Once saved, always saved?
I have some friends who believe in predestination. They say that once a person is predestined
to be saved, no matter what he does, even if he does wicked things, he will be saved in the end. In like manner, they say
that once a person is predestined for condemnation, no matter what he does, even if he accomplishes good things and repents,
in the end he will be condemned. What can you say about this belief? Is this biblical? Do you believe in predestination?
Charleston, South Carolina
The belief, "once saved, always saved" or the belief that a person is predestined either to
be saved or to be condemned is against biblical teaching.
Man is not born with a label-to be saved or to be condemned. In fact, the Almighty God desires
that all men repent and be saved:
"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savoir, Who desires all men to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1Tim. 2:3-4, New King James Version)
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with
you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (II Pt. 3:9, New International Version)
So, it is not true that man has been predestined to salvation or condemnation. The Bible teaches
about predestination, but this is different from that being taught by some Protestant denominations. Apostle Paul declared
"In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of
Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will." (Eph. 1:11, NKJV)
God has predestined man according to His purpose, that is, for man to "be holy and without blame"
(Eph. 1:4, Ibid). Yet, although God predestined man to be holy and blameless in His sight, He gave man free will-he has the
freedom to choose which path to take:
"Today I have given the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call
on heaven and earth to witness THE CHOICE YOU MAKE. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendents might live!
Choose to love the Lord your God and obey Him and commit yourself to him, for He is your life." (Dt. 30:19-20, New Living
Translation, emphasis ours)
God gave man the choice between life and death and between blessings and curses. But the Lord
did not merely give man choices. To prove His love for man, God specifically instructed man to "choose life" so that he may
The doctrine of predestination as upheld by some Protestant groups is not at all biblical. In
fact, this concept was only promulgated by the French theologian, John Calvin, one of the recognized leaders of the reformation
in the 16th century.