
Romans 8:12-13 does not in any way indicate that salvation can be lost. A believer can walk in the flesh, which in effect kills the Spirit; but the Spirit of God is still there indwelling the believer.
In Hebrews 13:5 God promises...
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Proponents of the heresy that salvation can be lost are calling God a liar. God has promised never to leave nor to forsake His own. The heresies of Lordship Salvation and Losing Salvation are inseparably linked. Those who believe that salvation can be lost, out of necessity also believe that an effort must be made to remain in God's saving grace. This is unbiblical. All that God requires is a childlike faith in His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to forgive our sins (Acts 10:43).
2nd 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."
Obviously, this Scripture taken by itself can be interpreted to mean multiple things. The only safe method to interpret this Scripture is by cross-referencing it with other Scriptures. This is why Jesus commanded us to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES in John 5:39. I believe the context is clearly speaking about a person who has heard the Gospel, attended a church, played the religious game for awhile; but then went back into the sinful world.
If 2nd Peter 2:20-22 are speaking about believers, then it wouldn't make any sense, because it require that a born-again believer go through the process of being "UNBORN." That is impossible. Jesus NEVER said anything about being born again and again and again. No, rather, the spiritual birth occurs once, just as the physical birth occurs only once.
Again, if these Scriptures apply to the saved, then where does the gift of God come into play? If one can lose their salvation by going back into a life of sin, then salvation is NOT a gift, because we must live right to keep it. The big irony of all this is that even the best of Christians, who faithfully attend church, and sing in a choir, and tithe, and go soulwinning, are just as much dirty, rotten sinners as the believer who went to a whore house last night. That's exactly what James 2;:10 teaches...
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
Whether it be a saint who faithfully attends church or a pimp who's out on the street corner, "the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him" (Romans 10:12). If that harelips every dog in the county, I don't care, the Bible teaches that a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness (Romans 4:5,22). I am not condoning sin, not at all. Believers who sin WILL be dealt with accordingly at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:10). I'm simply saying that we are all sinners, and just because our sins aren't as bad in our own minds as the sins of others, doesn't mean that they're lost their salvation.
Another perplexing question for proponents of losing salvation is: If salvation can be lost, that how much sin musts a person commit to lose it? ... a little? ... a lot? ... murder? ... adultery? ... two murders? ... cursing Jesus like Peter did? How ridiculous and unbiblical is the idea that salvation can be lost. Salvation is of God; not man (John 1:10-12). How can we lose that which wasn't our to give in the first place? If we're not saved by good works; then how can we be lost by bad works? We cannot! The man in 1st Corinthians 3:15 escaped the fires of Hell; but all his works were burned by fire and he had nothing to show for his wasted earthly life. Yet, he went to Heaven to be with His Savior. Also see 1st Corinthians 5:1-5.
1st Timothy 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."
This Scripture says "save thyself." Consider Paul's words in Philippians 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."
Carefully notice that the Bible doesn't say to work out God's salvation; but rather, "your own salvation." This simply means that we are responsible for the life we live, whether we yield to the Holy Spirit or choose to follow our own selfish will. God has given mankind a freewill to decide for himself whether to live for God, or to live for the Devil and self.
In 1st Timothy 4:16, Paul is instructing Timothy in doctrinal matters. 1st Timothy 4:1 states...
"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"
Paul is telling Timothy how to be saved from the errors of false doctrine, by taking heed and upholding Biblical doctrine. This clearly has nothing to do with salvation.
1st Timothy 4:1-3
"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; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."
These Scriptures speak of the unsaved, i.e., those who have departed from the faith. They teach false doctrines, like the Catholics, such as abstaining from meats and practicing celibacy. These are doctrines of devils. The masses of society today are departing from the faith, from genuine Christianity, from the Word of God, from morality, from prayer and Bible reading in the public schools, et cetera. It is called APOSTASY!
This Scripture is no way indicates that born-again believers would quit their faith and lose their salvation. Such teaching is absurd. Once saved, Always Saved! We could also say, "Lost Now, Lost Then!" Or, "Saved Now, Saved Then!" You're either saved today and will be eternally, or else you need to get saved. Salvation cannot be lost. Most of the Scriptures dishonestly twisted, in an attempt to propagate the heresy that salvation can be lost, are actually speaking about the wicked, many of whom have attended church and heard the Gospel preached, but have never been saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.”
Carefully notice what Colossians 1:20 says…
“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
Clearly, it is the precious blood of Jesus Christ that brings peace with God. In typical fashion, proponents of the heresy that salvation can be lost fail to take into consideration all Scriptures as a whole. They pervert the Scriptures. Romans 6:23 plainly teaches that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This Scripture must be reconciled with all others. Ephesians 2:8,9 plainly teaches that mankind has nothing to do with salvation. It is of God.
Salvation is without works (Romans 4:5), and cannot be lost for any reason by those who believe on Jesus Christ (Acts 10:43). How can we lose something that wasn’t ours to give in the first place? Salvation is receiving; not giving. Once saved, always saved! The spiritual birth is as irreversible as is the physical birth.
Biblical Scholar, Kenneth S. Wuest, offers this accurate translation of Colossians 1:23…
“Assuming indeed, that you are adhering to your faith, having been placed upon a foundation with the present result that you are on that foundation, firmly established, and that you are not continually being shifted away from your hope held out by the gospel which you heard, that gospel which was proclaimed in all creation, which is under heaven, of which I, Paul, became one who ministers.”
SOURCE: Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos
Wuest also has an excellent note on Colossians 1:23, adding that…
“The word “if” here is not ean, an unfulfilled, hypothetical condition used with the subjunctive mode, presenting the possibility of a future realization, but ei with the indicative, having here the idea of “assuming that you continue in the faith.” That is, continuance in the gospel as it was preached by Paul would show that the person was saved and thus would be presented holy, without blemish, and unchargeable before God. That is, Paul was here addressing truly born-again Colossians, not unsaved professors of Christianity who would follow the Colossian heresy. Heretics would not so be presented, only true believers. It is not the retention of salvation that is in the apostle’s mind, but the possession of it that would be shown by their continuance in the gospel.”
SOURCE: Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos
Pastor J. Vernon McGee states the following concerning Colossians 1:23…
“Paul’s point is that we have been reconciled—it is an accomplished fact. So if you are a child of God today, you will continue in the faith grounded and settled. You will not be moved away from the hope of the gospel which you have heard.”
SOURCE: J. Vernon McGee: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos
Clearly, from studying the original Greek, it is evident that the Apostle Paul WASN’T warning Christians that they would lose their salvation if they failed to continue in the faith. Tragically, the internet is saturated with ignorant people who know nothing of the Greek, and are corrupting the Word of God shamelessly… “As also in all his [Paul’s] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2nd Peter 3:9).
2nd Timothy 2:12-13
"Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."
The context of these Scriptures plainly reveal that the issue at hand is belief... "If we believe not." Clearly, this has nothing to do with losing salvation; but rather, the unsaved. This passage of Scripture speaks of those who have rejected Jesus Christ. Peter denied Jesus 3-times, but he didn't lose his salvation. The issue is not losing salvation; but rather, have you been saved at all?
"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."
There is nothing in this Scripture to indicate that salvation can be lost. It just means that a believer who hides his candle under a bushel is displeasing to the Lord.
Ezekiel 18:24 and Ezekiel 33:12-13
"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."
The best way to interpret the Bible is with the Bible! I've read so much heresy surrounding Ezekiel 18:24. As an example, the Congregational Holiness Church, the Wesleyan Holiness Movement, and the Charismatic Movement all misinterpret Ezekiel 18:24 to teach that a Christian can lose their salvation. Nothing could be further from the truth! Oral Roberts and his family came from the Holiness Movement out of Oklahoma. He was a product that came from the Latter Rain Pentecostal Movement of the late 1940’s, and was a well known demonic faith healer. Taken by itself, out of context, Ezekiel 18:24 does appear to support the doctrine that a man can fall away from salvation. However, as you will see from other Scriptures in Ezekiel, this is NOT the case at all.
Ezekiel 33:12-13 states ...
"Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it."
Did you read that? ... "If he trust in his OWN righteousness." This is the heart of the matter here. God is simply condemning self-righteousness. The New Testament states in Romans 10:3-4 ...
"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
To claim that a person who commits sin can lose their salvation is to totally ignore such powerful Scriptures as Genesis 15:6 concerning Abraham, "And he (Abraham) believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." The Apostle Paul plainly stated in Romans 4:5, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." These Scriptures clearly eliminate "works" as a necessity to one's eternal salvation. The damnable heresy that a believer can lose salvation is nothing less than a form of Lordship Salvation. Whereas the Lordship Salvation crowd teaches that a person must forsake their sins to be saved; the eternal insecurity crowd teaches that committing sin will cause a person to lose salvation. Both heresies are based upon self-righteousness. Ephesians 2:8-9 is clear on the matter of salvation ... "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Again, carefully read Romans 4:5 ... "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15), paid for by Jesus' precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19). We are saved by Jesus' righteousness, and not by our own efforts. Our faith is counted for righteousness (Romans 4:5). This is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ (Romans 4:22).
Having said that, I just don't understand how anyone could teach that a person must forsake personal sins in their life, or be willing to do so, in order to be saved. Certainly, genuine repentance should bring about a changed life (2nd Corinthians 5:17); but 1st Peter 2:2 speaks about being weaned as newborn babes on the milk of the Word that one may "grow." It requires time for a new believer to grow in the Lord, some faster than others. It is rare that a new believer is willing to consecrate their life to the Lord right away, as in the uncommon case of Paul. The Bible says that "among the chief rulers also many believed on him," but secretly so, for fear of being persecuted (John 12:42). All of Jesus' disciples forsook Him prior to the cross.
It is hypocritical for self-righteous religious people today to condemn those who maintain the simplicity of the Biblical Gospel, i.e., we are guilty sinners and Jesus is the Savior. Those who believe on Jesus to have their sins forgiven are saved! There is no other Gospel. Lordship Salvation and the heresy that salvation can be lost are wicked, rotten and straight out of the pits of Hell.
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” — Acts 10:43
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!