"Once Saved Always Saved"

Eternal Security of the believer, or “once saved, always saved” (OSAS) is a hotly debated topic among some Christians. Is it possible to lose your salvation? One of the tenets of Calvinism is “Perseverance of the saints:” the belief that a true Christian will never completely turn their back on God. This goes hand-in-hand with the debate about predestination vs. free-will. If we chose God, it would make sense that we could change our minds. If God chose us, then He is not likely to let us go.

Originally posted 9/22/04 at bibleforums.org:

Q: Is it necessary to be “right” on the OSAS issue in order to be saved? In other words, can you truly be saved if your understanding of salvation is wrong?

This is not an attempt to determine which side is right, but to put the debate in perspective, and determine how significant of an issue it is.

A: I do not believe it’s necessary to fully understand how salvation works in order to be saved. If I’m drowning and someone offers to pull me out of the water, it’s not that important to me to understand how the rope is constructed and what kind of footing they have; I’m just going to grab onto the rope and let them pull me in. I think staunch OSAS believers and people who are strongly opposed to OSAS can both be saved.

I believe in OSAS. I believe the majority of Biblical evidence supports this doctrine. I think it’s worth exploring the issue because it reveals something about God’s character and how He operates. However, in some sense, I think the whole debate misses the point. The point is not WHEN you got saved, be it the first time you accepted Jesus as Savior or the most recent time you asked for forgiveness; the important thing is that you are following Jesus. Our goal shouldn’t be to cross the starting line; our goal is to cross the finish line, and that requires making steady progress towards the finish line by following Jesus. Some people can’t nail their salvation down to a specific point in time; it may have been a long process that got them started running the race. At some point in time, they “crossed the starting line” and God knows when that was, but it’s not really that important to us. The important thing to us is that we continue to run the race.

Originally posted 12/12/2004 on bibleforums.org:

I believe that once we respond to God’s call, our Good Shepherd keeps us in His flock. I see value in debating eternal security as a study of God’s character, but very little value in the debate over how it affects us. As far as we are concerned, the question of whether we were “really saved in the first place” or need to “get saved again” is not worth discussing. The only question that matters is “are you following Jesus?” If not, you need to start following Him. Whether you turn and walk His way for the 1st time or 50th time is insignificant.