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The permanence of personal salvation

Bible passages supporting permanent salvation

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Bible passages on the permanence of salvation ("Once saved, always saved"):

The Bible contains many passages which appear to say clearly and unambiguously that once a person gains salvation, they can never lose it. Examples are:

bullet John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (NIV) The key words in this verse are "whoever believes...shall...have eternal life." "Whoever" certainly appears to be an totally inclusive term, granting salvation to everyone who believes - irrespective of their behavior. It would seem to apply to persons of both sexes, all races, all nationalities, all sexual orientations, all degrees of ability, etc. The "shall" makes salvation definite and permanent.
bullet John 6:37: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Presumably the phrase "him that cometh to me" refers to anyone who is saved. Jesus apparently says that he will never reject a saved individual.
bullet John 6:40: "....every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day" This passage appears to imply that every person who is saved will be raised from the dead; none of those who had been saved will be lost. The first phrase is presumably not to be taken literally, as people today cannot visually see Jesus during their life on earth. The NIV translates it as "everyone who looks to the Son." The Amplified Bible says "everyone who sees the Son and believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Him..." This is an enormous expansion of the original Greek and introduces many concepts not present in the Greek original.
bullet John 10:28-29: "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." This is a very strong statement on the permanence of salvation. Jesus appears to state that after he gives an individual eternal life, they shall never perish but continue to have eternal life, even though others might try to interfere.
bullet Romans 8:38-39: "...neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." This passage does not directly mention salvation. However, a connection might be inferred: to have the love of God could means that the person is saved and will go to Heaven; to be subject to the wrath of God would mean that they were unsaved and will end up in Hell.
bullet 2 Corinthians 1:21-22: "...[God] anointed us. set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (NIV) This passage apparently states that, once we are saved, God guarantees our salvation; we are secure.
bullet 1 John 4:13-17: "By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit...and the one who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him...we may have confidence in the day of judgment..." This passage appears to indicate that once saved, we can have confidence that we will enter heaven.

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Copyright 2005 & 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Last update: 2006-OCT-23
Author: B.A. Robinson

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