Why "Once Saved Always Saved" is True

Hey everyone :slight_smile:
I had some down time earlier today and started to ponder an idea; I wrote out my thoughts and this is what I came up with…

Interestingly, I have always heard the Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS) mantra utilized by Protestants as a way to disprove the Catholic teaching regarding salvation; however, another common argument put forward by Protestants is that those individuals who, after a time, apostatize from their faith were “never really saved to begin with.” These two doctrines could be listed as two Premises for the purpose of this post:

  1. Once you are saved you are always saved.
  2. If you fall away from your faith, even if you were the most devout Christian for decades, you were never actually saved to begin with.

A third common Protestant doctrine might look like this as a Premise:

  1. You can be absolutely certain of your salvation.

Catholic teaching doesn’t seem to line up with Premise 3 at all. If we tweak Premise 2 a little bit, though, it could be in harmony with Catholic teaching:

  1. If you apostatize, you are no longer in a state of Grace.

The new Premise 2 is identical in meaning to the old Premise 2, except in the new Premise 2 there is no denial of one’s past state of Grace. This leads to one difference between how Protestants and Catholics view salvation; namely, that Protestants typically view salvation as an event that happens at one point in time, whereas Catholics view the idea of salvation as whether or not an individual is in a state of Grace at any given time, i.e., whether or not a person is in a state of “friendship” with God.

After having eliminated Premise 3 due to its unworkability, and reworking Premise 2, we can introduce a completely new and logical 3rd Premise:

  1. You can only be completely assured of your salvation at the moment of your death.

This leads to our fourth and final Premise:

  1. At the moment of your death, your salvation (or damnation) is decided for all of eternity.

So, if we rearrange our Premises and include a “therefore” statement we can say…

  1. As a Catholic, if you apostatize from the Faith, you are no longer in a state of Grace.
  2. You can only be assured of the absolute salvation of your soul at the moment of your death.
  3. At the moment of your death, your salvation (or damnation) is decided for all of eternity.

Therefore, once you are saved you are always saved.

Anyway, I thought it was a different and interesting way to look at it.
Thoughts?

I cannot reconcile your conclusion with your first premise. Can you please elaborate?

This much would have sufficed to make your point.

And it’s quite true! I think I’m going to use this…

A very interesting take. I think you could actually leave off #1 and go directly to the fact that our choice of heaven or hell is sealed at the moment of death.

However, somehow I don’t think our Protestant brothers and sisters are going to rush to agreement with this interpretation of the phrase. :smiley:

The Premises are meant to build off of each other, i.e., each segues into the next.

For example, in the first Premise we see that one’s state of Grace can change throughout one’s life. This leads us to Premise 2 which essentially states that since one can indeed fall out of a state of Grace, one cannot be absolutely certain of salvation. Finally, we are led to the third Premise, which follows from Premise 2: One can be certain of one’s salvation (or damnation) at the moment of one’s death, and, more importantly, at the moment one dies one’s salvation is decided for all of eternity.

Therefore, once saved always saved (the Catholicity of this logical conclusion is that we are not “saved” until we die, but that it is for all of eternity).

You’re absolutely right about leaving off Premise 1, I just thought the argument would be more complete if I included it in there :slight_smile:

The Premises are meant to build off of each other, i.e., each segues into the next.

For example, in the first Premise we see that one’s state of Grace can change throughout one’s life. This leads us to Premise 2 which essentially states that since one can indeed fall out of a state of Grace, one cannot be absolutely certain of salvation. Finally, we are led to the third Premise, which follows from Premise 2: One can be certain of one’s salvation (or damnation) at the moment of one’s death, and, more importantly, at the moment one dies one’s salvation is decided for all of eternity.

Therefore, once saved always saved (the Catholicity of this logical conclusion is that we are not “saved” until we die, but that it is for all of eternity).

You’re absolutely right! :slight_smile:

I realized this about halfway through writing the post, but I was having fun with it so I figured I’d keep going :stuck_out_tongue:

The only problem is that Scripture speaks of Christians being “saved” in the present. For example, St. Paul speaks of “us which are saved” in 1 Cor. 1:18. So it is possible to be saved and then to fall away and be damned, but I agree with the sentiment.

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