Bible Basics: Perseverance Of The Saints

By Earl E. Robertson

The fifth erroneous point in the five-point system commonly recognized as Calvinism is the Perseverance of the Saints. This doctrine is known around here as “once saved, always saved” or “the impossibility of apostasy.” It is the contention that after God saves one, that individual can never be lost in hell. They tell us that God will so chastised His children that they will be always acceptable.

One preacher wrote a booklet under the title Do A Christian’s Sins Damn His Soul? saying, “We take the position that a Christian’s sins do not damn his soul. The way a Christian lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, or his attitude toward other people have nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul …. All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe,. a the laws he may keep, all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger …. The way a man lives has nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his Soul . . . .”

This is exactly what many believe but no scriptural proof is offered to substantiate such. If any passages of Scripture are offered, they will be twisted and perverted. Apparently these individuals have not learned that eternal life is both conditional and future. Paul says “continue in the doctrine – save thyself” (1 Tim. 4:16); “Sow to the spirit – reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:8). Peter shows that if Christians “do these things – they will enter the everlasting kingdom” (2 Pet. 1:10, 11), and that we are “kept by power through faith – salvation to be revealed” (1 Pet. 1:5). These passages are sufficient to impress us with the fact that our salvation is conditional, and that having lived acceptably in this life we will be accepted by Him for heaven itself. Jesus says, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of fife” (Rev. 2:10).

To the Christians in Galatia, Paul writes, “Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace” (Gal. 5:4). This person is lost!

Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 2, p. 47
January 19, 1984