The doctrine of once-saved-always-saved is a new belief introduced approximately fifty years ago by secular progressive clergy eager to lift the “burden” of God’s Word off the backs of unrepentant sinners. Prior to then there was not one major denomination that preached or believed the once-saved-always-saved lie many now consider Gospel.
The argument made by those preaching the biblically unsustainable doctrine is that nothing can separate us from God once we have been saved. A touchstone for this teaching is John 10:28-29 (NKJV). “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
These verses, like all Scripture, are true. They are also, as they pertain to the issue, irrelevant. They are so because they talk about the inability of anyone taking us from our Savior, while ignoring that we always have free will. Meaning, while we cannot be taken from Him, we can turn from Him, as that is our God-given right.
But that right can separate us from God and heaven. Letting the overtly obvious illustrate the spiritually sublime, no one in their right mind would believe that a twenty year old man can literally and wholly accept Jesus as His Lord and Savior, be baptized, and then for a variety of reasons later renounce his faith, kill a family of four, curse God’s holy name on his deathbed, and still be welcomed into the Holy City to spend eternity. But if once-save-always-saved is true, we must believe the unrepentant sinner is heaven bound. That sounds ridiculous, because it is ridiculous.
There are many examples proving that we have free will at all stages of life, as well as examples making clear that God’s Word doesn’t change just because we subscribe to a false doctrine (“Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.” [Psalm 119:89]). For example, why would Jesus say to church members that “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) Jesus’ words cannot be true if once-saved-always-saved is true, as once-saved-always-saved says repentance is of no importance.
In Matthew 24:13 we are told “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Again, why would Jesus say such a thing if once-saved-always-saved is true? As once-saved-always-saved says we do not have to endure – all we need do is be saved at some point, and from then on we can live as we please, even in total rebellion.
One last example. Once-saved-always-saved says that a saved yet unrepentant adulterer will enter the Kingdom. The Bible says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
There are many additional examples of the principle, but more are not called for. Instead, let me simply ask – who are you going to believe, Jesus, or deceived or deceiving clergy?
Satan’s lies cloud our minds when we are not aware of his devices, and we begin believing things we should instinctively know cannot be. He will tell us lie after lie, and because we want to do as we please and still enter heaven, we listen. He tells us there are gray areas, that God’s Word is open to interpretation, that we can live in total and open opposition to our Creator because we at one point in our life were saved. He twists
Scripture for an important reason – to steal our soul.
What better lie could Satan ever tell than once-saved-always-saved? I cannot think of one, for if we will believe him we are his for eternity. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
In John 10:10 Jesus exposes Satan’s plan of attack, while offering a loving alternative: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”