One Bill Foster, a denominational preacher in the 1950s, stated in March 1952 of the Weekly Informer. He said, “If I killed my wife and mother and debauched a thousand women, I couldn’t go to hell.” He proceeded to say, “I couldn’t go to Hell if I wanted to.”
Inside this blog, we examine the questions like:
- Is once saved always saved?
- Does it matter what I do even though I am righteous?
- Since I’m righteous, will I go to heaven regardless of what I do?
It is true, we established in our last blog post that we are righteous in Christ even when we sin. But does it mean we can do whatever we want and not be held accountable? Is once saved always saved? Are there things we do or don’t do to endanger our salvation?
Bill Foster alongside other proponents of the ‘Once Saved Always Saved’ doctrine believes that the righteousness of Christ is without repentance (Romans 11:29) and because the righteousness of God is a gift that is not earned with works. Once a person is saved, they are always saved. What do you think? Is this scripturally sound?
In this blog post, I share what I’m learning in the form of four (4) statements drawn from scriptures. These questions both test and substantiate a professing Christian’s eternal salvation.
Can you and I do whatever we like because we are righteous in Christ? Paul answers this question in Romans 6 :1. He asks, “Shall we continue in sin that God’s kindness and grace will increase? What a terrible thought! Certainly not
“Don’t you realize” Paul continues in verse 15 “that grace frees you to choose your own master?
Therefore, the first question.
1. Who is your Master, Sin or Obedience?
For if you choose to love sin, it will become your master and it will own you and reward you with death. But if you choose to love and obey God, He will lead you into perfect righteousness. The devil is the father of those who choose to continue in their sin John 8:44.
2. Is faith expressing itself in love?
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not acted upon, is dead. James 2:14 -17
Also if someone says, “I love God yet hate a brother, he is a liar. For if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 1 John 4:20.
Would you love a person and not want to please them? Would you love God and not want to please Him? Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commands”. John 14:15. Therefore, our love walk gives credence to our faith talk. Yes, we are already righteous; legally speaking, however, our actions prove if we really believe this.
3. Is there a Desire to Grow?
A guy I met last week said, “I know that God is forgiving. I sin and just keep asking God for forgiveness” As we conversed, I realized, this guy implied he could continue to sin as long as he keeps asking God for forgiveness.
However, 1 Peter 3:15 specifically points out:
“But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord.
King James translates it this way: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. As I ponder this verse, I learn that you and I must make a practice to always revere and honour God in our hearts. Yes, God forgives us when we fall into sin and when we repent and ask for forgiveness. But carelessly offending God to ask God for forgiveness is presumptuous. Presumptuous sin assumes the mercy that God gave yesterday is what He’ll give today. When we do this, we deny the Lord Jesus (James 1:4) Presumptuous sin is fatal.
“When you stop growing,” William S. Burroughs said, “ you start dying.” Hence, the moment we accept Jesus as our saviour, the next thing we ought to do is to commit to daily growing. It’s a call to commit to daily making Jesus our Lord.
No wonder Peter tells us to desire the pure milk of the Word so we may grow thereby. (1 Peter 2:2) Growing entails increasing in our knowledge of God, and of God’s Word. It means pressing in to grow in character, and in the love of God. As we grow in the Word, we come to know God’s character and His nature. And because we know God, our love for Him will increase and we’ll want to please Him some more.
On the other hand, spiritual laziness leads to spiritual dullness and indifference towards God and His people. Those people will not inherit God’s promises according to Hebrew 6:12
4. Am I Bearing fruit?
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more according to John 15:6.
Jesus continues in vs 15: “The one who remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
To remain in God means to abide in the Word, to make quality time to feed our Spirit. Like a student preparing for a life exam, we must study, meditate, and ponder the words of the scriptures so we can faithfully love God and excellently serve our families, and our communities.
Consistently remaining in the Word results in an abundance of the fruits of Love: Joy, Peace, Joy, patience,… (Galatians 5:22). We will not be bankrupt in good works too. ( Ephesians 2:10)
Consequently, the gift of righteousness is not an excuse to continue to sin. Just as an elevator ease upward motion, in the same way, the gift of righteousness equips us to do good. God’s righteousness ignites a desire in us to be accountable before men and God.
The righteous are those who fed the hungry, invited strangers in, gave water to the thirsty, clothed the poor and visited those in prison ( Matthew 25:31-46). They are the sheep who not only declared Jesus as their saviour but who also made Jesus, the Lord of their time, their money, and their resources.
So, no! Once saved is not always saved. Once saved must always keep submitting to the Lordship of Jesus until He comes.