Sunday, October 16, 2022

Once Saved, Always Saved?

By Clifton Angel

    False. This false teaching can be traced at least back to Augustine, who lived from 354–430. It likely precedes Augustine as well, as it appears the Gnostics of the apostle John's day may have held to similar concepts (cf. 1 John 1:5–2:5). John Calvin adopted the same as Augustine and "once saved, always saved" was perhaps most popularized by John Calvin's teachings being handed down through denominations over the last several hundred years. Unfortunately, the teachings of the Gnostics, Augustine, and John Calvin stand in direct contrast with the Scriptures. Robert R. Taylor, Jr. indicates there are over 2,500 places in Scripture where the possibility of losing our salvation (apostasy) is taught.
    In an article contending for "once saved, always saved," Johnathan Newman ( says: "the Bible is very clear on this." He then proceeds to quote Augustine over and over. The only time he quotes the Bible is in the closing line of his article. Interestingly, the Scripture he cites actually contradicts his teaching of "once saved, always saved.”
    It reads: ”My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one." (John 10:28–30). There are at least 2 conditions Jesus places upon those who are followers of Him: (1) They hear His voice, and (2) They follow Him. No one ELSE can pluck you out of the hand of Jesus.
    No other person can make the decision for you to be saved or lost; you have to make that decision.
    Paul wrote to Christians in Galatia who wanted to go back to following the law of Moses: "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4). The Hebrews writer, also writing to Christians, urged his readers: "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Hebrews 4:11). The Scriptures teach that it is possible for a Christian to lose his salvation, to fall from grace, and to become unbelieving, although he once believed.
    At 2 Peter 1, we find Peter teaching what we call the "Christian graces:” Faith, Virtue, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly kindness, Love. And he goes on to say, "Wherefore ... brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall" (2 Peter 1:10). Finally, notice the verse before this one: "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." 

- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website:

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