“Once Saved, Always Saved,” is said to be a biblical doctrine by some (e.g., Got Questions Ministries, All About God, ). This is known as the doctrine of eternal security. Much information about this doctrine can be obtained by using Google with “once saved always saved” as a search term.
The doctrine asserts that, “When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their salvation as eternally secure” (see Got Questions Ministries).
This doctrine is problematic. The following provides an explanation of why.
Salvation Is a Process
Salvation Is Not about Finding Jesus Christ
Salvation does not occur at a point in time:
Mathew 10:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (see also Matt 10:22; Mark 13:13)
Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. … Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Salvation Is about Becoming like Jesus Christ
Salvation is a process that occurs over time:
2 Thessalonians 2:13 … God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
It Is Possible for the Disciple to Fall Away
A disciple must decide to follow Jesus Christ through the sanctification process. It is possible that he may not choose to complete this process:
Hebrews 5:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
You may know someone who accepted Christ and was, therefore, “Once Saved,” and then later turned away from Christ and His gospel. Does it even make sense to ask if he was ever saved? Or is still saved? This doctrine does not appear sound just on thinking about it logically. Even if you believe this doctrine you have no assurance because it may happen that you will fall away and be lost!
The “Once Saved, Always Saved” doctrine does not appear to be in harmony with the Bible. It can potentially lead to less of a Christian life than might otherwise be possible. This seems a doctrine to be avoided. Also see web pages like, “Know God’s Word” and “Let God Be True!.”