My Personal Christian Blog

Thanks for sliding into my blog site. This blog bog is a spin-off from my website at Call me a Night Owl, as my full-time mission and hobby are jabbering from midnight until 8 a.m.ish with chatter bugs across the world. Hoot, hoot! Being a retired newspaper guy and a Curious George, I've written and assembled a whack of stuff that I hope you'll find interesting and thought-provoking. Check out the Stories bar on the right side, below, for all my articles - from my web site and this blog.

December 17, 2012


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Once a person has accepted Christ as Savior, he may wonder if it is possible to lose that salvation. What if he commits a sin? What if he commits a lot of sins? What if it’s something very, very wrong? Is it possible to be saved, and then lose that salvation?

The idea that once saved means always saved (OSAS), or eternal security, is a hot potato issue with some – perhaps many - Bible believers.                                                                                           

Are we saved forever and go to Heaven upon death when we understand we are lost, reach out to Christ, and believe and confess the following?

1. That we are born a lost sinner headed for eternal Hell.                                             
2. That Jesus Christ is the Son of God who voluntarily died and paid our total sin debt with His blood on the cross and rose again from the dead.                                        
3. That by choosing to believe that and confessing this to God in a private prayer we are saved, which is the same as being born again.

Or, must we “hang on” to God’s salvation for fear we will lose it. Can we walk away from God?  Will He walk away from us?

There are several reasons why a believer in Christ can be confident he is eternally secure when he receives Christ as his personal Savior. First and foremost is the teaching and understanding of the Scriptures.

As do other gospel writers, the Apostle John speaks of the eternal-life issue. We read in John 3:15-18,

The Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

In John 10:28-30, he records this promise of Jesus:

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

This solidly declares that the forgiveness of God through Christ is sufficient to cover all of our sins -- past, present, and future.

The Logical Evidence

Eternal security is consistent with everything else the Bible teaches about mankind and God. The idea of losing our salvation creates monumental problems with other doctrines, including salvation by faith, the sin nature of man, and the purpose of Christ’s sacrifice.

Thinking that we can live a perfect, sinless life after our salvation is not only unscriptural, but arrogant, says James 2:10. There is no scriptural yardstick given to tell us how many or what kind of sins are enough to void our salvation.


Without eternal security, the Bible would describe a situation where Christianity is a perpetual game of Russian Roulette; a life in which condemnation and salvation would alternate every time we sin and confess, and we would never know if we’re saved or not. It would be a frightening life.


Many scripture passages show that our attempts at good deeds will never earn us a place in Heaven. We cannot make up for our past, present, or future sins by doing good works.

James 2:18 says a believer in Christ will automatically choose to shun sin, and practice good works. If eternity security is not true, by necessity we are saved both by our faith and our works which is not biblical. We are saved by faith alone.

The doctrine of eternal security goes hand-in-hand with the doctrine of saved by faith alone. To deny eternal security is to endorse a faith-plus-works salvation system.

We sin after we are saved but, thankfully, God has always provided a way for us to be forgiven for our shortcomings. If we lost our salvation every time we sinned, none of us would be saved for more than a few minutes at a time. If we could lose our salvation, it would be lost forever because Christ only died once.

Critics of OSAS point to this passage

Some suggest we can lose our salvation because they misinterpret passages like Hebrews 6:4-6 which states,

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.”

On the surface, this passage appears to speak against OSAS. Many theologians say this is one of the Bible’s most difficult passages to interpret. We are told there are two ways of looking at these verses:

First interpretation

One interpretation holds that this passage is written not about Christians but about unbelievers who are convinced of the basic truths of the gospel but who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. They are intellectually persuaded, but spiritually uncommitted.

According to this interpretation, the phrase “once enlightened” refers to some level of instruction in biblical truth. However, understanding the words of scripture is not the same as being regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

For example, John 1:9 describes Jesus, the “true Light,” giving light “to every man”; but this cannot mean the light of salvation, because not every man is saved. Through God’s sovereign power, every man has enough light to be held responsible.

This light either leads to the complete acceptance of Jesus Christ or produces condemnation in those who reject such light. The people described in Hebrews 6:4-6 are likely of the latter group -- unbelievers who have been exposed to God’s redemptive truth and perhaps have made a profession of faith, but have not exercised genuine saving faith.

This interpretation also sees the phrase “tasted the heavenly gift” as referring to a momentary experience, akin to Jesus’ “tasting” death (Hebrews 2:9).

This brief experience with the heavenly gift is not seen as equivalent to salvation; rather, it is likened to the second and third soils in Jesus’ parable (Matthew 13:3-23), which describes people who receive the truth of the gospel but are not truly saved.

Finally, this interpretation sees the “falling away” (Hebrews 6:6) as a reference to those who have tasted the truth but, not having come all the way to faith, fall away from even the revelation they have been given.

The tasting of truth is not enough to keep us from falling away from it. We must come all the way to Christ in complete repentance and faith; otherwise, we in effect re-crucify Christ and treat Him contemptuously.

Those who sin against Christ in such a way have no hope of restoration or forgiveness because they reject Him with full knowledge and conscious experience. 

They have concluded that Jesus should have been crucified, and they stand with His enemies. It is impossible to renew such to repentance.

Second interpretation

The other interpretation holds that this passage is written about Christians and that the phrases “partakers of the Holy Ghost,” “enlightened,” and “tasted of the heavenly gift” are all descriptions of true believers.

According to this interpretation, the key word in the passage is if verse 6. The writer of Hebrews is setting up a hypothetical statement: “IF a Christian were to fall away . . .”

The point being made is that IF a Christian could fall away, it would be impossible to renew their salvation. That’s because Christ died once for sin (Hebrews 9:28), and if His sacrifice is insufficient, then there’s no hope at all.

The passage, therefore, presents an argument based on a false premise -- that a true Christian can fall away, and follows it to its senseless conclusion that Jesus would have to be sacrificed again and again.

The absurdity of the conclusion points up the impossibility of the original assumption. This reasoning is called reductio ad absurdum, in which a premise is disproved by showing that it logically leads to an absurdity.


Both of these interpretations support the security of the believer in Christ. The first interpretation presents unbelievers rejecting Christ and thereby losing their chance of salvation; the second interpretation presents the very idea of believers losing salvation as impossible.


Many scriptures make it abundantly clear that salvation is eternal (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:35, 38-39; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:4-5), and Hebrews 6:4-6 confirms that doctrine.

According to this passage, if a person could do something that cost them their salvation, it would be impossible for them to be re-redeemed.

License to sin?

Critics of the once saved always saved doctrine claim that it gives Christians a license to sin. They presume that those who believe in eternal security intend to accept salvation, and then continue to willingly sin.

This doesn’t fly, because anyone who has been truly saved is a new creature, has the conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 1 Thessalonians 4:8), and now wants to live for Christ.

Clear and simple, someone who chooses to continue to blatantly live in sin has not truly accepted Christ. (1 John 2:19; 1 John 3:6; James 1:26).

But a person who willingly, humbly, repents of sin and turns towards the cross, trusting Christ as their Savior, will be saved. That salvation is once and for all, eternal, and secure. Those who truly trust in Christ are saved once, and saved always.