Saturday, May 25, 2024

Once Saved, Always Saved? (Sermon)

Leonard V. Johnson     About

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Greetings Everyone! Our dear brethren and friends in Brussels, Belgium; Dublin, Ireland; Midland, Michigan, here in the States, and Four Oaks, North Carolina. Welcome! Thank you for being here with us this holy Sabbath for the taping of the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries.

It’s been a little while since my last sermon. The reason for the long absence is because of sinus issues. That has been getting better, however – thank you so much for your continued prayers on my behalf.

I asked a fellow servant of our Lord Jesus Christ for a suggested subject for a sermon today, for this holy Sabbath. He gave me several subjects. The subject of “Once saved, Always saved” came up.

So, let’s talk about this today. Is once saved, always saved a true doctrine from God’s living word!?

Sadly, the majority in this Protestant world believes in the idea that once saved, always saved is a doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those of you who are, or have been, a Baptist surely know this concept. That by being saved – what they mean is – you had joined their church, you had gone down their isle, and you had quote, “Given your heart to the Lord.” You had been baptized, and you were now saved for all eternity – no matter what. You were “born again” – once saved, always saved. And whatever you did from that moment forward – you would still be once saved, always saved. An idea that many also call eternal security.

Also, a great many who were once a member of the Church of God have adopted this false understanding of – once saved, always saved. That once they had accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior – salvation was assured.

Now, our Lord Jesus tells us in Matthew chapter 24 verse 13 – “’ But he who endures to the end shall be saved.’”

This concept or understanding of “once saved, always saved” is true ONLY – and I stress that word ONLY – if it is understood as having TWO MAJOR CONDITIONS attached.

First and foremost is that those who accept our Lord Jesus Christ and the blood that He shed for us – for the remission of sins – MUST remain faithful, and endure, in their commitment to Him! And this faithfulness and endurance have conditions. The faith that saves IS A LIVING FAITH! It is alive, and dynamic. And living faith without works is a dead faith.

The second condition for this concept or understanding to be true: those who are called by Father God, repent, are baptized, and have hands laid upon them – receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit – must be growing in the grace of God and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as OVERCOMING!

This concept – without these two conditions – just simply makes salvation nothing more than a lip service, or a mental agreement with the proposition that Jesus is Savior. It completely fails to address the awesome reason and the grand purpose of salvation! The great Elohim – the family of God, which at this time consists of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ has a most glorious purpose for YOUR CALLING! Far beyond anything as a mere lip service of “I gave my heart to the Lord!”

God the Father’s calling is for us to be a new creature – a new creation! Turn with me in your Bible to 2 Corinthians chapter 5 –

Verse 17.

The Apostle Paul adds in Galatians 6:15 – “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.”

So, he is saying that the things that are truly important about salvation – are not whether you’re circumcised or uncircumcised physically – it pertains to the LORD God’s new creation in Christ Jesus! This very subject of circumcision came up not long ago from my sister in which she stated that she has a friend that couldn’t invite me over to her house unless I was physically circumcised. Apparently not properly understanding the LORD our God’s living words – concerning the circumcision of the heart. The LORD God is creating in us literal sons and daughters to God the Father, and literal brothers and sisters to our Elder Brother Jesus Christ – in Their image and likeness! You should remember this glorious hope every single day of our Christian journey.

Notice in 1st Corinthians chapter 15, the Apostle Paul writes – under the glorious inspiration of God’s Spirit – that our glorious transformation is already underway brethren –

1st Corinthians chapter 15 –

Beginning in verse 42 to verse 49.

Our LORD God’s living word not only says that we will be – someday – composed of Their very Spirit, but that our very nature and character will be like Theirs! Truly, if the LORD God just merely wanted subservience, They would have created us not to need Godly character. The LORD God is doing a work in us through which we will become like Them. Now, angels also have free will – which allows beings to make choices without having to be coerced or forced to do so. If a being does not have free will, an outside force controls their actions. I could easily get into a sub-subject about this – it’s certainly an exciting topic – but, let’s stay focused: 

Once Saved, Always Saved?

Our LORD God’s Master Plan for the redemption of all mankind requires that we choose life or death, blessings or curses (cf. Deuteronomy 30:19). We must choose – just like the angels had to choose obedience or disobedience. Let us notice how our beloved Apostle Paul draws our attention to what it will take on our part to make the LORD God’s very purpose for our work – 1st Corinthians chapter 15 –

Verses 57 and 58.

The Greek word nikos for “victory” is from the same root as NEE-COW-OH, which means “overcome.” The Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – “NIKAŌ (νικάω), to conquer, overcome, is translated “(them) that come victorious (from)” in Rev. 15:2, R.V. (A.V., “that had gotten the victory”). See CONQUER, OVERCOME, PREVAIL.” 1

Brethren, overcoming is being victorious over the pull of our human nature against the LORD God in the self, also victorious over Satan the devil, and victorious over this present evil age – this world.

The Apostle Paul also exhorts us, brethren, to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord.” And what is our Lord God’s work? It’s creating. So, by using the phraseology “your labor,” the Apostle Paul – inspired by the very Spirit of God – is drawing our attention to our responsibilities. Our labor in the Lord is whatever energies or sacrifices it takes to yield to the LORD God so that They can do Their work in us. Recall the living word of God refers to God several times as the Potter, and that we are the clay.

Following our initial heartfelt repentance, we MUST find the motivation to use our faith to yield to the LORD God. While in a doctor's office recently I browsed a stop smoking pamphlet (even though I do not smoke), and in bold letters, it had as one of the tips for success – “Deal With Urges: Whether physical or mental, learn your triggers and make a plan to address them. Avoid situations that make you want to smoke (and I add here, that make you want to give in to temptations).” The LORD God wants us to grow spiritually and change to become more like Them as much as possible in this lifetime. Notice the Apostle Paul’s encouraging words in 2nd Timothy chapter 2.

Beginning in verses 15 to 21.

So, the Apostle Paul is implying that the vessels that are in the LORD God’s house are not all of the same quality. But, if we work and apply ourselves to PURGE and PURIFY what is DEFILING and DISHONORING us, we can become a vessel of honor.

Notice 1st John chapter 3 –

Verse 3.

We all started out, brethren, as vessels of dishonor. Even after the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ cleanses us, we still oftentimes sin, thus dishonoring both Him and our very character. From this dishonor, we must be continually cleansed.

Turn with me to the Book of Philippians chapter 2 –

Beginning in verse 12.

The LORD God lays the responsibility upon us to work in partnership with Them as They work with and within us. Recall, we say it all the time – CHRIST IN US! And brethren, the purpose of this work is not to earn salvation. Because no one can earn salvation. The purpose of this work is to allow the LORD God to do Their creation in us and to test us. They want us to be prepared for the glorious kingdom of God. And, at the same time, we will be glorifying the LORD God through the witness of our very lives.

Now, do we have an eternal security?

This mostly Protestant view itself is founded upon the false concept that human beings possess an immortal soul. One of the first lies foisted upon mankind in the garden of Eden.

Turning to the Book of Genesis chapter 3 –

We read in … well… beginning in verses 1 to 3.

Just previously, the LORD God had informed both Adam and Eve that disobedience exacts a grave penalty, death─ and death means the cessation of life─ and the fact that if a person will not repent of their sins against the LORD God, it means death─ no chance at eternal life. This WARNING from the LORD God was given at the very beginning!

Notice what the Whisperer – the archangel Lucifer (now Satan the Adversary) replied to Eve –

Verses 4 and 5.

Here is the lie – He told her in essence, “Listen, Linda, you have an immortal soul. God cannot enforce this warning.” Throughout the centuries, this false doctrine of mankind having an immortal soul has come along in a plethora of forms – whether from MAN-EE-KISM of the third century, or Augustine of Hippo (who we at the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries and our affiliated churches do not believe that he ever was a saint of our glorious LORD God) – Augustine proposed that God grants a second grace known as the gift of perseverance, eventually morphing it into this false doctrine we are speaking of today theoretical security. Then there is also Free-Grace theology – a false view that holds that the only condition of salvation is faith, excluding good works, and what our Lord Jesus says, ““’ But he who endures to the end shall be saved.’” They hold tight to this concept of their eternal security. Then there is also a concept of Hyper-Grace, which teaches a strong form of eternal security. Proponents of this wacky theological concept claim that deny Christians in eternity will have different degrees of rewards.

And we could go on and on and on – and speak concerning all these differing beliefs on this false concept of “Once saved, always saved.” But, a wise man once said – if it sounds too complicated, then it’s highly likely it’s false. Because as our LORD God says in 1st Corinthians chapter 14, and verse 33 – “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” This indicates that if your church is in confusion and your doctrine is too complicated – it’s not our Lord Jesus Christ’s Church. It’s a synagogue of Satan.

And, it is also known as the “Doctrine of Eternal Security.” And, as I stated earlier – this heretical doctrine has resurfaced in many of the splinter groups of the Church of God.

The majority of Protestants believe wholeheartedly that their salvation is assured once they accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Calling it, “Once saved, always saved.” To them, it means that God’s grace eternally covers them, and thus they have eternal security – and that God is bound to accept them and give them salvation NO MATTER WHAT occurs after they accept Jesus.

The whole idea of “eternal security” is a completely ridiculous concept! Father God is pure and holy – reference 1st Peter chapter 1, verses 15-16. Father God will not accept anyone if they are not as He is. Think of this – He forsook His own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ when the sins of the whole world were laid upon Him! Why would He accept anyone – who is far more personally sinful – if that person failed to REPENT of their sins and yet reached out to Him demanding Him to save them “just as I am”!

Here's an analogy that Protestants should find helpful – just because a criminal is absolved of committing a certain crime DOES NOT mean that he will never again be guilty of another crime. Of course, Catholics are taught to go to “confession” once a year and repent to their priest. Again, this subject delves off into a sub-subject all its own.

Say, if the president of the United States commutes a murderer’s life sentence, but then he goes out and murderers again later – he is not innocent. The law of the land says that he is guilty of that recent crime.

A true Christian who commits sin is guilty – even though the LORD God's grace has covered him in the past. If he continues in the sin – without repentance – and it becomes a habitual habit, he is in danger of losing the eternal salvation that he was promised by the LORD God.

Notice the Apostle Paul’s clear and concise statement. In The Book of Hebrews chapter 10 –

Verse 26.

Again, it is clear and concise. If we sin in rebellion against the LORD God – setting our own will to go against the LORD God and Their Way of life – then the living sacrifice of our Lord Jesus was for naught. In essence, we are spitting in our Lord’s face. The Apostle Paul continues –

Verses 27 – 31.

Now, to the majority of Protestants, the Apostle Paul is the champion of grace. They often quote his more ambiguous passages to give credence to their doctrinal position. It’s like a short video I was watching the other day that my sister shared with me, entitled “Flat Earth Explained – Why It Matters.” In the video, the creator was misquoting various people and using clips of movies to give credence to his position that the Earth is flat. Sadly, using snippets of Scripture to try and give credence to a person’s own belief in a subject matter is nothing new. Martin Luther built an entire Reformation on just one verse. Ephesians 2:8. Which he mistranslated and misused. And, I personally heard this rally cry live and in vivid color a few years ago when I visited a Baptist church and heard the minister at the podium cry out, “By grace, you have been saved through faith alone.” Adding the word alone.

Then there are worldly churches that don’t like the Apostle Paul. They are uncomfortable with certain portions of the Apostle Paul’s inspired writings because he does not teach the once-saved-always-saved line. One of these passages is in the Book of Romans chapter 2. Let us turn there a moment and read this for ourselves – Romans chapter 2.

Let’s begin in verse 1.

Read to verse 16.

And, surely the best-known verse in this whole passage is verse 13 – “for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified.”

What the Protestants do with this verse – I do not know. Do they mark it out with a marker? Do they just theologian it away? Because right here the Apostle Paul is in full agreement with the Apostle James! Keeping the glorious Law of God – summed up in the Ten Commandments is vital to our justification in the sight of the LORD God! This has major ramifications for those who do not or refuse to change their behavior after accepting our Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Failing to keep God’s holy Law is sin – 1st John chapter 3, verse 4. And, as we just read, “as many as have sinned in the Law will be judged by the Law.” And we know that the wages of sin – is death. Romans chapter 6, verse 23. Our Lord Jesus Himself says to us, “’ I tell you, … unless you repent you will all likewise perish.’” He says it twice in this passage to emphasize its importance.

So, God’s living word in Romans chapter 2, verses 1 to 16, refutes the false doctrine of eternal security. And he had written this epistle – again, under the guiding hand and influence of God’s Spirit – to help the Church in Rome – those who had already accepted our Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. As the LORD God did in Genesis chapter 3, here again, the Apostle Paul – through the inspiration of the LORD God – warns us, brethren, of the LORD God’s utter abhorrence of sin and Their unwavering promise that we are being – and will be – judged by the Law.

So, for those of you who are watching this – or listening to us on our Soundcloud Radio channel. Or maybe even Spotify. Those of you who believe in this false doctrine of eternal security. I want you to notice 2nd Peter chapter 1. Turn there with me if you would.

2nd Peter chapter 1.

Notice verses 10 – 11.

This is a particularly difficult teaching by the LORD God to dispute – isn’t it? Because it rightly exposes the lie of the infernal teaching of eternal security. It does this by the Apostle Paul stating a simple command that the LORD God asks us to carry out – let’s read it once again.

And it’s just as true the other way around – we can easily fail to be even more sure and diligent of our calling and of our election. And even beyond that, we can stumble – and if we don’t get back up, brush ourselves off, seek and ask heartfelt forgiveness to God the Father through our High Priest and Advocate – our Lord Jesus Christ – then an entrance will not be supplied to us into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

O’ brethren, the LORD God has done great works in us. God the Father has called us out of this world of billions. They have forgiven us, have granted us repentance, have gifted us Their Spirit. They have opened Their treasure of truth to us and revealed a great many of Their mysteries, revealed Their Way to us. They have brought to us the New Covenant, and have covered us with Their spiritual gifts, love, and faith. Brethren, there is no end to what our LORD God has done for us – or will continue to do for us.

So, why would our mortal and spiritual enemy – Satan the Devil – place within the Church of God false ministers and teachers if there was no chance for people to fall away? If the people have what they call eternal security? Why would Satan waste his time? However – even though he perpetuates this lie – he knows that eternal security is false. Brethren, we can fall away.

Continuing here – Verse 12.

And, how do we brethren make our calling and election sure? We produce the fruits of the Spirit. And our Lord Jesus expounded on this in the Book of John chapter 15.

Let’s turn to the Book of John chapter 15 –

Beginning in verse 1.

Verse 2.

Verses 4 – 6.

Notice verse 8.

Again, this blows the false concept of eternal security out of the water! Our Savior, our High Priest, our Advocate – our ultimate Judge – says that if we do not bear much fruit, that person will be eventually cast out as a branch and will wither away, gathered together and cast into the fire, and they will be burned up.

We validate our calling and election also by growing in God’s grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Brethren, if we are showing true love to our brethren if we are serving with every opportunity given, if we are deepening our relationship with Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ, we can be certain that our calling and our election are still firmly in place.

Let us end this holy Sabbath with this last passage. The Book of Colossians chapter 1. We live in a spiritually dangerous time, and the way to stay focused on His beam of light is to continue growing spiritually. If we continue to grow and overcome our eternal salvation is assured. The LORD God is faithful; They have promised us Their salvation. The LORD God – Elohim – the family of God, which at this time consists of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians chapter 1.

Verses 21 – 23.

Thank you for being here today with us. Our Lord Jesus earnestly wants to present us as holy, blameless, and irreproachable to God the Father in the kingdom of God, but we must do our part. And these things will happen if we uphold the New Covenant blessed to us. Continue in the faith blessed to us. Remain grounded and steadfast. Continue growing in God’s grace and knowledge. And, continue in the hope of our resurrection and eternal life.

So, until next time, this is Lenard Johnson for the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries. Goodbye until next time. God Speed.


1) Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Vine, F.F. Fleming H. Revell Co. Old Tappen, N.J., 1981, pg. 187.

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