When it comes to Jesus and OSAS (the doctrine of “once saved, always saved”), we gathered our top four passages. Once saved, always saved teaches that once a person becomes in a “saved relationship” with God/Christ, there is nothing that can “unsave” them. It is vehemently upheld by many prominent preachers and “pastors” such as Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, and John Piper. But much (most?) of what Jesus said does not support the OSAS doctrine.

How Scripture answers "Top 6: Jesus and OSAS?"

Connecting Jesus and OSAS is a bit of a misnomer according to these top five related statements/teachings from Him:

  1. The Sower/Soils1 – Among those who hear the gospel, three types of individuals will hear and obey. However, two of these three1 will not continue in their initial state. One will not remain faithful through trials, and the other will allow the cares and lures of this world to pull them away from the word and not bear fruit, condemning these two as well3.
  2. The Tares2 – There will be those in the Lord’s church (e.g. kingdom of God) that will be thrown into Hell due to their continued sin.
  3. The “true” vine3 – There are “branches” that are “in me” (in Jesus; in His body, the church) that will be taken away from not bearing fruit.
  4. The Prodigal Son4 – A son that had all the rights and inheritance of his father, chose to leave the house and lost all that he had and was “dead” and “lost”. Recognizing his state, he chose to return and was forgiven by his father and subsequently “alive” and “found”.
  5. Jesus’ warning to the church at Sardis5 – There were members/Christians at the church in Sardis that were “dead” and at risk of losing their place in the Lamb’s Book of Life!
  6. Jesus prayed that Peter’s “faith may not fail”6 – Peter was at risk of losing his faith (e.g. salvation) so Jesus prayed to God on his behalf. If Peter’s faith couldn’t fail, why would Jesus pray?

All of these1,2,3,4,5,6 teach the opposite of a “once saved, always saved” doctrine. Jesus repeatedly taught that a Christian – someone having believed and obeyed1 / someone in His kingdom2 / someone in Him3 – could lose their salvation, and that ultimately will be judged according to his/her works.

Answer built on scripture-blocks below

And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

And they aren’t rooted, so will endure for a time until they face difficulty due to the gospel and turn away.  Still others are like the seed cast among the thorns, upon hearing the word allow the problems of this world and the vanity of material things and desires for other things crowd out and choke the word so that no fruit is borne.

During Jesus’ public ministry teaching crowds that have heard about Him and His miracles (vs 1) as He begins to preach in parables (vs 2).  He tells the parable of the sower (or soils) to the public in vss 3-9 and then explains it privately to His disciples in vss 13-20.  The seed is the word (vs 14).

A parallel account of this is also recorded in Matthew 13:18-23 and Luke 8:11-15.

Scripture-block application to this question

Two (of four) results of sowing the seed are described by Jesus. Both of these receive (believe and obey) the gospel at least for a time. The former falls away completely; the latter apparently remains believing and obedient, at least to some level, but not to the point of bearing any outward fruits as a result of their faith.

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

In the preceding verses, Jesus connects the seed (word) sown to two more types of individuals. The first (vs 15) is sown along the path and never takes root (never believes or obeys). The fourth (vs 20) is sown in good soil that takes root (believes and obeys) and bears abundant fruit.

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

The Son of Man will send angels to gather out of His kingdom all of the sinful and law-breakers and have them thrown into Hell, the place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the faithful will shine like the sun in God’s kingdom.  He that is inclined, let him hear.

Jesus is teaching to the public in parables and in this chapter where Matthew shares a series of “kingdom parables” including:

  1. the sower/soils (vss 3-9) and explained privately to His disciples (vss 18-23),
  2. the tares (vss 24-30) and explained privately to His disciples (vss 36-43),
  3. the mustard seed (vss 31-32),
  4. the leaven (vs 33),
  5. the hidden treasure (vs 44),
  6. the pearl of great price (vss 45-46),
  7. the dragnet (vss 47-50).
Scripture-block application to this question

There will be those taken “out of his kingdom” due to their disobedience (e.g. “sin”) and cast into Hell.

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

The “kingdom” is Christ’s church as evidenced in many other passages.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

I [Jesus] am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Any branch in/of Me that does bear fruit will be cut off and removed by the Father, but any branch that bears fruit He prunes so that it may bear more fruit.

This entire section of Scripture (John 13-17) is Jesus in the upper room with the twelve apostles. He is speaking to them privately in the upper room and giving them instruction about his coming death and what will follow.
Scripture-block application to this question

Jesus is the vine and God the Father is the vinedresser. Any branch (e.g. follower) of Jesus that doesn’t bear fruit1 God “takes away” (removes) entirely.

For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate.
For my son was dead but is alive again; he was lost and is found.  And they celebrated.
Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, only found in Luke’s gospel.  The story is of two sons of a wealthy father: the older that stays home and serves his father loyally and diligently, the younger who rebels, leaving home and “squandered his property in reckless living” (vs 13).  Now being destitute, he had no choice but to return and beg to be accepted back – not as a son but as a servant (vs 19).  He returned, confessing “I have sinned against heaven and before you” (vs 21) but his father rejoiced and accepted him back.
Scripture-block application to this question

The prodigal son was “dead” and “lost” but he chose to return and was subsequently “alive again” and “found”.

And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.

Write to the angel at the church in Sardis these words of the One [Jesus] that has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars — I know your deeds and even though your reputation is that you are alive, you are in fact dead. Wake up and strengthen yourselves before it’s too late, for your works are not yet complete in the sight of God.

A letter to the church at Sardis, the fifth of seven letters written to the seven churches of Asia from Jesus.  They had a reputation of being alive, but Jesus knew them to be dead based on their works (vs 1) and he calls them to “repent” and “wake up” (vs 3).

Scripture-block application to this question

Jesus wants some members of the church at Sardis (e.g. Christians) that even though they “look good”, they are dead because of disobedience.

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

Jesus goes on to say that “a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments…will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.” (vss 4-5)

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers. Peter said to him, Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death. Jesus said, I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.

Oh, Peter! Satan has insisted to have you so that he might break you down, but I [Jesus] have prayed on your behalf that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back again, strengthen your brothers. Peter responded that he was ready to follow Him to prison and death, but Jesus said that he would actually deny Him three times before daybreak. 

It is Jesus’ final week and they are in the upper room. The apostles are arguing about who will be greatest in the kingdom and Jesus addresses their argument by showing how He himself served, and they must as well.

Scripture-block application to this question

Jesus says that He has prayed that Peter’s faith wouldn’t fail.

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