Remember my last post, the one on my thoughts on Predestination? Well, today I'm back with another opinion post. This time, however, the topic of conversation is "Once Saved, Always Saved".
Once saved, always saved?
Or is it possible to become unsaved if you sin enough during your relationship with God? If so, how much sin is 'enough'?
I'd like to start with my little 'disclaimer'. Just cause I think it's a good idea.
Since this is an opinion post, I am going to state my opinion here. If you don't like the idea of hearing my opinion, perhaps don't read this post. :P I'm all for sharing opinions in a loving way. If you agree with me, that's cool. If you don't agree with me, that's also cool. I'm quite happy for people to disagree with me. I am in no way passing judgment or anything on anyone who has a different opinion to me. The fact is, there is a bit of a grey area around a lot of these theology disagreements. If there wasn't a grey area there wouldn't be any need to discuss it! :) So I'm going to share my opinion - and please feel free to share yours in the comments section. :)
*end of disclaimer*
So the thing is, once we become a Christian and give our lives to the Lord, are we then forever guaranteed a spot for us in Heaven? Or is it possible to become a Christian and then to fall away?
Well, my opinion is that once you are saved, you are not 'always' saved. It is possible to lose your salvation. I have many reasons for this train of thought which I shall share with you.
Hebrews 6:4-6 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.…
[taking sections out of the above verse] - For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit (those who were once Christians)....and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance....
It is impossible to renew them to repentance once they have tasted of the Holy Spirit and then fallen away. Welp. That's some serious stuff, right there! Yet it speaks for itself.
There are some people out there who would say that if you preach that you can lose your salvation, you are turning your faith into a works-based faith where you are only saved if you do not sin. I can see how it could be seen to be like that although if you dig deeper it isn't like that at all.
When we become a Christian, our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus and we are perfect in God's eyes.
What happens if we then choose to sin ?
I believe that if you are truly repentant of your sin and you actively try to rid your life of it, then you are still saved.
We are human and we make mistakes. We sin. The Bible says that there is no one who is righteous. Romans 7:14-25 sums up well the war that rages in us between wanting to do the right thing and wanting to sin.
Romans 7:14-25 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
We struggle with sin. All of us.
Sinning does not in itself make us lose our salvation, providing we are truly repentant of it. It is all in the heart attitude.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
However, if you are living a life that is filled with sin and you are unrepentant, I believe you are not truly saved. The Bible is clear that God cannot tolerate sin.
Let's look at the example of Saul in the Bible. God chose him to be King of Israel. After being anointed by the prophet Samuel, the spirit of the Lord came upon him in power and Saul actually prophesied with a bunch of prophets (read the story in 1 Samuel chapter 10, verses 5-11). The Bible says his heart was actually changed (verse 9). It would seem that to prophesy you must be filled with the Spirit!
However, the spirit of God did not stay with Saul. God said in 1 Samuel 15:10: "I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions..."
So Saul was with God, then he turned away from God only five chapters later. You know the rest of the story. How God was so displeased with Saul he anointed another king, David, while Saul was still alive. Saul did not like this and tried to kill David. Saul was definitely not walking with God.
The thing about Saul was that he wanted to do his own thing. He refused to carry out God's instructions.
David made mistakes. He got involved with Bathsheba and killed her husband, Uriah, who was a good man.
Yet God said that David was a man after God's own heart! Why? Because David was repentant. He saw his sin and repented from it. Saul didn't care. He wanted to do his own thing.
Sin has consequences. David's sin had a consequence. His son died (2 Samuel 12:13-14).
But David's heart was towards the Lord.
So it's not about a works-based faith at all. It's about having a heart towards God that earnestly tries to follow and serve Him.
The thing about the 'once saved, always saved' thing in its extreme is that it makes salvation into a magic prayer that you have to pray. Once you've said 'the magic words' you are automatically accepted for Heaven and no matter what else you do, you're going to Heaven. Which is great. But it's not true.
Like I said before, it's all about the heart attitude. That's why people like the thief on the cross who repented at the last minute get to go to Heaven. Jesus's words to him were "I tell the truth, this day you will be with me in Paradise".
So, my conclusion? Can you lose your salvation? I think you can. However, you will not if your heart is right with God!
That's all I have to say! :) What do you think? Can you lose your salvation?