There is some truth to the "once saved always saved" belief, although there are several doctrines called "once saved always save" or "eternal security." Neither of these terms are in Scripture. They are theological constructs that require some assumptions in most cases. Assumptions have zero truth value. Some of these doctrines are dangerous because of the errors in them. The problem always comes in when someone goes beyond the Scripture or denies some Scripture. Most of the time, when someone adds to Scripture in one area, they deny other parts of Scripture. Such is the case with some of the "once saved always saved" theologies. It would be hard to understand how a Christian who believes some of the extreme "once saved always saved" theologies could also have an understanding of the basics of the Gospel.
There are many Scriptures that plainly teach that we can fall away from God. With some "once saved always saved" doctrines, the teachers of the doctrine ask, "What sin could a person possibly do to lose his or her salvation?" And the answer to that question is obvious--there is no sin that will take away your salvation. In fact, that question misses the entire point of the message of the Bible. The way people lose their salvation is by walking away from God of their own will until they can no longer hear God's voice. You may have also watched with sadness as some people have done this.
Hebrews 2:1-4 1Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that heard him; 4God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
Some of the "once saved always saved" doctrines have some flaws that are even more basic than the fact that they are in conflict with the many Scriptures that plainly teach that we can fall away from God. ("Born Again" Article with Links to Questions and Answers)
From here forward on this page, when "theological security distortion" is mentioned, it only refers to certain extreme versions of this theological theory.
"Once saved always saved" or "eternal security," as a belief, does have some things right. In the event that we do something that is not of faith, we are covered by the blood of Jesus and forgiven. This is true. This is a perpetual covering because of our family status with God. We don't have to get born again again if we sin. The teachers of "once saved always saved" have that part right. There are all manner of strange extra-biblical beliefs regarding Christians who sin after they are born again. Some of these extra-biblical teachings are so cruelly wrong that they have been called spiritual abuse.
The "once saved always saved" belief is largely a defense against some of these strange beliefs that are also not Biblical. The "once saved always saved" theology points out that there are other beliefs that claim that we can earn our salvation through doing good works, and "once saved always saved" Christians are correct to point out that we cannot earn our salvation through doing good works. The "once saved always saved" teachers will point out that there are some who think that they become un-born-again if they commit a sin or if they commit a lot of sins or if they do something very, very wrong. It may seem strange to anyone who knows the truth of God's Word, but there are such extra-biblical beliefs out there, and it is good to point out that these strange beliefs do not come from the Holy Spirit. It is true that some people believe such things. Those beliefs are not Christian beliefs. That is true.
Some people apply the term, "works righteousness," to those who try to self-generate righteousness. However, the term, "works righteousness," is a misnomer. This practice of trying to generate good works by human effort should rather be called self-righteousness or self-generated righteousness. God has nothing against righteousness. We are called to righteousness. We are saved to righteousness. We are saved from sin. Self-generated righteousness is sin, however.
The teachers of "once saved always saved" will also point out, and rightly so, that We cannot make up for our past, present, or future sins by doing good works. That is true. In fact, all the points that the "once saved always saved" teachers make are true. They point out many errors in the hopes of knocking down every other theory down so that their theory can be correct. The fact that these other man-made ideas are not of God is indisputable, but that misses the point completely.
The idea of "theological security distortion" is a highly leveraged belief system based on Scripture, logic, and a lack of understanding of the difference between being born again and being saved along with a lack of understanding of some other basic concepts of the Gospel. The teachings of "theological security distortion" also misunderstand all the Scriptures that speak of works. It is disturbing to see Christians disrespect those Scriptures related to works as if they were not valid Scriptures. It is always wrong to say that certain Scriptures don't really apply any more. Yet, "once saved always saved" is believed mostly by people who claim to believe all of the Bible. The "theological security distortion" believers believe the Bible, but don't seem to understand some parts of the Bible.
Let's list some of the concepts of Scripture that the "theological security distortions" Christians don't understand.
- Theological security distortions Christians don't understand being born again is just the start.
- Theological security distortions Christians don't understand salvation is an all-encompassing word that is almost always used in the future tense when speaking to Christians in the Bible.
- Theological security distortions Christians don't understand works and righteousness are the free gift of salvation--not something that we try to do to show that we are thankful for being saved.
- Theological security distortions Christians don't understand grace is the power of God to do good works through us.
- Theological security distortions Christians don't understand faith is a supernatural belief in what God is saying at each moment, and it is perpetually renewed and increased in the heart of the Christian.
- Theological security distortions Christians don't understand what God is doing and how God is doing it.
Let's look at those points in detail.
Theological security distortions Christians don't understand being born again. Being born again is the first step toward salvation. Salvation is comprehensive, spirit, soul/mind, and body. It starts in our spirits when we are born again by grace through faith, when our spirits are joined to the Holy Spirit and we are seated in heavenly places. (read more)
Theological security distortions Christians don't understand salvation. Salvation continues after we have been born again by grace though faith, moment by moment, as we walk from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Our spiritual senses improve. The veil of our fleshly mind is somewhat removed from us day by day. Now, this is incomplete, but one day it will be complete. Salvation continues by grace and through faith from faith to faith. The path of the just is as a shining light that shines more and more until the perfect (totally complete) day (Proverbs). The entire creation is on tip toes waiting for the adoption (setting of mature sons into rulership positions), the redemption of our bodies. That is why we are told not to be conformed to this world but to be transfigured by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12) As all of this is happening, and as part of this process, the Church is being built according to the pattern of Scripture and coming into unity. Those who are found faithful will take part in the first resurrection. (Rev. 20:6) They will arise in such unity with the Father and the Son and each other by the Holy Spirit that they will be one totally complete man, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4) (read more)
Theological security distortions Christians don't understand faith. Faith is a supernatural belief. It is not based on nothing. It is based on hearing God's voice. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by an utterance of God. It is God's faith that God gives to us. We cannot work it up. We can only receive it by drawing close to God and receiving it. It is not rationalized faith, which has no power at all to save or do anything else. (read more)
Theological security distortions Christians don't understand grace. Grace means, literally, free gift. Forgiveness is a free gift. Faith is a free gift too, but God had to start somewhere. Since we had no place to start or find a way in, He gave us of His own faith. Righteousness is a free gift. (read more) Grace is the power of God for righteousness, holiness, and redemption. (read more)
Theological security distortions Christians don't understand works and righteousness. Whatever is not of faith is sin. That is, whatever God has not led us into is sin. When we hear God's leading, His voice, faith comes. Faith gives us access into the grace of God. God's grace is the free gift of righteousness. God does His works through us if we will believe Him and allow Him to think His thoughts, say His words, and do His works through us. Should we do something that is not of faith, we are covered by the blood of Jesus and forgiven. This is a perpetual covering because of our family status with God. The teachers of "once saved always saved" have that part right. (read more)
Theological security distortions Christians don't understand what God is doing and how God is doing it. God is going to restore all things to Himself. His first step is to assemble a Body, a House, a Holy Temple. This is what the Church is--not the plastic ungodly thing that is called "the church" in the present age. God is putting together a Body that is assembled according the pattern of Scripture so that the members, the living stones, can build each other up in love as the Scripture says. (1 Cor. 12-14 & Eph. 1-4) That is why the Holy Spirit is calling, "Come out, come out of her my people that you be not partakers of her sins." God is calling those out of the dead forms and rituals. God is calling those out of the sin clubs and the entertainment clubs and the self-satisfied clubs and the self-righteous clubs and the social project clubs and all the other clubs that are falsely called "churches." They can do a lot of things, but they can never bring the sons of God into the glory that God intends for His own. Some, perhaps only a few, will ever hear the voice of the Father. The ungodly fake church is very loud and declares it rationalizations for continuing as it continues. (read more)
So, while the "theological security distortions" Christians do have some understanding, they miss God's ultimate way because of adding to the Scripture and taking from the Scripture.
Last updated: Oct, 2014
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