I get concerned about the doctrine, “once saved, always saved.” (If you’re not a believer, I hope you hang in there as you might agree with some of it.)
THREE CONCERNS: 1) Is it true? To a degree, yes. Many passages allude to it—John 10:28-29, Romans 8:1-2, Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 1:4-5, Ephesians 4:30, Philippians 1:6, others.
But, being “saved” is having an active relationship with God, where faith in God is nurtured and growing as a response to His saving grace. Simply saying the right words, “I believe,” but not being in relationship—prayer, worship, being committed—is not enough. Or, commitment that was made in the past, but which has nearly faded away, is not sufficient. Jesus said in Revelation 3:15-18, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” James 2:17-19 reads, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Ultimately my concern is that people fake themselves out in thinking they are saved, when they probably are not.
2) Sometimes, in an effort to feel comforted, the grieving family member of a deceased person strongly affirms the deceased loved one’s faith and place in heaven, based on “once saved, always saved,” though the deceased one had no active personal relationship with God. This might be spoken at a funeral or written on social media. Their words are influential, causing others to mistakenly think, “so if I accept that God is real, I don’t have to devote any time to a relationship with him, and still I get an eternal-life insurance policy. Yeah, I’ll do that.”
3) God’s grace, and resulting faith seem cheap, and counterfeit, to people who are not yet personally acquainted with it. In reality, God’s grace, and the resulting sincere faith in Him, are transforming, fulfilling, and valuable.
To learn more, consider checking out the book, Peace Within Reach—http://peacewithinreach.com/my-books/. (You can read it or listen to it.) It also may be helpful to attend a local church.
I imagine this post may be upsetting or frustrating to some. From what perspective are you coming, and therefore, how is it upsetting or frustrating? (I APPRECIATE YOUR THOUGHTS.)