One of the many wrongful teachings that Christianity has proliferated over the millennia is that we are saved because Jesus (Yeshua is His real name) died for our sins, and when we call on His name for forgiveness we are no longer under the law but under Grace and all our sins are automatically forgiven, now and forever; in other words, Once Saved, Always Saved.
Let’s think about that for a moment…….hmmmmm….so, Jesus died so my sins can be forgiven, therefore I no longer have to worry about sinning because He paid the price of my sins. I am free, I am no longer under the Law (meaning the Torah; you know, that “Jewish stuff”) and now I am guaranteed that I will go to heaven.
In other words, I’m covered. The “J-Man” has my back!
But that is not true. The “Once Saved, Always Saved” lesson actually teaches that we don’t have to try to stop sinning, and we don’t even have to be repentant. In other words, it tells people they are OK no matter what they do because forgiveness is automatic, therefore they don’t have to change.
From this point I could find many, MANY passages in the bible that confirm this to be an absolute lie from the very pit of Sheol (that’s what we Jews call “Hell”), but I won’t. Why? Because I am going to ask us all to just think it through.
CAVEAT: Just because something makes sense to a human doesn’t mean it is right with God. His understanding and knowledge is so far above ours that what we think is sensible He knows to be nonsense, and vice versa, but there are some things that make sense to us that are sensible to God, and can be confirmed in the bible. What we are about to discuss is one of those things.
Let’s start with the fact that sin is bad and we aren’t supposed to sin. No one should disagree with that. Next, we need to agree that we do sin, and that we are incapable of not sinning (if anyone disagrees with that, we have a real problem.) So, where are we? Oh, yeah- sin is bad, we aren’t supposed to sin, but we will, so what do we do when we sin? We atone, and the first step in atonement is to ask forgiveness. Without forgiveness we are stained and thereby unable to come into God’s presence, meaning we got to Hell.
Let’s take a step back for a moment….it is important to note that we have to want to atone, don’t we? That’s called repentance. When we are repentant, we are sorry for the sin we committed. Every sin is a sin against God; we may do something nasty to another person, but that sin is also a sin against God because He told us not to be nasty to each other. King David knew this (Psalm 51): when we do something God said not to so, it is a sin against God.
Next step after repentance and asking forgiveness is to sacrifice, according to the rules and commandments God gave us. Uh oh!- we hit a hurdle with this one; God commanded all sacrifices be made at the temple in Jerusalem, and that place doesn’t exist anymore. So what do we do?
We can’t do anything, but God did do something for us- He sent Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) to be a substitution for the sacrifice at the temple. All the other steps in forgiveness, i.e. being repentant, asking forgiveness (for each sin) and doing T’shuvah (turning from sin) in our hearts, are all still part of the sacrificial system process. The only change is that instead of bringing a sacrifice to the temple (again, for each and every time we sin) we have Yeshua’s sacrifice as a substitution.
When we put it all together, we get this:
- We sin
- We’ are repentant
- We bring our sacrifice to the temple and by the means of it’s innocent blood that is shed we ask for cleansing of our sin
- If the sacrifice is accepted God will forgive our sin
- We go away cleansed of that sin at that time, and if and when we sin again, we go through the process once more
Yeshua ‘s sacrifice is a once-and-for-all sacrifice, but teaching that it automatically saves us from all our sins (those we have committed and those we have yet to commit), is against the process God outlined. Teaching that asking one time for forgiveness (through Yeshua’s sacrifice) means our sins are forgiven forever negates repentance.
Do you really think that God will forgive someone who isn’t repentant? Do you really think that we can automatically be forgiven of any sin without ever asking to be forgiven? If we are, then why did God say we had to sacrifice at all? Oh, wait- you’re saying that the animal sacrifices were only good for that one time, but because Yeshua is the Messiah His one time sacrifice is good forever? You’re right- His one time sacrifice IS good forever, but it is useless to you if you are not repentant, and when you are repentant you do what?
You ask for forgiveness, over and over and over, every single time you sin. Not every other sin, not only when you remember to ask, but for every, single sin you commit, large or small you must ask forgiveness in Yeshua’s name.
BTW..as far as God is concerned, there are no small or large sins, there is only sin.
When we don’t ask for forgiveness, we demonstrate we don’t really care that we sinned. It’s that simple.
Do you see the logic and sense of it all? To say we are forgiven automatically because Yeshua sacrificed Himself for us is to negate the need for repentance and to ignore God’s process of forgiveness. It is just plain wrong, from any and all angles, and totally against everything we read in the bible.
That is why this idea of “Once Saved, Always Saved” is a one-way ticket to Sheol: those who are unrepentant will not be forgiven. It won’t matter that at one time you called on the name of the Lord and asked forgiveness through Yeshua’s blood; each time you sin you have to ask forgiveness (and MEAN it!); each and every time.
There are warnings about people who apostatize in some of the letters from Shaul (Paul) and in Revelation we are told that most will turn from the faith. Have you ever thought that maybe one doesn’t need to renounce God to apostatize? Maybe all it takes is to ignore what God tells us, or simply do what we want to do, even if it goes against what God says? Did you ever consider why Yeshua said that there would be some who call Him “Lord” but He tells them He never knew them (Matthew 7:21)?
I think those who believe the “Once Saved, Always Saved” ideology will find themselves in that group, the group of people who call Yeshua “Lord” but He doesn’t know them. The reason He doesn’t know them is because they aren’t repentant; yes, maybe they were at one time, when they first called on His name, but because they think they don’t have to, they haven’t called on Him since. One time doesn’t do it- you need to do it always. Shaul tells us to pray constantly, and that isn’t just for what we want but for forgiveness, too.
I suppose if anyone reading this doesn’t agree or get the point by now, they may never get it. I pray that someone who thinks “Once Saved, Always Saved” has had their eyes opened.
No one wants to be told, “I do not know you” when they see Yeshua in the Acharit HaYamim (End Days.)