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Perseverance of the Saints: True or False?

Many preachers teach people that once they are saved, they will always be saved. The preachers say all one need do is believe, then heaven is a guarantee no matter how much sin is committed. First, as to salvation, the fact is Peter told believers to repent and be baptized to be forgiven (Acts 2:37-38). Second, after one becomes a Christian, there is no guarantee for the erring.

The parable of the sower fully illustrates our point (Lk. 8:4-8, 11-15). The word of God is sown in men’s hearts with varying results depending upon the condition of the heart. Some hearts are hardened and never believe (Lk. 8:12). Some are good and produce fruit (Lk. 8:15). It is said of these that “having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” They “keep” the word. This is in contrast with the other two types: shallow and corrupt. With the former, some “believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away” (Lk. 8:13). With the latter, some hear the word, but then “go out and are choked with care, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity” (Lk. 8:14). This is undeniable — the former “believe” then “fall away” — they become apostates from the Lord. The latter begins to bring fruit, but are choked to death with worldliness.

In the parable of the sower, Jesus is teaching about how different men will respond to His gospel. Some will not hear, but others will. Among those who hear and believe, most will only endure for a limited time. They either cannot stand the tribulations of being a Christian (cp. Matt. 13:20-21), or they turn back to the world (cp. Matt. 13:22). Only a few bring fruit to maturity, the few who keep His word!

Perseverance of the saints (once in grace, always in grace) is a false doctrine. Ask your preacher why he teaches it.

Steven F. Deaton

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