Once saved, always saved?
Or once saved and may lose it?
Google is baffled!
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Acts 2:21
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. John 10:9The Bible
If you Google “how is one saved” or “steps to salvation” you’ll get a multitude of ways of what one must do to be saved. Jesus gives many examples throughout the Gospels of how a person can be saved. A good example is a rich man asking Jesus what must he do to be saved. Jesus answered, “Sell all your possessions and follow me!” That’s gotta be hard for a rich guy. Jesus gives many, many examples of people being blessed and saved by their actions. What I don’t understand is do we have to do everything that Jesus commands or just some of them? Will we know it when we’re saved? How can my church claim that they’ve saved some souls? How is that possible? Can they save mine? As you can see, my 40+ years as a Christian led me into a state of confusion. I have no idea if I’ve ever been saved, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve lost it by now.
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Born into beauty
Taught to believe in their God…
We become ugly
“Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.”Psalm 51:5 NRSV
All babies are born beautiful in the eyes of their parents. We then teach our children about a God who teaches us that all babies are born into sin passed on by the original parents. We then become ugly and unacceptable in God’s eyes. His only son must give his life to make us acceptable to him. But, even then, only a few will be accepted.
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Shades of wavy grass
Trampled by a chosen few
Forms a narrow path
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
This has always been one of those passages that made me think about how one is saved. A lot of Christians tell me that “all you have to do is believe.” But, what if Jesus is right when he told his followers that you must do all of these things (commands) and then he throws out a verse that says, “… only a few will find it.” He dies on the cross to pay for our sins! Then he’ll come back to judge the sinless, the living, and the dead. And only a “few” of the sinless will travel down the path to eternal life. Of course, not all Christians are on board with this teaching. Or they have an entirely different interpretation of this Bible verse. The Bible is one mysterious and confusing book.
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Only a few will
Find the narrow path to life
Blisters on my feet
Go in through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction is broad and the road wide, so many people enter through it. But the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it.Matthew 7:13-14 CEB
The “narrow gate” that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 7:13-14 has always been a mystery to me. He says that only a “few” will find it. There are all sorts of commentary from people who will basically say that he didn’t really mean what he said. But, what if Jesus really meant what he said? After all, the Bible says that we may be chosen, that we must believe, we’ve got to follow a slew of commands, etc. Then when we think that we’ve done enough, believed enough, prayed, and worshipped enough, he’s going to come back and judge us! I’m beginning to believe that Jesus meant what he said: that only a few make it to the narrow gate that leads us through the myriad of paths to eternal life.
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Will I ever have
Assurance of salvation?
Drowning in my fear
Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.Thomas Aquinas
When I considered myself a Christian, I always wondered if I was good enough. One of my favorite thoughts was, “Am I Christian enough?” Some pastors tell me that all you have to do is believe. Others say that I must do good deeds. And others say that I must do both. What exactly are the requirements for being saved? Is there a formula or a checklist that I can go by? What is my assurance that I am saved? If I gain it, can I lose it? Jesus says in John 3:16 that we are guaranteed eternal life – if we believe. Believe what exactly?
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I asked God one time
If he could help me believe…
I hate cold coffee
Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”Acts 16:30-31 NRSV
Believing in Jesus is the key to the Christian religion. There are tons of Bible verses that say “if you believe” you’ll have eternal life, prayers will be answered, and so on. Now I can’t seem to find any that tell you “how to believe.” The Apostle Thomas got direct proof from Jesus that he was the Savior. But, I wasn’t there with Thomas and I want the same kind of proof. Praying doesn’t work unless you believe (Matthew 21:22). You’re not saved (given salvation) unless you believe (Acts 16:30-31). So, how does one believe? If someone told me that my wife was sleeping with another man, I wouldn’t just believe them.
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He cleanses our sins
To assure our salvation
Until judgment day
– John 3:16, Revelation 1:5, John 5:26-29, 1 Corinthians 3:8, Mark 3:28-29
God does not like sinners and allowed his Son to be sacrificed on the cross to pay for all who sin (Revelation 1:5). Well, at least for those who were believers (John 3:16) making that a condition of being saved. I was always told that my sins were abolished by this act of kindness. So, if my sins are wiped clean, why is Jesus coming back to judge the “living and the dead? (John 5:26-29)” Is there some kind of reward ranking in heaven (1 Corinthians 3:8)? Or maybe I have committed the Unforgivable Sin (Mark 3:28-29) and didn’t realize it. That’s possible!
Must be born again
Your salvation is assured
– John 3:1-21