"How many times does Jesus have to die?"


“How many times does Jesus have to die?”

Has anybody encountered this argument from a believer in OSAS? As if to disbelieve in OSAS would mean that Jesus would have to die all over again every time someone needed forgiveness.

Honestly, this is the kind of argument that makes my eyes glaze over. It sounds so overwhelmingly stupid that I don’t even know where to start. Is this argument actually common, or is it just the personal creation of my adversary? Has anyone else heard it before?


My answer to that silly argument is “How many times will Jesus let himself be killed?”

What they don’t get is that they are assuming that we can somehow kill Jesus over and over against his will. Yeah, sure.


It’s just rhetoric.

Anyone who would use that with me would get “the hand” and I’d walk off from the discussion because they are not serious, though they may think they are.

Moreover, it is a fundamentally anti-Catholic remark because, (as you will find out in further discussion), they are going to argue against the Real Presence in the Eucharist in the celebration of the Mass because they cannot properly conceive of the re-presentation of Our Lord’s sacrifice instead of (to their thinking) a re-sacrifice.

But that’s where they’re going with that just as sure as you are reading this post.


Oh my goodness. What??? This is what I know about OSAS. They believe that in order to be saved, one must repent of one’s sins and accept Jesus as the Lord of one’s life. If one does not do this, one is not saved, Do I have this right? So… if they think that every time a Catholic asks for forgiveness, we are in effect asking Jesus to die again, in order to be consistant in their belief, they would also have to believe that Jesus has to die again every time someone repents and accepts Jesus as Lord of their life.
In my mind, when I have sinned, I have let go of the lifeline Jesus has let down to me by His death… When I ask forgiveness, I’m grabbing back onto that rope. The rope has been there all along. It isn’t yanked up and dropped down again and again. In other words, Jesus doesn’t have to redo anything. I do!!!
That’s about the best way I can think of to explain my belief.
Hope that helps.
Pax vobiscum


An excellent explanation, Barbara Rae.

Welcome to the forum!


Barbara Rae has touched, peripherally, on a concept that our Parish Priest poiints out a lot.

OSAS makes a point of the fact that God’s love, particularly as expressed in Jesus Christ, is unconditional. The argument is them advanced that since the love is unconditional, once we accept Jesus then that seals the deal.

BR is quite right when she points out that Jesus is always there for us to turn back to when we cut ourselves off from him. And that touches on the point our Parish Priest makes. Although God’s love is indeed unconditional, God’s forgiveness is not. We have to turn back to him in repentence.

OSAS blurs this difference between God’s love and his forgiveness, to the point where its logic suggests that forgiveness isn’t even in the picture. BR has pointed out how beautiful a process it in fact is.




This is why OLP is so powerful a tool. It shows that the original question contains an inconcistancy which, when eliminated, cancels the question itself.



What on earth is OSAS.

Ugh… so many acronyms its worse than the military. The family forums are even worse!


Once Saved Always Saved.


If one thinks they’re serious, then they are serious, even if you don’t take them as such.

Once Saved, Always Saved.

The concept is that salvation, once obtained, cannot be lost.


Meaning that the very instant that you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are on a guaranteed path to heaven no matter what you might do or think later in life. It essentially makes the entire Christian life anti-climactic to that one instant in time.


it’s all too common, especially with what thousands of our youth are being fed with today. their fragile minds are blocked from any important history of Christianity that may lead to any mention of the Catholic Church. if it’s not the fault of their parents, it’s the fault of their pastor, or further up the line…

my favorite one is, “Catholics are Christian?” :eek:


Sometimes AKA "Eternal Security of the Believer.

Once Saved, Always Saved?

Notes here.


OSAS is a doctrine that is gaining increasing acceptance among many Protestant denominations. I grew up being taught OSAS. One of the arguments used is , “Once a person is born again, how can he be unborn?” It’s also presented as a father/child relationship – your child, despite their actions and/or behavior, will always be your child – there is nothing your child can do to stop being your child. The problem with this argument is that it is limited to physical genetics and therefore Biblically weak.

The problem is that many do not fully understand the Mass and its roots. The Mass has its origins in the Old Testament – particularly with the Passover. To fully understand the Passover, one must look at the Jewish perspective. When the Jews observed the Passover, they did not simply perform it as a “remembrance” as we think of it in our Western culture. The Hebrew word for remembrance is *zecher *or zikaron which literally means ‘to bring the past into the present.’ It was beyond a memory – it was the actual calling forth of a former event or person into the present. With this in mind, when the Jews observed the Passover, they did not only remember the exodus of their forefathers, they saw themselves coming out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. In a sense, they transported the past event into the present and they were experiencing it firsthand. As they partook of the bitter herbs, they saw themselves in slavery – not just their forefathers – I think you get the picture.

Likewise, when Jesus and Paul spoke of “remembrance”, the Greek word used was “anamnesis.” In Luke 22 and in 1 Corinthians 11, the meaning was not “in memory of”, it was “an affectionate calling of the Person Himself to mind.” When Catholics celebrate the Mass, they are calling Christ’s sacrifice from the past into the present. It is not a “recrucifixion” of Jesus, it a perpetuation of it into the present. Christ died once and for all – His sacrifice is sufficient and resounds through all eternity therefore there is no need for Him to die again. God is not subject to the constraints of time as we are. Just as we exist within time, time exists within God – it’s beginning and end are enveloped by Him, but I digress.

The Mass is Christ’s sacrifice now as it was then. The breaking of the body now is the same body being broken 2,000 years ago. When you observe the Mass today, you are observing the one crucifixion that occurred then.

Think of it this way – it’s a weak allegory, but it might help. I’ve spoken to my brother who works overseas on the telephone. If he says, “Hello”, it will take several seconds for me to finally hear it on my end. It’s the same “hello” that he spoke, but I experience it several seconds after he has said it. Now replace my brother’s greeting with Christ’s sacrifice and expand those seconds to years, and you will get the idea. Because we are 2,000 years removed from the actual event, it has taken that long for us to experience it. Christ’s work resounds for all time. The beautiful part of the Mass is that it proclaims the permanence of Jesus’ Passion.

In short, Christ need only die once because in His death, he conquered death.



First let’s make clear that this is just not a belief of the those Christians who believe in Eternal Security of the believer. Many Protestant hold the belief that the Mass is a repeat somehow of trying to make Christ die every time, hence the question: “How many times does Jesus have to die?”

Let’s understand that they are not OSAS, they are Christians just like Catholics and just like Catholics we should call them that, Catholics don’t want to be called Roman Catholics so shouldn’t Catholics afford other Christians respect if they want some.

Not quite, it means that yes one has eternal security but that one has no desire for sin. There is Biblical Evidence for that position as there is for the position that Salvation can be lost.


My adversary didn’t mention Mass. We were discussing the topic of OSAS, and her argument was, “How many times does Jesus have to die?” Perhaps she had the sacrifice of the Mass in mind also, but apparently she thought her comment supported OSAS. :shrug:


:thumbsup: Watch and see…


I have heard this question posited and most of those who ask it have no comcept of the sacrifice of the Eucharist, so it is not a slam on Catholics. The underlying thought is this: The only way our sins can be forgiven is with the blood of Jesus. When He died, it wiped out all sins forever. All we have to do is believe in Him and ALL our sins are forgiven. Therefore, when we believe in Him all our sins are forgiven, past, present and future. That is what those bumper stickers mean that say, “Christians aren’t perfect, they’re just forgiven.”

So . . . since the OSAS adherent believes all of the above, it is impossible to him or her that a “saved” person could return to a life of sin,* i.e.*, an absurdity. In debate, an absurdity is often answered with another absurdity. Therefore, seeing that the only way to achieve forgiveness is through the blood of Jesus, and this person has somehow become unforgiven, Jesus must die again for that person to be saved again.

It is at this point that I want to take their bible out of their hands, turn to 1 John 1:9 (If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.), rip out that page, and hand their bible back to them. It is a passage of scripture that is utterly useless to the OSAS crowd.


Here’s an article that helps:



Most times when I have seen this question arise, it has almost always led to the Mass and the misconception that Christ is being crucified anew. This is a common claim among anti-Catholics and ex-Catholics alike.

When I began studying Catholicism, an ex-Catholic friend immediately warned me that the Catholics re-crucify Christ with every Mass. I knew that he misunderstood it, but unfortunately, he is closed-minded to any further discussion of it.

Regarding OSAS, if it were true, why are we told to confess our sins one to another in 1 John 1:9. I doubt that its purpose is to simply to clear our conscience. Why wouldn’t we simply accept God’s gift of salvation and go along our merry way? - Heaven knows it’s much simpler to submit to our fleshly desires than to conform to the life Christ called us to.

Rather, Paul encourages us to work out our salvation. That is because he understood that faith without works is dead (read James chapter 2).

It’s a beautiful thing to experience God’s love, but it’s equally important to understand that He is just. I don’t view God as a hard-nosed judge, but rather, as a loving Father who admonishes his children when they go astray. He doesn’t do it simply for sake of following His rules, He does it because He knows that the alternative leads to death. His desire is that we might have life and life more abundant.

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