Once-Saved Always Saved, Chapter 7

Table of Contents

The Solution

  • O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent. (Jeremiah 5:3)

God looked for truth, but the Israelites refused to repent. He struck, but they felt no pain. God crushed His children, but they refused correction. Such is the bad fruit of eternal security. God strikes, but such believers always feel self-assured that they are saved and in no grave danger. God crushes, but it is not a salvation issue. He looks for the truth, but they have no need to repent.

The only solution is to feel pain from the Lord, to let the nails of the crucified life do their work. Jesus wants us to let go of all of self, including our doctrines and pride. We only have to let Him crush us, to fall to the ground and die, and He will work the new life. We must realize that salvation is a process and it does not end until we have passed the test in this life.

When a man believes in once saved always saved he becomes numb to the conviction of God. He acts like a man who goes to the dentist with a bad tooth, receives a shot of No-vocaine to ease the pain, and then gets up before the dentist repairs the tooth. He thinks that, because the pain disappeared, the tooth is healed and his concerns lifted. Of course, as soon as the Novocaine wears off the pain will return, but the trouble with those who believe in once saved always saved is that they just keep going back for more Novocaine.

If you want the solution then you must soften your heart. You must admit you need to be taught again and humbly let God teach by way of the cross. It will feel painful, just as the cross is painful, but the end result is the resurrected life.

People who cling to once saved always saved can feel no real pain about their sin because they feel saved no matter what they do. They must shake off this addiction to comfort and numbness if they desire true blessings from the Lord. For one of the true blessings of Jesus is to bless us by turning us from our sin.

  • When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways. (Acts 3:26)

The Fear of the Lord

The person who believes in eternal security has removed the fear that filled the first church. When we first come to the Lord there is, or ought to be, a realization of God’s holiness and that he powerfully deals with sin. This fear, along with the kindness of God, motivates men to preach and to repent. As you can see below, Paul wrote that he knew what it means to “fear the Lord” so he preached to men.

  • Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. (2 Corinthians 5:11a)

Regardless of what the once saved always saved preachers claim, this fear is not in their lives. This is demonstrated by how fast and easily they pronounce someone a Christian. Often they subtly, or not so subtly, use the threat of hell to motivate people to say a believer’s prayer. Of course, who wouldn’t prefer to say a simple prayer rather than burn in hell?

This initial fear moves a man to repentance and the church to maturity. The bad fruit of shallow repentance, always occurs when we remove or downplay holy fear. This is what the once saved always saved doctrine has done to the church. No longer do we find groups of people stirred up to repent by the fear and kindness of God. Instead, the church entertains and bribes people into accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Then, once they join a church, the fear of God does not grow and mature, indeed they avoid it at all cost and are assured by eternal security teachers that everything is just dandy.

  • Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord. (Acts 9:31)

Such churches are not like the first church, “living in the fear of the Lord,” but more like the whitewash church that cries out to God from their soft pews or couches. Oh, many of them will pride themselves on being tough against sin and contending for the truth, but they live a lie. They “strum away on harps like David and improvise on musical instruments,” thinking they are a strong, worshipping people. They think they have the best of God, the choice lambs and fatted calves, but they remain haughty and self-content. They cannot grieve over their ruin, because they do not see the serious consequences of their sin. After all, if a man has faith in Jesus and can never lose his salvation, how bad could the consequences be? This attitude frees them to have a good time, drink wine by the bowlful, soothe over every Scripture, and smooth out every rough aspect of the cross with the finest of lotions.

  • You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end. (Amos 6:4–7)

Certainly, a lot of crying out for revival and discussion about righteousness rises, but all from a comfortable padded pew. They “wail upon their beds” as Hosea wrote. They cry alright, but from a position of false hope and comfort as they gather together for “new wine” and for “grain” in the name of Jesus. They falsely believe they have the Holy Spirit (new wine) and the Bible (grain) but they lie asleep in the name of the Lord and continue to turn away from the commands of the Lord.

  • They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds. They gather together for grain and new wine but turn away from me. (Hosea 7:14)

The only solution is to let the painful, crucifying cross come and do its work—a cross that will move them out of their comfortable pews to suffer in their bodies and be done with sin. The cross will deal a deathblow to the easy, 1-2-3, “just ask Jesus into your heart,” wide gate gospel calls. Instead, it will place people on the narrow road.

Once a young man joined our church who grew up believing in eternal security. Rather, than challenging him straight away on the issue, we completely ignored it and simply taught him the offensive message of the cross. He continued to grow in his relationship with God, picking up the cross God had for him and one day came bounding out of his prayer time exclaiming, “I can’t believe I ever believed in once saved always saved!” He felt appalled not only at himself but at his teachers who had led him astray. This is the nature of the true cross. A person is truly taught by God.

Like Christ

When the church finally lets God be God they can once again say with Peter that all Christians everywhere need the same “attitude” as that of Jesus Christ. An attitude which knows the only way to salvation lies with suffering against sin by the grace of God. After all, only those who overcome stand with Jesus in heaven. Only those who suffer with Christ are “done with sin.” Talk about a concept that overwhelms the believer of eternal security with objections of salvation by works—this is it. No wonder that sin is rampant in a church where eternal security is embraced.

  • Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1–2)

As a result of this honest understanding of the crucified life, Peter tells us we overcome sin and live for “the will of God.” Among those who believe in once saved always saved a lazy, self-satisfied attitude replaces one of suffering. It could be no other way, for belief in eternal security produces complacency in a man even as he denies his complacent attitude. Sloppy faith replaces effort and false rest replaces hard work. The once saved always saved teacher becomes slothful without realizing it.

This leads them to become more concerned about their lives, their ministry and their wants. They use the members of the church, as Jesus puts it, they beat the servants of God for their own spiritual goals. Though they call Jesus Lord and have the hope of being put in charge “of all his possessions,” they are later assigned a place with “unbelievers.” Again, Jesus is clear that a man can fall away. The man in this parable was once in the household of God but, in the end, is placed with unbelievers.

  • The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. (Luke 12:42–46)

Every excuse and justification will be “cut” to “pieces” and that believer put with pagans in hell. All because he began to become lazy, feeding his belly and taking advantage of others for his own goals and purposes.

Torment a Blessing

When God convicts, crushes, and comes against our sin time and time again, we gain a powerful blessing. One of my greatest joys is to be convicted about my sin and to let the Holy Spirit not only forgive but empower me to overcome that sin. That conviction might last a day, a week, or even years, but it is the blessing of God poured out into my life. Indeed, Paul felt blessed when God sent a demon to keep him from sin.

  • To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:7–9)

God sent the demon to prevent sin, not as punishment for any actual sin Paul had committed. Why did God go to these lengths to keep Paul from pride? So that he would not lose his salvation. Remember how Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3:6 that a church leader “must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.” Satan’s sin was pride and his judgment will be hell. Satan fell from the grace of heaven and God did not want Paul to become prideful and fall under the same judgment. A follower of once saved always saved, however, admits no possibility of falling under the same judgment as Satan, and therefore he has no real need to guard against pride. As a result, he actually celebrates pride as a virtue.

Paul understood that he, and every church leader, could come under the same judgment as Satan, losing heaven and gaining hell.

Paul was no fool concerning the issue of salvation. He “gladly” accepted this blessing from God, even when it came in the form of a tormenting demon. How much more should all true Christians look for God’s cleansing blessings to flow? But eternal security cuts off that power of the cross to crucify unto the resurrected life. It makes hell an empty threat and puts up a barrier between the blessings of God and the man He wants to purify and place on solid ground.

Lawless Men

Peter warns that we must be “on guard” against these “lawless” men. These lawless men are like the worms who find a weak spot in the flesh of an apple to bore in and plant their eggs. They may be nice, you may call them brother; they may be great teachers; they may discern the faults of others, but they deposit the eggs of a doctrine that will eat away at the good fruit God is trying to grow.

  • Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (2 Peter 3:15–18)

What unusual wording Peter uses. How does one “fall” from a “secure position?” If it is secure, how is there a possibility that one could fall? The answer is simple; by listening to the “error of lawless men.” Again we see God, through Peter, using the word “fall.” Falling from one’s security in Christ. If you stand on the solid rock of Jesus be careful of lawless men who cause you to lose your balance. Watch out for those who rob you of the grace that enables you to stand upon the rock, Jesus Christ.

No wonder the catch-all excuse for those who teach once saved always saved is that they do not want to “fall under legalism.” Lawless men always fight hard against obedience, for they are in their heart lawless against the crucified life. At heart, they are not really concerned about legalism, but try to hide the fact that they are lawless men. After all, we can easily deal with legalism. One doesn’t have to whine, scream, shout, or object to every Scripture that demands obedience to keep from falling under legalism.

Again, this is not a case of merely stumbling. Aman must choose to leave his secure position. Those that hide under the shelter of the Lord will certainly remain safe. Lawless men can pull you from it only if you give way to them. Run to the name of the Lord, believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth everyday with true surrender and you will find safety.

  • The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

The solution to this problem is to call them to repentance, and if they will not repent to leave them. Indeed, they will kick you out anyway if you stand firm in the truth that one can lose their salvation. If there is one thing a once saver cannot endure, it is someone who believes that salvation can be lost. The solution is to reject lawless men, reject the itching ear doctrine of once saved, pick up a cross and honestly begin to follow Jesus. To allow Jesus to plow up unplowed ground and to level ground that is overgrown with the weed of eternal security.


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Disclaimer

The Consider Podcast attempts to express opinions through God’s holiness. Nothing concerning justice or injustice should be taken as legal advice or a call to action. There is no political agenda. There is no individual moral life advice. Indeed, each person is solely responsible before God and man for their actions or inactions. The Consider Podcast is narrowly focused on one thing, and only one thing – the need for all to surrender to a life of repentance according to the whole gospel.

The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, folly and madness with the whole gospel.
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