I knew a man who was a pastor for about 15 years. He was a very holy and righteous man, preaching every Sunday and leading many people to Jesus. He was highly regarded in his denomination and in his community. He was very strong in his faith, and absolutely positive in his faith in God and in his assurance of salvation. However, something really bad happened (the details are unimportant). Ultimately, he renounced Jesus, renounced God, and walked away from the church entirely. So - what is the fate of this man? There are three possibilities: · He was saved, and is still saved - God did not accept his renunciation, and his subsequent sinful lifestyle has no effect on his salvation. · He never was saved - during all those years he was preaching, he was really an unbeliever (though he sure didn’t know it). · He was saved, but now is not - God accepted his renunciation. “Once Saved - Always Saved” absolutely renounces the third option, and declares that one of the first two must be true. Let's look at them individually 1) He was saved, and is still saved This theology states that this man could absolutely renounce God and then turn and live a consciously deliberately wicked life - with no consequences to his salvation - then that means that anyone else could absolutely renounce God and then turn and live a wicked life - with no consequences to his or her salvation. It is not a question of whether a person SHOULD live a wicked sinful life -- it is a question of whether a person CAN. To accept that the person is still saved is a resounding declaration that all believers CAN sin with impunity (even if they should not and choose not to do so). 2) He never was saved This theology states that because this person renounced God and went willingly into sin, he must never have been a believer. What is the consequence of this belief? This man preached for 15 years, prayed daily, and was absolutely assured of his salvation. He was widely praised as a paragon of Christian living and ideology. And yet - because of a tragic event which would happen in the future - during all of those years, he was never saved. If this is true, then that means that no Christian can EVER have any assurance of salvation. No matter how secure your faith, no matter how absolute your resolve, if an event 15 years in the future can determine your salvation today, you cannot be sure of anything. And so we have the consequence of the modern version of “Once Saved - Always Saved”. If you believe this doctrine, then you have a choice. Either you acknowledge a right to sin with impunity, or you renounce assurance of salvation. Either way, the consequence is utterly un-Biblical. So, let's consider the alternative... 3) He was saved, but now is not. This position is not a question of “losing” your salvation (gee... I had it a minute ago... where’d it go???... Oh, no! I’ve lost it!). It is a question of renouncing it. There is a huge difference. This is a highly desirable position theologically. It maintains assurance of salvation, while rejecting the right to sin with impunity. It is, of the three options, the only one that really makes sense Biblically.