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What Does the Bible Say About..Once Saved, Always Saved?

I wanted to get your view of the FALSE DOCTRINE that is permeating the masses of "Christians" today, ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED. I believe that BIBLE is EXPLICIT in its teaching that one can loose his salvation! Many people (including my wife unfortunately) subscribe to this teaching that once you have accepted Jesus into your heart, there is nothing that I can do to loose my salvation. Most proponents of this teaching refer to passage in Eph 2:8-10, where Paul say that we are saved by grace. They go onto argue that if God's chooses to save me, then subsequently I cannot choose to walk away.


It is hard, though not impossible, to separate the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints (sometimes called "once saved/always saved) from the other doctrines of Calvinism. In the instance you give, it is coupled with the doctrine of irresistible grace; if God wants to save you, you can do nothing to prevent it. Those are the last two of five foundational doctrines of Calvinism often called TULIP. The others are: Total Depravity (man is totally sinful and can do no good without God), Unconditional Election (God chooses who he wants to save or not save based on his own unknowable criteria, and even if you want to be saved you won't be if God hasn't chosen you from before you were born), and Limited Atonement (Jesus only died for those that God had already decided were to be saved).

Someone once counted over 200 scriptures that stated or implied the possibility of losing one's salvation. My lesson on Calvinism that gives scriptures pro and (mostly) con for these doctrines can be found at "It is Believed". It is the last lesson in the book (pages 15 and 16). Interestingly, many of the same doctrines are addressed in the first lesson of the book, the lesson on Islam. The Muslims also believe, officially, that God picks whomever he likes for salvation, and there is nothing we can do to change his mind, no matter how good we live or how interested we are in salvation.

As for Ephesians 2:8-10, the passage does not teach that we can not lose our salvation. It says that we are saved by grace and not legalism. Verse 10 says we were created by God to do good works and that those good works were defined by God long ago. (It is the works that were ordained, not the people.) I don't see either "once saved, always saved" or "if God chooses you, you can't unchoose yourself" in that passage.