Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians: 12-13 (NKJV)
I wish that more people would read and understand this scripture. It is the very reason why people need to stop all this foolishness about “once saved always saved.” Just as the title says that is a lie from the pits of hell! It baffles me that people actually believe that because they had some “Color Purple” church experience that they have salvation. They can tremble and shake while crying crocodile tears, walk down the aisle at church and pray with the pastor in front of the congregation. This scene has been repeated in several “black movies” by the way. Lol! I know this is stereotypical, but I have to bring this up because people have this type of emotional experience but their lifestyles show no change whatsoever! I remember listening to some young lady who called into a radio show claiming to be a “believer” even though she worked as a stripper! She actually believed that because she attended church regularly and paid tithes, she had salvation. What’s really sad is that the folks who hosted the show weren’t even believers themselves, yet they were making fun of her and the faith. (It wasn’t a Christian radio show) They had more sense than she did! So even though this girl’s job was to sexually entice people she still believed that she was a “new creature?” No transformation in her life had to take place at all after professing to be a follower of Christ??? The Word says that we must be born again, according to John 3:3. How are we “born again” if we continue to do the exact same stuff with no repentance? I won’t go into the topic of repentance because that is another blog in itself. But in a nut shell, many people are being deceived into believing that mouthing a prayer will give them salvation without having to be that “living sacrifice” that Paul talks about in Romans 12:1. When we are born again, we are born of the spirit. Our lives change. We hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. We’re building a relationship with God and making the changes necessary to be pleasing to Him. It’s just that our flesh wants to do what it wants to do and we have to learn to crucify it, just as Christ was crucified on the cross. This is a part of being a “living sacrifice.” The old man dies so the new man can now live. We’re not perfect but we strive for the perfection in Christ. It’s really not that complicated.
Revelation 3:5 says “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Well, there it is… You can have salvation but lose it due to your failure to repent, meaning overcome. Your name can be blotted out! In other words, I can’t go out here and become a male gigolo and still be “saved.” Are we nuts?! Obviously I’m not overcoming sin as referenced in the above-mentioned scripture. And frankly, the Holy Spirit in me wouldn’t allow it. Otherwise, the Holy Spirit is likely not dwelling in me or I’m just blatantly ignoring conviction and its inner cries. You and I both must work out our soul salvation with fear and trembling. Jesus Christ said it Himself, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 22:7 (NKJV) Now in this case, He is speaking of those who have an appearance of godliness (like folks in church) but who never “knew” Him. They never formed a “relationship” with Him even though it appeared like it. So if we still think that there is no standard of holiness (which is outlined in the Word of God) and that salvation is reduced to a one-time prayer and water baptism, then we’re screwed… Eternally… Yes, there is a cost to salvation and being His disciple. Get over it. “Once saved always saved” is ridiculous and will only lead you astray. It is impossible to have a real relationship with God and not change. So let’s get real and start being doers of His Word.
Love you all.
June 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm
You know, I was driving my husband to work about two weeks ago when I turned on the AM station and heard a popular, local, Atlanta pastor TEACHING his congregation that all you have to do is believe… and that GOD WILL NOT take that salvation from you. He went on for about twenty minutes… and my spirit was SO GRIEVED. I could hear the amen’s in the background and all I could think about was the word DECEIVED. This message is like handed people a loaded gun that says, “Do whatever you want to… God will forgive it because you’re saved anyway.” So glad you’re writing on this subject… as it is a prevalent teaching now. I pray that many others will read this post… and hear and see the truth it carries … to the NATIONS. Blessings to you….
Robert E. Mason II
June 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm
June 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm
Well SAID !
June 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm
yes, i always believed once saved always saved. but i’ve come to realize that i have to have that personal relationship with God and live as He commands. and then as i live for Him and let His will be done in me and then i’ll know i’ll always be saved with His blessings.
June 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm
June 7, 2011 at 8:17 pm
I have to admit that this is a topic that hits home on all fronts. Bascially I am reminded of 2 Cor 13:5 that challenges us to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith and to prove ourselves. This is my litmus test in asking myself where I am in my faith walk with the Lord. This means that we can be sincere but sincerely wrong in our pursuit of the Lord. Unfortunately life is real and it is not a dress rehearsal, we have to live it here and now and be the people God has called us to be.Bottom line is studying the word regularly and knowing it for ourselves like the Berean church in Acts 17:11. Great article ! keep them coming.
June 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm
Brother, I have been against that saying ever since I heard it. It simply de-emphasizes the great sacrifice that God through Jesus, made just for me. Once we truly understand that Jesus didn’t come just to prove to us how to deal with issues in Satans domain, but that He proved to be the Perfect One to restore us back to God’s original plan for us to have dominion, is where the light should come on. Once saved, always saved is taught to allow Christians to operate in and out of “worldliness”, affording us the ability to have our cake and eat it too. God expects us to strive toward perfection through the Power of the Holy Spirit. To operate in the “once saved, always saved” mentality reveals that we just want to be known as a Chrisitan, usually for selfish reasons. There is a distinct difference between a Christian and a Believer and it separates on the “once saved, always saved” premise.
June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm
A church marquee carried these words, “Almost Saved is Totally Lost.” It is not His will that any should perish. It is His desire that the world through Jesus Christ might be saved. So many of us today have no idea what saved is or why we even need saving yet profess to be while still others claim to be Spirit-filled yet live in carnality. My prayer is that we are “awakened” to a faith in Jesus Christ and led by the Holy Spirit so that our lives bring glory to God, the Father, who created us for His good pleasure. We are so worldly minded that they can’t see Him. Praying for an awakening…. One who is TRULY freed is free indeed.
July 14, 2011 at 10:01 am
When a women is pregnant and after so many months …a child is born into this world. The baby is born into her Family and known to be a part of that family. When the child gets older, they may do something wherein the family would want to “dis-own” them from the family. Does not make them not a part of that family, even if they die alone?
It’s not as cut and dry as we’ve been taught or as we think. When does a person become “UNSAVED” or is when does one become “SAVED” again. Does one become unsaved and saved every time they sin and then ask for forgiveness.
There is a much BIGGER picture to Christ coming into the WORLD to “SAVE-US” from our sins. Some of the comments I’ve read make me think that many of us are popping in and out of salvation daily just from the unrighteous thougths we think!
Many are taught and living in FEAR (affraid) of a GOD that might punish them, instead of learning to Fear(referencing) a Loving God, whose mercies endure forever. The picture is much larger, and people should’nt be affraid to LIVE…..so they can see what needs to be changed in their LIVES.
How do we answer to the question “How Long Have We Been Saved”? If I repented of my sins and accepted Christ “TEN (10) years ago? Is it ten years? or do I respond …well I sinned after five years and repented the same day, now that time has been cut to “Five (5) years.
When people ask me “How long I’ve been saved”? (and I know there are several scriptures we use to LEAD one to salvation)….I respond with “SINCE JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS”! The picture is much bigger because one doesn’t change JUST by using the ROMAN ROAD. It’s truly a heart thing, and God knows it better than we do!
July 14, 2011 at 10:47 am
JB I understand what you are saying and like you stated, it is about the heart. But you and I both know that people use “God knows my heart” as an excuse to stay in sin and not change. The point of this post is to alert those of us who are in the body that there is a CODE of ethics and morals that we are to live by. Above that is to live the Lord God with all of our might and soul. To think that we can simply live any kind of way and still be saved is MAJOR deception. Jesus Christ said Himself that many would say Lord lord but He will tell them to depart from Him. Saying the “prayer of salvation” one time and then going on to live like HELL and never REPENT is not salvation and you and I both know this. Repent is the key word. We all fall but there is a difference between someone who has a repentful heart and someone who does not.
I for one do not live in fear but in reverence and freedom. We have to get back to the standard outlined by the Word of God because the body of Christ does not look like the bride He is coming back for. We are supposed to be in the world but not of it. Meaning that we are peculiar as the Word says and that we operate by different standards than those who are of the world and who do not know Christ or even hate Him.
Tarsha L. Campbell
June 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm
Thank you for sharing Nathan. Straight and to the point…great message that needs to be said. Great writing! Love your blog title.
June 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm
First of all….my brother….my friend…how refreshing it is to dialogue with fellow brethren (and sisters) peaceably, intellectually, insightfully, and even wittingly. What an honor and a blessing it is to be a part of such a beautiful fellowship.
As you are well aware, this particular topic is so near and dear to my heart that it’s going to be a HUGE challenge for me not to turn this comment into a dissertation! But in the interest of respecting others time and this limited space, prayerfully, Holy Spirit will give me the wisdom necessary to share only the “nuggets”.
I’m of the opposing viewpoint….I believe WHOLEHEARTEDLY….once saved ALWAYS saved! That’s not the question we should be asking. The question we should be asking is, “Are You REALLY Saved”? I believe that long before one ever stands before Christ at the Judgment, they already know the answer. The Academy Award they received while performing here on earth as best actor for impersonating a Christian will be reduced to rubble right before their very eyes. I’ve come to understand that there are several categories of people when it comes to salvation. There are those who are saved and KNOW it; there are those who are saved and are not sure; there are those who ARE NOT saved and know it; and the absolute worst category of people (to me) are those who ARE NOT saved but believe that they are! These are the ones that have the (false) assurance of salvation who Jesus was referring to when He stated in Luke, “Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity….”All TRUE Christians can enjoy eternal security. The Bible makes it clear that a TRUE Christian will not live “any way (s)he wants to”. Christians are NEW CREATIONS. Christians demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, not the acts of the flesh. God always has and always will DETEST disobedience! He requires Faithfulness, Holiness, Righteousness and Obedience! Most have NEVER truly experienced salvation through Jesus Christ. For whoever abides in Him does not sin. And whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. That bears repeating…..No ONE who lives in Him keeps on sinning, and NO ONE who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him! In the interest of space, PLEASE read Romans, the 8th Chapter. Then fast forward to 1John. May I suggest review of all five (5) chapters, but pay close attention to Chapters 1 and 3. Bottom line, let no one deceive you! He who sins is of the devil. And if we say we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we LIE and do not practice the truth! But salvation for the TRUE Christian is most definitely eternally secure! Johns tells us that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal life”. If a person were to be promised eternal life, but then have it taken away, it was never “eternal” to begin with. If eternal security is not true, that would make God and His promises of eternal life a lie. That’s a road I’m pretty sure one does not want to travel. Much luv and God bless….
Evita SpeakLIFE Gonzalez
June 12, 2011 at 10:11 am
A much needed message that the masses need to hear, even in every church. It is indeed sad to know that people are lead to believe that salvation is a one time “receiving into the heart” versus a “LIFE-long experience in relationship with Christ…walking it out (working out your soul’s salvation).” ~PeaceToTheLIFEofLove~
June 13, 2011 at 10:58 am
Wow Nations! You said a mouth full…of TRUTH (that is)! Thanks for sharing and giving me “food for thought.” Love the blogs!
July 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm
Great blog and comments. You always send me into self-reflection mode, lil’ cousin. Thanks for being you.
May 25, 2012 at 8:27 am
I know I am saved for eternity because my trust is not in the ‘once saved always saved’ doctrine but in Jesus Christ.
Hmm. Which side should I be on?