Haven’t you heard or thought this when the subject of eternal security, perseverance of the saints, or “once saved always saved,” comes up: “That’s going to make people think that once they are saved then they can just go do whatever they want and they’ll still go to heaven. That is horrible!”

I have heard people say this a lot. My question though is, is it true? Once people are TRULY saved, can they do whatever they want and be okay?

Although I need you to hear me out in order to be understood properly, I shout a resounding…

“YES THEY CAN!!!”

Now before I get everyone all worked up, let me explain. The question again was, “doesn’t ‘Once Saved Always Saved’ imply that people can do whatever they want after they are saved and they will still go to heaven?” Sometime it is worded, “isn’t that a license to sin?” This last question I would firmly oppose. It is firmly not a license to sin and this is why:

If the person has truly been taken from the kingdom of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of light, that means that they received what Ezekiel calls a new heart, a new spirit, the Holy Spirit, and God’s forceful causing them to obey His commands. Let’s look at the passage in Ezekiel 36:

“26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”

A heart of stone that is void of a willing spirit and the Holy Spirit cannot please God. It has to have a radical change enacted upon itself by God. This is what Jeremiah 31 talks about as well with the New Covenant. So if you truly have been redeemed by Jesus Christ, you have a new spirit (you are now wanting to be holy as God is Holy), you now have the Holy Spirit (which Ephesians 1:13-14 calls the seal or down payment of God which, by giving it, guarantees He will pay in full by bringing you all the way to full Salvation), and finally it says explicitly in the text, God will CAUSE you to walk in His ways and be careful to OBEY His rules. This text should make people who hold to free will go insane.

Now briefly, I want to touch on this “new heart” concept. The Bible has a lot to say about the heart.

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 27:19
As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.

Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart
the mouth speaks.

Matthew 15:18-19
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony,
slander.

Mark 7:21-22
For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22
greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

The heart of the unbeliever is a factory that continually makes idols and because of the natural condition of the heart, it proves our guilt of sin. The heart is where our desires live. If we have an unconverted heart, we have evil desires, and then, because our will is in bondage to our heart’s desires, we will evil things all the time, proving that we have no free will, but are slaves to sin (Romans 6:5, 20). But, and I repeat, but if/when God gives us a new heart, we have new wants and new desires!

So go and do whatever you want to do because if you are truly a blood-bought child of God, you want to worship God, you want to read His Word, you want to obey all of His commands. You don’t want to sin against Him anymore. Even the Apostle Paul said that the things he did not want to do, he did, and the things he did want to do, he still struggled to do (Romans 7). This means that yes, if we are Christians we are still affected by sin’s presence in our lives and we still stumble and fall, but we don’t want to do that anymore. We want to please God.

How do we know if we are saved though? We don’t want to believe in vain. And also, we have to test ourselves to see if we are of the faith. But listen to this:

Romans 10:9-10
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

So if you are truly saved, and you have had the Holy Spirit testify with your spirit that you are a child of God, Go and do what you want to do, which is worship and glorify Jesus Christ all your days. And when we do we know that it is God who, “works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Philippians 2:13).”

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Comments
  1. Gene says:

    I stumbled onto your site while looking up some info for Sunday School lesson tomorrow. It is not about salvation but, I did take a glance at your site. Perhaps I’ll have more time to ask you some specifics but I do not tonight.

    I’ll just ask you this for now. What role does obedience play in relation to salvation?

    Anyway, I pray that worship is great where ever you worship tomorrow.

    Blessings,
    Gene

    • Thanks for the comment Gene. Please ask whatever you’d like. As for obedience and how it relates to salvation, to answer it as briefly as possible I would just say that God commands dead people to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus. In order for them to do this, they need to be born again, and I don’t believe that any action we take makes us born again. According to John 3, that is a special work of the Holy Spirit, blowing on whoever He is appointed from the Father to blow on. The Holy Spirit quickens and gives life and the person believes and repents. The believing and obeying are signs that the person is now alive and in Christ. Just like a baby is born, not of his own will or power, and begins to breathe and cry. The breathing and crying don’t create life in the baby, they are just sure signs that the baby has life. Salvation is all of the Lord. We don’t make a joint effort to become saved. I hope this helps. If you have any questions now after reading this, comtinue the conversation here. Thanks again Gene and worship was great today. I lead the singing portion of the worship, which was really great. I fill in for our worship leader when he is gone, so it went very well. I hope your Sunday and Father’s day (if you are one, I am not) goes well.

      • Gene says:

        Ahh, so its been a while. I just found your e-mail as I was cleaning out some of my stuff. Things here have been busy but that’s life it seems.

        I totally understand where you are coming from regarding OSAS. I completed my undergrad at Liberty University so I got a lot of the whats and whys but it seemed compartmentalized and nobody would actually address the problem scriptures other than to say something to the extent of “well whatever it means it cannot mean one could lose their salvation.” Obviously those types of answers never sat well especially if we are called to have an answer otherwise perhaps do a little more searching.

        Anyway, I won’t hit you up with questions regarding 2 Pet, Heb, Rom, John, etc for now but I am curious about your understanding of the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8. Jesus broke it down to alleviate confusion yet, somehow people I have spoken with add to this passage to explain it which creates more confusion. A pastor recently told me this was about the sower’s salvation. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I left it alone since this just went along with my other experiences regarding this topic. So how do you understand this passage in line with OSAS, especially vs 13. where “they believe for a while” (NIV)? Interesting too that the greek word for believe is the same word Paul uses to tell people what they must do to be saved in Ro 10:10. There is never a time limit placed on the duration of “believing” so again I do not understand how OSAS believers tackle this parable that Jesus explained. Can you clarify this to me? I am not trying to come across as arrogant so please don’t think that. My wife tells me that I often come across harsh at times. It probably has to do with my military experience in dealing with people so anyway. When you get time I would love to understand how you approach this and others like this. There are quite a few such as this that are very direct.

        Thanks!
        Gene

      • Thanks for the dialogue Gene. I love this stuff so don’t ever feel like I’m going to get defensive or anything. Believe me, I have had a ton of bad/clashing confrontations/conversations because people are not able to just discuss the text and talk. Everyone seems to lose control of themselves.

        Regarding Luke 8 and OSAS I would just say that it comes down to the difference between saving faith and false faith. Hebrews mentions over and again about holding onto and believing until the end. This is part of the evidence of true faith; it lasts. You are 100% correct that the same Greek word is used in Luke 8:13 as in Romans 10:10. It is also the exact same word used by Jesus in John 2:23 and also it is also translated “entrust” the very next verse, John 2:24.

        John 2:23
        Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs • that he was doing.

        John 2:24
        But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people

        It is also the same word used here:

        James 2:19
        You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe— and shudder!

        This same Greek word used for believe is used 241 times in the NT. What I believe is that there are people who “believe” but it is not a true salvation. I actually think Luke 8 is pretty clear, especially if you see this point; the good seed is the good seed and the bad seed is the bad. No one starts off as good seed and then by their bad action, they become bad seed. The good seed is good from the beginning and the bad is bad from the beginning. Hope this keeps the conversation going. Also, feel free to throw any other problem texts for OSAS or any other Reformed doctrine. If this is still unclear on the Luke 8 passage, let me know how and I’ll try to tackle it for you.

  2. I liked your post and I agree. thanks for truth.

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