"Once Saved, Always Saved?"

"With regard to despair, every appetitive movement that is conformed to a false intellect, is evil in itself and sinful. Now presumption is an appetitive movement, since it denotes an inordinate hope. Moreover it is conformed to a false intellect, just as despair is: for just as it is false that God does not pardon the repentant, or that He does not turn sinners to repentance, so is it false that He grants forgiveness to those who persevere in their sins, and that He gives glory to those who cease from good works: and it is to this estimate that the movement of presumption is conformed." - St. Thomas Aquinas ("Summa Theologica" 13th century A.D.)

"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." - 1 Corinthians 9:27

"If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:11-14

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." - Matthew 10:22

"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." - Matthew 24:13

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." - Mark 13:13

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." - Matthew 7:21

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." - John 8:31

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." - James 1:12

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." - 2 Peter 2:20-21

"And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again." - Romans 11:17-23

What the Catechism of the Catholic Church says on "Once Saved, Always Saved:"

161. "Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. [Cf. Mk 16:16 ; Jn 3:36 ; Jn 6:40 ; et al.] 'Since 'without faith it is impossible to please (God)' and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life 'But he who endures to the end.'']"

162. "Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We can lose this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: 'Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith.' [1 Tim 1:18-19 .] To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith; [Cf. Mk 9:24 ; Lk 17:5 ; Lk 22:32.] it must be 'working through charity,' abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church. [Gal 5:6 ; Rom 15:13 ; cf. Jam 2:14-26.]"


The false doctrine of "Once Saved, Always Saved" seems to have blossomed with Fundamentalist Christians although it's origins date back to 16th century Calvinism.  The perfect example of how this doctrine is false is Judas Iscariot.  He believed in Jesus Christ, walked with Him, was one of the Twelve and was given the same powers from Him as the others.  Yet what Christian believes that Judas Iscariot went to Heaven?  According to this doctrine, I would say Fundamentalist Christians would have to believe Judas is in Heaven as he more than met the requirements of salvation according to this doctrine.

Another good example is Lucifer (Satan) - abided in Heaven, knew God Himself, lived with God Himself yet he was not "saved" when given the opportunity for he now resides in Hell as punishment for the sin of pride.  This sin occurred after having known and accepted God.

In my opinion, this doctrine helps Satan greatly by instilling a false sense of security and self-confidence among Christians concerning their salvation.  They think they can't sin anymore and even if they do, no punishment will be due them as Christ paid for all our sins.  This makes it much easier for Satan to tempt us with the sin of presumption.

How can we be assured of our own salvation if St. Paul wasn't (1 Corinthians 9:27)?

Salvation is not a "one time" event, but an ongoing process until "the end" (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13).

--- Chris                              




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Biblical quotations on this web site are either from the King James Version or the Douay-Rheims Version of the Bible.

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