Once Saved Always Saved?
Few issues contribute to more disunity in the body of Christ than an ages old debate over eternal security. Some say “once saved always saved” while others make the case for Christians being able to lose their salvation. The former crowd points to verses like John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” The same would be said for the verses Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified, John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life and Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Can We Fall From Grace?
Those that believe in what John Wesley called “backsliding” to the point of returning to a lost condition refer to verses like Hebrews 6:4-6 “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.” 2 Peter 1:10 seems to indicate the possibility of a fall with the words “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” This sounds like the writer is saying it takes diligence on the part of Christians to avoid a fall from grace much like is referred to in Gal 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
Which Side Is Right?
Each side of the argument has ample scriptural evidence to support their view point and this begs the question about which group is right. I believe that both sides are correct about what they espouse and both sides are wrong for not accepting the belief of the other camp. It is time for the church to come to agreement and settle this dispute.
Is This A Strange Paradox?
The issue concerns confusion over what it means to be born again as differentiated from being saved. Many if not most Christians do not know the difference if they are aware of one at all. In fact the dissimilitude is substantial.
Written by Wes Arnold, PMT ElderReturn to the Newsletter Archives