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You may be asking yourself, “How can I be saved for all time and end up not saved at all?” That’s a fair question, and the answer is that the “Once Saved, Always Saved” teaching is a lie.
From this point I will write “once saved, always saved” as OSAS.
Here’s the reason why I say this: first off, I think we can agree that someone who doesn’t repent of their sins will continue to sin. And, as far as salvation is concerned, we all sin but those are unrepentant will not be able to be saved. The Bible is clear that God will not forgive someone who sins over and over because they choose to sin rather than to obey.
Messiah died so that we can have a shot at salvation, and the first step in gaining salvation is to repent of our sins and desire to sin no more, which in Hebrew is called T’shuvah. After we repent, if we haven’t already accepted Yeshua as our Messiah, that is the next step. The third step is to ask forgiveness in Yeshua’s name by means of his sacrifice, and the last step is to go forth from that point working out your salvation through learning God’s word (all of it- from Genesis to Revelation) and obeying it as best as you can.
That’s how salvation is gained, in a nutshell.
OK, Steve- I get it. That’s how we are saved, but that doesn’t tell me why OSAS is a lie. After all, that is what many Christians have been told is how it works. We have been told, “Yeshua died for your sins which were all nailed to the Cross” (Colossians 2:14), so why should I worry anymore?
Here’s why: the sins that were nailed to the Cross were only the ones that you already had performed. In the days when crucifixion was the standard punishment, above the head of the one being crucified was a list of the crimes against them. So, when your sins were nailed to the Execution Stake along with the Messiah, it was only those sins (crimes) that you had committed up to that point in time. The sins that you do AFTER your T’shuvah and AFTER you receive forgiveness are not automatically forgiven. That is the lie of OSAS.
Salvation is irrevocable, which means that no one can take it away but it does NOT mean that we can’t lose it by throwing it away ourselves.
If someone believes that their sins are automatically forgiven, which is the very foundation of OSAS, then when they sin (which we all do and cannot stop doing) they will believe these new sins are already forgiven. That is what OSAS tells us; however, the truth is that the sins we commit are being listed against us until such time as we ask forgiveness. And we must ask forgiveness for every sin we commit, which (as you may recall from earlier) starts with our T’shuvah. And without T’shuvah, which is the first step in receiving forgiveness, there can be no forgiveness.
When someone believes that their sins are automatically forgiven, they will continue to act as they always have with no regrets, with no worries and thereby without repentance. We just go along on our merry way, doing whatever we do confident in knowing that when we screw up we are automatically forgiven.
And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the danger of the OSAS lie- it removes our accountability for having sinned, and thereby our responsibility to obey God.
Salvation must be worked through- it is a gift from God, it is his Grace to us, but just like any gift that is given we can lose it. If you believe that because Yeshua died for your sins you are automatically forgiven, you are in BIG trouble and need to get on your knees right this second and ask God for forgiveness.
God understands that you have been taught by those you trust something that is wrong, but he has told all of us what he considers to be right, and just like when you tell a cop that you didn’t know what the speed limit was, when you tell God you didn’t know OSAS was a lie, you will get the same answer: ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.