• This is a controversial topic that has been an age long debate in Christendom
  • The Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS) argument is that once a person has been saved they can never lose their salvation, irrespective of how they live
  • Acts 20:27 (NASB) – “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God”. Some versions render this as the ‘whole counsel of God’.
  • Matthew 4:4 – “But he answered, and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”.
  • Some scriptures are used by both sides of the debate to support their argument
  • Our objective is NOT to win an argument, but to know the truth

Proponent’s Arguments/Scriptures

A Christian has eternal security. John 3:15-18; John 3:36; John 10:28-30; Romans 11:29; I John 5:10-13
Nothing can separate us from the Father. Romans 8:38-39
Our attempts at good deeds will never earn us a place in heaven. We cannot make up for our past, present, or future sins by doing good works. Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-5
Jesus will never leave us. Hebrews 13:5
Jesus will never cast us out. John 6:37
We are sealed/preserved unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30; 2 Timothy 4:18
Opponents only argue against the doctrine because they are afraid that it will promote cheap grace or a licentious lifestyle amongst believers. To believe anything other than eternal security is calling God a liar. Hebrews 6:18

Opponent’s Arguments/Scriptures

Salvation is a gift, but it is a gift that we must be diligent with. Christians are required to guard and remain with this gift (a ‘continuing’ or ‘remaining’). Mark 13:13; Matthew 24:12-13; Philippians 2:12; John 6:27 (see John 4:34); John 8:31-32; Revelation 3:11
Salvation requires us to continue believing in Jesus. There can be a departing from the faith. I Timothy 4:1; John 3:16, 18; Romans 10:9; 2 Timothy 2:12-13; Titus 2:16; Hebrews 3:12; Hebrews 10:38-39; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 21:7-8
Faith must go hand-in-hand with works. The grace that saves is that grace which equips us to do the essential good works. Titus 2:11-14 (see Hebrews 12:15); James 2:14, 17-22, 24, 26; Ephesians 2:8-10 (see Philippians 2:13); I John 2:3-7; Matthew 7:21-23; I John 3:6-10; Matthew 16:27; Revelation 2:5; Revelation 2:23; Revelation 14:12; Ezekiel 18:20-32 (see Malachi 3:6a)
Salvation requires us to remain faithful. 2 Corinthians 13:5; Hebrews 3:14; 2 John 1:8-9; Romans 11:22; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10
Salvation still requires obedience. Hebrews 5:8-9; James 1:12 (see John 14: 15, 21, 23); Hebrews 10:35-37; James 1:22; Hebrews 10:26-29
God never removes from us the power of choice – our free will. If God didn’t want us to be able to choose He would not have given us the gift of freewill. Deuteronomy 30:19; Romans 6:16
Holiness is a condition for seeing God. 1 Peter 1:16; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Peter 2:20-22; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Hebrews 6:4-6; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 2 Timothy 2:19
Names can be blotted out of the book of life. Revelation 3:2-5; Revelation 20:19; Revelation 20:15

How Can We Reconcile the Two Sides?

  • Is it safe to view the word of God ALONE and APART from the WHOLE of God’s word?
  • Are both positions two parts of the WHOLE and therefore COMPLIMENTARY?
  • Is being saved when we accept Jesus as our Saviour AND obtaining eternal life in the world to come one and the same or two distinct events?
  • Hebrews 12:2 – “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith …..” Is there a beginning (author) and ending (finisher) of our process of salvation?