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ETERNAL SECURITY: A FALSE DOCTRINE
Once Saved Always Saved (“OSAS”) is a false doctrine*. It’s like telling a soldier in the trenches that the war is over and that he can throw away his gun and run with open arms in front of the enemy’s machine guns. This doctrine is build on a few Bible verses that seem to indicate that a believer cannot lose his/her salvation.
* and so is PoTS (Perseverance of The Saints). This is a different doctrine.
The difference is not of importance and will therefore not be discussed on this page.
Source: “I’ll Be Honest” (youtube) [I posted this video partially on my youtube account.]
Paul Washer doesn’t seem to have great “OSAS” assurance of his salvation by believing in the “OSAS” doctrine. We can see that many verses like the last one he read, especially in the Letters of Paul dismiss the believe that a believer cannot lose his salvation. It might sound crazy… but believing in conditional security might give you more assurance of salvation because it doesn’t claim that the clear proofs of salvation (fruit of the Holy Spirit worked out in you)
can be a work of the flesh in the end.
As I just said, there are many many many verses clearly indicating that a believer can lose his or her salvation.
We will start off by giving a list of verses indicating that a believer can lose his/her salvation and we will finish by debunking the false view of OSAS by clarifying those verses which seem to contradict the verses that are opposed to OSAS (more verses coming later).
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away,to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”
– Hebrews 6:4-6 (NKJV)
Some adherents of the “OSAS” doctrine, have suggested that those partakers of the Holy Spirit are unbelievers who heard the call for salvation but did not repent. This is impossible for some reasons:
1) You cannot be enlightened (= rebaptised: Syriac versions of the NT; Justin Martyr, Apology 1:61) if you where never baptised, as a believer before
2) Being partakers is explained in Ephesians 1:13: those who receive the seal of the Holy Spirit are believers. They are the partakers of the above verses.
3) You cannot fall away from a faith you don’t have.
4) You cannot be renewed again to repentance if you where not renewed before.
Albert Barnes wrote (on Hebrews 6:4-6):
“That it refers to true Christians will be apparent from these considerations*: ‘Such is the sense which would strike the great mass of readers. Unless there were some theory to defend [OSAS for example], the great body of readers of the New Testament would consider the expression used here as describing true Christians.'”
*Only one consideration has been given. | (added: “[OSAS for example]”)
“For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”
– Hebrews 6:7-8 (KJV)
Hebrews 6:7-8 is clearly a beautiful illustration. On this part I wrote in my commentary on The Epistle to the Hebrews (= unfinished work):
“For: The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews gives us another example to clarify the foregoing for every reader. He also wants to make clear that we should not doubt what has been said before. He uses a parable;
the earth: (symbolizes) the soul of every believer which drinketh in the rain: (every believer) who opened his heart to the voice of the Holy Spirit,
that cometh oft upon it: who speaks on many occasions to such believers. He teaches and remembers them all things which Jesus has said to the disciples (See John 14:26).
and: As in contrast to “but”. It is the natural flow of every believer who harkens unto the Holy Spirit and abides in Christ to bring forth herbs for them by whom it is dressed: Just as in the parable of the sower: the good ground; the genuine believer; the one who truly trusts in God, brings forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. (Matthew 13:8)As John the Baptist put it: “fruit that PROVES YOUR REPENTANCE” (Matthew 3:8, NET Bible, emphasis added).
As mentioned before, it is the most natural flow of the believer; the workmanship of Christ to walk in the good works, which God has ordained before (See Ephesians 2:10). (As contrasted to:)
But: the unnatural flow of every believer. (As in contrast to “and”.)
that which beareth thorns and briers: in the parable of the sower, the thorns (and briers) represent the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches. They choke the word, and the believer becometh unfruitful (Matthew 13:22). The unfruitful one represents one who lost his “connection” to the Holy Spirit, one who lost his genuine faith by rejecting it, due to the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches. He not only bears no fruit, but also bears, in the parable of the Hebrews, thorns himself. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad (Matthew 12:30). The people which have produced thorns, are people who will try to keep other people from the faith. They will also try to take others with them in their fall, as thorns choke the seed that would have made them genuine Christians. Therefore such a person shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13b). He
is rejected: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:24-26) The man who, as representing the bad ground, allowed the word to be chocked (Matthew 13:22) and was ashamed of the Word (John 1:14, Luke 9:26), is rejected
and is nigh unto cursing: this kind of former believer has committed the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
He will be cursed inevitably (see Hebrews 6:4-6). Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Although the parable of the sheep and goats seems to have a different meaning. The person of our Hebrew-parable also represents one who is nigh unto cursing and
whose end is to be burned.: he loved rebellion more than obedience and will most assuredly (see Hebrews 6:4-6) go to the everlasting lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Revelation 21:8). Let us end this part with a positive note. The steadfast believer who abides in Christ and His words (John 15:7a) is He that overcometh. He shall inherit all things; and Christ will be his God, and he shall be His son (Revelation 21:7, adjusted to the context). For He continued, regardless of all things (see the Parable of The Sower), in the word of Christ, and thereby showed that he is a true disciple (John 8:31). He is like those few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; like those who shall walk with Christ in white: for they are worthy (Revelation 3:4, adjusted to the context).”
“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.“
– 1 Corinthians 10:1-6 (NKJV)
Conclusion: The Jews were God’s elect. They keept on disobeying God, to the point that He destroyed those who disobeyed Him, after giving them many chances to repent and trust again in God.
SOME OTHER VERSES (EXPLANATION IS CLEAR TO THE WILLING MIND):
“holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain” (Phil. 2:16; NASB)
“but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end” (Heb. 3:6; NASB).
For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end” (Heb. 3:14; NASB).
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (Heb. 4:14; NASB).
“Can We Fall From God’s Grace And Be Lost?
Can a Christian fall from God’s grace and be eternally lost? Let us see what God has said about this in the Bible. Let’s let the Bible answer this question.
1) 1 Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Why such a warning if it is impossible to fall from grace?
2) Galatians 5:4 “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Isn’t it strange, that people who say they believe the Bible also say that we cannot fall from grace, when the Bible so plainly says that we can fall from grace? Who should we believe, man or God? How much clearer could the Bible have said this?
3) Romans 8:12-13 “Therefore, brethern, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Paul is talking to Christians and tells them if they live according to the flesh you will die spiritually. In other words you will be lost.
4) James 5:19-20 “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” The Bible here says that a believer can wander from the truth and be lost. But also one who wanders from the truth can be won back.
5) 1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Even the apostle Paul knew it was possible for him to become a castaway and be lost even after he had preached to others.
6) 2 Peter 2:20-22 “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the later end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: a dog returns to his own vomit and a sow, having been washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” Can one turn from the way of righteousness after they have escaped the pollutions of the world? The Bible says so. Will this cause them to be lost? Yes. This is a description of the pitiful state of one who turns away from God after they have been saved. In other words they have become lost after they were saved.
7) 1 Corinthians 8:11 “And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died.” The Bible says that a weak brother can perish.
8) Revelations 2:10 “Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.” Eternal life is conditional on one remaining faithful. What will happen if one does not remain faithful until death?
9) 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By which you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.” Will you be saved if you do not hold fast to the word of God? One’s salvation is conditioned on “if you hold fast”.
10) 2 Peter 1:10 “Therefore brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.” A Christian’s election is not a sure thing or such a command would not have been given in the Bible.
11) Hebrews 3:12 “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” So the Bible says that a Christian can depart and leave God if he develops an evil heart of unbelief.
12) Luke 8:13 Jesus says “But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.” The Bible says that believers can fall away, but some men say differently. Who are we going to believe: men or God?
13) 1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” The Bible says we can depart from the faith. What happens when we depart from the faith in God? We are lost.
14) 1 Timothy 5:12 “Having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.” They were once saved but are now condemned. Why were they now condemned and lost? Because they had cast off their first faith.
The false doctrine, that a child of God cannot so sin as to fall from God’s grace and be eternally lost, is a lie of Satan. This same lie was told by Satan in the Garden of Eden to Eve, when he said “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Satan told Eve that disobedience to God would not result in death, but it did. This false doctrine is also referred to as “once saved, always saved” or “the impossibility of apostasy”. This is one of the many lies Satan tells today to cause many people to be eternally lost. Satan wants us to be complacent and not be concerned about being lost. When Satan accomplishes this he has the battle won with us.”
Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 6:7-8, 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, Philippians 2:16, Hebrews 3:6, Hebrews 3:14, Hebrews 4:14, Romans 11:22, John 15:1-6, Hebrews 10:38, 2 Peter 2:20, 1 Timothy 1:19, 2 Peter 3:17-18, 1 Corinthians 10:12, 1 Corinthians 15:2, Galatians 5:4, 1 Corinthians 9:27, Revelations 2:10, Luke 8:13, 1 Timothy 4:1, 1 Timothy 5:12, Luke 14:24,… (the list of verses debunking “Once Saved Always Saved” goes on and on).
TO CONCLUDE WITH THE WORDS OF NICK WILLIS:
‘Those who deny that salvation can ever be lost, reason on the subject in a marvelous way. They tell us, that no virgin’s lamp can go out; no promising harvest be choked with thorns; no branch in christ can ever be cut off from unfruitfulness; no pardon can ever be forfeited, and no name blotted out of God’s book!
They insist that no salt can ever lose its savor; nobody can ever “receive the grace of god in vain”; “bury his talents”; “neglect such great salvation”; trifle away “a day of grace”; “look back” after putting his hand to the gospel plow. Nobody can “grieve the spirit” till he is “quenched,” and strives no more, nor “deny the lord that bought them”; nor “bring upon themselves swift destruction.” nobody, or body of believers, can ever get so lukewarm that jesus will spew them out of his mouth.
“they use reams of paper to argue that if one ever got lost he was never found. That if one falls, he never stood. Rom. 11:16-22 and heb. 6:4-6; if one was ever “cast forth,” he was never in, and “if one ever withered,” he was never green. John 15:1-6;
and that “if any man draws back,” it proves that he never had anything to draw back from. Heb. 10:38; that if one ever “falls away into spiritual darkness,” he was never enlightened. Heb 6:4-6; that if you “again get entangled in the pollutions of the world,” it shows that you never escaped. 2 pet 2:20;
that if you “put salvation away” you never had it to put away, and if you make shipwreck of faith, there was no ship of faith there! In short they say: if you get it, you can’t lose it; and if you lose it you never had it. May god save us from accepting a doctrine, that must be defended by such fallacious reasoning!
Once saved always saved is a false doctrine that breeds sin, rebellion, worldliness, and false hope. It removes all fear of god, and the bars and strip clubs are filled every night with these deceived people who live as they please, but yet call themselves followers of jesus.’
A BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW, FOR THOSE WHO ARE ABLE AT THE MOMENT:
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
– 2 Peter 2:1 (KJV, emphasis mine)
“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the GRACE and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
– 2 Peter 3:14-18 (NKJV, emphasis mine)
SOME EXTRA MEMES:
Pictures source: Doug Gilliland
Picture source: Mike Miller
Picture source: Terence Jones
READ ALSO SYNERGISM. ESPECIALLY THE NEXT PART:
Pictures: copyright crosstheology. You are allowed to copy this scheme, if my name and a hyperlink to this website are included. You are not allowed to adjust this scheme.
“Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.”
– Romans 2:4-8 (KJV)
“There are sins which, by divine constitution, are unto death spiritual and evangelical, that is, are inconsistent with spiritual and evangelical life, with spiritual life in the soul and with an evangelical right to life above. Such are total impenitence and unbelief for the present. Final impenitence and unbelief are infallibly to death eternal, as also a blaspheming of the Spirit of God in the testimony that he has given to Christ and his gospel, and a total apostasy from the light and convictive evidence of the truth of the Christian religion. These are sins involving the guilt of everlasting death.”
– Matthew Henry, Commentary on The Whole Bible, Commentary on 1 John 5:14-17
“The sin in view would appear to be the hardening of the heart against the offer of the divine light in its most unmistakable form.”
– Encyclopedia of The Bible, Mortal Sin
Let the following video be a strong warning, as well as a strong encouragement:
“There can be no doubt that every individual, in the exercise of his own proper power of will, may shape his course in whatever direction he pleases.”
– The judges agreeing with Archelaeus, The Acts of the Disputation With Manes, 33
“The liberty of believing or not believing is placed in free choice. In Deuteronomy, it says, ‘Look! I have set before your face life and death,
good and evil. Choose for yourself life, that you may live.’ ”
– Cyprian, Three Books of Testimonies against the Jews. Book III, Chapter 52
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
– Galatians 6:7-8 (NKJV)
“The soul is freed of all constraints, and obtains from the Creator a life at its own discretion; and because it was made in God’s image, it understood the good and knows its joys, and has the possibility and power of maintaining its natural life by continuing to gaze on the good and to enjoy the life of the spirit. But it has also the possibility on occasion of abandoning the good.”
– Basil, God is not the author of Evil (Homily 9)
“And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
– 1 John 3:23-24 (NKJV)
See also “Statement of Faith” and “Accountancy” for more info.
[When we sin (1 John 3:4) and afterwards we honestly regret it, there is grace available from our gacious Saviour! (1 John 1:9) Don’t get me wrong here! 🙂
Read also “A Time to Repent” and “Imputed Righteousness“.
This is not an excuse for choosing to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13)
and disobeying God (Hebrews 3:8b-11, Galatians 6:7-8).]
Former Once-Saved-Always-Saved believer speaks out on this false doctrine:
4 thoughts on “Conditional Security”
Mind if I respond to your doctrine on OSAS?
Feel free to… 🙂
I now realize this doctrine is true. That means God’s love is conditional though. I realize that I could never be loved by God if that’s the case. I used to be saved but I know somewhere along the line I lost my salvation. After all if all it takes is one sin [according to someone named Dan. He’s a preacher] to loose your salvation than I have no hope. I know I could never keep my salvation. I’m never going to be good enough. That’s what conditional security teaches me. And I know according to Heb. 6 once you have lost your salvation you can’t be renewed to repentence. People have hated me all my life. I guess God doesn’t love me either. Why should He? After all I’ll never be good enough. I never will be able to earn His love.
“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:15 (NIV) The Bible clearly teaches that whether we are forgiven is dependent on whether we forgive others (for example). Of course this does not mean that God doesn’t want to save everyone (1 Timothy 2:4). But remaining in His love is conditional upon what we do (John 15:10, Revelation 20:15; 21:8). I notice that you use a lot of emotional arguments. The position of OSAS uses some Bible verses while ignoring others and then adding emotional arguments, while CS can easily use every Bible verse without ignoring the “if’s”. And we are not talking about “earning” His love. Receiving God’s love is conditional because we can reject it. It would be the same as when someone gives away free food and you are starving. It’s up to you whether you take it or leave it. Our salvation is a dynamic love relationship, not a ticket to Heaven while living in perpetual selfishness/sinfulness (John 17:3). But that’s enough for now. Jesus’ warning still stands true: “Repent or perish”. God is not a respecter of persons so this applies to anyone.