There are many sincere people that have been taught that once one is redeemed by the blood of Christ, it is impossible for him to sin and be lost eternally. Is this what the Bible teaches? Let us examine the question, "Does the Bible teach that once man is saved, he is always saved?"
In 1 Cor. 15:34 Paul writes, "Awake to righteousness, and sin not." Again to the Ephesians he writes, "Be angry, and sin not" (Eph. 4:26). Paul, writing to Christians in the church at Corinth (1 Cor. 1:2) and the saints at Ephesus (1:1), warns the saints (Christians) that they could sin, and he admonished them to be careful to sin not! Paul's teaching, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is clear that it is possible for Christians to sin.
The answer is sometimes offered, "Well, of course man will sin, but the grace of God will take care of that." In Romans the question is asked, "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" The answer follows, "God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein" (Rom. 6: 1,2). Yes it is possible to sin, but Christians are not to live in sin. Again in 1 Cor. 10:12, Paul reminds the Corinthians about the apostasy that occurred among the children of Israel He then tells the Christians at Corinth to remember this example. Why? Because Paul says, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall". Why would Paul warn them about falling and remind them of the failures of Israel if it was impossible to fall?
In Acts 8, we read of Simon, a sorcerer in Samaria, who had heard and obeyed the gospel. He was interested and wanted to be involved in the kingdom. But when Peter and John came and laid hands on the Samaritans so that they could receive the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, Simon desired to have this same power. He offered Peter money to receive the gift. Peter responded to Simon's request by telling him that he had sinned and that in order to not perish, he must repent and pray for forgiveness. We see here that Simon, in sinning after having received the grace of God, stood in a condemned position if he did not correct his standing before God.
The position of "Once Saved, Always Saved" may bring comfort and consolation to many individuals. However, the truth of the matter is that the Word of God does not teach this and many souls will be eternally lost because of accepting this teaching.
By David A. Cox in Gospel Power, Vol. 14, No. 35, Sept. 2, 2007.
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