ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED?
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: Is the doctrine “once saved, always saved” taught in the Bible?
Answer: We have often been asked whether we are saved, and have also heard others say that they are saved. When asked what they mean, many will go on to explain that since they have accepted Jesus as their Savior, they are saved eternally, and that there is nothing that could take away their eternal salvation. It is true that accepting Jesus as one’s Savior is an important step leading toward one’s eternal salvation, a step that gives one tentative justification with all of its benefits. However, the Bible clearly teaches that further steps are necessary in order to be saved eternally. The next step following tentative justification is consecration (Romans 12: 1).
Finally, one must prove faithful to his consecration. Jesus, addressing the Church, said “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2: 10). Although this passage applies to the members of the Bride of Christ, the principle applies to everyone, regardless of the class they are in. No one will ever be granted everlasting life on any plane without attaining perfect love, an attainment that requires time and effort. Philippians 2: 12 is a passage to the point: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Furthermore, there are numerous Scriptural passages indicating that one can fail to attain everlasting life. The Apostle warns the brethren of this possibility (Hebrews 3: 7-19). Though Paul had run his Christian course well up to that point, he stated to the Corinthians that he needed to press on faithfully, lest he eventually lose out (1 Corinthians 9: 26, 27).