The “once saved, always saved” belief is very prevalent in the religious world today. It carries the idea that once one receives salvation they can never lose it no matter what they do or don’t do. But is it truly a Scriptural concept? Let’s go to the Bible and note what some inspired writers had to say on the subject. What do they know about “once saved, always saved”?
If we are always saved no matter what, Paul did not know it. In Gal. 5:4, he reminded those who were mixing in elements of the Old Law with Christianity that they had fallen out of God’s grace.
If we are always saved no matter what, the Hebrew writer did not know it. In chapter 2 and verse 1, he reminded Christians that if they do not pay attention to their lifestyle, they could drift away. He adds in verse 3 of the same chapter that if we neglect our salvation, we will not escape God’s judgment.
If we are always saved no matter what, James did not know it. He clearly indicated that Christians can wander from the truth, and in that state they are spiritually dead (Jas. 5:19-20).
If we are always saved no matter what, Peter did not know it. He dramatically penned as a warning what would happen to Christians who went back to the world after obeying the gospel – it would be worse for them that if they had never believed in the first place (2 Pet. 2:20-22).
If we are always saved no matter what, John did not know it. 2 John 9 declares that it is possible for a Christian to stop abiding in the doctrine of Christ, and in that state has transgressed and no longer has God in his life.
Where did they all get this concept that we can fall away from Christ and be lost? They got it from Christ Himself. In John 15:5-6, Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit...If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (Note: the phrase “does not abide” in the Greek indicates “does not continue to abide”).