As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
1 Timothy 1:3-7 [Cross references: 2 Timothy 2: 16-19; Colossians 2:8]
Normally, I usually don’t like to write about [or get in] debates in theology, because most of the time they get you no where. The person’s pride is at stake and usually someone gets offended. Not exactly showing love and a Christ-like attitude. This issue is different. While it is a theological issue, I believe that there is much more under the surface that needs to be brought to attention. You will see that I do not really want to argue the nuances of this issue, but rather a certain principle. I cannot go into much more than the issue at hand here, because I do not know enough on it to say more. Like the verse above says, it would be fruitless and I cannot make a confident assertion about it. I would also like to encourage you to look up the cross references I have listed. They will help you understand better and it is too much to include them in without bogging one down.
What does the phrase “once saved always saved” bring up in your mind? Baptists, theology of salvation, even anger? To sum it up, this means that once you accept Christ into your life [or achieve salvation…nuance] that this salvation can never be taken away. While this statement is true, we can never be plucked from the hands of Christ, it gets twisted. Not only has Satan used this idea to cause major divisions over such a minor issue, but he is deceiving the thousands upon thousands who think they can pray a prayer and live how they want based on this issue. He uses it to encourage a half-holy life of having the intention of living for God, but thinking it’s ok because that is the best we can do and we are going to heaven anyways. Do we not know Matthew 7:21-23?
[Cross references: Luke 6:46; Luke 13: 23-27; Matt. 25: 31-46]
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
2 Timothy 2:11-13? [Cross references: Matt 10:33; Luke 12:9; 1 Tim 5:8]
It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
God calls us to holiness. He calls us to be sanctified by Him. He calls us to be bondslaves of Christ. He calls us to ‘work out our salvation.’ He calls us to live a life beyond reproach. “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness (2 Timothy 2:19).” Can we get more clear than this? I hope I don’t have to dig more into Scripture to illustrate this point (but I’m going to below, more so than probably necessary). It is clear in so many other places in Scripture that God wants us to live and die like Christ: holy and sanctified living a pure life following the leading of the Spirit.
First, what God tells us to do, then you’ll get the picture of what is after. Like I said, there is much more on this but here is what I’ve found thus far. [From NASB, ESV, and NIV]
Those who obey My commandments are the ones who love Me. and because they love Me, My Father will love them, and I will love them. And I will reveal Myself to each one of them.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:11-12
All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life.
1 John 5:11-12
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
–1 Peter 1:3-9
And the second part
For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps.
1 Peter 2:21
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34
“I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.
Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine.
They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD, no respect for the work of his hands.
He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be accomplished by God.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:2
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
1 John 2:3-6
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
It is time we stopped believing a twisted lie and pursue Christ. I have given more than enough Scripture to say that we cannot be lukewarm [Revelation 3: 15-16]. We have to give our all to Christ. In doing this, issues like “once saved always saved” are not important, since we will already have secured our salvation in Christ by simply living for Him.