“The Key” & Once Saved Always Saved


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Scriptural Validation Of “The Key”
Sermon Notes

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“The Key” & Once Saved Always Saved

The following information relates to the belief that once saved, a Christian cannot ‘lose’ his salvation. This directly opposes the message of “The Key To Heaven”. Scripture quoted is from the NIV Bible, not because it is ‘best’ but because it states these points clearly while still agreeing with the KJV. Graham Pockett

Can you lose your salvation?

Many people fervently believe that once saved, they can never lose their salvation. I pray that those who do believe it will read the following with an open heart and an open mind. Above all, I urge every reader to check each Scripture presented – and then check the context that the Scriptures are quoted in by reading at least ten verses before and 10 verses after.

I sincerely believe the ‘once saved always saved’ concept to be wrong. The implication that once someone becomes a ‘real’ Christian (a definition would be handy) they are saved and that they can’t backslide or commit a sin which would rob them of that inheritance.

From my experience, Christians can sin and they often do sin but to believe that a Christian can live any way he or she likes, and still be saved, is dangerous. Some argue that a ‘real’ Christian wouldn’t commit these sins and it is the ‘almost Christians’ who fall foul of this type of entrapment from the enemy. I believe that would be wrong too. Committed Christians sin for all sorts of reasons and we are only saved by God’s amazing Grace, not our level of commitment. God knows our true heart!

If a Christian sins maliciously (deliberately breaks laws for his or her own advantage – say purchasing goods known, or strongly suspected, of being stolen) that is quite different from accidentally sinning – something we all do constantly.

God knows our true intention. We might be able to fool a police officer that we sinned accidentally, but God knows the real truth. I believe that if we deliberately go against the direction given by Jesus (who, you will remember, said to obey the laws of the land) then we must suffer the consequences – and that might mean the loss of eternal life. At least our Judge, while tough, is fair and understanding!

Let’s look at this Scripturally

Jesus understood that when people heard the Word of God they would react in different ways – from total rejection to total acceptance. He explained it in ‘The Parable Of The Sower’. I have quoted the Matthew 13:3-23 Scripture here, but the same parable can also be found in Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:4-15.

Matthew 13:3-9:
3 Then [Jesus] told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed.
4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.
8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
9 He who has ears, let him hear.” [NIV]

The Disciples wanted to know what this parable meant and Jesus explained.

Matthew 13:18-23
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:
19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.
21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” [NIV]

For people who believe that “once saved, always saved” I rhetorically ask: how do you relate your beliefs to Matthew 13: 20-21? If a man cannot lose his salvation then why would Jesus say: “When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away”?

The key to how we are saved is in John 3:16:
[Jesus said] “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” [NIV]

The word ‘believes’ in the Greek is an on-going verb. It really says that unless we keep on believing in Him we will perish and not have everlasting life. We are saved by Grace as long as we keep on believing in Him. Let’s check another Scripture.

Mark 13:13 says:
[Jesus said] “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” [NIV]

Look again at the second half of that sentence. Jesus is saying that to be saved you must stand firm (for Him) until you die. Conversely He is therefore saying that those who do not stand firm will not be saved! Notice that I am not quoting Paul or any other Apostle or Disciple, but the Son of God Himself.

Was I saved when I was cursing God?

When I was quite young I gave myself to the Lord. I then drifted away from the church – and from Jesus – and ended up walking in a wilderness for 25 years. For 25 years I cursed Jesus and fought against Christianity. I ‘studied’ the Bible looking for ‘wrongness’ in it and read as many anti-Christian writings as I could. I became an intellectually strong anti-Christian and could debate, and win, with committed Christians in many areas, specially on early church history. I was not a nice person. Guess you could say that I was like Saul.

One day, in the fit of despair after being separated from my wife of 19 years, I asked “the Creator” (my concept at that time) how I could get her back. I heard an audible voice (which I instantly knew to be Jesus) say: “Believe in Me”. It was mind blowing to say the least. I can understand the confusion Saul must have felt when he was slam-dunked to the ground by the very Person he was persecuting. It was the same with me.

Was I ‘saved’ during those 25 years of anti-Christian ‘preaching’? From my own heart I can say a resounding NO. If I had died and gone to Heaven during that period I would have screamed to be taken to Hell! Yet I had accepted Jesus at a Youth For Christ rally when I was about 14. Saved forever, or not saved forever?

To the people who would say that I really wasn’t saved when I was young I just point them back to John 3:16. I did believe in the salvation of Jesus in those early days – I witnessed at school, I was very much involved with my local church, I even wanted to become a minister of religion when I grew up!

But, after five years, I backslid – and not just a little way either! I fell all the way into the pit and Satan had me fully in his grasp. Saved? No way. The Lord gave us the power of free will, and I had exercised mine to be a servant of Satan.

The final proof...

“We have nothing of our own but our will. It is the only thing which God has so placed in our own power that we can make an offering of it to Him.” St John Vianney (The Curé d’Ars – 1786-1859)

If God didn’t want us to be able to choose He would not have given us the gift of free will. It is this gift which places us above the animals. It is this gift which allows us to choose to either worship God or not worship God. It is this gift, and only this gift, which allows us to truly love Him like a son. It is this gift which proves that ‘once saved, always saved’ must be wrong.

If we are saved in spite of ourselves then there is no free will. If there is no free will then the Bible is wrong!

I don’t believe that the Bible is wrong...

I pray you have found this article interesting and I would be pleased to read any comments you may have. However, my workload is such that I may not be able to respond to all mail. Address any comments to Graham Pockett.

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Graham’s Christian writing:
"Graham Pockett doesn't mince any words, but he writes with a kind heart. If you have questions about such things as "once saved, always saved", or why so many different ideas can come from the same scripture, or how much what we see and do affects us as spiritual beings, you'll find much to think about here."  from This Christian Life
Graham Pockett
Download these articles:
GrahamsWriting.zip
  • The Key To Heaven  (an analogy about commitment)
  • I Am A Cynic; Therefore I Am A Christian
  • Evolution – a statistical question mark?
  • “Once Saved Always Saved” – a dangerous delusion?
  • Who is my Neighbor? – featuring "The Parable of the Good Muslim"
  • Bashing The Bible – misusing & abusing Scripture
  • Two Billion Doctrines – the strange religion called Christianity
  • Does God Ever Change His Mind? – Calvin would turn in his grave!
  • New Wine In An Old Skin – the problem of legalism in the church today
  • Are You Hard Boiled, Or Soft & Runny? – doctrines are like an egg shell
  • The Bible is an "iffy" book – a look at the conditional promises of God
  • Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? – what did Jesus really look like?
  • The Truth Will Set You Free! – the Holy Tarantula???
  • Growing the Seed of Faith – so it doesn't wither and die
  • We Don't See The Clean, Just The Dirt – judgement and forgiveness
  • Why I Quote The NIV Bible – is it an heretical Bible?
  • "Omissions" from the NIV Bible – a look at 17 missing verses
  • Do You Believe In Miracles? – you do when they happen to you!
  • “Why Didn’t God Answer My Prayer For A Miracle?” – my response
  • Christian Concepts – the cavern of life  (an analogy)
  • Christian Concepts – the three crosses  (an analogy)
  • Christian Concepts – we are what we eat
  • Christian Concepts – when are we saved?  (an analogy)
  • Christian Concepts – when we are saved, part 1  ...part 2

  • And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
    so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,
    filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.

    Philippians 1:9-11 NIV



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    © Graham Pockett
    Last Updated: Saturday, June 10, 2017