Posted 31 March 2009 - 06:17 PM
Once Saved, Always Saved!
If you do not believe that Jesus has saved your soul from Hell forever; can you really claim to be "saved" at all?
Although there are many different denominations that claim to be "Christian"; there are basically only two kinds of belief about salvation among them.
The more popular belief teaches that salvation is something that can be gained and lost many times in this life. It claims that a person is saved by grace initially, but that there is always the possibility of him doing something wrong at a later time that would cause him to lose his salvation. If he happens to die in a lost condition, he goes to Hell, even though he may have been in a "saved" condition earlier. Because of this, he can never know for sure that his soul is safe from Hell until he has actually made it to Heaven.
The other belief is that salvation can be received only once, and that it can never be lost. It teaches that once a person truly repents and trusts Jesus Christ to save him, he immediately receives everlasting life and can know for sure that he is going to Heaven when he dies.
Think about it! These two beliefs are completely opposite of each other. One glorifies man, while the other glorifies God.
Which of these two beliefs does your church teach?
Which of these two beliefs are right?
Let's see what the Bible says about it. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ ]esus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:8-10)
From these verses of Scripture, there are three things to consider:
FIRST - THE GRACE OF SALVATION "For by grace are ye saved... the gift of God..."
Grace is the positive side of mercy. Mercy is when God doesn't give us something bad that we really deserve (everlasting damnation). Whereas, grace is when God gives us something good that we really don't deserve (everlasting life).
In the context of salvation; grace is best explained by the idea of a free gift. The Bible says that "the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)
When God offers us salvation as a gift, it is truly an "act of grace" on His part, because He is doing it out of a pure love for us. After all, God doesn't really need us. He could have gotten along just fine without us. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5 :8)
The "grace of salvation" completely eliminates the possibility that a sinner can do anything to make himself worthy of eternal life; because if he could, then God would be in debt to him. In the application of salvation, this would deny God glory and the credit of grace on His part. "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt." (Rom. 4:4)
Many people state that they believe that salvation is by grace initially, but they think that it is possible for them to lose it. Actually, however, THEY ARE REALLY BELIEVING A "SALVATION BY WORKS"!
They claim that they must hold on to their salvation by faithfully doing certain righteous activities such as " going to church, keeping the commandments, praying daily, etc." They warn that if one slacks off from doing these things, it could cause him to fall back into sin, thus losing his salvation. But if this were so; then when anyone finally made it to Heaven, they could boast how they got there because they had faithfully "gone to church, tried to keep the commandments, prayed daily, etc." These righteous activities became their "works" that determined whether they would be "finally" saved or not. These "works" would cancel out salvation by the grace of God, for if it is "...by grace, then is it NO MORE OF WORKS; otherwise GRACE IS NO MORE GRACE..." (Rom.11:16)
The Bible says: "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the LAW OF FAITH." (Rom. 3:27)
SECOND - THE FAITH FOR SALVATION "Through faith ... Not of works ..."
While "works" cancels out salvation by grace, "faith" compliments it. "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace... " (Rom 4:16)
Faith is the channel through which salvation is imparted to the soul.
WHAT YOU BELIEVE WHEN YOU ASK JESUS TO SAVE YOU DETERMINES WHETHER YOU RECEIVE SALVATION OR NOT.
Jesus demonstrated this spiritual principle when He healed the centurion's servant: "...as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee." (Matt. 8:13) Also, when He healed the two blind men: "According to your faith be it unto you." (Matt. 9:29)
In salvation by grace, "faith" is trusting God to do by His OWN POWER what He has promised to do (give everlasting life). In other words, SAVE you from what you deserve, which is everlasting damnation in Hell.
In order for anyone to really receive "everlasting life", they must understand and believe that God will give it to them ONE TIME, FOREVER!
Jesus emphasized this principle of faith when He said: "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire (everlasting life), when ye pray, BELIEVE THAT YE RECEIVE THEM, and YE SHALL HAVE THEM." (Mark 11:24)
If you are waiting to see whether you get to Heaven or not before you can know that you are FINALLY SAVED, you have not BELIEVED that you received EVERLASTING life through Jesus Christ. You are still DOUBTING HIS POWER and are trusting in your own righteousness.
Those of you who believe that a person could lose his salvation, cannot really claim to be saved "by grace through faith". Of course, at this present time you are not in Hell, so you can say that you are "safe" for the moment. But remember, you are not in Heaven yet either; and you don't believe that you will be "eternally saved" until you get there.
Really, YOU DON'T HAVE FAITH FOR SALVATION ANY MORE THAN THE WORST LIVING ATHEIST, because he is not in Hell yet, either! In fact, as long as any person is physically alive, he can claim to be safe from Hell for the present moment. However, IT TAKES FAITH TO BELIEVE THAT CHRIST HAS SAVED YOUR SOUL FOR ALL FUTURE MOMENTS!
Let's just consider something for a moment. Suppose it were true that a person who was once "saved" could be lost again. But suppose this person never did get saved the second time and ended up dying as a lost man, going to Hell; after having once been "saved"? What was he saved from? Was he saved from the penalty of sin? No; because he did not escape Hell. Was he saved from the power of sin? No; for apparently he fell back into sin and died as a lost man. And we know that he wasn't saved from the presence of sin; because as long as we are in this life, we will be living in the presence of sin. What was he really saved from then? The obvious answer is NOTHING AT ALL! He may have claimed that he was saved. His friends and relatives may have thought that he was saved. He may have even tried to act as though he were saved. But in the final end of it all, since he went to Hell, HE WAS NEVER SAVED FROM ANYTHING IN THE FIRST PLACE!
THIRD - THE WORKS FROM SALVATION "For we are his workmanship..."
When it comes to "works" in salvation, most people try to put the cart before the horse.
They feel that if the threat of losing their salvation isn't there, it will lead to lawlessness. They do not understand the perfect righteousness of God or that good works are a RESULT of salvation.
For instance, consider an apple tree: it doesn't bear apples to become an apple tree; neither does it bear apples to stay an apple tree. It bears apples because God made it an apple tree.
Just the same with a true Christian; he doesn't strive to live holy or do good works to get saved, or stay saved. He does it BECAUSE GOD HAS SAVED HIM AND LIVES IN HIM! It has become part of his nature. "For it is God which worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13) He is God's "workmanship"; just like a watch is the "workmanship" of the watchmaker.
Remember, once you have sincerely repented and completely trusted the salvation of your soul to Jesus Christ forever, you can be confident that He will never let you lose your salvation. For He is the "AUTHOR AND FINISHER" of your faith! WHATEVER GOD STARTS, HE FINISHES! "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:6)
Friend, the Bible says: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in THE FAITH ..." (II Cor. 13:5)
Maybe, after reading this, you have realized for the first time that, because you had always thought that you could lose your salvation, you have never really had enough faith to believe that Jesus could save your soul one time, forever.
Right now, why don't you ask Him to, believing that He will?
Remember, the very moment that you sincerely repent and completely trust Jesus to save your soul from Hell, THAT VERY MOMENT , YOU ARE SAVED... FOREVER!