There is no despair for those who continue

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  • Value For Money's review of David Pawson, Once Saved, Always Saved?: A Study in Perseverance and Inheritance


“There is no despair for those who continue”

Written on: 05/06/2012 by (1 review written)

Review of David Pawson’s Book: “Once Saved, Always Saved.”

Pawson is unparalleled in his treatment of OSAS.

There is no despair for those who continue in their salvation. And David Pawson did not and does not teach that. But there is much reason for despair for those who choose for themselves, not to continue in "The Way."

The early disciples viewed themselves, and called themselves, followers of “The Way” for a reason.

The Kingdom of God is not about church membership. It is about Following Jesus, and making Him Lord, and pursuing Him with all your heart, mind, strength and will.

Those who choose not this path for their lives may be faced with some very uncomfortable words in the very near future. “Depart from me ... I never knew you.”

The Word says, "He who endures to the end shall be saved."

"Once Saved, Always Saved" teaching does violence to the verse just quoted.

There is no "once" about salvation in the New Testament. Salvation is a road we must travel. The word salvation has three tenses: past, present, and future. We have been saved. We are being saved. And, we shall be saved.

Just like any other journey, we must begin the journey, and we must continue on the journey, until we come to the end of our Journey, to arrive at our final destination. To give up half way is not to complete the journey and thereby not to arrive at our destination.

Any intelligent unbiased person, could easily realize that those alive in the Body are not fully present with the LORD. And that is the culmination, the climax, the end of this Journey we are now on. After that, we will begin a new journey, in a new body, in a new Kingdom. Then all the kingdoms of this world will have become the Kingdom of Our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever, and we shall reign with Him forever and ever. (See Daniel 2:44-45)

Anyone who desires to be secure in their salvation, can easily do so. They must accept Paul's exhortation. "Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith."

The Apostle Paul did not even take his own salvation for granted. And he spoke most violently of all the Apostles against such teaching. He believed and taught that after preaching the Good News about Jesus to others, he himself could be disqualified:

1 Corinthians 9
27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Therefore, it is easy to identify that the false teaching of "Once Saved Always Saved," does not come from the apostles teaching or from Jesus, but that it is a aberrant false doctrine that has crept into the lukewarm Church and caused many to become complacent and lazy and many more to fall away from the faith thinking themselves and their family members to be secure. When in fact, while ignoring the specific warnings and exhortations of the Apostles and Jesus, they walked upon the broad road that leads to destruction.

In context:
Matthew 24: 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

2 Corinthians 13
5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?

Matthew 7
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

Revelation 11
15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"

Once we begin walking upon the Road of Salvation, there is no guarantee in scripture that we could not voluntarily choose to depart from that glorious road.

In fact there are many warnings to caution us not to become complacent, lazy, lukewarm, or deceived. (We could deceive ourselves and walk away, through persecution, through trials, through temptations, and more.

We are capable of being led astray, in a multitude of ways clearly outlined in scripture: Remember the parable of the Sower, only one out 4 soils produced any fruit.)

There are a multiple examples of people beginning to walk upon the road of salvation, and then departing from the road.

There are an abundance of warnings to believers (not to unbelievers, because unbelievers are not on the road) that they not depart from the road.

The Whole Sermon on the Mount is directed to whom? Believers.

Jesus says to his audience: “You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the World!”

Those are not words you would speak to pagan unbelievers … but to disciples who are on the path of salvation. They have begun to walk in the narrow way. And yet Jesus warns these very disciples 8 times about the dangers of falling away from the faith, and departing from the Way, and perishing in Hell, due to choices they made to serve someone or something other than Jesus Christ, Himself.

Jesus goes so far as to say to his followers that if your right hand offends you, or your right eye offends you: “Cut it off, and/or pluck it out!” It is better for you to enter into life with a missing body part than to perish for all eternity into hell.

At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew chapter seven, Jesus Christ taught his disciples that the Kingdom of God is all about choices. He completes his discourse with three clear illustrations so that any honest child could clearly understand his message.

Jesus presented Two Roads, Two Trees, and Two Houses. Each disciple will ultimately choose one or the other. The purpose of His teaching was to provoke his disciples to make specific decisions (right choices) that would lead them to follow the narrow road which leads them to salvation, so that they could secure their lives in Christ.

[The Two Roads]
13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

[The Two Trees]
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

[Depart from Me … I Never Knew You]
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

[The Two Houses]
24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.28 And s o it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Suffice to say, that all these passages of scripture, these dramatic and emphatic teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, surely do violence to the teaching “Once Saved, Always Saved.” And as a result, the teaching “Once Save, Always Saved” does violence to these and many more scriptures.

Therefore since it is the challenge of scripture that men and women of God teach the Word of God accurately (and to live according to the original teaching, and to follow the examples of the original teachers of the Word of God, and not to follow aberrant teachings).

Therefore, I would challenge every believer trained, or raised up under the doctrine of “Once Saved, Always Saved” to reconsider that teaching, and ask the question: How much damage has this doctrine done to the Body of Christ?

I am aware that this is a majorly emotional topic and it is rife with many biases, and in the end most people are going to believe what they want to believe regardless of the evidence. But, in the case of teachers of the Word, we do not have that luxury.

You are not most people, and you will be judged more strictly.

James 3:1
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Here is my final challenge:

If we do not teach the clear warnings of scripture as accurately and emphatically as the original apostles taught them, then what in fact are we truly teaching?

(It can only be doctrines of men or the doctrines of devils—either way, we are in trouble with the One to whom we claim to teach the truth about.

2 Peter 2: [The Rise of False Prophets] 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies …

20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ [have begun walking on the road of salvation], they are again entangled in them [the ways of the world and not of their Saviour] and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. [see Luke 11:26] 21 For it would be better for them not to have known “the way” of righteousness [the road of salvation], than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A dog returns to its own vomit," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire."

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