Do you believe in “Once saved, always saved”? I am always uneasy when I am asked that question. It is not because I do not have an answer nor is it because of any uncertainty regarding my answer. I think the Bible is very clear, both in the gospels and the epistles, regarding the answer to that question, but all the same it just makes me uneasy.
I have tried to imagine how Paul would answer that question. Now, I am not a big fan of Paul. I enjoy his writings and all but I do not think he and I would hit it off. I would have enjoyed hanging around with Barnabas who was more easygoing, less confrontational and less driven than Paul. Anyway, as I imagine Paul being asked this question, I see him being less than happy about the question.
This is a bit ironic, for his writings are those which can easily lead one to an affirmative response to that question, yet I don’t see Paul answering, “Yes, once saved, always saved, now run away convinced of your eternal security in Christ.” No, I see Paul saying, “What the blazes (instead of blazes I would not be surprised if Paul used another word- a word like Hades, but not Hades if you catch my drift) are you talking about! Once saved, always saved…you have got to be kidding! Where did you ever get such an idea? Christianity isn’t a Roman country club you join and that’s the end of it. “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling”, Paul would say. "You must continually discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness, pressing on and straining forward, buffeting your body, running to win, working hard and not getting caught up in everyday (civilian) affairs, remembering always your struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
"Once saved, always saved-that’s rich! Are you still here? Go now…I have answered your question.”
As I look at the teachings of the Bible I must admit at times I am tempted to act like I am at a Chinese restaurant choosing which offerings I will order while ignoring all other offerings. I want the certainty of eternal security while ignoring all the other writings that indicate the need to work at and in my faith. I want words of comfort, soothing words, rather than marching orders. Once saved, always saved. I don’t have time for such ponderings…I am running to win, I am putting on the full armor of God, I am in strict training, I am pressing on to know Christ, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death and somehow seeking to attain the resurrection from the dead, and through it all remembering, “I am saved by grace and I can do nothing apart from Christ.” Praise be to God. I am God’s and God is mine, for my life is hidden in Christ and that will never change.
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