Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Once Saved, Always Saved...Maybe

Cruising Slice of Laodicea this morning, I came across a link to this "advertisement" on Robert Schuller's website for a free ticket to heaven. According to the website, the ticket reads:

Each card says simply this: "Anyone who comes to Me, I will in no way cast them out" (the words of Jesus Christ). Beneath Jesus' beautiful invitation into a relationship with Him, you may accept by signing your name. Once you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, it's guaranteed that, in that day in which there is no sunset and no dawning, He will open His arms and receive you with a loving embrace that can only come from Him.

There is no mention of repentance, changed life, obedience, etc. Just sign the card and you're in. Sounds pretty simple; sounds pretty easy. It sounds a lot like what many people think "once saved, always saved" means. You get "saved" and then you're "in" for life.

I used to attend a church that taught a person could lose their salvation; they were very quick to point out the Baptists that believed "once saved, always saved" and lived like heathens. And yet, I never knew a one of them that had ever experienced losing their salvation. In fact, those I asked couldn't recall anyone that had lost their salvation, and then "found it" again. But they believed it could happen. They defended the doctrine; some even taught it. But no one had ever experienced or seen it.

I even knew some--still know a few--that live(d) liked they'd never been saved. No changed life, no changed heart, no love for Christ, His church, God's Word, God's people...you get the point. They've hung their hat on the fact that they signed a card, were baptized, and/or made a public confession. If that doesn't sound like that same thing they chided the Baptists for, well then, I just don't' know...

I believe the doctrine of "once saved, always saved" aka Perseverance of the Saints or Security of the Believer. I believe that genuinely saved people are secure in their salvation and that God would never revoke their salvation, nor could they. I believe that a genuinely saved person will LOOK and ACT like a person whom God has saved. Their "heart of stone" will become a "heart of flesh" (Eze 36:26) I believe the words of Jesus: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." (John 10:27-29)

It's not original with me, but actually, I prefer "IF saved, always saved." Those God genuinely saves, He keeps for all of eternity...whether they are carrying a "ticket to heaven" or not.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Good thoughts. I think it is impossible to refute John 10 with regard to this subject. At least for a logically consistent perosn.