Wednesday 19 August 2015


When you believe in eternal security, that is ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ (OSAS), you are saying that whatever you do or fail to do after you have been saved will NOT affect your eternal destiny. In effect, you are implying that you do not need to be morally responsible or be accountable to God. Is such a mindset compatible with scriptures? 

There are many comforting verses that reassure us that eternal security—also known as ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ (OSAS)—is true.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 1:24).

Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) will bring everything to successful completion for believers. He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

Can anything ever separate us from the love of God once we have been saved? “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Election and predestination—that God sovereignly chose believers to be His children and lavished upon them His forgiveness and grace—is a most comforting truth because it implies that we cannot add anything more to what God has done (Ephesians 1: 4-7).

Furthermore, believers have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, “who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

No doubt the above references are clearly in favour of eternal security. However, these verses are valid only up till a certain point. Can we say that they are true in every case without any exception?

When you believe in ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ (OSAS), you are saying that whatever you do or fail to do after you have been saved will NOT affect your eternal destiny. In effect, you are implying that you do not need to be morally responsible or be accountable to God. Is such a mindset compatible with scriptures?

Some point out that God will never forsake believers and that nothing will ever separate us from His love (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20, Romans 8: 38-39).

But has this ever crossed our minds? God may not leave us but we can walk away from God. For it takes two to tango.


I too once believed that it is not possible for believers to lose their salvation—that believers can rest in the comforting assurance of eternal security.

But when challenged to answer the following questions, I am forced to reconsider my stance:

1.    Can Christians who willfully continue living in sin be saved?  **

2.    Can Christians who deny God be saved?

3.    Can Christians who commit apostasy (give up on their faith) be saved?

4.    Can Christians who take the mark of the beast be saved?

Let us consider each question in turn.

Can Christians who willfully continue living in sin be saved?

God’s chosen people were destroyed after their exodus from Egypt because they did not believe in God and sinned. This falling away, according to the apostle Paul, serves as a warning to believers that they need to persevere in their faith in order that they might not be destroyed.     

But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
(Jude 1:5)

Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
(1 Corinthians 10:6-12)

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
(Hebrews 10:26-27)

But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.
(Ezekiel 18: 24-25)

Can Christians who deny God be saved?

Many of us think it is highly unlikely that genuine Christians will deny God except under extremely trying circumstances—like when a gun barrel is pointed at one’s head. However, it is possible for true believers to deny Christ because God gave every man a free will.

The predisposing factor for believers to deny God is their sinful nature. While there is no sin that God’s grace and mercy cannot avail, we must not swing to the other extreme and underestimate the reality of our inner nature.

"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Some claim that those who deny Christ were never really converted in the first place, I am truly puzzled. How are we going to reconcile this misguided stance with the evidence from scriptures, biblical examples and contemporary examples that show that it is possible for believers to deny God?

“If we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself”
(2 Timothy 2:12-13)

“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:9-13).

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).

Can Christians who commit apostasy be saved?

These are born again believers who later choose to give up on God. What is their eternal fate? Let’s look at what scriptures have to say concerning those who have once had all the characteristics of true believers.

For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. For land which has drunk the rain that often falls upon it, and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed; its end is to be burned.
(Hebrews 6: 4-8)

“For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them”
(2 Peter 2:20-21)

Can Christians who take the mark of the beast be saved?

During the Great Tribulation, the antichrist will unleash his wrath on believers. Many will have to choose between their allegiance to God or their survival. Why? It is because no one can buy or sell unless they choose to receive the antichrist’s mark of the beast.

Believers who choose God and refuse the mark might die of starvation or get killed by the antichrist. Conversely, those who choose survival by taking the mark will face everlasting damnation.

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
(Revelation 14:9-10)

After considering the above questions and examining the answers found in scriptures, I am prepared to drop the eternal security premise once and for all.

Let this ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ (OSAS) premise sink to the deepest ocean, Challenger Deep, which is the deep water off the Marianas Islands. If you cut Mount Everest off at sea level and put it at the bottom of the Challenger Deep, there would still be over a mile of water over the top of the peak.

If we just focus on the references given in the top half of this article (above references), it would seem that OSAS is true. But once we reflect on the four questions and their answers, we will have to come to the inescapable verdict that OSAS is a false doctrine that mollycoddles believers with a comforting but highly misleading promise.

We often think we are right until another viewpoint is presented: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17).

Assurance of salvation is a promise of God (Romans 8:38-39, John 3:16, John 1:12, 1 John 5:12). But let’s not take God for granted—willfully live in sin, deny God, commit apostasy or take the mark of the beast—and insist on the validity of the ‘feel good' teaching, eternal security or OSAS.


Many will lose faith in God during these perilous and tumultuous end times. Is this is a fact or a figment of someone’s imagination?

God may not leave us but we can walk away from God. It takes two to tango.

In light of the pressure faced by persecuted Christians in the Middle East, this is an important question that needs to be asked.



Those who think they can just say the sinner’s prayer once upon a time and then live a sinful lifestyle on account of the OSAS premise would be in for a rude shock on judgment day.

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.
(Ephesians 5:5-6)

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.
(Colossians 3:5-6)

When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? 
(Ezekiel 18: 26, 29)

But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
(Revelation 21:8)


Shocking declarations by renowned Bible teacher and author, David Pawson
Jesus says no one can snatch believers out from His hand (John 10:28) but He also says if believers do not abide in Him, they are thrown away like a branch and burned (John 15:6). The names of believers are written in the Book of Life but, if they fail to overcome, their names can be blotted out (Revelation 3:5). In fact, there are 80 passages warning believers that they can lose their salvation.

He shoots it down like a man with a machine gun. Good for those who do not like to read or study.

Solid meat. Hard sayings. Many will rationalise that Hebrews 6: :4-8 does not refer to believers; they were unregenerate in the first place. Is it so?

How it is accelerating and how it relates to the return of Jesus.


For a quick overview:

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