Eternal life is never earned, merited, or kept by one’s own goodness or works and yet, Christ said there are some who “believe for awhile and in time of temptation FALL AWAY.” (Lk. 8:13). Only those who are born again and abide or continue in and with Christ – enduring to the end, will be with Him eternally (Jn. 15:1-6; Col. 1:23; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 10:26-39, Rev. 2-3, etc.).
1 John 2:6, 28 speak of abiding or remaining in Christ which means there is the danger of not remaining in Him as Jesus taught in John 15.
Eternal life is the life of Christ in the believer and yet the possession of eternal life is contingent upon abiding in Christ. Although most Christian circles seem to stop right here – at the obtaining of initial salvation through faith, the Bible certainly doesn’t stop there. According to the faith once delivered to the saints, the same faith that initially appropriated God’s grace must be continued in to the end of one’s life, or eternal life will be forfeited. Though eternal life is eternal, the possession of it is not – necessarily.
“By faith are we saved, and by faith we stay saved.” E.M. Bounds
Righteousness can only come from Jesus Christ…imputed as we repent and place our full faith in Him alone for salvation that He alone earned for us (Rom. 3:21-4:5). God requires faith, not only to initially receive His imputed righteousness, but also ongoing to the end of one’s life or all is lost. This is a doctrine the reformist OSAS adherent completely deny and yet it is all over Scripture (Matt. 10:22; 24:13; Col. 1:23; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 10:26-39; 2 Pet. 2:20-22; Rev. 2-3, etc.). The appropriation of His saving righteousness is only to those who truly believe into Jesus Christ and continue in that faith to the end. Many “fall away” (Lk. 8:13) or simply do not realize that their “faith” is not authentic, one that if it is real, which will always produce a life of good fruit, denying ungodliness and worldly lust and looking daily for the soon return of Jesus for those who are being washed by His Word, without spot and blemish (Titus 2:11-12; Eph. 5:25-27; 1 John 3:3).
The Son of God taught:
“He that endureth TO THE END shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22; 24:13
Salvation will begin with someone repenting and placing their faith in Christ alone, but that’s the beginning, not “the end” of one’s salvation. Peter speaks of “receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:9) Jesus says the born again believe must “endure to the end” to be saved ultimately into Heaven’s glory or New Jerusalem (Matthew 10:22; 24:13).
Salvation never comes with the promise of eternal life guaranteed to those who do not abide/remain in Christ after being saved. John 15:1-6. God’s power sure is “able to keep” us but He will not if we do not endure to the end (1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24). The LORD is under no obligation to keep anyone who does not continue to follow Christ and will take no one into His holy Heaven who is defiled by sin.
“Follow peace with all men and holiness WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD.” Hebrews 12:14
“IF we deny him, he also WILL DENY US.” 2 Timothy 2:12
The LORD Himself always abides faithful but men don’t and if they don’t, He is under no obligation to keep them and saved them into His holy Heaven.
God does not force any man to continue to follow Him. Saving grace is forfeited when one departs from the faith, does not endure to the end, refuses to continue abiding in Christ, etc. (Matt. 10:22; 24:14; Heb. 3:6, 12-15; 10:26-39; Rev. 2-3. etc.). Nothing in Scripture could be clearer than this truth. Upon repenting and placing faith in Jesus, one is saved and is also required by the Savior Himself to abide or remain in fellowship (love and obedience) with Him or that person will be thrown into the fires of hell and burned (John 15:5).
To deny that a saved person can “FALL away” is to deny Christ who invented this term and thereby taught that falling away/becoming apostate/departing from the LORD is possible!
According to the New Testament record, authentic saving faith is NOT un-forfeitable, but rather can be:
- · “Cast off” – 1 Timothy 5:11-12
- · “Put away” and “Made shipwreck” of – 1 Timothy 1:19
- · “Denied” – Revelation 2:13
- · “Denied” – 1 Timothy 5:8
- · Departed from – 1 Timothy 4:1
- · Failed – Luke 22:32
- · Overthrown – 2 Timothy 2:18
- · “Erred from” – 1 Timothy 6:10
- “Erred” from – 1 Timothy 6:21
- · Fallen Away from: One can “fall away” from his believing/saving faith – Luke 8:13
Paul said the Galatian believers had “FALLEN from grace” outside of which no one can be saved (Gal. 3:3; 5:4). The finished work of Christ is not at question by the rest of God’s Word. Salvation is eternal and yet according to the Scriptures, the possession of it is not unconditional or unforfeitable. Jesus taught men could believe and then “FALL away.” (Luke 8:13)
The Bible speaks of “the sins that are PAST” being forgiven, not future automatically being forgiven (Romans 3:25). With not one Scripture to prove it, the OSAS proponents tout the unfounded myth that the truly saved person is somehow mysteriously exonerated from all liability, penalty and responsibility of all sins, past, present and FUTURE. Is this supposition biblically accurate? Where is this found in the Bible? To the contrary, the Scripture states something much different:
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are PAST, through the forbearance of God.” Romans 3:25
Here the Lord had the perfect opportunity to tell us that all sins, even future sins, were automatically forgiven regardless of whether or not the transgressors heart was repentant or not. The “sins that are past” are forgiven, thank God, but all future sins will be forgiven when and “if” repentance is rendered toward the Lord by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:13; 1 Jn. 1:7, 9). Actually the LORD had 27 books in the New Testament canon alone to tell His people they are unconditionally forgiven of all future sins no matter what they choose to do, and He simply didn’t. The absence of even the hint of such should make it abundantly clear that the forgiveness of the future sins of the individual believer is contingent upon his choice to continue to walk with Christ’s light (1 Jn. 1:7).
What the OSAS proponent doesn’t acknowledge or understand is that all sins, past, present, and future, have been paid for, yet the forgiveness of them is only appropriated by and granted to the individual when and as confession and repentance is rendered (1 Jn. 1:7, 9). We have the Word of God on this truth! As His Word clearly reveals, God set this system up and any person who disagrees can argue with Him if they wish to. Any person who doesn’t acknowledge this plain Bible truth has fashioned in his heart the image of a false god made in his own sinful image and likeness. When we honestly observe His Counsel, we witness that the LORD simply never indiscriminately washes away sins from anyone. There must be confession and repentance and faith.
“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” (Heb. 10:12) Salvation was paid for by Jesus “once” on the cross 2,000 years ago (Jn. 19:30; 1 Pet. 3:18). God dealt with all sins once and for all on the cross in the sense of satisfying the claims of His perfect justice (Rom. 3:24-25; 2 Cor. 5:19). The way that applies to the individual’s life is different. The same God who dealt with sin on the cross also equally gave condition for men to receive forgiveness – initially and on an ongoing basis. The LORD draws. No person can come to Him except drawn by Him – yet He leaves the final decision up to the individual (Jos. 24:15; Jn. 6:44). His desire is to save and not destroy, to rescue and not condemn (Lk. 9:56; Jn. 3:17). The one who will be in right standing with the Almighty must get in and remain in the relational will of God by repentance and faith in Christ alone (Acts 3:19; 20:21). Peter was rescued again or re-converted after sinning (Lk. 22:31-32). James 5:19-20 speaks of restoring or rescuing a perishing brother who errs into sin and spiritual death (James 5:19-20). Spiritual death is separation from God through sin and must be restored to re-establish the relationship (1 Jn. 1:6-10).
If we are truly abiding in Him, which is essential to salvation (Jn. 15:1-5), we will be delivered from sinning perpetually and if we do sin, we repent and forsake that which God says displeases Him.
“He that covereth (tries to hide) his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
For a deep and thorough study of this fascinating topic, get the book Lie of the Ages.
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