Once Saved Always Saved?

There are some who believe that we can lose our salvation. But I dont see that in scripture.

Our salvation depends on God, not man. If we do not remain firm in the faith, then we were never saved to begin with. If we continue in the faith firmly established, then God has reconciled us to present us holy and blameless – but if we dont remain steadfast in the faith, then we never truly had it in the first place. Paul said many times we are saved if we remain firm in the faith. Jesus said He never knew those who claimed to be His but didnt live righteously. In fact, Paul said those who leave the community of faith were never part of the family of God.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2

1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

Colossians 1:21-23

21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

Romans 9:11-18

11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Matthew 7:15-23

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

1 John 2:19

They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

Nowhere in scripture does it state you can lose your salvation,nor does it say you can walk away or turn your back upon Christ, or give up your salvation.

ALL that the Father gives to the Son will come to Him. ONLY those the Father grants can come to faith in Christ. All that believe will have eternal life and be lifted up by Christ. When we believe, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of Redemption. It does not depend on us, but upon God.

We might claim to be believers, but if we do not have the righteousness of Christ, then we do not belong to Christ – in fact, He never knew us if we dont live as God said. People who do not remain part of the body of Christ were never OF the body of Christ.

John 6:37-40,44, 65

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

Ephesians 1:13-14

13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 4:30

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

You are only saved if you repent, turn to God and trust in Christ until the end. That repentance will be part of what God uses to change us and move us toward him. In fact, it will cause of to have deeds appropriate to repentance.

Acts 26:20
20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
If we are saved, we will walk away from a pattern of sin. If you dont repent, believe, and continue in faith, then Christ never knew you. If you leave the community of faith, then you were never of the family of God.


John was clear we must practice righteousness. Otherwise we do not belong to God.

1 John 3:4-10

4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. 7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

This is not to say we wont sin, but we wont live a pattern of sin. If we sin, then we have an advocate in Christ.
1 John 2:1

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;

Some believe that we stand firm by our own power, but Paul says GOD causes us to stand firm, that GOD anointed us, seals us, owns us, given us His Spirit as a guarantee of our salvation.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22

21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

But if we have this faith, we are saved and will not loose that salvation – for you have been sealed by God, and will not be snatched from the hands of Jesus, not even by you yourself.

John 10:27-29

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

Not only can no one snatch us out of Jesus’ hands, but He will not drive you away. More than that, Christ will lose none of those the Father has given Him, but everyone who believes in the Son will have eternal life and He will raise them up at the last day.

John 6:37-40

37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

There are people who say that certain verses show that we can lose our salvation: Revelation 3:5, 2 Peter 2:20-22, 1 Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 6:4-8, Hebrews 10;26-29, 2 Timothy 4:3. So I thought I would address those verses.

Revelation 3:5 – speaks of those who overcome – these are the truly saved, not the ones who claim to be saved and are mistaken.

2 Peter 2:20-22 – this speaks of people who have learned the truth but are not of Christ – do not have true faith. They were not saved and never had been saved. These people thought they were saved but were not.

1 Timothy 4:1 – this speaks of no longer believing, which means the person who thought he was saved, but was not.

Hebrews 6:4-8 – This speaks of the one who thought he was saved and did not remain in the faith, which Jesus, Paul and John all said means they were not saved to begin with.

Hebrews 10:26-29 – This speaks of those who have learned the truth but refuse to repent and keep on sinning. They were never saved to begin with.

2 Timothy 4:3 – This is more of the same – people who are part of the community of Christ but not of the family of God. These people are not saved and never were saved to begin with.

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14 Responses

  1. The apostle Paul disagrees with John Calvin’s teaching. Paul said in

    1 Corinthians 9:27

    But “I keep” under my body, and “bring it” into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, **I myself should be a castaway**.

    Translation:

    “I” too must present my body a living sacrifice unto the Lord, holy, acceptable unto God….or “I” too can be lost.

    ……….or maybe Paul wasn’t really saved either.

    • You have a misunderstanding of what Paul taught. Let us look at the context of the verse you quoted and mistranslated. Its easy to see that Paul said something very different than what you said.

      1 Corinthians 9:23-27

      23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

      24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

      Paul said he did all things so he might be a fellow partaker of the gospel. We are to live so as to win – to finish the race.
      Those who repent and turn to God through faith in Christ will have deeds appropriate to repentance – they will live lives which show God’s work in their lives. Those who finish are saved. Otherwise, those who do not finish were not saved and never were.

      Acts 26:20

      20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

      But you have to have a faith that lasts until the end – otherwise you are not saved to begin with – this is seen in 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, Colossians 1:21-23, Matthew 7:15-23, 1 John 2:19.

      Jesus said this too – we must remain Christ and bear fruit or we are not saved…. Notice, God decides who is bearing fruit and whether to remove a branch from Christ, and when. This removal is not loss of salvation, but a removal of those who might believe they are in Christ but are not. By remaining in Christ and bearing fruit, we prove to be Christ’s disciples.

      John 15:1-10

      1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

      Matthew 10:22

      22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

      Mark 13:13

      13 You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

      We see this same thing elsewhere in scripture.
      1 Timothy 4:16

      16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

      Hebrews 10:36

      36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

      James 1:12

      12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

      We remain in Christ by obeying Christ. Obeying Christ is the work of God in our lives.
      Philippians 2:13

      13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure

      • Narrative aside, the verses you quoted hardly provide a context for 1 Corinthians 9:27, you are simply repeating the “proof texts” for the Calvinist “eternal security” dogma. Paul says in the verse I quoted that there is a criterion that he must meet at the risk of being disqualified for “the prize” (term used in the niv, one of the worst version of the bible btw). The ESV reads:

        But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. My questions to you are simple one…

        1. Is Paul speaking from a position of a sinner or a born again believer?

        2. If a sinner, what would be disqualified from, if a born again believer what would he be “disqualified” from?

        Respectfully I ask, if possible, without volumes and volumes of scriptures that does not pertain to the question at hand. It has a terrible habit of convoluting the discourse.

        • If you want to discuss scripture without me discussing scripture which pertains to the topic, then you will be sad. I WILL use any scripture I think pertains to the question at hand.

          You can not ignore scripture to make a point. You must consider any and all scripture which applies.

          Although you would prefer to ignore the context, You HAVE to look at the context of a passage to ensure you know what is being taught and that you are not taking it out of context. In this case, Paul said he does all things so he may become a fellow partaker of the gospel – which means he wants to become a partaker of the gospel – which means he is not yet one or not yet completely one. This is the misunderstanding many people have they think they either have salvation and can lose it, or believe they are saved when they are not. But God is clear, not many who believe they have salvation actually have it – only those who meet the qualifications and remain in the faith until the end.

          1 Corinthians 9:23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

          I have known of preachers to come to the realization they had been preaching for years and had not been saved. We can think we are saved, and not be. This is the point Jesus made in Mat 7:23-25. This is what Paul is saying – that you have to live in such a way as to gain what is being run for. You can run and not finish – this means you were never saved to begin with.

          You can believe you are running a race, but if you never qualified for it, you can go through the motions and never actually achieve winner’s status because you were not qualified to be in the race. The same is true for people who believe they are saved – they must be qualified according to Christ and that qualification must be met at the start and all the way through the event, or you were never qualified to win the event to begin with.

          The passages I quoted previously are texts which show that we MUST remain in the faith or we are not saved.

          BTW, Born again believers ARE sinners – they just are to not live patterns of sin and confess and repent if they do sin.
          1 John 1:8-10

          8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

          1 John 2:1-3

          My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. 3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.

        • Paul was clear that people are saved if they hold fast to the word preached.

          1 Corinthians 15:1-2

          1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

          • I’m a little confused by your reply. Doesn’t this make salvation conditional since they are saved IF they hold fast? IF one does not hold fast, then one is no longer saved according to this verse.

            • Hmm.. That is certainly not what I meant to convey.

              Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is actually a follower of Christ – according to Christ in Mathew 7:21-23

              21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

              Scripture tells us in 1 John 2:3-6

              3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

              Acts 26:20 tells us

              20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

              Its not that practicing righteousness. doing deeds appropriate to repentance, saves us – but it describes those who are saved.

              We are saved by grace through faith.
              Ephesians 2:4-9

              4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

              Having faith describes those who are saved by God’s grace.

              Living righteously describes those who are saved by God’s grace.

              And in the same way, we see repeatedly in scripture that people who are saved will endure to the end.

              Matthew 10:22

              22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

              Mark 13:13

              13 You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

              1 Timothy 4:16

              16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

              Hebrews 10:36

              36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

              James 1:12

              12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

              Its not that enduring saves us, but it describes those who are saved.

              So to be clear, our salvation is not conditional – but those who are saved are described as having faith, practicing righteousness, and believing to the end.

              • I Stuart a.k.a. Evan agree with you that that the scriptures are descriptive of the characteristics of what it means to be saved. And since 1 Tim 4:1 is descriptive of what will in fact happen in the last days, does it not apply to some, not all but perhaps even most Christians? It is impossible for someone to fall away from the faith if he never belonged to the faith in the first place. Only genuine believers can apostatize or fall away from the faith as the unsaved cannot be said to possess any faith at all so it would not make sense for Paul to have written this verse to those who are unsaved as they are already fallen away. This verse is also prescriptive since it contains a warning to the Christians indicative of Paul’s belief that genuine believers can and do fall away from the faith – in this case when they stray and become deceived by deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.

                • Remember the parable of the sower (in Matthew 13:3-8,18-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15)? There is one soil which didnt even have a pretense of having faith. There was one which falls away immediately when difficult times arise – this was the temporary faith. Then there was one which brought no fruit to maturity. But there was one in which the seed was planted which proved to be fruitful. All of these were people who heard the truth but only one sort of people actually produced fruit – these are the actual true believers. The rest might reside among the true believers, but do not have saving faith.

                  We know this is the case with people in local churches, as Jesus told us there would be some in the assembly who were not wheat, but tares in Matthew 13:24-30.

                  James spoke of having a dead faith in James 2:14-26. This would be speaking of people who were in the assembly, the church, but were not saved.

                  Jesus Himself was clear that there would be people at the end times who believed they were saved, having done things in His name, but who would never have been known by God Himself in Matthew 7:21-23.

                  Paul spoke of the apostasy in 2 Thes 2:3. This is most likely speaking of those who live among believers, go to church, maybe even claimed belief in Christ, or who had a temporary faith, but who are not actually saved to begin with.

                  Hebrews 6:4-7 is a similar passage – speaking of how it is impossible for those who have fallen away to be renewed to repentance. Here, Paul may be speaking of a hypothetical which can never happen, or likely is speaking of those who were of the church but did not actually have a saving faith.

                  The fact that we are saved only if we hold fast to our assurance until the end is more clear in 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,

                  People who do not hold firm until the end, who do not have persevering faith, are not saved to begin with. We know those this because of Hebrews 3:14 as well as what we see John having taught about people who leave were never of the children of God to begin with: 1 John 2:19

                  They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

                  We see that unbelievers lived with believers (in the community of the Lord, but not saved) is also what was taught by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 – where the unbelieving spouse is sanctified through the believing spouse, and if an unbelieving spouse leaves, the believer is freed from that relationship.

                  When we look at 1 Timothy 4:6, we see that when Paul spoke of the faith in 1 Timothy 4, He was speaking of the system of belief, not the actual faith a believer must have.

                  6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.

                  It makes sense to me that in the case of 1 Timothy 4:1, Paul was speaking about the belief system or the community of believers when he spoke of falling away from “the faith”.

                  So summarize:
                  Since JESUS said He never knew those who claimed to have done miracles in His name, then we know these people who claimed to be saved were never saved to begin with. We know that there will be people among the believers who are not saved – as evidenced by parable of the tares, and the parable of the sower. We also know those who leave the believers are not saved. And we know that there are those who have temporary faith but not saving faith. So those who leave the faith do not lose salvation, but show they did not have saving faith to begin with.

                  Here are other posts on this issue:
                  https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/once-saved-always-saved-or-can-you-loose-your-salvation/
                  https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/saving-faith-verses-saying-faith/
                  https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/if-we-are-truly-saved-we-can-not-lose-our-salvation-are-we-truly-saved/

                  • Respectfully, the premise of your argument as I understand it is that those who stray through sin or no longer believing were never really Christians in the first place. If that is the case then all the “warning” passages in the NT would not make sense since they would be addressed to those who don’t even possess saving faith to begin with. In terms of logical fallacies that kind of argument would also be known as a fallacy of hasty generalization as one cannot presume that just because some who departed were not of the faith it automatically entails that all who departed were not of the faith. To put forth such an argument is to engage in an overgeneralizaton that the sample is representative of the whole. When you wrote “temporary faith” may I assume you mean saving faith? I assume temporary faith means saving faith if only for a period of time – however long or short that time would be. In the parable of the soils that you referenced Lk 8:14 which describes those who “believe for a while” but in times of testing later fall away. It plainly states that the “believed” so to claim that these were really not believers contradicts the straight forward meaning of this text. These believers later fell away so to claim that these people who fell away were never really Christians/believers to begin with goes against its plain meaning.

                    In James, he is making the point that you or I are not saved by faith alone as he wrote that we are JUSTIFIED by Works and NOT by faith alone (Js 2:24). Good works are simply the outward manifestation of inward saving faith as you cannot have one without the other. That is why faith without works is dead and only believers possess that faith to begin with. Works are simply the evidence of that faith.

                    In Matt 7 Jesus clearly stated that he did not know them not because of no saving relationship. In fact they performed the supernatural IN HIS NAME. Unbelievers do not have the authority to cast out demons and heal in Jesus’ name. Only believers are granted that authority to use Jesus’ name. Jesus himself supplied the reason why he did not know them in Matt 7:23 – because these believers “practiced lawless.” Despite performing the supernatural, they remained disobedient and thus reaped the consequences of sowing to the flesh – not because they never believed as you assert.

                    I suppose we could go round and round on this discussion as normally that is how it goes and we end up just agreeing to disagree – which is fine. Let me ask you a practical question though. I have no reason to doubt that you are a believer/Christian and I’m sure that you consider yourself to be one. Therefore just for the sake of argument, suppose Christians are not raptured before the great tribulation and you are forced to decide whether or not to take the mark of the beast – would you take it? Please answer what you would do – not what someone else might do.
                    You options would be:
                    1. Take the mark because Christians are eternally secure despite the plain warning in Rev. 14:9-11.
                    2. Take the mark but according your belief it would just show that you were never really saved to begin with. I imagine that this would be difficult for you to accept since I’m sure that you consider yourself to be genuinely saved don’t you?
                    3. Don’t take the mark because if you do, you will suffer the consequences described in these verses and lose your salvation.

                    Everyone whom I have posed this scenario to tends to avoid directly answering because they realize that it puts them in a tight spot in terms of answering given their belief system.

                    • Evan,

                      Respectfully, the premise of your argument as I understand it is that those who stray through sin or no longer believing were never really Christians in the first place. If that is the case then all the “warning” passages in the NT would not make sense since they would be addressed to those who don’t even possess saving faith to begin with.

                      No. You do not fully understand my position. The first part you have wrong. Everyone sins (Romans 3:23).
                      1 John 1:8-10

                      8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

                      Bur there is a difference between committing a sin, and living a lifestyle (or pattern) of ongoing sin. Those who choose sin over God rather than sinning, confessing, and repenting show they do not know God.
                      John was clear that walking (in an ongoing pattern) in darkness is rejecting the truth, rejecting Christ. This doesn’t mean we don’t sin, but we don’t walk in sin.

                      1 John 1:5-7

                       This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

                      1 John 2:4

                      The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

                      And much of the New Testament was written to instruct people who God is, what God has done, what God wants from us and for us – this includes teaching people how to not sin. But we must keep on turning from sin to God.

                      But you are right in that scripture teaches that those who reject God never knew God and were never part of the true church, the family of Christ.
                      1 John 2:19

                      They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us

                      It is only those who endure/persevere that are saved, and its only them who were saved to begin with (Matthew 10:22, Mark 13:13, Luke 8:15, 1 Timothy 4:16, Hebrews 10:36, Hebrews 12:1, James 1:12, Hebrews 3:14)
                      It is persevering faith that is true faith that saves us.

                      In terms of logical fallacies that kind of argument would also be known as a fallacy of hasty generalization as one cannot presume that just because some who departed were not of the faith it automatically entails that all who departed were not of the faith. To put forth such an argument is to engage in an overgeneralizaton that the sample is representative of the whole.

                      I am not saying some who departed were ever saved. I am saying scripture teaches ONLY those who do NOT depart, those who remain faithful to God, are those who truly are saved. Those who departed were never true believers, even if they believed they were.

                      It is not just one verse which teaches the need to persevere to be saved, but MANY passages state this.

                      In fact, I would go further and say that not only must people believe (have saving faith) in Christ to be saved, but if it is a saving faith, that faith will engender deeds in their lives to demonstrate they are saved (Acts 26:20).

                      When you wrote “temporary faith” may I assume you mean saving faith? I assume temporary faith means saving faith if only for a period of time – however long or short that time would be.

                      Actually, no. By temporary faith, I mean belief which does not engender evidence in the part of the person who claims to believe. I mean a saying faith, rather than a saving faith. This is the kind of belief which is similar to what demons have – they may (or may not) have a belief, but they do not have trust. Without trust, they only have a saying faith.

                      In the parable of the soils that you referenced Lk 8:14 which describes those who “believe for a while” but in times of testing later fall away. It plainly states that the “believed” so to claim that these were really not believers contradicts the straight forward meaning of this text. These believers later fell away so to claim that these people who fell away were never really Christians/believers to begin with goes against its plain meaning.

                      In Lk 8:12-15, The only one saved in that passage is that which has a faith which produces maturing fruit. The other might have a belief (or might not), but they do not have saving faith.

                      This passage speaks of the differing effects of the word

                      1. no belief,
                      2. saying belief – belief which does not persevere (meaning no faith),
                      3. belief with no mature fruit (saying faith – where we might think we are saved, but we do not persevere so have no faith),
                      4. belief in an honest and good heart which holds fast to belief and bear fruit with perseverance.

                      In James, he is making the point that you or I are not saved by faith alone as he wrote that we are JUSTIFIED by Works and NOT by faith alone (Js 2:24). Good works are simply the outward manifestation of inward saving faith as you cannot have one without the other. That is why faith without works is dead and only believers possess that faith to begin with. Works are simply the evidence of that faith.

                      We agree that works demonstrates our faith. If we have no works, then we have no faith. But just because we seem to have works, this does not necessarily mean we are saved.

                      In Matt 7 Jesus clearly stated that he did not know them not because of no saving relationship. In fact they performed the supernatural IN HIS NAME. Unbelievers do not have the authority to cast out demons and heal in Jesus’ name. Only believers are granted that authority to use Jesus’ name. Jesus himself supplied the reason why he did not know them in Matt 7:23 – because these believers “practiced lawless.” Despite performing the supernatural, they remained disobedient and thus reaped the consequences of sowing to the flesh – not because they never believed as you assert.

                      Yes, Christ never had a saving relationship with those He said he never knew them. These were people who THOUGHT they had saving faith. They THOUGHT they believed. They claimed they did miracles in His name. But they were not saved. They might have had deeds that look like they had faith, but in fact never did.

                      I suppose we could go round and round on this discussion as normally that is how it goes and we end up just agreeing to disagree – which is fine.

                      I guess.

                      Let me ask you a practical question though. I have no reason to doubt that you are a believer/Christian and I’m sure that you consider yourself to be one. Therefore just for the sake of argument, suppose Christians are not raptured before the great tribulation and

                      You DO know that not everyone believes in a rapture, right? I DO, however believe in the rapture.

                      you are forced to decide whether or not to take the mark of the beast – would you take it? Please answer what you would do – not what someone else might do.
You options would be:
1. Take the mark because Christians are eternally secure despite the plain warning in Rev. 14:9-11.

                      If anyone takes the mark of the beast, then we know they are not saved (because they did not persevere), even if they thought they were.

                      2. Take the mark but according your belief it would just show that you were never really saved to begin with. I imagine that this would be difficult for you to accept since I’m sure that you consider yourself to be genuinely saved don’t you?

                      I DO believe I am saved. All those who accept the mark of the beast would show they are not saved.

                      
3. Don’t take the mark because if you do, you will suffer the consequences described in these verses and lose your salvation

                      I do not believe you can lose your salvation – but I do believe you can believe you were saved and not be saved at all (as those who do not persevere in faith show themselves to be).

                      Everyone whom I have posed this scenario to tends to avoid directly answering because they realize that it puts them in a tight spot in terms of answering given their belief system

                      I cannot imagine not knowing what I believe sufficiently well to be willing to take a stand. I would not take the mark, but would rather suffer and die.

                    • The formatting of the replies makes it difficult to read so will try keep my responses short. Everyone sins including Christians. Even Christians are capable of committing habitual sin. It does not mean they were never Christians but they are Christians who choose to continue in sin. 1 John 3:6 makes that clear with parenthetical emphasis. ” Little children [Christians], let no one deceive you [Christians]. Whoever [including Christians] practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever [including Christians] makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” This passage demonstrates that Christians are capable of practicing sin. If Christians practice sin, then they no longer belong to Christ but are of the devil.

                      In addition to John, Paul also taught that Christians can lose their salvation through habitual sin in Rom 8:12-13. “So then, brothers, [Christians] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to flesh. For if you [Christians] live according to flesh, you [Christians] are about to die; but if by the Spirit you [Christians] put to death the deeds of the body, you [Christians] will live.” Spiritual death is the consequence of living according to the flesh. The word “if” indicates that Christians have the choice of either living according to the flesh or the spirit with spiritual death the consequence of living according to the flesh. Paul was not addressing unbelievers as unbelievers are not regenerated and have no choice but to live according to the flesh.

                    • Evan,

                      I am sorry for not responding sooner. My wife had heart surgery. I am just now getting back to my blog.
                      I will try to address your points. you started with a mis-attribution of the text you quoted and added your words to. you said it was 1 John 3:6, but it actually in verse 7 and 8.

                      Everyone sins including Christians. Even Christians are capable of committing habitual sin. It does not mean they were never Christians but they are Christians who choose to continue in sin. 1 John 3:6 makes that clear with parenthetical emphasis. ” Little children [Christians], let no one deceive you [Christians]. Whoever [including Christians] practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever [including Christians] makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” This passage demonstrates that Christians are capable of practicing sin. If Christians practice sin, then they no longer belong to Christ but are of the devil.

                      Ok, we need to look at the actual text without adding anything to what the author wrote, and we need to look at the larger context:

                      4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. 7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

                      The text says NO ONE who is born of God practices sin.
                      Verse 6 is really clear: “No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.”
                      Verse 8 reads “the one who practices sin is of the devil”
                      Verse 9 reads “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”
                      Verse 10 reads “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother”

                      John was not saying that Christian dont sin, but people who are born of God dont live practicing it – they do not live in habitual sin. People can believe they are saved but not be – these will practice sin.

                      Yes, people who have saving faith can sin, but they must confess those sins. They have to stop sin the sinning – ie., they must walk in the light. Given what we see in 1 John 3, this means not practicing sin. John was clear that we show God lives in us by keeping His commandments. If you dont keep His commandments but claim to know God, then John says you are a liar.

                      1 John 1:5-2:6

                      5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

                      2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

                      3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

                      We know from Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:12-13 that a church to whom he writes can have unbeievers in it.

                      12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.

                      So just because Paul writes to a church, this does not mean that everyone in the audience is a believer.

                      Now having addressed that, I will address IF in Romans 8:9-13.

                      To understand Romans 8:12-13 is not just to people who have saving faith, but also to those who think they have faith but do not, we must look a few verses earlier. In verse 9, we see we are in the Spirit IF the Spirit of God dwells in you. That’s the key – not everyone in a congregation of the church of Christ is saved.

                      Romans 8:9-13

                      9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

                      12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

                      The IF in verse 9 indicates that only those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells are those who are in the spirit, and that not everyone in the audience is guaranteed to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.

                      The IF in verse 10 indicates the Spirit is life for those who have Christ in them, but not everyone in the audience is guaranteed to have Christ in them.

                      The IF in verse 11 means that IF the Spirit of God dwells in you, then He will give life to your mortal body through the Spirit of God – but again, not everyone in the audience necessarily has the Spirit of God dwelling in them.

                      So the IF in verse 13 indicates the Spirit of God will NOT give life if you dont put to death the deeds of the flesh, but if you do live by the Spirit, He will give life.

                      Not everyone who professes faith in Christ is saved – but only those who persevere in faith. Those who do not persevere do not have saving faith, but only saying faith. It is only those who are saved by grace through faith who are those who will live a life according to the Spirit. On the other hand, those who try to live life in their own abilities instead of in the power of the Holy Spirit will fall away (Matthew 13:20-22). People who are not saved will not be recognized as belonging to Christ – even if they claim to have faith and have worked for God (Matthew 7:21-23).

        • Christ is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Christ since He is our intercessor.
          Hebrews 7:25

          25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

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