Does the fundamentalist doctrine of once saved always saved lead to:
- A lack of fear in regard to Hell?
- A dismissive attitude toward sin?
Why or why not?
Does the fundamentalist doctrine of once saved always saved lead to:
Why or why not?
I personally do not agree with OSAS. Let’s say hypothetically you have a Buddhist and a Primitive Baptist. The Buddhist does not lie, cheat, steal, fornicate, kill, and stays true to his wife… but was not “saved”… so he goes to hell. Then we have the Baptist, he lies, cheats, steals, beats his wife, and cheats on her, he is a drunkard, and a murderer, but he goes to heaven, because he was “saved” in a tent revival at eight years old. Does that sound fair to you?
How could it not? Seriously.
I started this thread for a couple of posters on the “Stuff Fundies Like” (thats the acual name Michael, if you’re lurking;)) forum whom I invited over here to discuss OSAS and disgraced fundamentalist (and former preacher) David Hyles (son of Jack).
Think Jimmy Swaggart or Jim Bakker for you unfamilair with this soap opera.
Here is a clip from his blog:
Finally and most importantly, you are hurting the Father. I have news for you that is not going to please you, but here goes. GOD LOVES ME and I AM SAVED AND FORGIVEN! I fell but, you see, when a Christian falls we do not fall away from grace, we fall into it, hence the name of this book. I am in His grace and one day I will stand before Him clothed in the righteousness of His Son and not the sin of my own. Why would you dare try and hurt the heart of God? Is it because there is unconfessed sin in your life? Are you so far from Him that you have lost the sweetness of His mercy and grace in your own life? That is sad.
My point was Hyles, and many other fallen fundamentalists, when faced with thier sin staring at them in the face, always fall back to OSAS.
Which, at least in their minds, gives them an “out”.
OSAS is a simplistic theology that is the foundation of fundamentalism.
A “Christian” murderer?
A “Christian” pedaphile?
A “Christian” serial killer?
A “Christian” serial adulter?
Ultimately the doctrine makes no sense and gives guys like Hyles a way out instead of dealing with thier sin.
One can rationalize almost anything. How many Nazis in WW2 believed they were still good Catholics and Lutherans?
Sin is sin. A crime is a crime. No amount of rationalization changes it. Even if Hyles is succesful at convincing himself that he is “as sure for Heaven as Jesus” (actually heard a preacher say that once), it doesn’t change his situation.
It still remains there, staring at him every time he looks in the mirror.
Not every german soldier was out for blood and looking to torture and kill jews and other groups. The war we are engaged in throughout the middle east does not meet the qualifications of a just war. These wars are sins and evil in and of themselves (all war is bad…obviously). But just saying, if you believe that then we might as well condemn every man and woman in uniform for being part of the organization that is committing immoral and evil atrocities throughout the middle east in an unjust war. Obviously the logic there doesn’t have much to stand on.
If the person truly believed OSAS, then yes, those would be necessary consequences of that belief, especially #1 - that’s just simple human nature. As for #2, they might reply that they are not dismissive of sin because as a “saved” person, they would believe they are to live out virtue because that’s what saved people do----but of course if they did sin, it wouldn’t matter, so I would think human nature would demand they not fret about sinning.
I went to church with my friend today, not a Catholic church.
Definitely OSAS mindset there.
Here is what I heard today in the talk by the pastor during the church service, in regards to your questions of lack of fear in regard to hell and a dismissive attitude toward sin:
–Your salvation is permanent, nothing can take that away.
–SInce we may be the only Bible people ever see, what our sin does is lead other people away from God, saying again our sin does not take salvation away from us, but only keeps other people from coming to God. (Which would seem like a big deal? Hey, I’m going to Heaven, but because of my actions this other person does not believe in God so they’re not going to Heaven, but I was already saved so too bad for the other person?)
–Some people still think that a person is required to ask God for forgiveness, but that would be crucifying Jesus over and over again every time we ask for forgiveness because Jesus died once for all sins and the forgiveness is already given for all sins, so we don’t need to ask God’s forgiveness (but stated that confessing sin to God is a way of admitting it and turning it over to him).
–interesting with all the above that a large part of the sermon was about sin, and how it blinds people.
The other night a friend was telling me about her church putting on the drama “Judegement House” next month. They are Baptist. I asked what it was, and she said it is about what happens to a person if they are not saved.
I looked up the website, and you can read the synopsis of each mini-drama, or script as it is called. I read them, and all the situtaions I saw were about people dying, and if they went to Heaven or not, if they had accepted Jesus. BUt in the scenarios I read, each person who was “saved” did nothing wrong anymore, and I didn’t read any scenes in which the “saved” person stlil did wrong or bad things. Be interesting to have a scene in which a person was “saved” but still showed weaknesses or faults, as reality would have it. Seems to display the OSAS as very simplistic and unrealistic.
Here you go, JustaServant, a response from your post on SFL.
Yet, there is a difference between a goat and a sheep. Between rocky soil and good soil. Between a foundation of rock and a foundation of sand. A Christian who has experienced the regenerative power of God’s transformation through the Spirit in accordance with the scriptures and the promises contained primarily in the Pauline epistles is quite certain of his standing with God, and that standing is “saved”. Fear of hell? [BIBLEDRB][/BIBLEDRB] 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV - “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Paul constructed his theological underpinnings in Romans, and thus the argument against Paul’s theology has been anticipated and addressed. [BIBLEDRB][/BIBLEDRB]Romans 6:
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.”
In this day and age, is it easy to point to a Dave Hyles or a Jack Schaap and say that the fundamentalists sin because of their doctrine? I suppose that is fair to a certain extent. Historically, have the doctrines of the Reformers in Europe and the evangelistic types in America lead to an outbreak of sin? I would argue emphatically not. The testimony of the influence of the more evangelical types of Christianity has fairly consistently been that of opposition to sin and a more “holy” society.
I would say that you cannot convince someone of a Pauline, evangelical bent that they can “lose” his or her salvation because of the promise of predestination afforded the believer in Ephesians 1 and Romans 8. The argument in favor of OSAS is largely an argument against works-based salvation as laid out in the epistle to the Galatians. Again, the doctrines of salvation in the age of the church are largely contingent on the works of Paul and how you view them. It is in the writings of Paul that much of the OSAS argument rests, with strong dashes of John.
So, there you go. Ultimately, the question is not so much about the results of OSAS, but simply as to whether or not it is true. I contend that it is the doctrine of the post-resurrection body of Christ.
The monkey is on your back to prove that. 2000 years of Church history is silent on it.
SOME VERSES PROTESTANTS USE TO PROVE “ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED”
2 Tim. 4:8 – Protestants often use this verse to prove “once saved, always saved,” even in the face of all Paul wrote about the possibility of losing his salvation (including his). But it is only at end of Saint Paul’s life that he has a moral certitude of salvation. This is after a lifetime of perseverance. As faithful believers in Christ, we indeed have a moral certitude of our salvation, but this is different from being certain of our salvation. We must persevere throughout our lives, and can choose to fall away.
Also, Catholics have more assurance of salvation that those who espouse “once saved, always saved.” This is because the only distinction between a true Christian and a superficial Christian is that the superficial Christian will not persevere to the end – but this is something a Christian cannot know during his life, and this necessarily imposes uncertainty upon him until the end. For Catholics, we know that salvation is ours to lose. For “once saved, always saved” Protestants, they don’t even know whether it is theirs to begin with.
Rom. 11:29 – “the gifts and the call of our God our irrevocable.” Some Protestants use this to prove “once saved, always saved.” But this verse has nothing to do with our response to salvation. It deals with God’s unmerited gifts and call to us. Moreover, if a person is in “the elect,” then his salvation is irrevocable. But we can never know if we are in the elect during our lives (“the elect” only deals with God’s knowledge).
Rom. 14:4 – and he will be upheld, for the Master is able to make him stand. This is another verse Protestants use to prove “once saved, always saved.” But the verse speaks only to what God is able to do. It does not address what the person is free to do (accept God’s grace or reject it).
Phil. 1:6 – “I am sure that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Protestants also use this verse to prove “once saved, always saved.” But Protestants wouldn’t argue that the whole Philippi church was saved, so this statement must be qualified. In fact, Paul does qualify it in Phil. 2:13 when he warns them to work out their salvation “in fear and trembling,” and in Phil. 3:11-14 when he writes that “if possible,” he may obtain the resurrection, and that he has not yet received the prize (of salvation). Moreover, the verse tells us what God will do (He will give all the grace to bring us to completion), but says nothing about our cooperation with God’s grace.
Phil. 4:3 – some Protestants point to this verse about names which are in the book of life. Indeed, because God knows the future, He knows who will persevere (the elect). These are the people whose names are in the book of life. But Jesus in Rev. 3:5 warns us that He can blot our names out of the book of life if we fail to persevere.
Col. 3:23-24 – “work heartily as serving the Lord, not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.” This is another verse used to prove “once saved, always saved.” But the verse says our inheritance depends on “working heartily.” It’s not just a matter of accepting Christ as Savior, but working heartily in perseverance. If we persevere, then we will indeed receive the inheritance as our reward.
2 Tim. 1:12 – “But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.” Another verse proving “once saved, always saved?” Of course not. Paul is writing about the Revelation of faith with which God has entrusted him, and specifically that God will preserve his ability to teach the faith until the end of his life (see v. 13 where Paul then exhorts Timothy to safeguard this deposit of faith as well).
2 Tim. 4:18 – “the Lord will rescue me from every evil and save me for his heavenly kingdom.” Again, this verse demonstrates God’s faithfulness to us, but God’s ability to save us also depends upon our cooperation. God preserves His elect, but only He knows who are His elect by His foreknowledge.
1 Peter 1:3-5 – Peter says we are born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and to an inheritance which is imperishable, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. No Protestant, however, would argue that all of northern Asia Minor (to whom the letter was addressed) was saved. The verse simply sets forth the tautology that God’s elect are saved (by God’s grace and the elect’s perseverance), but only God knows who are His elect.
1 John 5:18 – John writes that anyone born of God does not sin (this, of course, doesn’t say or prove anything about salvation). This is an example of proverbial literature which John uses frequently. For example, see 1 John 1:8 – if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Proverbial literature tries to make a point by using an absolute, even though the absolute is necessarily qualified (here, as seen by 1 John 1:8 which seemingly contradicts 1 John 5:18).
Psalm 37:28 – “For the Lord loves justice; He will not forsake His saints. The righteous shall be preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.” Again, this verse shows that God will give the graces necessary for the elect to persevere. Thus, they will be preserved. But the verse says nothing about how we can ever know who is among God’s elect.
Psalm 121:3,7-8 – “He will not let your foot be moved, He who keeps you will not slumber. The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever more.” This is another example of proverbial literature about how God will preserve His elect. But this also depends upon human cooperation. The verse is about how faithful God will be, not how faithful we will be.
Jer. 32:40 – God will make them an everlasting covenant, that He will not turn away from doing good to them; and He will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. This is another verse which describes the faithfulness of God and how He, through His grace, causes the elect to persevere to the end. But there are never any teachings in Scripture about how we know whether we are part of God’s elect.
Salvation is a process, not a one time “event”.
Rom. 8:24 - for in this hope we were saved (but, again, why “hope” if salvation is a certainty?)
Eph. 2:5,8 - for by grace you have been saved through faith.
2 Tim. 1:9 - He saved us and called us through grace and not by virtue of our own works outside of His grace.
Titus 3:5 - He saved us in virtue of His own mercy, and not by our deeds.
1 Cor. 1:18 - for the word of the cross is folly to those perishing, but for to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. Salvation is not a one-time event. It is a process of perseverance through faith, hope and love.
2 Cor. 2:15 - for we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved. Salvation is a continual process.
Phil. 2:12 - we are working out our salvation through fear and trembling. Salvation is an ongoing process.
1 Peter 1:9 - you obtain the salvation of your souls as the outcome of your faith. Working out our salvation in fear and trembling is a lifelong process.
Matt. 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13 - again, Jesus taught that we must endure to the very end to be saved. Salvation is a past, present and future event (not a one-time event at an altar call).
Mark 16:16 – Jesus says whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.
Acts 15:11 - we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus.
Rom. 5:9-10 - since we are justified by His blood, we shall be saved.
Rom. 13:11 - salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. How can we be only nearer to something we already have?
1 Cor. 3:15 - he will be saved, but only as through fire.
1 Cor. 5:5 - Paul commands the Church to deliver a man to satan, that he will be saved in the day of the Lord.
2 Tim. 2:11-12 - if we endure, we shall also reign with Him. This requires endurance until the end of our lives.
Heb. 9:28 - Jesus will appear a second time to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.
James 5:15 - the sacrament of the sick will save the sick man and the Lord will raise him up.
BTW, thanks for answering WhatItSays.
I have to get back to work.
Will be back around lunchtime.
Many of the passages that speak of salvation as a future event are in reference to the consummation of salvation, the saving of the body known as the resurrection. The writings are very clear that there is a process for the Christian, no one would deny that, but the process is not a negotiation of added terms compounded with the work that Christ already accomplished on the cross. The process involves the redemption of one’s life, the redemption of one’s service, the redemption of one’s body, etc…all things that the individual must either do as a work or patiently wait for. Again, the question is not one of whether the individual has merited salvation through the redemptive work of persevering, it is whether the individual has merited reward for his life and the works done in the flesh.
The numerous passages which you quoted tangentially address the issue of ultimate salvation, but they do not address the core question, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer to this question is stated numerous times in the post-resurrection accounts preserved from the days of the apostles: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. The gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The moment one believes, one receives the Holy Spirit of God, whether in a church, in the home, in the street, whether one believes that the Catholic Institution is the lineage of the apostles or not. It is believing the gospel that saves.
After one is converted (i.e. has believed the “gospel” of Jesus Christ), that person must work out his salvation with fear and trembling. I don’t believe in giving instantaneous assurance of salvation to new believers, as you have mentioned before. There has to be a period of testing and contemplation so that the hearer can know that they are one of the elect, but make no mistake about it, one can know that he is elect of God. How? By the demonstration of faith.
The arguments for the preservation of the saints are, as I mentioned before, largely bound up in Ephesians 1 and Romans 8. The person who knows within himself that he is born of God can have assurance of not losing his salvation (though perhaps his rewards, testimony, high calling, etc.) because of these promises:
" In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the GUARANTEE of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."
"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
I am familiar with Catholic doctrine and interpretations of grace and the means of dispensing grace, but surely anyone who reads Ephesians 1 or Romans 8 would pause before calling the doctrine of OSAS heretical, would they not? The verses quite clearly state that somebody, somewhere in the Church is predestined to salvation. Your issue would more clearly be a dissent with whether one can know whether he is elect or not, but the passages are quite clear that the elect, once saved, are given spiritual blessings to such an extent that the ultimate unification of the soul with its Creator is not in doubt.
The doctrine you are putting forth teaches that no matter what you do in life including sin, nothing can cut you from God.
Yet, I find nothing in Scripture that states we cannot lose salvations.
I have recall Paul saying the following in 1 Corinthians Chapter 2 verse 1-5.
1] When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom.
 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
 And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling;
 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Paul doesn’t seen secured about his faith.
Consider the two couple whom Peter put to death. They were converts and believers, yet they lied to the Holy Spirit and Peter killed them.
 But a man named Anani’as with his wife Sapphi’ra sold a piece of property,
 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
 But Peter said, “Anani’as, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?
 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
 When Anani’as heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.
 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.”
 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”
 Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.
These two were in Christ but it turns out they lied. There is also another who converted Simon, he converted but he was so amazing by the Holy Spirit and wanted to gain monetary gain from it.
Acts 8:9-24. It reads,
9] But there was a man named Simon who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the nation of Sama’ria, saying that he himself was somebody great.
 They all gave heed to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is that power of God which is called Great.”
 And they gave heed to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Sama’ria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,
 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit;
 for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,
 saying, “Give me also this power, that any one on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
 But Peter said to him, “Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.
 Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.
 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”
 And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
In this passage in Scripture, Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed. Yet in the later verse, he wanted this power.
If indeed, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, this passage would not make sense. As well as the other verses which I cited.
The key word is “foreknew” in verse 29, which could also be translated “knew before”. Note that in verse 30 “glorified” is used in the past tense. However, earlier in the same chapter Paul says:
“and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” v.17
glorification for “we” is future tense; for those whom God “knew before” it is past tense. IMHO, it is impossible to say these verses are speaking about the same folks. I believe those whom He “knew before” is a reference to the Old Testament saints, the souls of which have now been glorified upon Jesus’ resurrection and reside in heaven. That is why all the verbs are past tense in this section. Paul is saying that his doctrine of the way God uses suffering to conform us to the image of his son is nothing new - he used the same process for those whom he “knew before”. Not unlike Hebrews 11:36ff. Paul doesn’t say God knew us before; on the contrary
“but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God…” Gal 4:9
This being so, IMHO, predestination here refers to the what - the process of being conformed to the image of Christ via suffering - not the who.
We do not come into our inheritance in this life, but the next. We are declared righteous (justified) in Christ, but we are not yet perfected (made into the holy state we are declared).
I’m not following your comment on Ephesians here. What is the guarantee of an inheritance for the next life to which Paul refers?
The seal is a guarantee, a promise, a pledge. It makes the recipient eligible, but the recipient does not necessarily collect.
As we have the Holy Spirit with us, our inheritance is in a sense guaranteed, but we can reject the Holy Spirit at a future time if we allow ourselves to fall into sin.
Because we do not know the future, we cannot have that one hundred percent metaphysical certainty, although we can say that IF we continue in the Spirit, we will gain our inheritance.
Well, I would say this reminds me of the fall, in Genesis 3…
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Where Adam and Eve, instead of owning up their sin, rationalize their sins…in V12, Adam even blames God…and in V13, the Woman blames the serpent.