Once Saved, Always Saved?
This popular denominational doctrine is also known as “The Impossibility of Apostasy” or “The Perseverance of the Saints.” The Westminister Confession describes it this way: “They whom God hath accepted in His beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of Grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.”
This doctrine is NOT supported by what is taught in God’s Word. Note:
“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4) This verse shows that some that were in God’s grace could fall from His grace. How can this Scripture be harmonized with the statement above?
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” (Hebrews 3:12-14) This passage is addressed to “brethren,” and they are warned about the possibility of “departing from the living God” and about being “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Their salvation was conditional upon holding “the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.”
“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:20-22) Observe those who are described in this text – people who had “escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord.” These people were saved, but they could be “entangled” again and “overcome.” And, that latter state would be worse than before they had ever known the Lord. Clearly, they could be lost after having been saved.
More Bible verses are available on this subject, but just these three passages make it clear that “once saved, always saved” is not taught in God’s Word.
– by Greg Gwin