Updated: Nov 24
No, there is not a typo in the spelling of the title!
There is an ageless hymn for those of us who are assured that we are saved forever. It is called "Blessed Assurance." This song does not apply to those who believe that you can lose your salvation.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
Perfect communion, perfect delight, visions of rapture now burst on my sight.
Angels descending bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest. I in my Savior am happy and bless’d,
watching and waiting, looking above, filled with his goodness, lost in his love.
This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.
"Blessed Assurance" lyrics, Fanny Crosby, 1873
I will never forget the Sunday morning when the congregation of the church I attended sang this song. The singing was so loud that the beautiful voices of the saints literally drowned out the instruments being played by the worship team! Is there is similar hymn or song for those who vehemently teach that you can lose your salvation? I would love to see the lyrics to it.
It's Hard To Fathom What Some People Believe!
I made the mistake on several occasions of joining a few Bible groups on Facebook hoping to find a few like-minded believers to have a good, doctrinally sound, discussion with. I will not mention these groups by name but I'm sure some of those reading this post know exactly what I'm talking about. Several of their participants continually attack "Once Saved, Always Saved," referred to as OSAS in the remainder of this blog. Others attempt to refute these participants but often fail. Their concern is this: if you believe you are saved eternally you stand the chance of losing your salvation if you commit some sin. Regardless of their heart felt concern for your soul, their premise is this: true believers can lose their salvation!
One of the favorite passages used by opponents of OSAS is Hebrews 6:4-6 - For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. I have already addressed this passage in a blog titled "Can True Christians Lose Their Salvation?" (published Oct 2, 2021). Some of the other verses they use are Matthew 7:21-23, Hebrews 10:26-27, 2 Peter 2:20-22, and 1 John 3:6-9. I can spend several hours showing how those who refute OSAS have used these passages to back up their false belief system, often taking these, and other stand-alone proof texts, out of context.
This passage is also frequently used by those who reject OSAS - For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES (Hebrews 10:26-27). Those who refute OSAS equate receiving knowledge of the truth with salvation. The author of Hebrews (more than likely Paul) is warning his brethren (the Jews) not to reject the faith that is in Christ Jesus in the same way they have set aside the Law of Moses (Hebrews 10:27). Opponents of OSAS never quote this: For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified (Hebrews 10:15). Perfected in Greek is teleioō which means bring to completion. Although teleioō is not used in Philippians 1:6 - He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus - it has the same connotation: Christ Jesus is in the process of completing His work of sanctifying true believers, those who came to true, saving faith in Him.
This is the most cited passage used by opponents of OSAS -“But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved." This is also found in Matthew 10:22 and Mark 13:13. From the standpoint of those who reject the eternal security of the saints, if you do not endure until the end, you will lose your salvation!
The context of this verse is the great tribulation period (Matthew 24:21, 29). The body of Christ (the church) will be caught up (raptured) to heaven to be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). We will not be here during this seven year period which culminates in the glorious return of Christ Jesus to earth (Matthew 24:30; Matthew 25:31; Revelation 19:11-16).
Jesus makes this statement in the previous verse: "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold" (Matthew 24:10-12). We are currently not in the great tribulation period. However, we are getting a glimpse today of what will take place during this horrifying period. Many have fallen away from the faith. This is evident by the decline in church attendance since the COVID 19 pandemic. The hatred that is taking place in the United States and around the world is extremely oppressive. Antisemitism is just as bad, maybe even worse, than it was when Adolf Hitler was the Führer of Nazi Germany (1933-1945). Cults such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints and the Jehovah Witnesses are misleading many with their false doctrines. Lawlessness has drastically increased in the United States to the point where it's out of control. All you have to do is watch the news! Fifty years ago I never thought I would witness such a time as this.
Jesus contrasts His previous statement with "But the one who endures to the end will be saved." To endure means to stand my ground, to bear up against. The tribulation saints will not fall away, betray, and hate each other. Like Christians today, they will be hated. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you" (John 15:18-19).
The tribulation saints will stand up against false prophets and will bear up against the persecution that comes with their testimony about Jesus and the word of God. They will refuse to worship the beast and his image; they will not take his mark. Many of them will be beheaded as a result. Others will somehow survive until the return of Christ Jesus at the end of the great tribulation period.
To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
-- 1 Corinthians 4:11-13 --
What will the tribulation saints be saved from? Jesus said, “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short" (Matthew 24:22). If these saints will be saved from physical death, then none of them will be beheaded because of their testimony. These saints will be saved from the wrath of God which will be poured out on those who worship the beast and take his mark - Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name" (Revelation 14:9-11).
When Christ Jesus returns at the end of the great tribulation period, those saints who survive will witness the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30). He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other (Matthew 24:31). The sheep (elect tribulation saints) will be separated from the goats (unbelievers who are alive when Christ Jesus returns). The sheep will enter into the kingdom (Matthew 25:32-34). The goats will go away into eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). The martyred tribulation saints will come to life and reign with Christ Jesus for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
Not only will the tribulation saints be saved from the wrath of God, they will also be saved to enter the millennial kingdom of God - whether they survive to the end of the great tribulation period or come to life when Christ Jesus returns at the end of this period. They will endure to the end!
They Have No Assurance
Whenever I encounter someone who rejects "Once Saved, Always Saved" I ask, what assurance do you have that you will spend eternity with the Lord if you were to die today? If God asks you why He should allow you into His kingdom, how would you answer Him?
More often than not, they don't respond. In one case, the responder told me that God will allow him into heaven because he led a good life, went to church every Sunday, and was baptized. Not once did I ever hear, Christ came and died for my sins, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. They have no assurance because, whatever salvation they do have, is based on their own merit by striving to be obedient to the Law! They think that those of us who believe in the eternal security of the saints come to faith in Christ then do anything we want afterwards, including breaking one of more of the ten commandments knowing we will get away with it. Maybe this is true for some, but, as for myself and the saints that I personally know, this is far from the truth! What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?... What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be (Romans 6:1-2, 15)!
Am I saying that true believers don't sin? If I said no, I would be a liar. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us (1 John 1:8-10). My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1).
As for myself and the saints that I personally know, we are completely assured of our salvation. I know, without a doubt, that if I were to die today, I will be in the presence of the Lord for all eternity because I believe with all of my heart, soul, and mind that God came in the flesh in the person of Christ Jesus. The perfect, sinless Lamb of God took my sins upon Himself while on the cross. He satisfied God's infinite justice by drinking the full cup of God's wrath against sin until it was finished. He traded my sin for His perfect righteousness which He imputed on all of those who believe in Him. He died, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. I am forever His. I am not saved because of my merit, but because of His!
John 10:27-29 - Secure in the hands of the Father and the Son
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand."
Romans 8:1-2 - Free from the law and no longer condemned by it
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Romans 8:28-30 - Predestined, Called, Justified, and Glorified by God
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
Romans 8:37-39 - Cannot be separated from the love of God
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 1:13-14 - Sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 2:4-10 - Made alive and saved by His grace through faith
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Colossians 3:1-4 - Will be revealed with Him in glory
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
1 Peter 1:3-5 - Born again and protected by the power of God
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 John 5:11-13 - I have the Son of God and Eternal Life
And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Are you assured of your salvation?
 Alexander Souter, A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1917), 271.
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture cited in this post is taken from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update.