ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED?
#4 in Series entitled “Grace Works!”
by Pastor Richard Tow
May 1, 2016
Text: Hebrews 10:23-31
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Description: This is the fourth sermon is in the series, Grace Works! The message wrestles with the question, “Can a Christian lose his or her salvation?” Pastor Richard walks the congregation through his own personal journey with this issue. The message deals with both assurances and warnings in the Bible concerning the security of the believer.
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A. One saved, always saved?
Is that true or can a Christian lose his salvation? I do not give a quick yes or no answer.
B. The extremes get us into trouble!
(Arminianism verses Calvinism)
Importance of receiving word just as it comes to us in Scripture verses defending a theological system.
C. Tension of truth in Bible that often challenges our thinking. A few examples:
> Sovereignty of God verses Freewill of Man
> Love of God verses Wrath of God
> Mercy verses Justice Rom 11:22 “consider the goodness and severity of God….”
> Assurance & Security of Believer verses Warnings & Admonitions to the Believer.
D. Share my personal journey on the security of the believer: three stages.
Stage I: My first church experience was in very legalistic Pentecostal church.
A. Performance gap between what we should do and what we do.
Joseph Cooke identifies three responses to that gap that do not work.
(1) Lower the requirements.
(2) Grit your teeth and Try Harder!
(3) Throw in the towel and simply say, “Forget it; I can’t do this.”
My first church, they didn’t tell us how to do it; they just told us we had better do it!
So I kept trying harder. I believed that if I sinned I would lose my salvation.
B. Then one day I was reading James 2:10
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (KJV).
If a sin causes me to lose my salvation, this is going to be at least a daily occurrence.
Catholic Church added non-biblical distinction of mortal sins verses venial sins.
I began to see that committing a sin cannot be the criteria for losing one’s salvation.
Stage II. Then I went to a Calvinistic church.
A. Begin to establish me in grace.
2 Thess. 2:16-17 comfort and assurance.
Rom 5:8-10 “…much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
Rom 8:29-30 “…these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”.
B. God has Provided Everything We Need to Succeed (2 Peter 1:3)
>“The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.”
> “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1 NIV).
> Heb. 12:7-11 “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons
> John 10:27-29 “My sheep… no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
> 1 Cor 3:13-15 “… but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (KJV).
So I became established in grace.
The assurances & consolations in Scripture helped be to become more established & steadfast.
Stage III. I began to wrestle with some verses hard to explain under a “once saved, always saved”
> Jude talks about people who are “twice dead.”
> Paul talks about people who depart from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1).
> 2 Peter 2:19-22 “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is
worse for them than the beginning….”
> 1 Cor. 10 Paul used Israel’s experience to warn Christians
B. Heb. 10:22-25 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering… 26 For if we sin willfully after
we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a
certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries…. 29 Of
how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of
God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and
insulted the Spirit of grace?….” >Can a Christian lose his salvation?
This is talking about someone who has “received the knowledge of the truth.” (Heb. 6:4-5).
C. So where is the line in which a believer can lose his salvation?
Three actions in Heb. 10:29.
> Key element is rejection of the covenant relationship with God.
Notice the phrase “in Christ” or “through Christ” in these verses.
> Security found in a posture of faith.
Rom 11:19-22 “… and you stand by faith….”
> So I believe in the security of the believer.
When we are born again we came under the covenant of Christ.
Grace is a powerful influence to keep us in relationship with God.
Is possibility of Christian willfully rejecting Christ and His covenant and being eternally lost.
For that reason we cannot say “once saved, always saved.”
> We can say with Paul, “…I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I
have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Tim 1:12).
1. Do you believe a Christian can lose his salvation? What would be the cause?
2. Do you believe Christians get chastened for their sins? What is the purpose of the chastening?
3. Should a Christian be able to rest in his relationship with God because of grace?
4. What is God saying to you this morning?