Once Saved Always Saved?
Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV UK)
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
This year of conscious salvation has been long and rough but honestly I would not want to go back to my past. I say conscious salvation because my salvation happened years ago but I didn’t start walking and living in it until last year. What God has taught me about salvation ties into the term revert that I mentioned in my last post. It’s here if you want to read it. But God has also showed me that salvation is more than forgiveness or “when you became a Christian.” (this was a question that bothered me during Alpha for many reasons, that I may write about.)
My opinion on once saved always saved has changed since hearing someone in alpha saying “you can’t lose your salvation.” When I heard this at the time I thought, yes you can but now since God has directed my life to realising that salvation is not something that you can lose. I am less fearful about this area of our walks with God. This is another sneaky tactic that the devil uses to keep us from living in victory and fully taking hold of our salvation.
The main thing that made me think, yes we can lose our salvation was forgiveness. Matthew 6:14 was the reason why I thought yes we can BUT on thinking about it more I realise that salvation does not stop at forgiveness. Yes the way in which we forgive is the way that God will forgive us but this does not mean that we lose our salvation. (Matthew 25:14-30, Matthew 18:21-35)
Matthew 6:14 (NIV UK)
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
My week has been filled with distraction and sin shaped seeds being planted through my eyes. (Matthew 6:22-23) I have consumed a lot of TV this week and it all began with me watching a TV show that I had cut out of my life during its last season. I thought I can watch it without getting too involved in what is happening but once you know that a TV show, song, film etc. affects you don’t go back! After watching this one show I then binge watched a completely different show for nostalgia reasons and that was it for my week. My week in terms of acknowledging God was a shambles. I felt dirty when it came time to read the Bible or pray and when I did, I didn’t do it with the hunger that I should be doing it. My prayer time became an obligation before I went to bed and that is not what God intended for my prayer life to be.
Even though I know and have known for a long time that the devil uses absolutely anything to distract us from properly walking with God I still allowed TV to distract me and take me away from putting God front and centre in my life.
How does my week of too much TV watching tie into “once saved always saved?”
Our salvation is all about living in it and actually consciously walking with God. There are so many things that are “normal” in our day to day lives that we don’t see for what they truly are. TV for many people is harmless and does not affect us in any way but this is a source of distraction and sin filled seeds being planted into our hearts and minds. This is not the first time I have been distracted by TV. It has happened a lot this year and each time I kick myself and acknowledge that the devil is distracting me. But I haven’t until today (07/08/17) truly acknowledged why the devil would want to distract us and how that ties into salvation.
We rebuke the devil when we go through a rough time but we don’t rebuke the devil when we are distracted by TV, music, films, people, possessions etc. If I kept / keep on compromising and allowing TV and other things to be front and centre in my life before long I would be back to my sinful ways and God would no longer be my main focus in life. This would not mean that I lost my salvation all this would mean is that I stopped walking in my salvation and allowed all of the wrong things to take over from the good things that God was doing in my life.
1 John 1:9 (NIV UK)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
One way of looking at salvation is using your church. There are some people who are in church every single Sunday, some who are there some of the time and some who only come during special occasions. All of these people can say that they go to church but their levels of church attendance varies. Just because some people only attend church twice a year it does not mean that they don’t attend church, all it mean is that they don’t attend it as much as others do.
We can apply this to salvation; we don’t lose our salvation we either walk in it fully, partially or we don’t at all. Salvation is all about what we do with our lives once we ask God to forgive us and we repent of our sins. Some people purposefully walk with God and they choose God all the time, some people choose God some of the time and others only acknowledge God a few times in the year. This is what happens when we become saved, God doesn’t force himself on us or make us walk with Him. We have to make decisions each day that show that we have God working in our lives.
So can we lose our salvation?
No, we can’t BUT there are plenty of things that can lead us away from heaven and towards hell. Salvation is about forgiveness and then walking towards those things that build up in us the more we submit ourselves to the word of God and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Salvation does not start and stop with saying “the sinners prayer” salvation is from that very moment until the day we die. Each day we have to place God front and centre in our lives instead of picking Him up when things are a little tough or when we need a miracle.