Many Christians believe, that from the moment a person repents and turn to Jesus Christ, the person is saved for the rest of his life. But is that truly the case? Is it true, that when you repent, you are saved by His blood for once and for all, despite your lifestyle? Doesn’t it matter how you live? Is it really the grace of God, that will save you, for once and for all? Let’s have a look, at what the Word says.
The redemption of God’s people from the power of Egypt
God redeemed His people from the power of Egypt. They were slaves of pharaoh and lived in slavery and oppression. But one day, it was enough, and God answered the prayers and the cries of His people. He sent His servant Moses, to redeem His people from the oppression of pharaoh.
You might think, that the people of God would be grateful for their redemption. But no, that wasn’t the case. During their time in the wilderness, they twisted and argued with Moses, they murmured and complained to God, despite the fact, that God provided in everything. They didn’t lack a thing! But it didn’t go, their way.
God didn’t provide in the things, that His people wanted and expected from Him. They wanted to live like the Egyptians; the gentiles, doing the things they did, only not in slavery and oppression, but in freedom.
God made His will known to His people. But it was up to each one of them, if they wanted to obey His commandments or not. Everyone had been given a free will. They could choose to love Him, serve Him and keep His commandments, or not.
Those, who were stubborn and rebellious, and didn’t obey His commandments, didn’t enter the promised land. And so it happened, that a whole generation was lost, and died in the wilderness
Everyone was redeemed, but not everyone was saved.
The message of repentance
Jesus came to this earth, for a special mission and with an important message: “repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand”. Jesus came first of all for the redemption of the people of Israel; who were God’s people after the flesh. Jesus called them to repentance. He revealed and demonstrated the Kingdom of God to them, with signs and wonders. But still, everyone had a free will, to make a choice.
Many Jews answered the call of Jesus and repented of their sins. They were baptised, while confessing their sins, and followed Jesus. But not all of His followers stayed loyal to Him (Jn 6:66).
Not everyone was prepared and willing, to give up their own life.
As they were going along with Him, many of His followers, turned back, because of His hard sayings, that offended them (Jn 6:60-62)
That’s why Jesus said, that you have to count the cost, before you make a choice for Him. Because if you choose to follow Him, it means that you have to deny (give up) your own life.
When you are prepared to give up your own life, only then, will you be able to follow Him.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it (Mat 17:24-25, Mar 8:34, Luke 9:23)
Did you truly repent?
If you repent, be baptised in water and receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, but keep walking, the way you walked before your repentance, and habitually sin, it shows that you have not truly repented from your works of the flesh, your sins and therefore you are not saved.
Therefore you shall walk after the Spirit, do what the Word tells you to do, and bear the fruit of the Spirit.
What happens if someone doesn’t bear the fruit of the Spirit? Jesus discussed this matter in the following parable:
A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down (Luke 13:6-9)
Who’s slave are you?
If a person keeps living in sin, the person is a slave of the devil and belongs to the kingdom of darkness. The person is not a slave of Jesus Christ, and therefore doesn’t belong to the Kingdom of God.
The works of a person shall reveal, to which kingdom the person belongs.
If the person walks after the flesh, in sin, the person shall bear the fruit of sin, which is death.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live (Rom 8:13)
You have been given power, to become a son of God
But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (Jn 1:12-13).
The Word says, that to as many as received Him, He gave the power to become the sons of God. ‘To become’ means an action, a process.
You have to put effort to it and train, so that your spirit will mature, and grow up in the likeness of Jesus Christ; the Word.
You are redeemed by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, and by His blood.
Jesus Christ has redeemed you from the kingdom of darkness, and brought you into the Kingdom of God. He has redeemed you from death.
Through Jesus Christ you have entered the Kingdom of God. You are circumcised in Him, which means that you have laid down your life through baptism and by the baptism with the Holy Spirit, your spirit has been raised from the death.
But… now it’s your turn to stay inside and work your salvation.
Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Phil 2:12-13)
Can you become apostate of the faith after you repent?
Yes, definitely! First of all, Jesus said to His disciples, that only those, who endures to the end, would be saved:
You shall be hated of all men for My Name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved (Mat 10:22)
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Mat 24:12-13).
There is a possibility, to not stay saved, and to apostate from the faith
For example, in his letter to Timothy, he commanded Timothy to walk according to the prophecies, which were given to him, that he might fight (war) a good warfare, holding the faith and a good conscience. Because some had put away the faith, and became apostate:
That thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme (1 Tim 1:19-20)
Alexander and Hymenaeus were not the only ones, who left the faith. Demas also left Paul for the love of the world:
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica (2 Tim 4:10).
The love for the world is a major factor, through which many will leave the faith. You cannot serve the world and serve Jesus. They each belong to another kingdom. It is either the world or the Word (Jesus).
“Who hinders you to obey the truth?”
You did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth? This persuasion comes not of Him that calleth you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that you will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be (Gal 5:7)
Many are called, but few are chosen
Jesus said: for many are called, but few are chosen. (Mat 22:14)
The cross is not the endpoint of your life, but the cross is the starting point of your new life. The cross cannot be used as an excuse to keep walking, the way you walked, before you repented, in sin.
The cross is not a camping site, but the cross is the place, where you have crucified your flesh in Christ. You were a partaker of His death (baptism), but also in His resurrection (baptism with the Holy Spirit).
The resurrection life should become visible in the lives of the believers. Unfortunately, many know what is written, but only few bring, what is written, into practice. There are not many believers, who walk in this resurrected life.
What is stopping them? The love for themselves and the love for this world. They are not able to step into the boat and let go of the rope. They cannot say goodbye, to their old comfortable familiar life.
The old creation always looks back and turns back to the old and to his old habits.
When a person turns back to his old habits and behaviour, it means that the person returns to his old life in darkness.
The blood of Jesus, has no benefit, for the person, who is not willing to lay down the old creation; the sin nature. The blood of Jesus is not a magic spell, nor a good luck charm, or permit, that makes living in sin and iniquity, all right and approved. No! It is one, or the other: or you lay down your life, or you don’t.
What happens to those, who don’t stay in His Word and become disobedient to His Word?
And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith.
Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 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. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? (Rom 11:17-24)
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live (Rom 8:13)
Once saved always saved?
Are you therefore once saved always saved? Doesn’t it matter how you live, after your repentance? The answer is: “no.”
You don’t get saved or stay saved, by obeying all kinds of rules, go to church on a weekly basis and/or even do all kinds of church activities, doing good to others, and daily read your Bible and pray.
You are only redeemed, when you repent and become born again. And you stay saved, by staying in Jesus Christ; the Word, and walk as the new creation, after the Spirit in His commandments. If you love Jesus; the Word, you do, what He tells you to do.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end (Heb 3:14)
Paul warned and wrote the following to the believers, the church of Jesus Christ:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21)
“Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?”
Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9-10)
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becomes saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them (Eph 5:3-7)
Are you saved, when you walk in rebellion towards God?
If you are redeemed by faith in Jesus Christ, by His blood, and keep walking in sins, in rebellion towards God, than the Word shows you, your final destination:
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries (Heb 10:26-27)
If ‘once saved always saved’ is true, and that you can live the way you want to live. Then why did Jesus warned the churches in the Book of Revelation? Why did Jesus commanded them to repent of their works, and return to Him; the Word? Jesus revealed what was wrong with the churches, and he called the churches to repent of their behaviour, and remove the evil out of their midst.
Jesus said very clearly, that if they wouldn’t repent and return to Him, He would take the candle away from them and they would be seated in darkness. But not only that, Jesus said, that He would erase their name out of the Book of life (Rev 3:5)
And that is still the case for every believer, who belongs to the church; the body of Jesus Christ
Many are redeemed, but only few are saved.
‘Be the salt of the earth’