By Buel Hallpike
(Note: All Scripture quotations are shown in blue italics. Unless otherwise indicated, they are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Substitution of words, phrases, Hebrew names and titles in Biblical quotations has been made at the discretion of the author and are inserted within square brackets […] for identification. Parts of some quotations are shown in bold or capitals for author’s emphasis. Non-Biblical quotations are indicated in brown.
Anyone copying this article must ensure that they do so in accordance with the conditions stated on our Home Page. To read the conditions please click here).
Many denominations and ministries teach that since salvation is the free gift of Yahweh, anyone who repents and accepts this free gift cannot lose their salvation. This doctrine of "eternal security" is often summarized as "once saved, always saved."
Such adherents put great emphasis on Paul’s statement that if you confess with your mouth [that Yahshua is the Messiah] and believe in your heart that [Yahweh] has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Rom 10:9. For such persons this is the passport to salvation. They suppose that by simply taking a public stance such as coming to an altar and asking
‘Jesus’ Yahshua into your heart you would have fulfilled the criterion of [confessing] with your mouth ... and [believing] in your heart, and that by so doing you would be saved eternally. They believe that from that moment you will have joined the select number of persons who are assured of their place in heaven the kingdom, and nothing you do subsequently will change that.
Based exclusively on the writings of Paul, they assume that there is nothing else one has to do to maintain one's salvation since grace guarantees that one's salvation cannot be lost. They believe that at repentance, not only past, but also present and future sins are forgiven, so that you are on a direct and irreversible route to glory. What does the Bible teach? Is entry into the kingdom permanently guaranteed to everyone who prays the sinner’s prayer, and asks Yahshua into his or her life, irrespective of what they may do subsequently? Taking this a step further, is asking Yahshua into your heart the Biblical method to repent?
Getting the correct answers to these questions is most important, since they relate to your eternal destiny. It is far better to find out the truth here and now than to discover when it is too late that you had placed confidence in an erroneous teaching.
There can be no doubt that the salvation Yahshua provides was done once, for all times and is always available. The priestly sacrifices of the Old Testament had to be repeated, but this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of [Yahweh] Heb 10:12. His work, the gift of salvation made freely available to all, is finished, but does it follow that your work is also finished and that unlike any other gift, it is impossible to lose it?
‘Once saved always saved’ doctrine
The following extract from a website that promotes the 'eternal security' theory is typical of many like-minded persons in Christendom.
It states: The Bible teaches “once saved, always saved” -- that we can be saved once and for all only through a repentant, saving faith in [Yahshua the Messiah]. Once a person has accepted [the Messiah] as Savior, they may wonder if it is possible to lose that salvation. What if they commit a sin? What if they commit a lot of sins? What if they do something very, very wrong? Is it possible to be saved, and then lose that salvation? Fortunately, the answer is a resounding “no.” Once a person has accepted [Yahshua the Messiah] as Savior, he/she is forever saved…” That website sees the method of salvation as being purely dependent on believing, since they think you are saved by 'grace' alone. Apart from the initial repentance, there is nothing else you need to do. Your seat in the kingdom is guaranteed irrespective of what you may do or fail to do. It cannot be rescinded.
Contrary to that view, James in his epistle makes it abundantly clear that a superficial belief in Yahweh cannot be enough. He states, "You believe that there is one [Elohim]. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!" James 2:19. If your salvation only required a mental acceptance of who Yahshua is, then the demons would be saved, for they shudder at the thought of Yahweh's existence. However, their kind of belief does not lead them to loving, submitting to and obeying Him. Instead it leads them to hatred, rebellion and disobedience. This type of belief will not get the demons or anyone into the Kingdom. James concluded this chapter by saying that as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also James 2:26.
To claim a belief in Yahshua without doing what He says is a contradiction. As Yahshua Himself said, "why do you call Me '[Master, Master]' and do not do the things which I say?" Luke 6:46.
Yahshua defined His true followers as those who obeyed Him. He said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" John 14:15.
Genuine faith in Yahshua’s gift of salvation ought to lead to love and gratitude towards Him, which can only be effectively expressed in obeying Him. This is what will separate a true convert and follower of Yahshua from the teaching and attitudes of demons. It is futile to isolate faith in Yahshua’s finished work from your responsibility to walk in all His ways Deut 10:12. The children of Israel in the wilderness, who demonstrated their unbelief in Yahweh by disobeying Him, did not enter the Promised Land (Heb 3:18-19). The only Biblical belief is that which includes compliance with Yahweh's ways. You will not enter the Kingdom of Yahweh if your lips express admiration of Yahshua, while you resolutely reject His commands.
At the end of the Bible, the book of Revelation leaves no room to doubt who are the ones who will have eternal life. It says blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city (Rev 22:14). The Bible began in the book of Genesis with Adam and Eve forfeiting that right to everlasting life when they disobeyed Yahweh in the Garden of Eden; it ends with believers obtaining eternal life by obeying Him. Yahshua signed the Book of Revelation when He said: "I, Yahshua, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the [assemblies]. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star." Rev 22:16. There is no higher authority on earth. Since He who is our passport or door to eternal life has said we must believe in Him and keep the commandments in order to have eternal life, there is no other credible doctrine. Be not deceived!
The problem with the false teaching of 'once saved, always saved' begins with the popular erroneous doctrine in most of Christendom with regard to how one may be 'saved'. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that if any sinner desires to have eternal life he/she must ask Yahshua (Jesus) to come into their heart. There is not even one occasion where Yahshua or any of his disciples taught this. Nevertheless, this method is widely taught as the way one must be saved.
The verse that is often presented, as the Biblical reason for this practice is Rev 3:20: Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Yahshua's messages in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 were to seven assemblies and not to unsaved individuals. In chapter 3:14-21, His message was to the Laodicean assembly that was lukewarm and deluded in many ways. They thought they were rich and needed nothing. But Yahshua saw that they were in fact wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked verse 17. He gave this advice to them: I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see verse 18.
Yahshua wanted them to repent - to change their way of thinking; to be rid of their delusion and replace it with something that was of inestimable value, pure, solid, tested and tried; to be dressed in His righteousness instead of their perceived righteousness; and to have their eyes opened (like the Emmaus men) that they would perceive truth and no longer walk in darkness. Please note this was what Yahshua counselled. He then continued in verse 20: Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. In the given context and in the light of what Yahshua had said before, this was an invitation for them to be receptive to His counsel. Having assured them of His love in verse 19, He was poised and ready to fellowship with them if they would heed His words.
Now let us suppose that the Laodicean assembly decided that in response to all the advice Yahshua had given, they would ask Him to come into their heart, would they have carried out His instructions? Of course not! Such a reaction would have been disobedient, inappropriate, totally irrelevant and wrong. Yet this is the spin that most of Christendom gives to Rev 3:14-21. What is more they use verse 20 as the basis to lead sinners to
Jesus Yahshua. Christendom has fabricated a ‘sinner’s prayer’ based on Rev 3:20, when Yahshua’s message was not to sinners but to members of the Laodicean assembly who would have been believers! Furthermore sinners are not lukewarm (verse 16). They are spiritually icy cold - DEAD! They did not feature in Yahshua's reprimand of the Laodiceans. So on this count also the response of Christendom to Rev 3:20 is out of place.
The fact that this popular method of leading someone to repentance is unsupported in Scripture and was not practised by Yahshua or His disciples is sufficient reason to question its authenticity. The apostles had many opportunities (e.g. on the day of Pentecost) when they could have told those questioning, that they should invite Yahshua into their hearts. They did not and neither should we.
Repentance is generally understood to mean a genuine sorrow for having strayed from Yahweh’s ways and a pledge to change direction and submit to Yahweh’s authority. Yahshua in His parable of the prodigal son gave a perfect example of true repentance. Read Luke 15:11-32.
Prior to the prodigal son leaving his father’s house, he had lived securely there and enjoyed all the privileges of a son. That however did not satisfy his restless urge to be on his own. Equipped with his inheritance, he left his father’s house for a distant country, to do things his way, hoping to enjoy a great life in the big wide world of freedom. The beginning of his independence was sparkled with excitement in which he probably thought, “This is the life!” But when the fuel (money) for maintaining his profligate lifestyle was exhausted and a famine occurred in the land, the tables turned.
With the bursting of the short-lived bubble, he came face to face with reality. He needed a job, and (assuming he was a Jew), took the most degrading occupation of feeding swine. In desperation he even ate the swine’s food. He had plummeted to the rock-hard bottom. From that position his thoughts returned to the abundance in his father’s house. He mused, "How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants."' And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son" Luke 15:17-21.
While he had been in the distant country, asking his father to come into his life or his heart would have been futile and meaningless. He had to do something. Strong feelings of remorse or the elation of having his father come into his heart (whatever that would mean) would not have changed his circumstances. He journeyed all the way back to his father’s house, penitent and willing to serve his father in any way his father would have desired. In other words from then onwards he would obey his father. He recognised that his way was not the right way. He needed the security of home and knew he could be assured of that when he placed himself under his father’s jurisdiction. Roaming days were over. On arriving at his father’s house, he confessed: "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son" Luke 15:21.
That in a nutshell is true repentance. It is going all the way to the Father, however long or painful the journey may be, admitting to Him that you have been sinning against Him, asking His forgiveness, and submitting yourself from then onwards in total surrender to His will and to His ways. The prodigal son had never lost his father’s love when he had strayed but he had to return home and continue to stay there in order to be secure (safe and saved) in his father’s care.
Yahweh so loved the whole world, that He gave His only son to die in our place, but we do not avail ourselves of that constant love while we are away from Him. We are only safe (saved) when we accept and treasure His gift, by staying with Him and being obedient to Him, throughout the course of our lives.
The account of the prodigal son shows us clearly the Biblical way to repent. We shall see in the next sub-heading that this is what Yahweh was constantly asking of backsliding Israel. Any doctrine that has a basis, which is unsupported in Scripture, will only lead to further error. It is like trying to erect a strong building without a firm foundation. Since most of Christendom teach a method of repentance that is not founded on the Bible, it is inevitable that their ideas on retaining that salvation will be also flawed.
Is it possible to stray after repentance?
There is a good spiritual lesson to be learned from marriage. When a couple marries, they go at the front of a hall and make a sincere pledge before all those present to love and stay together as long as they live. In spite of this many marriages end precipitately, suggesting that a solemn public pledge is inadequate to guarantee a lifelong relationship. The wedding day is but a first step on a journey that should last for one’s lifetime. Each person must continue to walk in love with a genuine desire to please each other. When no effort is made to preserve the bond, love wanes and eventually dies. The wedding-day promise is incapable of welding together two hearts that are falling apart. When a marriage breaks down, the partners separate and each is denied the rights of wedlock.
The Bible shows that a similar breakdown in our relationship with Him occurs if we are not prepared to stay with Him and please Him for all of our lives, as is expected in a marriage.
Yahweh has repeatedly drawn this parallel between His relationship with the children of Israel and a marriage. Through His prophet Jeremiah, He said "Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,” says [Yahweh]" Jer 3:20.
Through Ezekiel, Yahweh said of Israel, "You are an adulterous wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband" Ezek 16:32.
Yahweh said to Hosea: "Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, for the land has committed great harlotry by departing from [Yahweh]" Hos 1:2.
These verses suggest that in the same way a spouse can leave his/her married partner, so too a former believer can go away from Yahweh. Yahweh does not move away from His people, but they sometimes move from Him, just as the prodigal son left his father’s house. Through Isaiah Yahweh said, "Your iniquities have separated you from your [Elohim]; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear" Isa 59:2. If your sins separate you from Yahweh, it is false confidence to believe that because you made a public declaration to follow Him that that commitment will continue to hold in spite of whatever you may do. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of [Yahweh]? 1 Cor 6:9.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed Yahweh by heeding the voice of Satan, they had set in motion a tendency to stray from Yahweh and to disobey Him. Rebellion crept into the heart of man. As Eve naively thought she could have eternal life while disobeying Yahweh, so today many have false hopes of inheriting Yahweh’s kingdom without the necessity of obeying Him. They are straying from the clear teachings of the Bible, just as Eve did by listening to the smooth-talking serpent. This endemic Adamic nature does not automatically cease when one makes a commitment to follow Yahshua. Judas was chosen by Yahshua and walked and talked with Him but finally betrayed Him. Even Peter who had so enthusiastically and demonstratively followed Yahshua, denied Him.
The winner of a race is not the one who began well, but he/she who completed the race according to the rules. Please read our article 'Keep the Flame Ablaze'. Until the race is over many things can go wrong, that will disqualify or prevent the runner from winning. Repentance is like a toddler taking the first step or the athlete at the start of a race. The beginning, though it may be filled with excitement, great expectations and hope is not also the end.
Until like Paul, you have finished the course many things can go wrong that will deny you the crown of everlasting life.
The Bible expressly warns that many who began the race will fall away. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first 2 Thess 2:3.
Paul wrote to Timothy, Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons 1 Tim 4:1.
Yahshua said that in the last days, "many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold" Matt 24:11-12.
Jude wrote: Certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, [wicked] men, who turn the grace of our [Elohim] into lewdness and deny the only [Elohim] and our Saviour [Yahshua the Messiah] Jude 4.
If the doctrine of eternal security were true, then someone who had repented then afterwards became a homosexual for example, could be confident that he was still saved, and would enter the kingdom of Yahweh. But such reasoning is clearly at variance with the teachings of the Bible that says, Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of [Yahweh]? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of [Yahweh] 1 Cor 6:9-10.
‘Once saved’ does not signify you are always saved or safe from the pernicious onslaughts of the enemy and his demons. Satan did not hesitate to recruit one third of the angels and to create open rebellion in heaven. He had the audacity to enter the most holy place on earth when he entered the Garden of Eden. Thousands of years later he was still at his old tricks when he tempted Yahshua, the Son of Yahweh in the wilderness. He is not about to give up trying. He wants to sift YOU as wheat (Luke 22:31) and to shake out from YOU every shred of truth, and your determination to make it into the kingdom. This is why Yahshua repeatedly told His disciples to be on guard. The apostle Peter who himself experienced first-hand how easily one might stray from the Saviour wrote, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour 1 Pet 5:8. He will make a meal of you if you let him. He will not be deterred by the commitment you made some time ago.
You too can stray at any time during your pilgrimage. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall 1 Cor 10:12.
To rebellious backsliding Israel, Yahweh said through His prophet Jeremiah, "Obey My voice, and I will be your [Elohim], and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward" Jer 7:23-24.
As long as man follows his evil heart he will stray from Yahweh, but he cannot stray from Yahweh into His kingdom! Obey Him and walk in all His ways, and then you will not stray. But if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, [Yahshua the Messiah] the righteous [One] 1 John 2:1; and If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9. You must be always on guard to ensure that your sins are forgiven and that you are striving to walk in obedience to Yahweh. Only then you will be heading for His kingdom. Yahweh does not forgive in order that you can keep on sinning, for no sin will enter into His kingdom. Be not deceived!
Except a backslider returns to Yahweh his/her only hope is not everlasting life but death.
If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of [Yahweh] underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? Heb 10:26-29.
The Bible does not suggest that a convert cannot turn back to their old ways. In fact the Scripture explicitly states, When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it Ezek 33:18. Do not be duped by the wishful theologians. Live by the word of Yahweh, and not the word of some serpent-like preacher, on his or her way to the lake of fire, who claims, you will not surely die! Gen 3:4.
In many unequivocal statements, Yahweh has made it abundantly clear that the righteous who turns from ways of righteousness and sins will be punished.
Ezek 33:12 Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: "The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins."
Again through Ezekiel He said, "When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies" Ezek 18:26.
Pleading with backsliding Israel Yahweh said, why should you die, O house of Israel? Ezek 33:11, 18:31
The apostle Peter, taking up this same theme wrote:
2 Pet 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the [Redeemer] and Savior [Yahshua the Messiah], they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: 'A dog returns to his own vomit,' and, 'a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.'
In the book of Hebrews we are told, the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him Heb 10:38.
These verses all make it very clear that believers can turn away from Yahweh and Yahshua, and that except they repent, their latter end [will be] worse for them than the beginning 2 Pet 2:20. Can proponents of the ‘once saved, always saved’ theory explain these verses in the light of their spurious doctrine? Or have they chosen to overlook these? Those who are being punished by death cannot at the same time be in Yahweh’s Kingdom. So what then would have happened to their eternal security in which they might have vainly hoped? Their hope, like their bodies would have been destroyed in DEATH. Sin is sin whether committed by a sinner or one who claims to be a believer. For all who sin, the verdict is the same: the wages of sin is DEATH Rom 6:23.
What did Yahshua say are the requirements for entering the kingdom? He made it clear that the form of righteousness taught by the Pharisees was ineffective as a means of earning salvation and as a gateway into the kingdom. The Pharisees missed their intended goal by failing to recognise the only One who is the way, the truth, and the life because they thought they knew the way. Today, others choosing not to go the route of the Pharisees preach that your entry into the kingdom is guaranteed without adhering to the law, because the free gift of Yahweh’s Son makes the law obsolete. They say that when you ‘give your heart to [Yahshua]’, there is nothing else you have to do. Is this consistent with Yahshua’s teaching?
Yahshua supported the keeping of the law. He said, "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt 5:19, 20. The meticulous outward show of observing the law as practised by the Pharisees is inadequate to gain entry into the kingdom. Yahshua made it clear that a veneer of piety is not enough, but that He required an application of the law, which begins in the heart and works its way outward. Please see our article entitled 'From the inside out'. Those who will enter the kingdom must surpass the Pharisees by demonstrating a deeper and more meaningful adherence to the law.
When the rich young ruler asked Yahshua "what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" Matt 19:16, Yahshua did not say to him "there is nothing you need to do", or "you need only to invite Me into your heart". Instead Yahshua replied: "if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments" Matt 19:17. The young man thought he had met this criterion, so Yahshua went deeper, and told him of other things he should do that would demonstrate his full compliance with the intent of the law. The ruler went away sorrowful, thinking Yahshua was asking more of him than he was prepared to do. On another occasion Yahshua said to His followers, "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘[Master, Master],’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" Matt 7:21.
In John 15:1-10 Yahshua taught His disciples the necessity to stay continually connected to Him. He likened our relationship with Him to that between a vine and its branches. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned" John 15:4-6. A branch that was once connected to its source of supply but becomes severed will not survive. A believer who strays from Yahshua has only the prospect of death – not everlasting security!
Obeying Yahweh’s commands is an essential requirement for entering His kingdom. But the keeping of the law alone is insufficient. Obedience must be combined with faith in Yahshua. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life John 5:24. For [Yahweh] so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life John 3:16.
On the one hand He said. "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture" John 10:9. On the other hand He said, "narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" Matt 7:14.
Obtaining eternal life will not come easily. It requires effort to continually do what is right and shun the wrong. The easy alternative leads to death – not life! Salvation comes by believing in the Son of Yahweh, and doing what He says. This means that one must continually believe, and continually obey. Surrendering one’s life to Yahshua is much more than an emotional event. It involves walking continually in His ways. When one ceases to do that, the relationship with Yahshua is broken, and until that is restored in the way that the prodigal son did, you are forfeiting your inheritance. Yahshua never taught that one solitary step of faith would take you straight into the kingdom. On the contrary He said, "He who ENDURES TO THE END shall be saved" Matt 24:13, Mark 13:13.
The inference is that whoever does not hold out or press on in spite of all the hindrances that come in the way, will not be saved.
The foolish virgins had made a good start but a poor finish. Yahshua repeatedly cautioned His followers to “watch”. It is clear from His repeated emphases that He was driving home the message that a good beginning could be nullified by later action. You have not made it until your life has ended. Be vigilant. There is no room for complacency.
Who may ascend into the hill of [Yahweh]? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from [Yahweh], and righteousness from the [Elohim] of his salvation Ps 24:3-5.
[Yahweh], who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart Ps 15:1, 2.
What does [Yahweh] your [Elohim] require of you, but to fear [Yahweh] your [Elohim], to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve [Yahweh] your [Elohim] with all your heart and with all your soul Deut 10:12.
Those who fail to meet Yahweh’s requirements will not be rewarded with eternal life. Claiming to know Him while refusing to walk in all His ways will be of no avail. Walking is not just for a brief moment. It continues until you die. If before then, you should stop walking, you would be no longer doing what Yahweh requires of you.
When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, "[Master, Master], open for us," and He will answer and say to you, "I do not know you, where you are from," then you will begin to say, "We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets." But He will say, "I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity" Luke 13:25-27.
Salvation begins by making a definite decision and continues by making a series of decisions in which one chooses Yahweh’s way rather than the way of the world, the flesh or the devil. One seldom gains success in any area by merely one act or step or from one event. Success is usually the product of a series of steps targeted towards a particular goal. The beginning counts for little except it is followed through to the end. To the assembly at Ephesus Yahshua said, "I have this against you, that you have left your first love" Rev 2:4. Samson had supernatural strength from Yahweh but then violated Yahweh’s instructions and allowed his hair to be cut. When he awoke he thought his strength would have prevailed as before but he did not know that [Yahweh] had departed from him Judg 16:20.
Disobedience always brings punishment, and the believer who disobeys is no exception. If a believer sins and does not repent, he will incur the wrath of Yahweh even more than one who had never believed. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more Luke 12:47, 48.
This is why Paul wrote: I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway 1 Cor 9:27 KJV. Paul was much aware that in spite of having made a good start, he could lose it all and become a spiritual reject.
Yahshua telling His hearers what will happen at the end said, "because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved" Matt 24:12, 13. Salvation is not guaranteed to anyone who is effortlessly drifting along in the ocean of grace.
To the Philippian assembly, Paul wrote: Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of [Yahweh] in [Yahshua the Messiah] Philip 3:13,14. It takes effort to "press forward". Yahshua said, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able" Luke 13:24. Matthew records Yahshua’s words that from the days of John the [Baptiser] until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force Matt 11:12.
Entry into the kingdom is reserved for those who are willing to do whatever it takes to get there. In determining who will enter His kingdom Yahshua has no favourites except those who believe in Him, repent and continually do what He and the Father have commanded.
Take up the whole armor of [Elohim], that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness Eph 6:13-14. By ensuring that you live in obedience to Yahweh’s truth and walk in righteousness, you will be able to stand and to be approved by Yahshua. Therefore … let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance [to the end] (writer’s insertion for emphasis) the race that is set before us, looking unto [Yahshua], the author and finisher of our faith Heb 12:1-2.
As he neared the end of his life, Paul said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which [Yahshua], the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Tim 4:7-8).
Until we have finished the race there is no guarantee that we will inherit eternal life and obtain the crown of righteousness. Wearing a label of ‘being saved’ will not cause Yahshua to overlook your disobedience. The foolish virgins had been waiting for the bridegroom in the company of other virgins, but when the bridegroom arrived they were elsewhere trying to rectify their mistake. It was too late. From the bridegroom they heard the stern and final words: "I do not know you" Matt 25:12. Until the bridegroom arrived they thought they were ready to meet him. They were wrong. This is proof that you can hardly do too much but you can certainly do too little.
Since creation Yahweh has punished and will continue to the end to punish sins that have not been confessed to Him for cleansing and forgiveness. There is no ‘once-for-all’ repentance. Like the prodigal son, we can lose the safety of being in our Father’s fold when we wander away from Him (sin). Those who intend to enter Yahweh’s kingdom, must not be in the habit of sinning; but if they sin, they must like the prodigal son, return to Yahweh in penitence, asking His forgiveness, and show a willingness to submit to His authority. Except this is done your sins will remain, and you will have no hope of eternal life. To believe the false assurances of an effortless easy route into the Kingdom is the sure way to be finally rejected. Yahshua who will be the final arbiter said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" Matt 7:13-14. There is no easy way into the kingdom. There is only Yahshua’s way. Yahshua never taught or suggested that it takes only one step to get into the kingdom.
‘Once saved always saved’ is not a Scriptural doctrine. Its source is the same lying serpent that told Eve she could have eternal life if she obeyed him, and disobeyed Yahweh. Your salvation is far too important to be trifled with by optimistic, experimental, ill-founded and erroneous doctrines. The doctrine of eternal security is perhaps the most dangerous of Satan’s deadly sedatives. It is nothing short of the re-enactment of the Garden of Eden deception, in which a misleading short route to eternal life was offered. The consequence of accepting that first lie was death. The result of the erroneous teaching of eternal security will also be death. Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation Heb 2:1-3.
The solemn warnings of Yahshua must be heeded in preference to the words of others who like you will be judged by Yahshua. You have the Bible. Read it and heed it. Yahshua repeatedly told His followers to be always ready for His return. He never told them they would be saved if they once asked Him into their heart. Are you ready to meet Him? Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall 1 Cor 10:12.
"Our beliefs must fit in with the Scriptures especially when the Scriptures do not support our beliefs". Buel Hallpike
© Buel Hallpike Oct 2009 Revised September 2012