Temporarily Saved Is Not Really Saved at All

December 17, 2009 at 10:07 pm | Posted in Eternity | 6 Comments
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Slogans are of limited value.  In general, slogans speak to a timely issue, and give a simplistic “sound bite” which tries to address a complex idea in a few short words.  They have a way of becoming quickly anachronistic.  For example, shouts of “Let them eat cake,” and “No taxation without representation,” caused quite a stir in their day, but just do not carry quite the same impact all these generations later.  This bumper sticker was plastered on the door of my childhood bedroom:

https://i1.wp.com/www.amnation.com/vfr/Dont-Tread-300.gif

All these years later, I’m still not sure who put it there or what it means!  But it must have expressed some social value back in those days.

The same is true for “Christianized” slogans.  They may be clever, but they are often weak at expressing lasting truths.  When I see a bumper sticker that says, “Christians aren’t perfect; they’re just forgiven,” I wince a little.  Sure, Christians are not perfect, in the sense of being sinless, but, as a true Christian, I am a whole lot more than “just” forgiven.  The mighty work of redemption wrought on Calvary’s Cross by the King of Glory should never be minimized as “just” anything.  Or, how about the one that says, “God is my Co-pilot?”  I understand the sentiment, but let’s get real.  The sovereign Lord of all creation, Who rules over and controls every molecule in existence, is not anyone’s “co-pilot.”

In general, if we want to express a Biblical principle, we are better off just sticking with reciting Bible verses.  However, saying that slogans are of limited value is not the same as saying they are of no value.  Take the slogan, “Once Saved Always Saved.”  It is a slogan which does not appear verbatim in Scripture, but it states a principle which is abundantly true and clear throughout Scripture.

God’s desire is for people to be “saved.”

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

I Timothy 2:3-4

Not all people are saved, but, every one who is once saved, is in fact always saved.  The only fault in the slogan might be its redundancy.  Imagine a drowning man flailing in the sea.  A lifeguard swims out, and starts hauling him in to shore.  It looks as though the drowning man has been “saved,” but suddenly a great white shark slashes through the water, tears the victim from the lifeguard’s arms, and drags him to his death beneath the waves.  Obviously, it cannot be properly said that the drowning man was “saved.”  Such victims who avoid the sharks, get onto the beach, dry off, and go home, can properly be said to have been “saved” from drowning.  And, though they will one day die, we might say that they were “once saved, always saved from drowning.”

To say that once Jesus Christ “saves” someone they are “always saved,” is a repetitive statement, but it is nevertheless a true statement.  The only alternative (and, sadly, there are many who believe this way) is that Jesus Christ is an imperfect “Savior,” Who can only attempt salvation, never really knowing which of the recipients of His grace and mercy will make it all the way to Heaven.  Obviously, this is not the case.  Jesus Christ is the perfect, all-powerful Savior, so it is correct, although perhaps somewhat clumsy linguistically, to say that all those whom He saves are “once saved, always saved.”

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  1. […] guess I’m as big a fan of a good Christian cliché as the next fellow, but I’m just sayin’, the theology of some of these trite bumper […]

  2. […] you don’t go into the ocean you’ll never have to worry about a great white shark. But if you’ve never been born again through saving faith in Christ, […]

  3. […] the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of […]

  4. […] to fear Him. Even His praises are fearful! The real God is not your buddy, your pal, your “co-pilot,” or “the man upstairs,” and what He does is […]

  5. […] There are Christians who say that we ought not protest abortion, but rather preach the gospel. We ought not to oppose the official degradation of marriage, but rather preach the gospel. That is like training lifeguards to rescue people without any references to water. That is like watching millions of people drowning in the same ocean, and holding pep rallies on the beach. […]

  6. […] (Colossians) Learning to Like Eternal Life (I Thessalonians) Eternal Destruction (II Thessalonians) Temporarily Saved Is Not Really Saved at All (I Timothy) Get Over Yourself, because You Can’t Get Over on God (II Timothy) Eternally Paid in Full […]


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