There is much talk within the Christian Community about being "once saved – always saved." But what does the Bible tell us about this very important subject? We see billboards and personal signs stating “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [Master Yahsuhua Messiah] and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31, emphasis added). Many have taken that to say that all we have to do in order to be eternally saved is to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” That we are not going to be saved at some future point in time, but that we are already saved right now. Even the devils “believe,” but are they going to be saved? “Thou believest that there is one Elohim; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). There are many things we believe in or on, but what does that really mean – believe? This is how it is stated in Acts 16:31 in the Amplified Version: “And they answered, Believe in the Master Yahsuhua Messiah (give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping) and you will be saved, [and this applied both to] you and your household as well” (emphasis added). It requires much more than merely believing in the Lord Yahushua Messiah to be saved.
The question begs to be asked: “What are we saved from or going to be saved from?” From eternal destruction? From the penalty of our sins? From the power of our inherited, fallen, human natures? From our enemies? From the deceptions of Satan? I believe we need to be and will be saved from all of those things. A closer examination of Acts 16:31 reveals to us that “thou shalt be saved.” “Shalt be” indicates that we are not saved right now, but we shall be saved at some future point in time. We are not saved now!
Another favorite verse of scripture is found in Romans 10:9. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Yahushua, and shalt believe in thine heart that Elohim hath raised Him [Yahushua] from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (emphasis added). Again it does not say you are already saved, but this verse tells us that “thou shalt be saved.” Again reading from the Amplified Version: “Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus [Yahushua] is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, rely on the truth) that God [Elohim] raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (emphasis added). You had better adhere to, trust in and rely on the truth if you are going to be saved.
True belief, according to the Bible, consists of more than an intellectual knowledge.
Can we ever come to a point in our earthly existence where we shall be able to say “I am saved”? I hear this phrase all the time by those who profess Christianity as their religion. “I am saved!” Are you really? Do you mean to tell me, you have nothing to fear of losing your way or that Satan will overthrow you? How can you be so sure? Are your feet planted on that solid Rock and will never be moved? What about the promises that are made only to the overcomers? Most want a sugar-coated religion that results in truth decay! If we are still sinning then we are the ones that are being overcome by the Devil and by our inherited, fallen, human nature. Romans 6:14 tells us that “Sin shall not have dominion over you” when you are under grace. If you are still sinning and professing that “I am saved,” you are giving a false testimony. You are being presumptuous. Presumption means “an idea that is taken to be true, and is often used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain.” “Behavior perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.” We are warned in Psalm 19:13 about being presumptuous. “Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” A misunderstanding of what the Bible is saying is leading many into presumptuous sins that will result in many being lost for eternity. Many have a false sense of security! Many have allowed their ears to be itched! “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3, emphasis added). They have listened for so long to sugar-coated sermons that they have truth decay!
We are told to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We are to “be sober, be vigilant” or else you may be devoured by Satan! As long as we are in this world, Satan will be continually after us, in order to prevent us from obtaining eternal life. Over my forty-eight years of walking with Yahuwah Elohim, I have seen many who professed Christianity lose their way and have fallen back into a life of sin. We have the illustration given to us in the book of Proverbs: “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). There may be many reasons why this occurs, but when we fail to follow what is written in the Bible for our encouragement and instruction, we will be overcome by the Devil. We are told that he “deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9) which includes us if we become lax in our walk with Elohim because we have accepted a false sense of security that comes from his deceptions.
Please read the Old Testament where this is illustrated for us over and over again for our instruction. In 1 Corinthians 10:1-14 are a number of examples that we should learn from. These people mentioned in this portion of Scripture were baptized and yet they were guilty of all those things mentioned here. Here are just two verses from that portion of Scripture. “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted” (vs 6). “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (vs 11, emphasis added). Yet many do not even read the Old Testament and fail to learn the lessons of the past and are repeating them and expect to be saved in the end. “Let no man deceive you” (1 John 3:7).
When Elohim gave the children of Israel His law, they answered “All the words which Yahuwah hath said will we do” (Exodus 24:3). And then they repeated that four verses later: “All that Yahuwah hath said will we do, and be obedient” (Exodus 24:7). And yet eight chapters later we find Israel bowing before a golden calf when Moses had gone up into the Mount for further instructions (Exodus 32). The people of Israel had had visible exhibitions of Elohim’s power and majesty and yet in the absence of Moses their visible go-between with Elohim they had given themselves up to the vilest insult to Elohim by worshipping a golden calf and giving it the credit for their deliverance from Egypt. We have not been so blessed by those visible manifestations as they were, but we have all their experiences recorded in the Old Testament for our instruction.
Peter had told Yahushua “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I” (Mark 14:29). “And he [Peter] said unto Him [Yahushua], Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both to prison, and to death” (Luke 22:33). Peter loved his Lord and was determined to follow Him, and yet a few short hours after making those preceding statements Peter was denying Yahushua with cursing and swearing. How could this be? How could Peter do such a thing? Yahushua had told Peter just before Peter had made that oath “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-34, emphasis added). “When thou are converted.” Peter’s problem and the children of Israel's problem back in the Old Testament were one and the same. They were not “converted”. What does it mean to be “converted”? Peter and the children of Israel were self-sufficient. They thought, as we oftentimes do also, that they could do whatever Elohim told them to do in their own strength and ability. They had not experienced “true conversion” where they depended upon Elohim. They were sincere in what they professed and confessed, but they had not plugged into the power. You can have a lamp, but unless that lamp is plugged into the source of electricity it will not shine. We need to be plugged into the power of Elohim in order to fulfill His will for our lives. We need to be able to walk the talk! Profession, without the Spirit of Elohim dwelling in you, will at some point in time put you in the same predicament as Peter found himself and the children of Israel found themselves in. Unless we realize our need and inability to do what Elohim commands us without His Spirit dwelling within us, we too will fail when the test comes. As a result, we may lose our way believing that we were not sincere in what we professed and that we are lost and just give up. Yahushua had told Peter that He had prayed for him that his faith would not fail." He did not want Peter to give up even after he had denied Him with cursing, and He does not want us to give up when we fail Him. “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32, emphasis added).
People are watching us, and what kind of a testimony do they see? Do they see a mere profession or a living testimony of the saving, sanctifying power of Elohim that keeps us from sinning (Jude 24)? Do we bear a false witness for Elohim to our neighbors, to our mates, and to our children? “Thou shalt not bear a false witness against thy neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). No one is questioning anyone’s sincerity. No one wants to bear a false witness in Elohim’s behalf. It is just that we may never have been taught how to bear a true testimony for Elohim. Even though it may seem that we have gone astray from the title of this article, I assure you it has everything to do with having eternal security and how we “may know that we have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of Elohim” (1 John 5:13). When we are walking in the ways of Yahuwah and not in the ways of this world, we can have that hope of eternal life that is promised to all those who are obedient to Yahuwah. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
This is not legalism as Satan would have you believe. This is the evidence of our love and devotion to Yahuwah Elohim Almighty! “If ye love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). “For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). “By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim, and keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2). Obedience as taught in the Scriptures is the greatest evidence of love for Elohim that we can show. Remember the Devil is “deceiving the whole world” (Revelation 12:9) and one of those ways is getting people to believe that obedience is not required by Elohim and that it is legalism. Clearly, obedience is a demonstration of our love to Elohim and His Son!
The children of Israel never really learned the lesson of dependency upon Elohim. They were continually referred to as stiff-necked and rebellious. Even though Elohim had great hopes and expectations, “how oft did they [Israel] provoke Him in the wilderness, and grieve Him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted Elohim, and limited the Holy One of Israel” (Psalm 78:40, 41, emphasis added). They did not do any better once they came into the Promised Land. Read Jeremiah for what Elohim had dealt with in the nation of Israel for 900 years before He sent them into Babylonian captivity for 70 years.
But Peter learned the lesson that was so difficult for him and for all of us to understand. His heart was broken when he realized what he had done and what Yahushua had foretold he would do. When Yahushua afterward asked Peter whether he loved Him, Peter did not as he had done before and rashly blurt out what came into his mind. “So when they had dined, Yahushua saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these [the other disciples which were present at that time]? He [Peter] saith unto Him, Yea Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee” (John 21:15-19). Three times Yahuhsua asked Peter that question, “Lovest thou Me more than these” and three times Peter gave a very similar answer without rashness and vehemence. Peter had been converted and realized that in himself dwelt no good thing. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18). It is where all of us must come to in order to switch our dependency from ourselves unto Elohim. And some of us may have to go through a very similar experience as did Peter before we realize our need.
When we think of eternal security, most of the time we think of ourselves. The Bible is clear that when we walk in Elohim’s ways we can have that assurance that He will do as He has promised for us. But the eternal security that Elohim is concerned with is the eternal security of the Universe. That sin will never rise up again because if it should there is no way for it to be atoned. Yahushua when He was begotten was not immortal so that He could die. Only Elohim was immortal! See 1 Timothy 1:17, 6:16. Yahushua was given immortality when He was resurrected just as those who are resurrected in the first resurrection will have bestowed upon them. “I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen” (Revelation 1:18). “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54) and we can then say without a shred of presumption, “We are saved!”
“What do you imagine against Yahuwah? He will make an utter end: affliction [sin] shall not rise up the second time” (Nahum 1:9, emphasis added). Elohim is interested in making the Universe eternally secure so that sin will never rise up a second time. Elohim is the Judge of the inhabitants of the earth and the decisions He makes for eternal life or eternal death will be done without partiality towards us. He will be fair and honest in all of His decisions concerning the inhabitants of planet Earth. If He were to excuse sin in just one individual who is to be saved He would jeopardize the security of the entire Universe for eternity (forever). Our loyalty, shown by our obedience under the most extreme conditions, will show whether we are safe to be eternally saved and given immortality where we will never be able to die again. Could you have imagined what would have happened a few years ago when Ebola was spreading in Africa if it would have been allowed to go unchecked? The safety of all of the earth’s inhabitants would have been at risk. Planet Earth has been quarantined from the rest of the Universe until sin has been cleansed from those who are to be saved or will be destroyed in the “lake of fire” when the lost are turned to ashes. May we become more interested in seeing that Elohim’s plans for His Universe are successful over our individual salvation. He and His Son have proven how unselfish They both are in the plan of redemption. May that same unselfishness be seen in all of our lives who claim to be His children on earth before Yahushua returns for His people!
What makes us think that Satan who was kicked out of heaven because of sin, that we will be allowed entrance into heaven while living in sin? “Be not deceived; Elohim is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
The following portion of Scripture taken from Chapter 33 of Ezekiel tells us how we can have the assurance of our salvation. It has much more to do with than believing on the Lord Jesus Christ (Master Yahushua Messiah).
“Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus you speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord Elohim, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel? Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turns from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sins. When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die [eternally] for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turns from his sin, and does that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. Yet the children of thy people say, The way of Yahuwah is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die [eternally] thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet you say, The way of Yahuwah is not equal. O you house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways” (Ezekiel 33:10-20).
Yahuwah Elohim Almighty is a very reasonable Being! It is the human that is very unreasonable!