Is Once Saved Always Saved Biblical?

21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

Colossians 1:23-25 (NASB95)

This passage raises one of the most controversial questions in all of Christian theology, and I am referring to verse 23 and the question of whether a Christian can lose his/her salvation. 

Verse 23 states that Christians have been reconciled so Jesus may present us to God “holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” Then, as if to make sure we don’t miss what is about to come next, there is a hyphen, followed by an “if”: “—if indeed you continue in the faith.”

To Protestants who have been raised on sermons filled with declarations of God’s grace and great love for us, that hyphen and “if” can seem like a turd in the theological punchbowl. It has caused TULIPS to become TULIS and Dietrich Bonhoeffer to write about “cheap grace.” Debate over the “if” has caused Presbyterians to become Baptists, and Baptists to become backslidden. It inevitably leads to a question: “If one must continue in the faith to be saved, does that mean one can lose one’s salvation?”

The answer to that question is, “Why are you asking?” 

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How Christians Get Deceived into Divorce

Touchy subject I know.

But the Wife and I were watching a documentary not long ago of an incredibly talented man we both admire, and one of the sound bites of him was talking about how he, now in the latter part of his career, wanted to contribute to world peace.

The Wife, always the fount of common sense, said, “How about start by learning to get along with your wife?” You see, this man, we had learned in the documentary, had been married and divorced three times.

Look, I get it. It takes two to tango, and you can’t control what your spouse does. My best friend’s wife backslid and divorced him; not much he could have done about that and he tried everything. But I don’t think this is the norm. The typical divorce is more consensual, or it is made that way through infidelity.

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The Latest On The Duck Dynasty Controversy


Some of you may recall that Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson, in an interview with GQ Magazine, once paraphrased I Corinthians 6:9-10:

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

A&E, who aired Duck Dynasty, suspended Robertson, and GLAAD and other groups accused Robertson of being a homophobe. What was less publicized at the time and was not picked up by the media was that Gordon Gekko apparently also complained.

“Mr. Gekko finds Mr. Robertson’s remarks offensive and typical of narrow-minded Christians,” a spokesperson for Gecko said.

“As Mr. Gekko has stated before, ‘Greed is good. Good is right. Greed works. Greed will save that malfunctioning corporation called the USA.'”

“Mr. Gekko would also like to remind us all that for too long the greedy have been a minority in this country and that they are entitled to be free from the sort of hate-speech Robertson and his kind promotes.”

Robertson was asked for a response to Gecko’s remarks but said, “I was only quoting Scripture.” GS


The Great Paradox of Divorce

As you know if you are regular here, I am a lawyer. On occasion, I volunteer for the local bar association’s program to provide legal advice to those who cannot afford it. As part of the program, I field calls from people asking questions touching on various areas of the law.

This is a change for me because I am a trial lawyer, specializing in trying employment law cases. What amazes me each time I volunteer is the sheer number of callers seeking legal advice regarding obtaining divorces. It is literally every other call. I always pass the call on to another lawyer because it is not my field of law and because I don’t want to participate in putting asunder what God has joined together.

It would be easy enough to scoff at the world and the fact that those who reject God and talk so romantically about visualizing world peace, and imaging a world without religion can’t even get along with those they vowed to love forever, but Christians fare only a little better.

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On Stumbling Blocks

“it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.” Luke 17:1-2

There are certain things Jesus said that frighten me. Saying that it would be better for me to have a millstone tied around my neck and drowned rather than be a hypocrite is one of them. Some others? That if I don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive me (Matt. 6:15); and that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven (Luke 12:10). I take these scriptures very seriously. I just figure it’s silly for me to believe what Jesus said about my salvation but assume he was mistaken about these other things. I take them seriously, and I fear God.

I’m not going to qualify what I mean by “fear God,” if for no other reason than I am tempted to, and I am sure I am tempted to because of the snowflake theologies of our generation that have created an ambient pressure to only define God in terms of His love for us. Such theologies enable misguided pastors like Rob Bell and destroy misinformed ones like Carl Lentz, and they can lead the rest of us astray as well. We should choose to serve the God of the Bible, not the God of The Shack.

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