This is a topic that is widely debated but I believe it is an important subject to think about and seek the Bible carefully about. This is also a subject that makes many people feel a certain level of anxiety or stress. However,
this topic should not upset us because as we grow in the Lord His words and teachings bring us more and more comfort. I appreciate what Dr. Michael Brown said about the topic of OSAS when he stated "Take comfort, be assured in your relationship with The Lord,
and fear not for if you have set your heart on serving Him, He will keep you faithful to the end. If you play games then fear!" He also wisely stated "God who started the work will finish the work. Put your trust in Him, don’t try to push open
the emergency door in the plane and commit spiritual suicide! Let Him get you safely to your destination." Dr. Brown knows that we as Christians have nothing to fear as long as we continue to walk with the Lord. But he also knows that we need to be vigilant,
wise, and discerning and to understand the fullness of biblical truth on this subject.
What does the Bible teach about concerning if a person can die spiritually after he has once been saved? Jesus, Paul, and none of the apostles
taught unconditional eternal security, or 'once saved always saved' (OSAS). We must be exceedingly careful of this widespread doctrine in our day since it has pulled people from the truth, has led multitudes away from the fear of the Lord, and has led
many even back on the wide road of destruction. It is a 'safety in sin' doctrine that gives false security.
To begin with, salvation is not something to be taken for granted. Salvation is the Most Wondrous amazing gift that
can ever be given to someone and it is a gift given to someone completely for free. Salvation was paid for by Jesus' precious blood and there is nothing of more value to ever exist than the wondrous gift of salvation. If this gift of salvation
starts to get neglected (Hebrews 2:1-3), abused (Hebrews 3:12-15), and down-right trampled on (Hebrews 10:29), this gift can and will be taken away if we are not careful to walk with/abide in our blessed and precious Lord. So we need
to wake up from our sleep and learn the full truths of God before we begin to believe the twisted views of men. The Bible even teaches us that we need to “Work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12-13), and that "God
has no pleasure in those who draw back." (Heb. 10:38)
Let's look at what the Bible teaches very directly about those who eventually get careless and one day actually trample on Jesus' precious blood by falling back into sin, and let's
find out how God will one day deal with people who insult the Spirit of Grace in such a demeaning way.
Let's look at Hebrews 10:26-31 very carefully. Here we read: “For if we sin willfully (knowingly, purposefully, deliberately)
after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony
of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For
we know Him who said, 'Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord.' And again, 'The Lord will judge His people.' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
These verses are exceedingly
clear that if a once born-again believer who knew God's truths, and was once sanctified, falls back into sin (which is the same as trampling on the Son of God and on His precious blood), that there no longer remains a sacrifice for this person's
sins and he will have to face God's righteous judgment! This isn't being said to discourage us, but to wake us up to God's truths that are often times neglected or twisted!
So we can now understand perfectly
well that God's salvation is conditional. It is conditional upon if we decide to remain faithful to Him. Now don't lose heart for the Bible is full of good news and perfect guidance.
The first thing
we need to understand is that we can take full security in the fact that God will always be faithful to His part of the promise! (Philippians 1:6 etc.) He will never leave us or forsake us, but the question is, will you
ever walk away from or forsake Him?
Will you keep your hand to the plow and not look back? (Luke 9:62)
Will you endure to the end and continue in the faith? (Col. 1:23)
Will you continue to fight the good fight? (1 Tim.
Will you take up your cross daily? (Luke 9:23)
Will you stay on the straight and narrow path? (Matt. 7:13-14)
Will you overcome to receive the crown of life and not get blotted out of the Book of Life? (Rev. 3:5)
put on the full armor of God each day? (Ephesians 6:11-18)
Will you continue to love and obey God faithfully with all your heart? (John 14:15-24)
Will you grow on the good soil, or will you get neglectful and allow the soil that the seed of His
word was planted in to become 'rocky' or 'thorny'? (Matt. 13)
Here is some other scripture that clearly reveals that a true believer can depart from the faith and thus walk away from God:
Heb 3:12-19 "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you with an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest
any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts,
as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he
that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."
Rev 2:4-5 "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee because
thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."
2:20-22 "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had
been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog has turned to his own vomit again; and
the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
Rev 3:1-3 "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;
I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and
hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."
1Cor. 10:12 "Wherefore let him that thinketh he
standeth take heed lest he falls."
1Timothy 5:15 "For some are already turned aside after Satan."
Rom 11:22 "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of
God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."
Col 1:21-23 "And you, that were sometime
alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled,
and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel,
which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister."
1Tim 4:1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from
the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils."
James 5:19-20 "My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back,
remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."
2 Peter 3:17-18 "You, therefore beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your
guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.