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September 24, 2007 / vivator

Once saved always saved?

Catholics believe that the Elect have assurance of salvation but unless God reveals their Elect state to us we cannot identify them.  On the other hand, some (not all) Protestants and “Bible only” Christians believe that once they have faith in Christ then they are one of the Elect and therefore have assurance of salvation.  Verses that are generally quoted to support “once saved always saved” are:

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. 

John 6:37-39

My sheep hear my voice; and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.

John 10:27-28

For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

Catholic will reply that it is true that Christ will not cast out those who believe in Him and nobody can snatch them from Him but the verses do not rule out the possibility they are the ones who decide (using their freedom) to leave Him.  In John 17:12 Christ said: While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that Scripture might be fulfilled.  Here Christ talked about his twelve disciples whom God the Father gave to Him. This means He would not cast them out and no one can snatch them from Him.  However we know that one of them (Judas) later betrayed Him. Similarly Catholics understand Romans 8:38-39 as talking about external factors that are unable to separate us from God’s love; it does not support assurance of salvation as we can use our freedom (internal factor) to reject God.   Consider this analogy: some countries in the world do not recognize dual (or more) citizenships.  If we hold citizenship of that country, no one can snatch it from us – even committing crime will not make us lose our citizenship.  Our citizenship is indeed secured but we will lose it if we decide (using your freedom) to take citizenship of other country.  

Other argument to support assurance of salvation is since the Bible says those who become believers in Christ are adopted as sons of God (John 1:12, Romans 8:15, 23, Galatians 4:5 and Ephesians 1:5) then their salvation is assured because God won’t reject His sons.  But Christians are not the only ones in the Bible whom God calls as sons.  In Exodus 4:22-23 and Hosea 11:1, God also calls the Jews His sons.  Romans 9:4 reaffirm their adoption as sons, i.e. they do not lose their son-ship in the new covenant.  The Greek word translated as adoption or son-ship in Romans 9:4 is huiothesia.  The same word is used in Romans 8:15, 23, Galatians 4:5 and Ephesians 1:5 to indicate son-ship of Christians.  If being God’s adopted sons guarantees us heaven, then all Jews will go to heaven, just by being Jews, which is certainly not the case (Romans 11:26 says “and so all Israel will be saved” but hardly any will interpret it to mean all Jews will be saved.  To see the context we need to read Romans 11:13-36).   Furthermore Scripture says that whoever does not do right is no longer child of God, thus son-ship is not something that is always guaranteed once we believe in Christ.

By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother.

1 John 3:10

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  1. Gordon Wiebe / May 12 2008 1:42 pm

    What about Romans 8:30- “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he jsutified, he also glorified.” How can you be the “Righteousness of God in Him,” (II Cor. 5:21) on minute and not the next. Isn’t it the power of the church over people that is threatened by God’s promise? If salvation is not for sure, that is a carrot on a stick to hold in front of people. I agree that no one can claim they are saved and choose to live anyway they like. Some who claim salvation are not, others are disciplined even unto death. But we are promised in Phil. 1:6 that “He would began a good work in you will bring it to completion in the day of Christ.” How can you have eternal life one minute and not the next. Either you have eternal life or you don’t (1 John 5:11-13). I am glad that the Catholic Church is in conversatioin with Charles Colosn and others. I believe the truth will prevail.

  2. vivator / May 12 2008 7:21 pm

    Catholics believe that through-out our life we may fall from grace and regain it again upon repentance. In short we do persevere with the help of God. In the beginning of my post I explicitly stated that the Elect cannot lose their salvation. The question how do we know for sure who Elect are unless God reveals it to us? The Elect are the ones who will persevere to the end and only God knows who they are. If you look around there are many former Christians who now abandoned their faith. Perhaps you will say they were not Christian in the first place. Suppose you witness the time a person place their trust in Christ – how do you know he/she will persevere to the end? God will complete the work he began in us – it is true, but if you believe in human freedom, we can refuse Him. As an analogy if you have a son you will complete your responsibility as a good father but your son may decide to cut relation with you to lead his own life – he may or may not come back to you.

  3. Allan Svensson / Dec 17 2009 4:46 am

    Hi.
    I found your Web Site by Google
    And I wish you the best you can get,
    the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

    Welcome to visit my Site.
    Allan Svensson, Sweden
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/INDEX.HTM

    Once saved – always saved?
    The doctrine of election, which William M. Branham preached,
    that the elected cannot fall away from the Lord, it can entice
    people into a false safety, which can be their fall. Branham’s
    doctrine of the election does not agree with Ezekiel 33:12-19
    or Rom. 11:17-22.

    If the elected ones cannot become lost, why then are there so
    many warnings in the Bible? Why did Jesus warn us about
    false teachers and false prophets, if it is impossible that the
    elected ones become lost?

    If it is no risk to lose our salvation, then we do not need to
    hold us awake or be careful against false teachers. Why then
    are Israel’s sins and punishments under their wandering through
    the desert, written down as warnings for us? Why then did Paul
    write, “Now all these things happened unto them for examples:
    and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of
    the world are coming. Wherefore let him that thinketh he
    standeth take heed lest he falls.” 1 Cor. 10:1-12.

    A usual reason that Christians fall away from the Lord, is that
    they follow false doctrines, which lead away from the sincere
    faithfulness to the Lord. They believe more on preachers and
    priests than on the Bible.

    A remarkable phenomenon is, that the most resistance against
    revival comes from those Christians who have been praying for
    revival during many years. They have prayed for revival, but
    when the answer to prayers comes, then they become angry.
    They do not like to hear the truth of the Assembly of God, the
    Body of Christ. Instead to praise Jesus, they are irritated and
    afraid. Why? They are spiritually blinded of Satans false
    assembly doctrine. They do not have the knowledge of the
    Assembly of God. This truth has never been preached in the
    churches.

    Churches and denominations are Satan’s tools to hold control
    over the Christians. The purpose of the churches is that with
    false doctrine defend churches and denominations, and to hold
    their members in religious slavery, and hinder them to
    understand God’s word.

    In the time of the apostles any church did not exist, and
    therefore the word “church” does not occur in the Bible.
    Everywhere in your English Bible where you see the word
    “church” it is a grave translation error. It ought to be
    “assembly”.

    As you can see in my Web site, I am no member in any
    church. In the year 1965 I left Babylon the great, and since
    then I have been outside of all churches and denominations,
    according to the command of the Lord. Rev. 18:4.

    This command of the Lord is the most powerful revival
    message we can find in the Bible. Yet, this truth of the Bible
    has not been preached among God’s people, and therefore the
    Christians are entirely unprepared for Jesus’ coming. Only
    few Christians have obeyed this command of the Lord to
    come out of the great Babylon.

    Just this is revival, that all God’s people become free from
    all churches and denominations, the great Babylon. Many
    preachers are speaking that Jesus shall come, but they do
    nothing to prepare themselves.

    On my Homepage I have written very much about the
    Assembly of God and about churches and denominations.
    It is very urgent that all God’s people get the knowledge
    of this.

    None be saved by works of the law, Gal. 2:16,
    and none be saved without works of faith. Matt. 7:21-23.

    Prepare you to meet Jesus!
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PREPARE.HTM

    Evil spirits in the churches
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/SPIRITS.HTM

    Why did the Pentecostal Revival take an end?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRISIS.HTM#end

    What does hinder the Antichrist to appear?
    What is the Restrainer?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/MESSAGE.HTM#Antichrist

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