I grew up in churches that taught that once a person accepts Jesus as their Saviour, they are forever His child. I heard this statement often…”once saved, always saved.” But is that teaching biblical? Is once saved always saved in the Bible?
You may be wondering that very same thing? For many reasons. Maybe you grew up in a church that taught the opposite. That people can be saved, then sin and lose their salvation. So which is it? Can we, or can we not, lose our salvation?
This is such a fundamental issue of Christianity and a point of confusion for so many. I pray the Lord will help you settle this in your heart today as you read further. Or, if you already know what the Bible says about this, that the Lord will give you something in this post to use to help someone else who is struggling to understand the truth about this teaching.
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What Denominations Believe Once Saved Always Saved?
Denominations debate over the doctrine once saved always saved vs losing salvation. There are so many that do not believe in once saved always saved, also known as the eternal security of the believer, that it is easier to answer the question, What denominations do believe once saved always saved?”
As far as I can tell only the Baptists and Presbyterians believe in the eternal security of the believer. Teaching that salvation never has or had anything to do with our own goodness or good works.
If you know of others who teach and believe once saved always saved, please comment below and let us know. I know there are other groups that aren’t recognized among the main denominations who also believe in eternal security.
But for the most part besides the Presbyterians, the other Protestant denominations, such as Lutherans and Episcopalians, do not teach the doctrine of eternal security. Nor do other groups such as Pentecostals, Catholics, Weslyans, Church of Christ, Church of God, etc.
Is Once Saved Always Saved in the Bible?
With so many churches and groups not believing in eternal security, some may conclude that the few must be wrong. However, God warns us about going with the crowd. Telling us, in fact, that the crowd are headed to destruction.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14
But no matter who says or believes what, it matters only what scripture says. So, is once saved, always saved in the Bible? The quick answer is that the actual phrase “once saved, always saved” is not in the Bible. So, where did once saved always saved come from? Is it biblical?
Once Saved Always Saved Bible Verses
Many scriptures support the doctrine of eternal security of the believer, or what many have called, “once saved, always saved.” These verses show clearly that once a person is saved, they cannot lose their salvation. Here are a few.
- Romans 8:38-39
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
When God says nothing can separate us, His children, from His love, then we can be certain that nothing can!
And furthermore, “any other creature” includes ourselves. I, therefore, cannot do anything that will separate me from God’s love! I am His. Period.
- Ephesians 4:30
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30
The Holy Spirit comes into the heart and life of a person the moment they believe on Jesus as their Saviour. And seals that soul as belonging to God.
Until when? Until we commit a certain sin, or a certain number of sins? No. We are sealed by God the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption, the day we leave this sinful flesh and enter Heaven!
- John 5:24
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24
Notice the present tense of these verbs, “hath,” meaning has, and “is.” This tells us that the moment a person believes on Jesus as Saviour, they HAVE everlasting life and ARE passed from death to life. Everlasting life is our present possession. We receive it the moment we are saved. It is not something that starts once we leave this life.
And notice something else. This new life in Christ is EVER lasting. It lasts forever. So by the very nature of eternal life, it never ends. Once begun it lasts forever. Eternal life is not temporary.
Therefore, once someone has it (upon their faith in Christ for salvation), it’s a done deal. They can not ever be dead again! And will NEVER again be in danger of eternal death, or separation from God. They are eternally alive in Christ and on their way to Heaven! Period.
- John 10:27-29
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:27-29
Jesus here refers to those who are saved as His sheep to whom He gives eternal life. Then, just so we don’t miss it, He says, “and they shall never perish.”
Jesus said “never.” Which tells me that it is impossible for anyone who is saved to one day lose their salvation and then die and perish in hell forever.
- John 6:37
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37
Jesus promises that there is nothing that would cause Him to cast out one of His own! We are eternally secure in Him who loved us and died for us!
- Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Besides the above, and many other verses I could list, the biggest proof of eternal security is found in the very way we obtain salvation.
There are two ways generally believed for gaining salvation. One, by faith in Jesus alone. And the other, by faith in Jesus plus some added work(s), such as baptism, membership in a particular church, and/or other good works, aka living right.
Only one of those two can be right. According to Ephesians 2:8-9, and over 100 other verses I could cite, faith in Jesus without any added works on our part is the way of salvation. (John 14:6) It’s not Jesus plus. Jesus IS the way.
Good works are important for us as Christians to be in close fellowship with God, but they cannot save anyone. (Ephesians 2:10)
In fact, salvation is a gift. It cannot be earned, else it is no longer a gift. Therefore, doing good works cannot save us. Our best efforts at doing good are all as filthy rags before the eyes of our Holy God. (Isaiah 64:6) And since good works can’t save us to begin with, they aren’t going to be able to keep us saved, either.
By God’s design our salvation depends solely upon the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. Not on what we do or don’t do in our walk with Him as a Christian!
Amazing Facts About Once Saved Always Saved
Many believe that “once saved, always saved” is false, yet there are some amazing facts that show otherwise.
- No one in scripture is ever saved more than once!
Many, too many, believe that a person can lose their salvation. Which has led many to simply give up, knowing full well they’ve already sinned. I mean, if you think about it, why would anyone even try when they know there’s no way of being able to keep themselves saved?
But most of the churches that teach that someone can lose their salvation also teach that a person can be saved again. Even in the face of a glaring absence of any example in the Bible of God saving and re-saving anyone! (Hebrews 6:6)
But, praise God, we are kept by the power of God, not by our own efforts to live a righteous life! (1 Peter 1:5)
- To lose our salvation, we or someone else, would have to be stronger than God!
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.John 10:28
No one can take us out of the Father’s hand! No one. That includes ourselves! No one is stronger than God. I know I certainly would not claim to be.
- To lose our salvation, God would have to have lied!
But that is impossible! God cannot lie. (Titus 1:2) What He says, He does.
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;Titus 1:2
Eternal life is the present possession of those who believe only on Jesus for their salvation. God’s promise of eternal life is sure and steadfast and cannot end!
- To lose our salvation, God would have to not be all-powerful!
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.1 Peter 1:5
We are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” (1 Peter 1:5) Therefore, for us to lose our salvation would mean that God’s power was not quite strong enough. Yet, we are told that God is omnipotent, or all-powerful!
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.Revelation 19:6
Nothing can defeat our God for even a nanosecond!
You, dear child of God, are secure in His keeping.
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Once Saved Always Saved Objections Answered
Those who object to the doctrine of once saved always saved feel that this belief would lead Christians to think that they can live any way they choose and still have a “free ride” to Heaven.
However, those who know Jesus in truth have a changed heart and the conviction of the Holy Spirit guiding them in their walk with God. Born-again believers have a desire to live to please their Saviour. Not to see how much they can get away with.
However, believers can and do still sin. And are chastened, or corrected, by the Lord. (Hebrews 12:5-11) But never rejected by Him! (Romans 8:38-39) To believe otherwise is to believe that God can lie! And again, that cannot be. (Titus 1:2)
It is important to understand that not everyone who calls themselves a “Christian” is actually a born-again believer. Such as someone who once professed to be a Christian who later rejects the Christian faith and denies Christ. (2 John 1:9)
And those who remain in a sinful, unrepentant lifestyle are likely not born again believers, either. But only God and that person can know this for sure.
This doctrine does not give a license to sin, but rather freedom from the enslaving fear of condemnation. It frees God’s children to enjoy peace with Him. And our sure hope in Christ leads us to serve Him out of love and thankfulness rather than fear and dread. (1 John 4:18)
1 Peter 1:5 is one of my favorite once saved always saved verses. Enjoy these Free phone lock screens as a reminder of your eternal security in Christ!
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And keep drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT
Do you believe in once saved always saved? Why or why not? Please remember to be kind in your response.
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